Saturday, October 29, 2011

The six hour canoe

Notice not one but two fire extinguishers... Confidant wasn't I?
This is the offending floor section after the repairs were made and the holes were filled. Dont look too closely at the edges, my sawing isn't the best.

(This was a long project so you will see bits and pieces now and again for a while)
If it looks like something you might have seen on a waterway near you dont be surprised, it's an old American design.
Reputedly the Six Hour Canoe can be built in just six hours... if you’re a ham fisted, rough as guts bushy who doesn’t care how it looks or how long it lasts.
But I tend to get a bit carried away with projects like this.

I was feeling a bit jaded and needed something new, something different.
It’s somewhat well known that the only thing I can build from wood is a decent fire, but what else would you expect from an ex-boy scout...

So what else would I choose but to make a wooden boat.

I’ve had printed plans to make the canoe for nine years now and thought it was just about time to actually make it. As I started I thought it would be easy enough and I could bore you with all the details...but that’s not what my blog is about.
Instead, I’ll tell you about the things that went wrong, and the things that went really, really wrong. (laugh with me now!)

First up you mark up two eight foot sheets of thin, flimsy ply wood and cut out the shapes, remarkably, this went well and I ended up with four bits that make up the sides and two more bits that joined together to make the bottom.
Joining the two side bits together went well enough, lots of glue, a thin cover plate of ply and clamps to hold it all together while it dries, but just where do you join a floor that measures out to 16 feet?
I decided to sweep the cement driveway clean and use that to lay out the pieces nice and flat, again lots of glue, a cover plate of the same marine ply and a big stack of bricks to weigh it all down. Clever eh?

Well, not really, you see the next day when I removed the bricks I found I’d glued the canoe bottom to the driveway and I couldn’t get it up, I had no choice but to use a power sander to slowly sand away the quarter inch thick joining ply. Eventually I was able to lift the sides one bit at a time with only a little damage.
I started gluing again and eventually ended up with all the bits ready to turn into a boat…

The sides came together rather well eventually. This stage took weeks as the stem and stern posts as well as the middle joints all had to be planed exactly to size and shape before I could put it together.

These pics were taken in my old cramped shed before it was torn down to make way for a new much larger shed. Now I've got room to swing a cat...if I had a cat.



magsx2 said...

Hi Tempo,
That is really hilarious, I could very easily picture all this wood clued to the floor. LOL.

Other than that, it is looking great, what a project, not an easy one from my point of view (I'm really useless :))

Will be looking forward to seeing it as it all progresses.

Belle said...

You made me laugh so hard! Things like this happen to me when I do crafts. A 6 hour canoe? Nope, I don't think that is possible. Gluing it to the garage floor is hysterical. :) It should be in a sit-com.

Windsmoke. said...

This made me smile as i reckon we've all done silly things during a project and didn't admit to it :-).

Tempo said...

Hi Mags, it was horrendous when I did it but a few hours later AFTER I'd got it up without ruining it completely it was pretty funny. You can see the repairs in the pic showing the bottom on the trestles. I am useless with wood, that's why I chose this project. To make the brain work hard to stretch my skills and take myself out of the comfort zone.
Hi Belle, I like to look on these little disasters as something to learn from but more than that, something to laugh at. Aussies dont like to take themselves or life too seriously.
Hi Windsmoke, Yes we do make these mistakes and most times don't like to let people know we did them...but I don't think like that at all. I ask myself if it would still be funny if it didn't happen to me.. It's still funny.

The Jules said...

That's pretty bloody good mate. And an occasionaly gluing mistake is how the greatest discoveries are made. Like camera-phones and penicillin.

Of course, if you left out the bottom and wore wellies, you'd get an all-terrain canoe.

Tempo said...

Hi Jules, you would not believe the jibes I got when I did it. Jokes about my canoe having a concrete bottom. Jokes about not having concrete shoes...(mob reference)
Actually we do have a bottomless boat race here each Australia day and there is a famous one in central Australia at Alice Springs each year, it was once called off because the dry riverbed in which it is held was full of water...Yep, only in Australia!

Leigh Miller said...

Hi Tempo - good story. I presume it's finished now and in the water. I built one under my verandah a few years ago. 6 hours turned into 42 but I wasn't in a rush (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). The Conor cost about $150 all up - the biggest expense was the epoxy resin. It's a fun boat but on launch day I broke my ankle getting it off he roof of my car. I'm thinking now about how I can install an electric inboard motor - might be a bit heavy but it should really fly!