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Building a Sassafras 14 ft. stitched lapstrake canoe
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HOME 1. laying out
the planks
2. cutting
3. gluing
4. rabbeting
5. stitching
6. shaping
7. filleting
8. gluing
9. removing
10. filling
11. gluing
12. gluing
13. glassing
14. glassing inside 15. glassing
16. decks and
seat mounts
17. installing
18. epoxy
19. sanding 20. varnishing 21. finishing up 22. launching storage BILL OF
This canoe was built from plans in the book "The Canoe Shop"

August 24, 2007
Making decks and installing seat mounts

Once again I am blessed with many neighbors who are woodworkers all of whom have odd scraps of nice wood.  John Rogers offered me a nice scrap of ash for the thwart, and some mahogany boards that he had re-sawed to 3/8" thick.  I began by cutting a "racing stripe" from maple and gluing it between 2 boards for the stern deck.  Then I placed the board over the stern and traced the gunwhales from underneath onto the board.  By measuring in about 5/8" from that line I drew the cut line and cut out the deck on the band saw.
Once it was cut out there were 2 remaining pieces that I could use to make the bow deck, the only practical way to clamp the was with pinch dogs on the under side.  After rounding over the side edges with the router and sanding the boards smooth I glued in some stiffeners to the under side to give the wood some strength.   I had to sand both decks down closer to 1/4" by the time I was done so I felt that they needed some structure across the grain.  The long stiffener will fit up against the bulkhead and enhance the seal there.  I also made a nice trim piece out of maple to fit along the curved edge to deflect water.
Here's the cut deck sitting on the stern end.  When I glue it in place the clamps will bow it down to conform to the contour of the gunwhales.

I cut the ash board that my neighbor gave me down to 1 1/2" X 3/4" and rounded over the edges.  I though about all the various shapes suggested in the book, but for now have settled on a plain straight thwart rather than something curvy.  I feel that it better matches the seats which are also ash.  I can always make a different one later.

When I ripped the gunwhales from the 16ft board I bought I was lucky to cut 5 boards.  One of them had broken when I had tried to install it as an outwhale due to a knot.  I used that strip to make the seat mounts.  This process was interesting because matching the curve of the inwhale was challenging.  I traced the curve onto the edge of the mount and sanded it down with my big 6 X 48" belt sander using a 220 grit belt until it matched.  Lots of trial an error until it fit!   Then I marked the positions of the seat mounts and thwart by measuring from the stern per the dimensions in the book.
Gluing in the seat mounts was relatively simple and I used fast the setting epoxy catalyst.  Since I had mixed 2 ounces, I had enough left over to paint the bottom surface of the decks, and the thwart for waterproofing.
I used the glue clamping strategy from the book to attach the decks and it worked out fine.  I used epoxy mixed with silica to a ketchup consistency and spread it liberally on the bottom of the deck before installing it.  Once it had set I noticed the small gap at the top of the bulkhead.
So I made a piece of 1/4 round beading that I glued in across the top to form a better seal.

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