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Replace all the Planks?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Gliddenwoods, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. Gliddenwoods

    Gliddenwoods Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I am restoring a Thompson Ranger which when I took over the project from a previous "restorer" was in rough shape and required a fair bit of work. I have rebuilt both stems and replaced most of the ribs at both ends and no planking remains there. I have also repaired eight cracked ribs; thus a lot of planking in those areas is also gone (woodstove kindling). In addition the previous restorer removed someone's fiberglass/epoxy "repair" and while doing cracked a third of the remaining planks thus requiring plank replacement in several scattered places.

    I have been re-sawing and drum sanding some very nice western red cedar preparing new plank stock and it is going very well. I am also quite impressed with the quality of the new planks compared to the very dry, stiff & cracked remaining insitu boat planks.

    Given the fact that I will be replacing over 50% of the planking I am considering a 100% re-planking job.

    Reasons for doing 100% include that the most difficult planking at both ends must be accomplished no matter what. Placing 100% new planks in the proper order would be easier than a 50% plus patch job. Final product would be of a higher quality as a functional boat and beauty.

    So...why not?
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I hate staining to match new to old.
    If you have that much bad planking it might just make sense to replace it all. It’s a big job, but...
  3. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish Loves Old Maine canoes

    I've done it once. You will be happier with the results and bite the bullet. Get some more tacks on order!
  4. OP

    Gliddenwoods Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks to both of you.
    My thought is I should keep as much of the old planks on as I begin the 100% re-planking process to maintain rib spacing and overall boat stability while I place the new planks. I have also consider installing temporary planks/boards in places for the same purpose.
    Does this make sense?
    Any other advice as to the process?
  5. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy - Life Member

    Another approach is to place temporary batons inside before you remove the old planking in order to preserve the hull shape as much as possible. The batons are fastened in with short screws into the ribs.
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Pull a few, replace them, then repeat.
    Work from the keel line to the gunwales.
  7. fred capenos

    fred capenos Canoe Pilot

    I did it once. I started at the keel removing one complete plank. Then I replaced that plank. Then I replaced the plank on the other side of the keel. I did this , alternating back and forth all the way up to the outwales. This way, when you get to the bilge area, you can carefully remove the tack heads with a small grinder, carefully pry the plank off, place it on the new flat plank, put some weight on it, then trace the shape. With a little bit of sanding you can easily fit all the planks. Also,I’d suggest some hot water and a towel on any of the areas under stress.
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  8. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    One thing I did was to drill a small pilot hole (1/16") from the rib side out through the new plank using the old tack hole. This allowed me to use all the original tack holes rather than having another set of tack holes marring the ribs. It's a lot of extra work but it was worth it.

    I also used these to clamp the planks in place.

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