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Outer Stem Installed w/ Major Gap

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by RoadRunner, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Ok, so....let's get this out of the way: really dumb mistake on my part, I admit. (And yes, my stapling is brutal...even abusive...I've pulled them now and sanded just enough to clean things up a bit.) Heres the issue: the outer stem had sprung back since I bent it some months ago, and I didn't want to risk splitting the inner stem by screwing the outter stem down tight enough to close the gap. I filled it somewhat with some small bits of scrap wood before applying the epoxy and outer stem. Now, though, the unsightly gap is painfully obvious, so I'm asking around for advice on how to cover / hide it. Any suggstions? Thanks in advance. 20160228_093817.jpg
  2. Cliff Ober

    Cliff Ober Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Chainsaw? :D :D :D :D :D

    sorry, just couldn't resist...

    Given that it's loaded up with epoxy I wouldn't think there's much that can be done without major surgery. Maybe it's just best to let it go and chalk it up to experience; the next will be better...

    Chances are no one but you will ever notice it anyhow!

  3. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    On Wilderness Boats-style canoes (which were built without stems) we used to paint a black band on the stems. I can't claim that it was beautiful, but on the other hand, it didn't really look out of place and it made maintaining any dings in the stems very simple. In later years, it also allowed for the insertion of a small sliver of Kevlar felt at the spot on the stem's bottom most prone to wear from launching and landing. The felt stops abrasion immediately and permanently, but it's not very pretty, so hiding a small strip of it under the black bands on the lower stems worked quite well.

  4. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    Don't be so hard on yourself. Whenever each of us does a project we look at it and see nothing but the flaws. Everyone else sees only the beauty. Paddle it, use it and have a good time. If it really bothers you that much you could paint a stripe of color a couple inches wide around the curve of the stem, add a little art work and all is good. Like a friend of mine who engraved guns once told me, "If I screw up I change the design and charge more."

  5. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Or as Chamberlain said " so we are out of ammo....boys, fix your bayonets ..... we are chargin " !!
  6. JCole

    JCole Curious about Wooden Canoes

    When I built my canoe I installed eye bolts into the strong back and used ratchet straps to close the gap.
  7. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    You're fine ! As stated others won't notice it. And there are a lot worse mistakes !

    Reminds me of a friend who wanted ME to cut gunnels for him. Somehow they ended up about 6" short. Miss communication, really it was my fault. They were Ash, so I shortened them by a foot, and scarfed Walnut on the ends, it looked AWESOME! We were both happy !

    You have just personalized your canoe !
    Don't worry, be happy !

  8. OP

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    As always, great input from everyone. I thought about adding a long, square strip of wood similar to that used on the stem, steam bend it so it follows the curve nicely, covering the gap / exposed epoxy. Then when I shape the stem, the added strip would be shaped as well, matching the contour of the hull to the stem and essentially hiding the error. Haven't thought this through quite yet....any opinions about that?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  9. OP

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    That would have been a perfect solution, JCole....wish I'd thought of that. Dang!
  10. OP

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Ha! Cliff, I certainly thought of that more than once along the way!
  11. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    It will be fine. Barely noticeable once everything is sanded and coated.
    I've had the same problem with outer stems on wood canvas canoes.
    I found it helps to put the first screw in where the gap is, then add screws going away from it.
    Seems to draw the gap down....

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