Friday, January 2, 2009

Prepping the Ribs

I've been having tremendous difficulty sourcing out some straight-grained, knot free cedar to make the ribs and sheathing for the bark canoe. With my ever limited time, trying to harvest, transport and hand split rib blanks from a log now seems like an unsurmountable task. Back when I took Pam Wedd's Cedar Canvas course, she mentioned how she used flat sawn white cedar that was machine planed with great results.

So despite the guilt of sacrificing some authenticity for practicaliy, I ended up obtaining some knot-free, flat sawn white cedar stock from a local mill and had the boards ripped to 2 1/4 inch wide strips. My intention was too still maintain a sense of authenticity by at least hand splitting them and then shaving them down to 3/8" thickness with hand tools.

Given the chilly temps up in Hunstville the last few days, splitting by hand meant some rather frozen fingertips. Here is a photo sequence...

Starting the split

Leveraging between the knees

2 ribs blanks

Working all those ribs down with my mini crooked knife while wearing thick gloves wasn't an option, so instead, I ended up setting up a little work station and used a small block plane to shave down to the appropriate thickness. To pass the time I had some tunes going on a wireless set of headphones, while our baby monitor was also nearby in case the mrs. needed me to stop and come help with the little one.

Shaving down with a block plane

Given that I've read that sawing cedar weakens the wood, I ended up making 10 extra ribs in case of a breakage disaster during the bending phase later in the spring.

Ribs organized on the canoe

No comments:

Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts Home Page