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Floor Rack

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Andy Hutyera, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy - Life Member

    I am in the process of attempting to restore a post 1938 Lakefield strip built canoe. It's been a real learning process as the construction, though deceptively similar to wood canvas construction, is actually quite different. The canoe originally had floor racks, but they were missing when I acquired it. I found a great series of videos on you tube of Walter Walker building an almost identical canoe from start to finish. He obligingly gives the exact dimensions for the floor rack components and I have milled some ash to his specifications. The floor rack seems like such a simple structure so I've never paid much attention to how they are put together. The canoe is put together entirely with copper nails. They are never clinched over as I discovered the hard way. The nails are pre drilled, driven through and then bent over. If you try to drive them into a clinching iron they bend inside the wood and split the narrow ribs. Once they are bent over you can then set them below the wood surface with a hammer and clinching iron. My question is how the heck are the floor racks fastened together. It seemed obvious until it came to actually doing it. Are they nailed together? If so do the heads go on the underside or the topside? If they go on the underside the bent over and set ends would be less obvious than the nail heads. Just wondering if anyone out there can give me some advice.
  2. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer

    Hi Andy,
    The floor racks are nailed together, nail heads on top, bent over below. The floor rack strips are cedar and the short ribs are ash or white oak.

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