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board and batten technique opinions please

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by samb, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I’m nearing the time when I will refit missing/ damaged planks on my Wide Board & Batten canoe. Having searched high and low across the forum I have found a fair bit of useful information but I have one big question that as yet has no answer. Possibly there is no answer or there may be many but I would really appreciate some input from anyone with knowledge of WB&Bs and especially anyone who has replaced a plank; in fact any opinions from anyone at all might help me come to a decision.

    All my ribs are repaired / reinforced (or soon will be). The damaged plank is #3 of 4. My lime is already to bend – and I know how that is supposed to work (except should I soak the plank first? – but that would get both sides wet and might hamper the bending process?) – but what I can’t work out is whether I should bend the plank before doing any edge shaping, or should I shape and fasten one edge before attempting to bend and then shape the other edge while everything is still hot and fasten that – or may be let it cool to its new shape and then scribe the shape I want.

    My thinking at present is that doing all the bending first then use a planking gauge to fit would give me more time to work so lessen the chances of messing up. I’d put spacers over the ribs so as to avoid flat spots. I know the curve would be slightly large but reckon more hot water on the final fit would sort it.

    This shows that there is a need for Mike Elliotts new book. Did I buy this boat too early or is he writing it too slowly? :confused:

    Any thoughts please? Even if you’ve never done this you might have some useful thoughts.


  2. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Sam,

    Not sure how Lime wood reacts to water, but basswood when wet on one side will cup nicely.

    I doubt any other wood does it quite so well.

    I would soak the plank for days after cutting it close to the dimension and wrap it around the hull over the plank on the other side of the canoe that corresponds to the plank you are replacing. I have never had good success using spacers over the ribs where the plank is going. You don't get the same support between the ribs.

    You will be close enough forming over the other side plank.

    I use ratchet straps and small wood wedges between them and the plank to get the wet plank very tight in place.

    Let dry for a number of days and fit the plank by hand.

    Good luck and post pictures.

  3. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Paul

    It's reassuring to know I'm thinking along the right lines

  4. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes the one side wet and cupping nature for basswood. I need to make a 2 board floor board for my Strickland ( no keelson ) and basswood is the way to go. Is you experience with flatsawn about 1/4 ", and do you tighten the straps incrementally over some time ? My curve seems to need a full soak to take shape, ya,? I'm talking a cockle shell bottom, here. Thanks, Dave
  5. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Dave,

    If you soak basswood you can clamp it all at once. It is a bit easier if you can have someone hold the plank in position with both hands to apply pressure spread over a greater area, and have someone else apply the straps. But Basswood is quite forgiving.
  6. Jan Bloom

    Jan Bloom LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Lime in England, Linden in Germany, Bass in the US. Lime and Linden essentially the same tree. Same genus as Bass wood. Some areas of Canada apt to call Bass Lime.

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