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Keelson installation

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by mccloud, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac In Memoriam

    The time has come to install a new oak keelson in the old all-wood, strip built, Peterborough-like canoe I have been restoring. Not wanting to lay on the floor underneath the canoe and drive nails upward with weights on the keelson, I'm thinking about driving a half dozen screws thru the bottom & into the keelson to pull it tight and hold it in place. Then, with the canoe turned over, it should be much easier to pre-drill and drive in the hundred+ nails. Have I missed something? Is there a better way? I found no evidence of bedding compound underneath the old keelson. Should dolfinite be generously applied underneath this new keelson? Tom McCloud
  2. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Tom,

    Sounds like a second person with an iron is not available.

    Your plan sounds fine especially if you put a keel on the canoe to cover those holes.

    The other option was using reverse clamps under the thwarts and other boards clamped gunnel to gunnel to force the keelson to the bottom without deforming the hull too much.

    You should be able to reach around to the keelson with the cinching iron while nailing from the bottom of the canoe. (canoe upside down, or rightside up if you prefer).

    Good luck,

  3. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Forgot about the bedding question, but yes I have use it when replacing a keelson. You do have two planks that join right there and that is usually where they leak.

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