New Canoe builder

Rob Learmont

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hello all,
I just wanted to introduce myself and my project. I live in South New Jersey, near Philadelphia and have been a woodworker for most of my 50+ years. I have been wanting to build a cedar strip canoe for many years. I grew up in Northern Illinois and spent many hours canoeing the small lakes and rivers of Southern Wisconsin.
A few years ago I ordered the plans for a Northwest Cruiser, but didn't have the room to build it, so I built a 1/12ths scale model. I scaled the prints and cut the forms, built the strongback and stripped it with 3/16ths strips of hobby wood. I think building the scale model helped me now that I am building the full size canoe.
I created accent strips out of Spalted Maple and Walnut, I created them in an attempt at my humor (if you recognize the pattern you will get the joke). I made a herringbone pattern out of Spalted Maple and Cedar for the football and outlined it with 1/4" walnut. The inner and outer stems are Laminated Maple.
I milled all of the strips myself out of cedar boards I hand picked from my local Lowe's. I did not do Bead and Cove, I chose to do square stock and rolling bevel, which wasn't too much of an issue for me.
So far the build has gone pretty much according to plan, other than I didn't taper the inner stems enough for the outer stem to cover the strips so I had to add a filler. Now that It's sanded fair, it looks pretty good.
I am just now finishing the outer hull sanding as I wait for the glass and epoxy to arrive.
Thanks to everyone on the forum, I have read many, many of the posts prior to and during my build. and have gleaned much needed advice from all of you!
I would love to see if there is anyone in my area that has experience with building Cedar Strip canoes.

I attached a few pictures of my scale model and my current full sized canoe in progress.


  • 1st strip 4.JPG
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  • Bottom strip 3.JPG
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  • Sanded 3.JPG
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  • Stand 4.JPG
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  • accent strip.jpg
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Last edited:

Michael Grace

Lifetime Member
Hmmmmm... distress signal even before completion... hmmmmmm... But it sure makes a nice geometric pattern!

The spalted maple is beautiful.