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Shaping Ribs

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Michael Graessle, May 18, 2018.

  1. Michael Graessle

    Michael Graessle Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I will apologize up front if this is rehashing an old thread, but I was unable to find it running a search.

    I was wondering what is the best method for shaping the edges of the ribs? I have a 1924 Old Town Otca. I tried a 1/4" round over bit on a trim router, but the profile seemed to be off a bit. Is there a better bit to use or is it a matter of hand shaping it?

    Thanks for the help.

    Michael
     
  2. Jan Bloom

    Jan Bloom LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Do it easily and quickly by hand. Should be able to get what you want with a block plane and a sanding block.,1/4 round is to tight a radius. You could try a different size round over bit for roughing and refine with a block plane and sanding block. Just pay attention to the direction of the grain. You will probably be the only person that will know it is not exact.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Michael Graessle

    Michael Graessle Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Jan. It never crossed my mind just to plane it down. I had it stuck in my mind to use a router. Hand forming it seems a much better option.
     
  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Use a 1/2 or 3/4" router bit, and raise it above the table enough to get the arc you need to match the old ribs.
     
    MGC likes this.
  5. Paul East

    Paul East PFE1944

    Michael, post some pics as you make progress. We all like to watch other peoples projects.
     
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Rotten Wood Hoarder

    It depends on how close to factory you want to be, and what shape it was from the factory.
    I will say that once the proper bit is found and set up, it doesn't take long to run a set of ribs through it.

    Dan


    "It never crossed my mind just to plane it down. I had it stuck in my mind to use a router. Hand forming it seems a much better option."
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Michael Graessle

    Michael Graessle Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you for all of the advice. I am going to try hand plane them. I was hoping to use the router, but without a router table to properly set the ribs on, it makes it difficult to set the depth and hold every thing level.
     
  8. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    A small finger plane, so light and easy you can just hold the rib in one hand and plane it. their great on cedar. Takes only a few minutes. you can get a Stanley for under 10 bucks.
     
  9. Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    For what it's worth, I get the taper with a table saw. I use a contraption I got at Sears a long time ago that holds the part at an angle while moving through the blade. Guess it's called a 'table saw taper jig'. There's 3 steps: I first cut the 45deg chamfer along both sides. Then, assuming the ribs are tapered, I use the jig to cut all four tapered ends with the blade at 90 degrees. I then I angle the blade to 45 again, back the fence away a bit, then add the chamfer to the tapered cuts. Then I sand all edges to round them a bit. Sounds like a lot of work, but in a short time you can cut a bunch of ribs that are all the same.
     
  10. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow Wooden Canoe Maniac

    For the Old Town ribs that are tapered, they re only tapered on the side facing the center of the canoe. The taper is more of a soft curve than a straight line taper. The side facing the stem is straight. If there is a center rib, then both sides are tapered. A 3/8" router bit adjusted up or down just a bit gives a good variety of rounded shapes that can match almost anything. Its easy to do 4 or 5 ribs by hand but after that even a cheap router table is a great aid.
    Rollin
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Michael Graessle

    Michael Graessle Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you so very much for the advice. I am currently replacing some rib tips and I found a 30 degree cut on the scroll saw matches pretty closely to original. I will have some minor hand shaping to finish it off.

    I do think a router table is in my future once I start replacing full ribs.

    Howie, do you have a photo of your taper jig?

    Rollin, all of my ribs are tapered on both sides. I have a 1924 Otca, I am not sure if different models had different ribs.

    Again, thank you to all of your for your sage advice and for your love of wooden canoes. It is inspiring to us novices and helps to justify depleting my retirement fund trying to fix an "just an old wooden boat!"
     

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  12. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I don't mean to be a pain the where ever the pain is but I will bet you a free clinching iron that your ribs are tapered (tapered in the width of the rib) on just one side, unless someone in the past has replaced all the ribs in your canoe. Different O.T. models did have different ribs but they were all either all straight with no taper or tapered on one side except for the middle rib.
    Perhaps when your talking about the taper you mean the radius or curved edge on each side and yes your right that each side does have the same radius.
    Rollin
     
  13. Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Son of a... I just checked on two Yankees in the garage; you're right - the taper is on one side only! I never noticed it before, I suppose on-account-a all ribs I've replaced have came out in pieces. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Good info, Rollin. Thanks!

    Michael - here's some urls for the taper jig. The 1st one looks like something you can make up yourself. I might do just that...

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/...yZcQt5JrMGvngf678ZaM6VFYC3-382YMaAnUWEALw_wcB

    https://www.ebay.com/i/253409537784?chn=ps
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Michael Graessle

    Michael Graessle Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Rollin, forgive me, I am but a mere novice and even that is giving me more credit than I am due. Yes, I was talking about the radius. I had bought a few shaped ribs from Jerry down the street from you and thought that they were just cut wrong! Thank you for the expert advice. I would have certainly goofed up putting in my new ribs.
     
  15. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    As every one has probably noticed . It's very easy for your eye to trick you, even when you take out a whole rib and lay it on the bench and look for the taper. Now that I have to wear glasses for everything I always mark and number ribs that I replace to keep them in some sort of order.
     

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