Form centred with guideline; Weighed down with stone
Next, some gore guts needed to be made. Some of the bark panels already had some minor splits along the edges so rather than cut perfectly symmetrical gores every foot or so, I followed these natural splits and ended up with sufficient gores to foldup the bark. With plenty of boiling water from some electric kettles on hand, I proceeded to soften the bark and begin the foldup process (from stern to bow). Along the way, the overlaps were carefully arranged to ensure the seams pointed in the same direction (towards the stern) while the stakes were driven into their holes to hold the bark loosely into place
Cutting a gore; Beginning foldup; Completed foldup of main panels
Despite the wide tree (40" circumference) I had harvested from, this was still insufficient to form a hull of sufficient depth, so some side panels needed to be cut into place. Using some bark harvested from Canoe buddy Paul's property, I cut rectangular panels to fit along the side. These will need to be stitched into place before any other major work can be done with the canoe.
Cutting side panel bark; panel view inside; panel view outside
After playing around with the positioning of the bark, the inner staves and outer stakes were tied to each other and then these were tied off to their parallel versions to bring the hull side to nearly vertical. Traditionally, tying was done with basswood bark, but I didn't want to harvest from a living tree so I ended up using some non-traditional nylon cord. Before the tie-up, long battens of thin cedar scrap (from the initial splitting to form the gunwales were slide between the bark and the stakes to even out the pressure on the bark. Here's the final result...
The folded up hull
Next up, working on the inwale assembly and beginning the tedious process of stitched the panels together before lashing in of the inwales can proceed.