OK so onto the canoe project. My Pop and I are onto the gunwales. They provide support and rigidity to the canoe as well as a bumper. The outside gunwale is also called a "Rub Rail" because it serves as protection to the body of the canoe as a whole by rubbing up against an object before the hull does.
We are working on the inside gunwales first. My dad and I routered out scuppers on the inside gunwales over the winter. These serve mostly as drains for when water is in the canoe and when you flip the canoe upside down, most of the water drains out easily. They are also decorative and can serve as places to tie line to to tie down cargo, etc...
At the bow and the stern, we are tapering these down to less than 3/16" over a length of 30 inches. they are going to 3/16" because the inside stem is 3/8" and two gunwales will be joining up at the stem so you divide 3/8 by two and you get 3/16!
Below is the centerline of the canoe's top edge.
I didn't take pictures of the process as we were kind of busy, but I will see if I can walk you through it. What we did was place the gunwale on the inside of the canoe and line the centerline of it up with that of the canoes' and clamped it into place. Now, the gunwale is longer than the inside length of the canoe so we gingerly clamped it in place moving forward of the centerline clamp until we got about 24" from the bow with the gunwale over top of the bow. Next we draw a line matching the angles of the bow stem going downward and the angle of the bow stem going across with the aid of something called a bevel gauge. This tool finds the angle of an object and with the turn of the screw locks it in place and the angle can be transferred from one side of your piece to the other easily.
And finally the surfaces of the areas to be epoxied were sanded and epoxy applied lightly to glue it in place with a multitude of clamps to keep the two surfaces nicely joined.