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1922 Otca 17 Restoration

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by monkitoucher, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I started up the restoration of the OTCA that I picked up in Maine this summer. The boat is in really good shape no major holes bunched through the side the thwarts and seats are in pretty good shape. I've gone through the stripping process over the last week and I'm about ready to take stock of what I'll need to do. I keep finding cracked ribs I think I'm up to 7 or 8 now.

    The thing that I'll need a little guidance on is what to do with split planking. The bottom planks along the center have splits down the length of them. I may replace these. The bilge planks have a lot of splitting (3 to 4 splits per board). It looks like it came this way from the factory because most of the splits are tacked down. I'd love to keep as much original planking as possible. Would it detract from the boat too much if the split planks were left alone? Or would you guys typically replace these?

    Attached Files:

  2. Scott Rowe

    Scott Rowe Random Adventurer

    I couldn't tell from your pics how bad the splits were but from what I've gleaned from this site is, that if the slits are lengthwise but stable, leave them alone. I dont have a lot of experience with splits myself but you'd be surprised at how strong some of these damaged planks are. If you replace them, its a lot of work and then you have to deal with the issue of matching the fresh wood to old. Good luck.
  3. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Sorry about that. Here are some pics. It appears that the guy planking this was having a bad day. For the most part it's all really tight and tacked down pretty well.

    Attached Files:

  4. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    The section between what you have labeled 24/25 (rib numbers?) looks like a repair...that was done with smaller strips of wood. The tacks are clinched down really hard...a brave person was swinging that tack hammer. It does not look like factory work to my eye but it's hard to gauge from a photo. Simply due to the ugly nature of that repair I'd probably be tempted to re-do it as long as the canvas is off.
  5. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    As an old friend in New Hampshire would say about this decision....twant ah haad wone . The good side you will be able to perfect your staining and swearing techniques. Have fun !
  6. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Not really up on my North Eastern dialects. :)

    Thanks for the feedback fellas. Pretty sure this was original from the factory. There aren't any empty tack holes in the ribs where the original tacks would have been. Also the tacks used are exactly the same as the others used all over the hull with same amount of oxidation. I have to keep in mind that these were produced by crafts men who were pretty good at hiding their sins to get a boat out the door.

    As it stands I'll probably replace the bilge planks. They are a bit of a mess as you can see. When I did these on my Charles River, I ended up with a split or two. Not nearly as bad as this though.
  7. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Inspect all the planking from the outside. You should be able to see discontinuities in the planking, which will indicate what is original and what has been replaced.
    I would get rid of all the flat sawn planking for starters.
  8. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I've only done one canoe which isn't finished yet, so take that into consideration.

    I gave the planks a score. If there were a few reasons to replace them, they were out. For example, like Dan says, flatsawn is one reason. If the sheer planks are flatsawn (they all were on mine), the butt joints at each end aren't great, you have stock, they are off anyway... they might be candidates. I think splits alone are probably OK. My canoe had some that I could tell were not factory-originals, but had not changed since 1969 when my dad fiberglassed it.
  9. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Pretty relieved... I was able to get all four of my inner mahogany gunnel ends bent today. I had tried earlier this week and cracked the first one after about 4 days of soaking. Fortunately these are 11' long so I was able to saw off the crack and toss it in with the others and let them soak for the whole week.

    I used a steel strap and clamp. Then I just took my time. A lot longer than I would bending ash. I basically let the wood give way as I gradually pressed it into the form. If I would have forced it, I'm pretty sure I would have cracked one or two.

    Attached Files:

  10. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    It's the planks that give the canoe rigidity. So a good rule of thumb is...
    * Don't have any adjacent planks that have 'ends' that end on the same rib. That is, you want the ends to be staggered. And it'd be nice if the ends were separated by 2 or more ribs.
    * For rigidity sake you'd like each plank to be as long as possible - ie have as few end joints as possible.
    * And while it's ok to have a plank to span just a few ribs, you don't want adjacent planks to span the same few ribs.
    So I'm thinking the 3rd pic you show in your 2nd posting needs replacing. Looks to me that the wood is a little brittle too, so I'd replace all 2 (or 3?) with longer pieces that end on different ribs.
    MGC likes this.
  11. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I've been thinking about adding rub rails to this project and painting it similar to this Did this design always come accompanied with the rub rail? also what are the details in creating a rub rail? Dimensions, how they are finished on the ends, screw size?
  12. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes. the two color Old Town designs like numbers 23, 36 and 45 almost always had a rub rail between the colors. The rub rail on mine shown at is roughly one half inch vertical and three quarters of an inch horizontal. The outside edge is rounded and the ends are also rounded. The screws appear to be one inch long sized number two as shown in the image below. They go in from the outside at the ends and out from the inside in the middle. The picture at shows this in more detail. Good luck,


  13. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Thanks Benson. As always, you're help is much appreciated!
  14. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    monkitoucher likes this.

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