How to Make a Canoe
A practical and serviceable canoe, one that is inexpensive, can be built by any boy, who can wield a hammer and saw, by closely following the instructions and drawings, given in this article.
Excerpt from the book: THE BOY MECHANIC VOLUME I – 700 THINGS FOR BOYS TO DO WITH 800 ILLUSTRATIONS 1913, BY H. H. WINDSOR CHICAGO POPULAR MECHANICS CO. PUBLISHERS
It is well to study these carefully before beginning the actual work. Thus an understanding will be gained of how the parts fit together, and of the way to proceed with the work.
Canoe and Molds Details
Dimensioned drawings of the canoe and molds are contained in Fig. 1. The boat is built on a temporary base, A, Fig. 2, which is a board, 14 ft. 1 in. long, 3 in. wide and 1-1/2 in. thick. This base is fastened to the trestles and divided into four sections, the sections on each side of the center being 4 ft. long.
The next thing to be considered are the molds (Fig. 3). These are made of 1-in. material. Scrap pieces may be found that can be used for these molds. The dimensions given in Fig 1 are for one-half of each form as shown in Fig. 3, under their respective letters. The molds are then temporarily attached to the base on the division lines.
Shaping the Canoe
Proceed to make the curved ends as shown in Fig. 4. Two pieces of straight-grained green elm, 32 in. long, 1-3/4, in. wide and 1 in. thick, will be required. The elm can be obtained from a carriage or blacksmith’s shop. The pieces are bent by wrapping a piece of wire around the upper end and baseboard. The joint between the curved piece and the base is temporary. Place a stick between the wires and twist them until the required shape is secured. If the wood does not bend readily, soak it in boiling water. The vertical height and the horizontal length of this bend are shown in Fig. 4. The twisted wire will give the right curve and hold the wood in shape until it is dry.
The gunwales are the long pieces B, Fig. 2, at the top of the canoe. These are made of strips of ash, 15 ft. long, 1 in. wide and 1 in. thick. Fasten them temporarily to the molds, taking care to have them snugly fit the notches shown. The ends fit over the outside of the stem and stern pieces and are cut to form a sharp point, as shown in Fig. 5. The ends of the gunwales are fastened permanently to the upper ends of the bent stem and stern pieces with several screws.