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Sourcing White Cedar

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Jim Pendoley, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Jim Pendoley

    Jim Pendoley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I am getting ready to rebuild an old canoe-unknown provenance. At first we thought it was a Chestnut Pal or Chum, but that was ruled out. Folks on the forum tried to ID it, but we were not able to nail down a builder-the previous (deceased) owner may have done a one off. Half a dozen broken ribs and a few cracked planks. Stems. remarkably are intact and completely sound, so needs canvas, ribs and planks.
    Two questions: I am not sure if the ribs and planking are white or red cedar-how to tell? Also, where to source suitable rib and planking stock: I am in Massachusetts. Thank you!
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    If it is a Canadian built canoe the planks are most likely white cedar, as are the ribs.
    Most common American builds used red cedar planking and white cedar ribs.
    If you need a all amount you can check with builders and suppliers registry on the website. If you need more, check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or specialty lumber yards.
    Here is one I found in your state.
    Greg Nolan likes this.
  3. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Since you are in the Great State (Commonwealth) of Massachusetts, get in touch with the Norumbega Chapter of the WCHA ( They may be able to help you out with sourcing your cedar directly, or otherwise point you in the right direction.
    Rob Stevens likes this.
  4. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Post a picture of the wood you are trying to identify. White Cedar can be found to the north of you. I'm in NH and travel either to Maine of VT for a truckload when needed. Start calling lumber yards to see what is available. Don't for get to mention you want select White Cedar. If you don't need much maybe a local builder can help such as Salmon Falls Canoe or Kevin Martin in NH. Fence companies might have a bit kicking around also in the area.
  5. OP
    Jim Pendoley

    Jim Pendoley Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Dave, Dan and Zach,
    Thanks for the great leads-this site is a wonderful resource.. I will report back on what I find and post pics of progress-should be fun!
  6. Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I’ll be heading to Vermont from PA for some quartersawn and air dried white cedar this weekend. I’ll be taking route 87 if you’d like to meet at a rest stop on Sunday.

    I can also pick up some for others if anyone is local to PA.

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