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Thread: A Guideboat in Georgia

  1. #1
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    Default A Guideboat in Georgia

    A few months ago I was asking some questions in the tools & materials section while I was still in the planning phases of this project. Now that I've got something that resembles a boat I figured I'd start a build thread. Bear with me while I figure out how to post pictures.

    I built a cedar strip canoe a few years ago, but at 12' it was too small to carry a passenger, and I discovered that I prefer rowing to paddling. While searching for a new design I considered a variety of wherrys and whitehalls, but I wanted a boat that I could pick up and carry solo if needed, and potentially car-top. I also wasn't keen on fiberglass and plywood. I wanted to see if I could build a wooden boat where the wood was doing all the work. After many hours perusing the internet I discovered the Adirondack guideboat, and it seemed to be the perfect fit. I bought John Michne's book Building an Adirondack Guideboat 2nd Ed. and started making forms for the ribs last April. I just turned over the hull and began sanding the interior yesterday. I'm not a great photographer, and I usually forget to take pictures while I'm in the middle of something, but I'll post what I've got. Hopefully having an audience will inspire me to document the rest of the build better.

    Test photo:IMG_2850.jpg
    My second boat, and first canoe.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    It turns out I didn't take any photos of making the ribs. I made forms from 2x4s and plywood, and laminated the ribs out of 1/8" spruce plies and epoxy.

    Then I built these supports: Attachment 52880

    A friend of mine who has a sawmill dug through his woodpile and gave me a beautiful piece of cypress for the bottom board: IMG_2917.jpg

    I had to glue on a little bit to get the width I needed:IMG_2918.jpg

    After some careful layout, I cut out the bottom board and planed in the bevel: IMG_2919.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    OK, you've got us curious! Anxious to see what you've got. The canoe came out stellar.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Then I made the strips: Western Red Cedar from some 2x4s, resawn and planed to 3/4", ripped to 1/4" and a bead and cove routed on either side. I used 2x4s because it was the most economical way to get the material, and for some reason they had the best grain and fewest defects of all the cedar at the lumberyard. Unfortunately it means that it was basically impossible to get a consistent color pattern in the hull.
    IMG_2929.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Great work on the canoe, and excellent prep work on the cedar strips -- can you provide some details on the mallet resting on the taped up box ?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Beautiful shop you have there.
    The best helping hand you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    can you provide some details on the mallet resting on the taped up box ?
    I used a 1/16" kerf blade to rip the strips, which meant I couldn't use the blade guard/ dust collector that came with the saw. The cardboard box was my substitute, but when I turned on the cyclone it started to lift off of the fence, hence the mallet. It did a pretty good job collecting dust, but it was a pain to work around.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Next up: Hanging the ribs on the bottom board. After some careful layout I cautiously drilled the holes and screwed the ribs down with #6 brass screws.
    The first three:
    IMG_2930.jpg
    And the rest of the port side:
    IMG_2941.jpg
    Now the starboard side and the stems:
    IMG_2946.jpg
    I didn't clock the screw heads.

    At this point I had to move the whole assembly out of the shop and onto the carport. My shop is about 20'x22', and with the boat in there I couldn't use any of the machines.
    IMG_2950.jpg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    The first strip is just a temporary batten to stabilize the ribs and give something to wrap bungee cords around. At this point I went around with another batten and checked for fairness. Unsurprisingly, there were some unfair ribs. In the end I spent about two weeks messing around trying to get the hull as fair as possible. This involved taking a rib off and either trimming an angled slice off the foot or gluing a sliver of wood on. No photos of this, as I was too worried about making some catastrophic error and having to re-make an entire set of ribs. Eventually I got the fairness to within 1/32" or so, which I figured was good enough to take out in sanding the finished hull. Then all the square edges of the outside of the strips get sanded off to form a fair surface for the strips to land on.

    IMG_2957.jpg

    Now the sheer strip can go on:
    IMG_2958.jpg

    Since this strip defines the sheer of the boat it needs to have a fair curve that is symmetrical on all four quadrants of the hull. I spent a lot of time looking at one quadrant from different angles, squinting and turning my head upside down. Once I was happy with the first quadrant I used a story stick to transfer the curve to the rest of the sheer. Now I could start stripping. I imagined that this would take about two weeks. I was wrong. The picture above was taken in mid November, and cold, rainy weather promptly arrived and limited me to just two or three strips per day on a good day. It was probably just as well, as it forced me to take my time.

    IMG_2962.jpg

    I didn't clock these either :

    IMG_2964.jpg
    These are #3x 1/2" brass screws, roughly 1000 of them in total. I bought a combination #3 tapered drill and countersink/depth stop from mcmaster carr to drill the holes in one operation. Totally worth $35 just for the satisfaction of seeing the screw-heads sunk consistently to just a hair below the surface. I bought the screws from Jamestown. In 1000 screws I had about seven duds:

    IMG_2960.jpg

    Not too bad.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Looks like you are off to fantastic start. Based on your canoe, I would say that you possess a great mastery of strip built construction. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    CG

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    I got into a rhythm with planking and slowly worked my way up towards the bottom board.

    IMG_2966.jpg

    The seam between the last strip and the bottom board is sealed with Sika 291. The strips are glued to the inner stems with wood glue, but held to the ribs with screws alone.
    Almost there:
    IMG_2968.jpg

    Almost closed up:
    IMG_2972.jpg

    A trip to the park to celebrate:

    IMG_2969.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Quote Originally Posted by cglynn View Post
    Looks like you are off to fantastic start. Based on your canoe, I would say that you possess a great mastery of strip built construction. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    CG
    Thanks! As far as the canoe goes, it was my first attempt at at cedar strip & fiberglass boatbuilding. It definitely looks best from a distance or through a slightly dusty camera lens.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    This photo deserves to be right side up.



    Beautiful!
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Very nice.
    I would like to build one someday. This or the Herreshoff rowboat.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Very nice work and good photos. Are you using Olivette and Michne's book as your guide?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Quote Originally Posted by cut3times View Post
    Very nice work and good photos. Are you using Olivette and Michne's book as your guide?
    Oops, sorry, I missed your reference to their book in your first post. Looking forward to the rest of your posts.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Excellent work! I see that you're using an alternating pattern with screwing the planks to the ribs so you don't have a screw in every plank on every rib. This to lessen the chances of splitting the ribs with too many screws?
    Will you be glassing the exterior or just paint/varnish?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    I hadn't thought about the risk of splitting the ribs. Michne says it can be done with a screw in every strip at every rib or alternating as I did. I went with the alternating pattern because I thought it looked better and because it only required half as many screws. I'm not planning on glass. I got the strips pretty tightly joined. There are small gaps in the exterior around the bilge end of the stems that I will fill with thickened epoxy. I think the joint is sound but the gap is caused by the edge of the cove lifting up due to the twist in the strip. the bilge strips twist almost 90 degrees from center to stem. There's no daylight coming through the gaps, but I figure epoxying it can't hurt.

    I haven't made any definite choices about finish, but I'm thinking of doing a painted exterior, with the inside, stems, decks, and gunwales finished bright. I'm open to suggestions.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    When it was too cold outside to work on the boat I worked on building the seats in the shop. No pictures of the process, but it's straightforward mortise & tenon construction. I'll cane them in between coats of paint and varnish.
    IMG_2974.jpg

    Next I fitted the outer stem/cutwater, made from cherry.
    IMG_2978.jpg

    Once the epoxy had cured I gave the hull a light sanding with 80 grit. Look at those curves!
    IMG_2979.jpg

    The big flip:
    IMG_2980.jpg

    Look at that fine entry!
    IMG_2981.jpg
    I'm really looking forward to getting out on the water now!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Today I got the first round of sanding done. 80 grit on the multimaster removes material pretty quickly.

    IMG_2982.jpg

    That brings us up to date, so posts will be a bit slower now. I need to finish sanding the interior. Then I can mount the gunwales and build the decks, which will be the end of the woodworking. After that it's just sanding, paint, and varnish. it sounds really easy when I say it like that.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    The boat is looking great! Glad to see someone building a strip planked boat with ribs and no need to glass inside and out.
    You've got me stumped as to why you taped the first three ribs. Molds on strip planked boats are usually taped to avoid gluing the strips to the mold, but in your case the ribs are part of the boat. Will those ribs be taken out for some reason and re-installed?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Wow. Beautiful boat, excellent work. I want me a guideboat someday...

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    The boat is looking great! Glad to see someone building a strip planked boat with ribs and no need to glass inside and out.
    You've got me stumped as to why you taped the first three ribs. Molds on strip planked boats are usually taped to avoid gluing the strips to the mold, but in your case the ribs are part of the boat. Will those ribs be taken out for some reason and re-installed?
    Yep. They will get in the way at some stage while building the decks. I need to re-read that chapter of the book to remember exactly what the procedure is.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    I got the interior sanded up to 120 grit yesterday. It's been raining all day, so I worked in the shop and got the stock for the gunwales scarfed together. I'd like to get the seat frames varnished so that I can work on caning them in between other steps. Does anyone have a varnish they'd recommend? I'd like to use the same varnish for the seats as the rest of the boat. I've heard some good things about Le Tonkinois Classic in relation to guideboats: http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php...55/#post-49212. Does anyone have any experience with this stuff?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    I got the gunwales on, and started sanding the interior to 220 grit.
    IMG_2988.jpg
    A couple of problems have presented themselves:

    The gap:IMG_2991.jpg
    First, there is a gap at the top of the gunwale where it meets the top edge of the hull of about 1/16". The fit is tight along the bottom edge. Does this matter? I can try whittling away at the gunwales some more, or I could fill the gap with some kind of caulk. What's the best course of action here. I'm going to be removing the gunwales in the future in order to varnish the inside faces.

    The crack from the inside: IMG_2989.jpg

    And the outside: IMG_2990.jpg

    A hairline crack has opened up in the hull around rib 01, about midway up the hull. It's about seven inches long and appears to be propagating from a screw head. In the second picture I backed the screw out a bit to see if the crack would close up. No such luck. Is this the sort of thing that will be sealed by paint and varnish, or will it take up when I launch? How much should I worry about this? I've inspected the rest of the hull, and can't find any other cracks, but this does give me concerns about its structural integrity. Sheathing the outside in fiberglass would obviously resolve that, but I'd rather not do that unless absolutely necessary.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    You've used epoxy to fill in slight gaps between planks. Just do the same here. Boat is looking fantastic.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    You've used epoxy to fill in slight gaps between planks. Just do the same here. Boat is looking fantastic.
    For the crack or the gunwale?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    you could rabbet the rail so it caps the plank top edge. or use thick varnish to fill the gap as I'm assuming you want the rail removable in the future?

    looks like (just guessing)your strips are drying out! try a ratchet strap around the hull to close the crack after epoxy injection, outer hull gets glassed right?
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-29-2020 at 11:40 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

  29. #29
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    It's been a while, but I have been making some progress on the boat.
    The transverse deck beams are in:

    IMG_2994.jpg

    A nice snug fit:

    IMG_2997.jpg

    Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of making the carlins, but it was a thoroughly fussy process.

    Now the decks. Made of cherry, 7/32" thick in the center, tapering to 1/8" at the edge. I made a simple jig to cut this taper with the thickness planer, but I didn't photograph that either. I'm really bad at this.

    IMG_2998.jpgIMG_3002.jpg

    Then the deck caps. I made these out of some pieces of Dogwood I milled up a few years ago.
    Not the best light, but I'll get some better shots once there's some varnish on everything.
    IMG_3003.jpg

  30. #30
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    And I made a scratch stock to cut a bead on the bottom edge of the gunwale:

    IMG_3004.jpg

    It ended up smaller than I was initially imagining. I'm not sure exactly how that happened. It still looks pretty nice. It should look better after a light cleanup with some sandpaper, but I've had enough for one day.

    On another note, I really need to get a hold of the paint and varnish to finish this thing off. I think I'm going to go with Le Tonkinois original, for its ease of application and re-coating, and also the low VOCs. I'd like to get some recommendations for paints that people like. I've read reports that Le Tonk is so thin it can seep through thin planking such as I have on my boat. Could this affect the adhesion of the paint? I'm looking for a high-build primer and a high gloss topcoat, something that will be compatible with the Tonk.

    I still haven't decided what color to paint it yet either. I'd appreciate the forums input there as well. Dark blue or dark green are apparently traditional, but I'm not averse to doing something a bit different. Suggestions?

  31. #31
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    On my guideboat builds I used Brightside polyurethane for the outside of the hull and Interlux Captains varnish for the interior and all bright work. All stood up wonderfully. I did fiberglass the exterior though. I felt the extra protection gave me peace of mind. 5AB0F4DF-9A3B-46F7-B98D-1E355A89D61E.jpg. You’re doing a gorgeous job. If you think it’s beautiful now, just wait til you row it!
    Last edited by Baltimore Lou; 04-02-2020 at 08:01 PM.
    Proud but humble member of the LPBC

  32. #32
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    What a great project. Bravo!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    You do beautiful work, Lou.
    Your pictures on this forum were one of the things that inspired me to chose the guideboat over other designs.
    Did you find the Brightsides easy to work with? Did you use their pre-kote primer? How much did you need?

  34. #34
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    Default Re: A Guideboat in Georgia

    Thanks Galen! Your boat is, and will be beautiful! I used the roll and tip method and it was very easy. While the varnish was 6 or 7 coats, the paint was only two, I believe. I did not use primer, but it was over sanded epoxy/fiberglass. I bought a quart and had plenty left over.
    Proud but humble member of the LPBC

  35. #35
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    Default

    I used $8 a pint Rust-Oleum enamel on epoxy for the pram I built. I did test to make sure it would dry and it does but if you decide to go to cheap instead of $50 a quart Marine paint test first!
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

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