Friday, May 16, 2008

Stitching the Ends

With the hull lashed up, the next step in my model canoe project was the shaping of the ends. The stem pieces had been inserted and secured with the headboards and what was left was trimming the bark to match the shape. Readings always mention the need to soak the bark thoroughly with boiling water and trim carefully as a splits at this stage would make the canoe ends much weaker.

So the model was brought out to the balcony and boiling water from our tea kettle was poured over the ends. Once back inside, I carefully cut the bark with the Mora Knife and shaped the ends flush with the stem pieces inside.

Trimming the ends

To secure the ends temporarily, two pegs were inserted through the bark and stem pieces while I prepared the sewing of the ends. At this stage, I had run out of spruce root of sufficient length (4 ft) so resorted to using the waxed thread from before. In the end, the ends will be covered in pine gum anyway so there won't be a difference aesthetically. The pattern I decided to use is a simple cross-over stitch commonly used by Jim Jerome in Gidmark's book. It seemed simply and strong enough to pull the bark ends in to form a tight seem. The key was that each lacing went through the stem piece and the bark, not just the bark alone. For this I needed to use a leather stitching needle. In a full scale model, I've read about builders using needles from shaped bone to assist with stitching here.

Pegging the ends; Cross-stiching tightly

The completed stern

Leaving the bow for another day, I decided to bring up the kit to the cottage for a early long weekend getaway. Working on a picnic table under my favourite leaning Cedar tree, I worked on the bow end while taking in the scenery.

Stitching the bow

With the ends stitched, that last part to need lashing are the gores that had been cut into the bark to assist the foldup and the overlapping pieces that made up the main hull. For that however, I need to obtain more spruce root...details in another post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts Home Page