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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"


July 28, 2007
Gluing fillets in the stems and bulkheads -- 3:10 hours

Filleting the stem seams involves mixing epoxy and thickening it with wood flour to the consistency of peanut butter.  My first attempt was a tad runny and wanted to droop down the stem a bit, but I quickly got the hang of mixing a good batch.
There's no way to do a neat job on the tight space inside the stems, but I did my best by spooning it in and then coving it out with a 1" rounded spreader.  Once the thick stuff is in place, then I added a 3" wide strip of fiberglass over it - from the top of the stem to the bulkhead.  The glass beds down in the wet bead, and then I brushed on a layer of non-thickened epoxy to secure it.  I did my best, but it still looks messy in there, but it will all be hidden anyway as this section will be hidden as part of the watertight flotation compartment.
I also applied fillets to the inside and outside of each bulkhead.  On the visible side I laid masking tape down to define the edges of the fillet.  Using a plastic spoon I coved the fillet nicely, then removed the tape before the epoxy set.  It looks pretty good.
One thing I tried at one end was to use the wood flour I saved when I belt sanded the scarf joints for the hull planks.  I was surprised that it came out like dark chocolate since it is the same exact wood!  It was an valuable experiment and it will never be seen.  It seems that the store bought wood flour is color coordinated to the Okume plywood.

I also noticed that the first seam I did with the slightly droopy mixture shows a small amount of epoxy leaking through the seams.  This is probably better than having voids inside that could weaken the joint, but the second seam - with thicker mixture - did not show any leakage.

I didn't do a movie movie today.  But here's what she looks like at the end of the day:

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