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New guy- about to start a father son build...

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by Slasher, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Slasher

    Slasher New Member

    So my 12 year old son and I are wanting to build a couple Wee Lassie 2 canoes... So here I am, been reading all I can on stripper canoes... I even ordered the feather canoe plans and book... or would you get the newfound plans with more stations? Sometimes less is more and sometimes more is more....

    Socrates users to say, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” Well I’m not claiming to have the former- but I can truly claim the latter...

    I’m pretty handy woodworker and have a decent 30x60 shop full of tools... power and hand tools. Not a master craftsmen... but I’m capable...

    I’m curious if there’s any advice before I get started.... staples vs stapless? Wood species? Strip size,/thickness? Am I mad?

    I live in middle GA and am lucky enough to have a great wood yard that stocks plenty of wood for furniture making and such... However, I’m not sure if WRC is readily available- but Atlanta is only an hour away... poplar is plentiful... even a very nice selection of exotics... any other Woods you like to suggest? White glue vs titebond 1/2/3? RAKA, WEST, MAS, total boat epoxies... any suggestions?

    I’m thinking about building the two at the same time as it allows for maximum learning and excitement for the little man... less watching and gophering- more doing!!! I know that I could probably do one after another and apply what I learn on the first to the second one... but I’m sure that will also apply to this way two...

    I’m open to all advice and suggestions....

    I’m thankful for your time, wisdom and experience...
  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Nothing you mentioned seems either way out of line, or drastically better than the other options, so it would seem to be pretty much a bunch of personal choices based on your gut feelings. I'd probably go cedar if at all possible, because we know it works great, but folks down south have built strippers from other local woods as well. Any of those resin brands will work and trying to figure out which works best would pretty much be a matter of who you ask. Personally, I would add Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue to the possible glue choices. It's what I have always used, with good color and good gap filling, and it dries hard and sands well without smearing from the heat of the sander. It's also cheap enough that mixing a bit too much and tossing the excess out doesn't matter much.

    If you can get along with the lines of tiny staple holes on the finished boat (they never bothered me much, but some folks won't tolerate them) they do make building much faster and easier. We used to strip an entire hull in three evenings. Many staple-less builders are only applying two or three strips per evening as they need to wait for the glue to dry before they can remove the clamps. Bead and cove certainly works, but you can absolutely build a great stripper without it.

    Unlike the mid 1970s when we started building strippers with very little help and a lot of trial and error, these days there is no shortage of documentation - books, videos, plans, forums, etc. to assist you. The biggest and most important piece of advice that I would offer would be to get a good book on the subject and simply follow the directions without deviation. The biggest mistakes that beginning strip builders make (and way too frequently) are from deciding that they have a better idea and changing the plans or construction scantlings before they have gathered enough experience to be making those decisions.
  3. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Every builder starts the Journey ! A good Road map is good, but can be outdated ! Many Building books are out dated ! A local guide will know the short cuts, saving time ! If you can find someone close by that would even come over and help get you started, and maybe be there to help you glass ! That in my book would be your best path !

    I have changed my methods a lot over the years.

    I believe you have made a good choice with the Wee Lassie II ! I've built using Macs form drawings. and they should serve you well.

    Here is a link to a Lassie build I did at a local Wood Workers Club here in town.

  4. Mark Heinrich

    Mark Heinrich Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A few thoughts on some of the key challenges and lessons learned from my own experience:
    1) I think it is wonderful that you're doing this as a father-son project. It is a great way for you to impart a lot more on him than a few woodworking skills. A tip of the hat to you!
    2) Ripping your own planks will save you a ton.
    3) When you do take the little extra time to mark your strips. On each face draw a V accenting one leg of it or another with a second line. Also number/letter the strips. Doing so you can have a set of dozens of related strips - you can put adjacent strips together so the grain flows naturally strip to strip - you can bookmatch side to side.
    4) Fix things in the phase they are easiest to fix. If you are doing rolling bevels (which I prefer to bead and cove) take the time - it will mean less to mess with making look good later.
    5) Scrape/Plane instead of sanding - it works better and is enjoyable instead of drudgery. I have yet to meet someone that enjoys sanding. Some sanding is needed too but get most of the way there by other means.
    6) Watch videos of the glassing steps. Nick Shade's videos are fantastic (he had some on scrapers too which I wished I knew about years ago). Epoxy sets up slower when it is spread out than in the cup (unlike solvent based finishes) so get it on the boat and work out from the middle. It is intimidating until you do it the first time - it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
    7) Be systematic and fast with the spar varnish. Long way for a foot, crosswise for that foot, tip off and go.
    8) This won't be your last boat your second will be twice as good and take 1/5th the time. Have fun, learn and make another one!
  5. OP

    Slasher New Member

    I appreciate all the advice... and will be lurking and searching as I already see a ton of information on here...

    I’m not so concerned about the woodworking... although the bending is not something that I have done in furniture work. I’m a big fan of cabinet scrapers and hand planes in general... I have 4 Stanley block planes and up to an 1890s era Stanley No 8 jointer plane- I doubt will see any use on this project...

    I’m thinking that a 16 ft canoe will come in later... but right now it’s just father and son time.... It is more about getting some time in shop together and hopefully sparking some great times together in the future.... Its my duty and responsibility as a father to make a man. This project is one that will hopefully carryover into more aspects of his life long after I’m gone. Hopefully it won’t be the opposite experience.

    Letting him learn that planning and consistency will take you through projects. Problems, are just unforeseen obstacles... and the difference between a poor fit and a great fit is measured by th amount of wood putty needed....

    Thanks for being there... I’m sure I will be needing some more advice in the future

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