Thursday, January 29, 2009

Making Cross Braces

I'm back up north for a quick getaway and spent some time putting some of the scrap cedar in the garage to use for the bark canoe. When the ribs are soaked and bent into shape, they exert a tremendous amount of outward force. Gidmark's book talks about how once, Jocko Carl forgot to make some crossbraces before ribbing the boat, and the force of caused the lashings on the permanent thwarts to snap.

Jocko ended up temporarily nailing cross pieces or braces across the gunwales to counteract this pressure. But I wasn't confortable with the idea of pounding nails into the delicate cedar only to remove them later when another option existed. Some videos I've seen document using thick wooden braces with notches cut into them to fit over the gunwales. So, 6 braces were made with some some knotty scraps not useful for much else and notches were cut roughly cut out.

Using knotty scraps for cross braces

Testing some of the braces for a snug fit

Even though I won't be needing these until the spring, I've put them in "safe" place away from the other scraps so I don't accidently lose them when the rib bending time comes.

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