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My First Wood Canvas Canoe Build Part 5

Hi Folks

After another long absence I can finally get back to this slowly evolving blogg!

The next thing to be done is the fitting of the final bits of planking up to the sheerline.The fitting of them is the same as the rest of the planking except they need to have their top edges trimmed to allow for the Outwales to be fitted with the rebate covering the edge after the canvas has been fitted.

Marking this top edge for cutting is achieved with a simple but effective jig.This allows you to run a pencil along the top edge of the planks.

The cut is made with a sharp Stanley knife. Take care that your blade doesn’t wander.I always wondered what the different depth of cut settings were on my knife and this is the first time I have had a use for it as you can use it to avoid cutting into the ribs.

With that stage complete I decided it was time to re clinch all my tacks to be sure the heads are well below the surface.

This is done with the aid of a cinching or clinching or clenching Iron depending on what you wish to call it but essentially a heavy lump of metal that is shaped to fit the curves inside the hull allowing you to hit the heads and bend the points of the tacks.

I have fairly long arms but even with my reach I found it useful to use a mirror placed on the floor so I could see the heads of the tacks as I worked.

With that done I could give the planking a final sanding.

Once that was done the next stage is to coat the outside with something before canvassing. If you research the subject of what to use for this coating you will find a variety of options and opinions of what one should and shouldn’t use. These opinions often contradict each other but they fall into two camps. Those who varnish and those who oil. Some use fungicide or preservative whilst others don’t bother with it. I decided to go for the oil and preservative mix option as I had both these to hand and had also used the same on my 120 year old canoe. It is also far easier to use in the slightly dusty environment of my workshop!

Doesn’t half look good too when you put oil on the wood. It is important to let the oil dry well before proceeding with the canvas so I let it dry for a week whilst I got on with other work.

Next stage canvassing!

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