10 August, 2011

Kauri Canoe

Using the book, Building Strip-Planked Boats by
Nick Schade as a guide for the construction of his
Nymph Double Paddle Canoe design.
International Marine / McGraw-Hill
ISBN  978-0-07-147524-2

Bent laminated Spotted gum inner and outer stems.

Dave Hutchens's October 2010 issue of The Drum 
gives a brief, illuminating history of the
Kensington Woolstore before its lights out.

Image source: www.urbansalvage.com.au
Above two photographs: Dave Hutchens 

The NZ Kauri Pine being carefully lifted before demolition.
Historic redbrick shell no longer.

I purchased two pre-1925 New Zealand Kauri Pine floorboards.  Dimensions: 150mm wide x 28mm thick x 3600mm long.  After machining the first board down, getting an average yield of 23 strips, each 19mm wide x 3mm thick x 3300mm long.  I still needed one more length to get the 60+ strips.  Two of the boards revealed wood with a very similar appearance – a clean golden colour with a close grain wave.  However on the third, a pinkish-brown tone with sweeping grain, tailing out 500mm from boards end to an intense ray fleck.

I would go on to explore many pattern options for the lay-up of the canoe.

Tack & Glue strip to inner stem.
Staple strip to forms/stations, use masking tape to clamp strip
down to edge of previous strip. This fixing method is just
one of many - find out what works for you.

Comes a point where the strips want to bend the hard way (across its width) and resist lying flat on the forms. 
Release this pressure by clamping another strip over the top, allowing it to find a natural more relaxed curve. 
Mark a pencil line, cut along and plane.
The whole process is a kind of 12 steps forward 1 step back.  
Trimmed keel line.

Keeping an eye on the strips as you lay them down allows you to achieve a fair curve. 
Pictured left: low spot stapled down against form.
Pictured right: pry off form for a fair curve.  A long staple ( I use 14mm ) gives you freedom here.
– get your eye in for a rolling sight along the length, this will highlight the peaks & dips.
Don't be afraid to let go of the form/station, Keep it fair in line and symmetrical either side of the
keel and you should be ok.
This being my first amateur canoe build, the forms/stations may have been slightly out to
begin with.

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