Mr. Hobby Projects

DIY Strip Canoe Update #6 Attaching The Gunnels

Thank you for sharing!
Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

The DIY Strip Canoe project continues with the addition of the gunnels.  The Gunnels, also known as gunwales are the trim pieces that line the top edge of the canoe opening.


There are evidently several ways to add the gunnels.  Who knew?   The recommended way is to attach the gunnels with screws.  Mr. Hobby was not a fan of that method so he came up with his own plan.

 

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

To make the gunnels, he needed very long strips of wood that would span one side of the canoe from front to back.  In order to have a piece long enough to do this, a scarf joint was cut on two strips of walnut that were then glued together.   A scarf cut gives a lot of surface area for gluing two pieces together, thus making a stronger joint.

Four long strips are needed, two for each side of the canoe.

In the picture above, you can see two of these strips are used to sandwich either side of the top edge of the canoe.  To attach them, Mr. Hobby used a biscuit joiner with biscuits and epoxy.

You can see the strips overhanging the front of the canoe in the picture above.  They will eventually be trimmed.

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

The strips of walnut start out straight, but they need to bend along with the curve of the canoe.   Mr. Hobby used heat applied to the wood to bend it before attaching.

The outside of the canoe in the below picture shows the film of dust left from the multiple sandings.

Wow, look at the amount of clamps that were used to hold the gunnel in place while the epoxy dried on just one side of the canoe!  I think just about every clamp Mr. Hobby owns is being used to hold the strips in place.

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

 

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

 

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

Wax paper was used to keep the clamps from sticking to the epoxy and canoe.

 

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!
In the above picture, you can see a strip of walnut lying across the top of the canoe.  This is one of the gunnel pieces that will be used for the other side.

Because the weather has finally warmed up, the canoe was moved from our basement into the garage for the finish work.  The canoe is amazingly light which made it very easy to move.  This is exactly what Mr. Hobby wanted.  He will have no trouble carrying the canoe over land to water on his own.

 

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

In the above picture, Mr. Hobby inserted braces in the interior of the canoe to help maintain the shape while the gunnel work is being completed.

To finish off the gunnel, Mr. Hobby cut a thin piece of walnut that will “cap” the sandwiched gunnel strips.  This strip needs to bend with the curve of the canoe as well, so heat was applied to help with the bending of the wood.

In the picture below, you can see that he is starting to clamp the thin cap strip along the top edge.

 

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!

Epoxy is messy stuff.  There are several areas of drips that will need to be sanded away eventually.  These steps will need to be repeated for the gunnel on the opposite side of the canoe.

Coming up next, Mr. Hobby will build and attach the decks, thwarts/yoke and seats!

If you are enjoying this project, we’d love if you would Pin It to share!  Thank you!

Installment #6 of building a strip canoe covers the steps taken to make and attach the gunnels. Make sure you have a lot of clamps!
You can see all posts on this project [ here ].
Thank you for sharing!

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10 Comment

  1. The Seana Method
    May 18, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    You better buy a bottle of champagne … you are getting close! I've really enjoyed watching this come together!

    1. Laurie
      May 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you Seana for following along! Yes, he is getting close!

  2. Beverly Roderick
    May 19, 2016 at 2:34 am

    The progress is amazing! I don't know what half of the stuff you're talking about actually means, but it's evident that Mr. Hobby is a great craftsman. Will it be ready for your upcoming trip?

    1. Laurie
      May 19, 2016 at 3:22 am

      lol, Am I sounding like an authority? I interview Mr. Hobby at every stage so that I have an idea as to what is going on . . . not exactly a step by step on how to do this, but someone in the 'know' should be able to follow. Unfortunately, it will not be ready for this upcoming family trip. However, we are looking forward to the maiden voyage by then end of June if all goes well.

  3. Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog
    May 19, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    This is such a fascinating series Laurie. Your husband has used all the clamps in the whole town from what I can see. It is truly a work of art. Has he ever considered doing wood artwork? I see that all the time and it is truly a special skill. If I tried to heat the wood I'd surely end up burning it.

    1. Laurie
      May 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks for following along Mary! My husband would say he is no artist, just a guy who likes to work with wood. He has made some incredible things and it is fun for me to finally be able to share some of them. Have a great week!

  4. Katrin@kreativk.net
    May 21, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Wow, Laurie, what a great project! It looks lovely already and I can imagine the outcome! Yay to Mr. Hobby!

    1. Laurie
      May 21, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks Katrin! It is really coming along. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished canoe! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Carol @Comfort Spring Station
    June 6, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Wow! you are something. I don't think I could do that. It's awesome

    1. Laurie
      June 7, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Thank you Carol. My husband is one talented man. I've been enjoying watching and sharing the progress 🙂

Comments are closed.