I’m attempting to build a (miniature) wood cedar strip canoe

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
I’ve always loved the look of the old canoes and recently while looking again I came across a guy who sells miniature canoe kits. (https://www.canoemodelkits.com) I thought it would be a great way to build something fun and if it turns out I’ll have something to display in my garage that isn’t 14+ feet long. He sells a few different sizes and I decided on the 52” kit. I added a few other options on the website and it came out to about $350. Still not cheap, but people spend that on LEGO kits :dunno:

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The molds or forms are made out of MDF and friction fit into the slots cut on the flat piece with the respective letters marked. I put them in and got them to where they looked even to me and then hot glued them.

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Next I covered the forms in painters tape to hopefully avoid glueing the strips directly to the form.
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I’ve always heard them called cedar strip canoes but this is actually mostly pine with some cedar accents. Other than watching some videos on YouTube of people building the real thing I’m pretty much learning as I go and taking my time.

The first strip is called the shear strip and this was more time consuming than I expected. The strips not only bend to form an arch but also bend inward from the center. The 0% humidity here probably doesn’t help either and I actually ended up breaking a strip. Not off to a good start. The seller also recommended buying 10-20 of the Harbor Freight 4” sliding bar clamps. I bought 10 and immediately realized they just weren’t up to the task. So that didn’t help either. Small C-clamps and the threaded style bar clamps worked much better for me. Getting the strip damp with a warm wet rag would have also been a huge help as I discovered later.

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You can put the cedar strips whereever you feel like but the guide recommended doing one as the second strip and I liked the look. This strip can at least be clamped to the strip below which helped.

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After one full day I only had 3 strips glued.

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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
I don’t want to clutter this thread with repetitive pics but from here it was just a lot of clamping, glueing and waiting. As you get closer to the bottom of the canoe a bit of a twist is introduced at the front so it didn’t really get easier for me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and a complete amateur so it wasn’t a good combo. Any gaps I’d see I’d have to try and fix.
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I decided to add the second cedar strip at this point. Also note I used a lot of glue and gave up early on trying to wipe the excess. It was too much of a pain trying to keep from knocking off the clamps. I just decided to sand it all at the end. I don’t regret this decision

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It would take me about an hour to glue a strip on each side and then I’d wait probably another hour before removing any clamps.
 
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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
Not much to say here. Just slow progress.

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Here you can see how the ends line up. I’d alternate which side I cut. The gap will be dealt with later. There are other ways of doing this but I just followed the guide so not sure what’s the best way.

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clamps on clamps on clamps. And now introducing zip ties into the mix. Around here I also messed up and spent almost a whole day recovering. I left a little gap between the form and as the belly curved in it was going to be unrecoverable. The next strip would have had to be glued at almost a 90 degree angle. So I got everything warm and damp and just reclamped the already glued strips back to the form and thankfully it dried and stayed there.

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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
It’s ugly but it’s roughly canoe shaped

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This seemed pretty bad to me but the walkthrough looked worse so I’m still optimistic at this point.

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Not mine, this is a screenshot from the mostly useless walkthrough.
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Rushing home from work so I can get a full day of garage chillin in

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A watched canoe never dries

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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
Time to trim the overhang

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here is one of my big mess ups. I was feeling rushed because the glue was drying and the strip was fighting me. I started cutting the strip at the wrong angle, realized my error and then cut it way to short anyway.
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I sanded it flat
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And glued an extension on. I’ll know it’s there but it shouldn’t be too noticeable

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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
Closing in the bottom was very satisfying. It gets to a point where the strips lay mostly flat so you can sand one end and test fit it, then cut it and do the other and see exactly how it looks before ever glueing. The angle was the same on the cuts or at least very close so you could use the piece you just cut off as a template

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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
Before doing the final sanding I need to glue on the cedar stem guards. So it was time to finalize the shape of the stern and bow

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each side gets 3 thin strips. They all got soaked in hot water and then one by one bent and glued on. The are staggered in placement to help make a smooth taper

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it was hard to clamp here so we improvised with some paracord

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The next day I was able to roughly shape the stem guards

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DrewDown

DrewDown

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2006
26,897
Tucson
this thread covers how much time working on it? couple weeks?

nice work
According to my phone I started Dec 2nd. I have a lot of time off but I’m still working full time and was also studying for a work thing in that time. I’ve got quite a few full days into it but I work slow and am okay with that. I’m trying to learn to be more patient and enjoy the process instead of just wanting results. Plus I sit around and drink beer while working and that makes it pretty easy to chill
 

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