Saturday, May 7, 2011

Canoe Clamping Contraptions

Ah let the ingenuity begin! Actually, this inventiveness started well over a month ago. I am backtracking to get us up to speed on the present status of Freedom. Here is a close up of the early system of stem clamping that we used. This picture was taken when the strips were just at the bottom of the main curve of the stem. The necessity for wedges from all directions becomes apparent with the two major curves the body of the canoe takes here. We really are "torturing" the strips into place!

Here is another picture depicting the same clamping procedure. The big C clamp is the foundation for yet another wedge pressing the strip tight onto the strip under it. It gets tricky and this is where the beginner like me is going to spend much of his time just coming up with ideas on how to press down on the glued strip.

Here are our L brackets being employed at the top of the curve. The L is clamped at the form and a wedge is pushed under it to press the strip onto the strip underneath it and a wider taped wedge is pushed alongside it to press the strip to the form. Pushing down on the strip too much could actually push the previous strips away from the form so we had to back off on making them "gorilla tight" and actually had to put a few nails or small screws in the previous strips to hold them to the forms as to not misshape the canoe.

Even higher along the stripping yet another clamp came in handy. It is a modified version of the one we read about in Canoecraft, by Ted Lundy (Bear Mountain's instructional manual). This actually clamped down in three places and came in quite handy! I think it was only useful for 3 strips and then we had to move on to the next series of clamps to be in my next post. Most importantly we learned that this clamp actually pressed down on the center of the stem really well. Look at the recurve in that top piece! Nice!

This pic gives you a better idea of the clamping pressures. The center one pressing the strip onto the previous strip and the two side ones pressing the strip onto the stem (two people are needed to press the jig onto the stips as the other tightens the C clamps to hold them in place. It was cumbersome, but served its purpose really well.

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