Thursday, September 4, 2008

Endless Lashing

The tedious job of lashing the gunwales has begun. Traditionally, this laborious job was done by the whole family but I couldn't convince anyone to help so it was all done solo. Unfortunately, most of the spruce roots I harvested had kinks in them so my lashing job was not as neat as I would have liked. I've seen some canoes where the lashing is absolutely impeccable in workmanship, but my first attempt will retain a bit a rustic crudeness in its appearance.

The lashing process started by cutting out vertical slits in the bark protuding above the gunwales at the pre-marked lashing points. Then this bark flaps were folded over the inwale so that the lashing would wrap over it. This little technique is supposed to prevent the bark from rising and loosening during the addition of the ribs, but I never did it with my scale model.

Cutting the foldover slits; One completed lashing point

In order to protect the thinner side panel bark from tearing during the lashing process, I made some decorative reinforcing panels with some extra winter bark on hand. These were first etched with a protractor and then cut with scissors to get a nice semi-circular shape. Stuck under the outwales, these pieces lay flat against the hull bark and are held in place with root lashed around the gunwale structure. I made sure that bark eyes on these pieces ran horizontally (the eyes on main hull bark run vertically). I read that positioning the reinforcing bark with the grain perpendicular to the hull bark actually provides the desired strength, equivalent to layers in a plywood panel . However, I've seen many pics of other bark canoes where builders had chosen reinforcing bark with eyes vertically as well (in line with the hull bark), so I don't know if this positioning matters in the long run.

Etching with a protactor; Cutting out

After a few days of lashing on and off, I ended up completing both sides just up to the end thwarts were the stem pieces needed to fit. Here is the result so far...she's turning into a canoe!

Nearly completed gunwale lashing


beaversss said...

Hey there,,,

Wow! Your going for it eh.
Lots of work for that Indian way.


Murat said...

Yup, I guess I like to torture myself!


Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts Home Page