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Peterboro Canoe by slagoon - FINISHED - Midwest - 1:12

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I made an error on my Harriet Lane, and was moving so slowly that I knew during my workweek progress would feel too slow for me to bear. Inspired by TheMadChemist I picked up a Peterboro Canoe by Midwest off Ebay and had it in the wings for this exact type of occasion (actually it only arrived on Tuesday! so perfect timing)  My husband very nearly took my Harriet Lane away from me telling me that I needed some time away from the mess I'd made  (he did put it very nicely and I am actually the one who removed the ship from my view) but I came back with my big yellow box.


All the papers were rolled up so I have heavyish things on them so they don't curl on me....



I figured I'd only get to sorting things, but immediately was giddy with all my new bits and pieces and had to dive in.




I did restrain myself enough to fully sort through ALL the wood and mark it so I wouldn't mistakenly use the wrong piece later.




So this is a different sort of planking than I've done before, what you do is build a jig with what the inside shape of the canoe looks like and plank on those without gluing to them - so it is sorta like plank on bulkhead -but you don't glue to the bulkhead AND you take the bulkhead OUT.


Here is the building of the jig.

you start with marking the center lines on all your jig pieces using the handy dandy drawings...




Then you glue them to the board that you also have a center line on.



Then you take your stem (front and rear) and glue it to a piece you've cut to size based on the plans.



Turn that upside down and glue the tops of the stems (the downward most point since we are upside down) to the jigs.


It said to lightly glue, but I ended up needing a lot as this kept coming free.



The first set of planks (one on each side) I had a real hard time getting to stay so I used CA glue, which I don't like using much, but after that the rest have been applied with wood glue.




The kit gives you one strip of mahogany to put in as an accent stripe...but I grabbed a couple strips of teak that I had and added a second accent stripe, why? Because I love the look of contrasting wood...and cause it is my build ;)




So here is where it stands as of the time I went to work today.




More to come soon! Thanks for looking

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Hi Sarah

I will enjoy following your build on the canoe, I built the peterborough a few years ago and had a lot of fun with it. It's funny I get more comments from my friends on the canoe then I do on the larger ships I have done .  Enjoy the build ....Steve

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Yahoo another Peterboro!


TEAK? and Mahogany! holy swizzle sticks Batman this canoe is gonna rock. I've actually considered buying the wood to build a striped canoe. Once you have the formers and blueprints all you need is the wood.

Cant wait to see this one go together, but honestly going from 1:144 to 1:12 will ruin you and having to go back to Harriet is gonna be hard. You'll think you've gone blind :dancetl6:


One other thing. on your planking clamps, Ive been debating on buying a set of those but wasnt impressed with the reviews Ive read. Nothing better then the opinion of someone you know and trust. are they worth the inventment, I'm having a heck of a time getting the planks to lie flat to the bulkhead and rubberbands and wood block just isnt getting it. Poor clamping is forcing me to you CA and I don't like that. Your word and I'm ordering these.

Edited by themadchemist
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Oh one other thing, Its hard to see but is your keel raised off of the center former? It looks like it might a bit.

If it is, dont make the mistake I did a tack it down, unless you shim it.

Tacking it down caused the keel to be to long (because a bow formed) and I didn't realize this until I'd passed the curvature of the ends of the keel. This ended up giving the Pereaboro a raised keel rather then a flat bottom. Other then that, that was the only problem I remember and had it not been my first build, Ive have known not to make that desicion.

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Steve, thanks I'm excited about it after seeing how beautifully Keith's came out


Keith, I haven't tacked the keel down. Should I shim it or leave it floppy?


As far as the clamps.... They are ok, not amazing... But they do help... After seeing them though you could recreate the concept easily enough using binder clips and wire. Dan vad (I think) has a post with a set of homemade clamps and other tools. I got them as part of a whole set of tools from the model expo sale on tools. Really though, I probably wouldn't buy them again. (But I may as well use them)

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I built the Peterboro a number of years back.  It's a fun build.  I strapped it on the side of my Piper Cub float plane and the guys love it.  Complete with flyrod and net.


Nice touch with the additional teak accent plank.


Get a good hi-gloss finish on her and she's a beauty.

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I'd tack it but shim it so its flat from curve to curve (check it with a straight edge). I discovered after rounding the curve planking that the planking held it where it was. At that point it was have a convex or concave bottom, so I gave it a raised keel as it would have really looked bad otherwise. Even with the slight bow once the false keel was glued it's really not all that noticable. ...and I figured it'd help the canoe cut thru the H2O.


I mainly tacked it to hold it centered while planking, you could tack it for the first few planks but your already to that point looks like... so Id probably just let it be free.


I was thinking small binder clips yesterday with a steel rod welded on its back. Hum now I have to think some more.... I haven't had the buzz box out lately....


...tmc casually gazes into space, again.....

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I'm with you on the french polish, that salty sea dog buck has me re-shopping for shellac now (I had planned a sprayed laquer), which I nearly bought with my lee valley order that arrives tomorrow, ARGH! Oh Well, one always need an excuse ;)


Orange flakes



and the pumice



Lee Valley also has free shipping until tomorrow.


I was also considering these scrapers, wondering how they'd work on shaping the hull. Less messy then sanding.


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Michael - I think it would be a BLAST to build a full size one - though I'd go more for a Kayak as I'm not fond of canoeing, but love kayaking - something about the double sided paddle I guess....


Keith - those scrapers do sure look nice, and thanks for the sources of the pumice and shellac flakes...I don't know if I'll do that or the oil yet. Well I can always build a second one - like you said I'll have the forms!... Also here is a link to the homemade tools post I mentioned. Dan's Clamps  Here is another post with a different solution Floyd's clamps

Edited by slagoon
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Buck...you should consider grabbing one if/when you see it for less than $35 with shipping on ebay. That ends up being a rather fair price and it is a fun boat that isn't really causing stress...just a nice step back to super simple (simple doesn't mean quick and mistake free....just that you are doing a basic thing and trying to do it as well as possible.)  I added the "Canadian Canoe" to my wishlist - that'd be neat too.


Keith - you mentioned a striped one...what about a gradient one where you start with ebony at the top and work your way to holly at the bottom (or vice-versa) that could be amazing looking.

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Hey Bummer, It goes a bit deeper then just your average floyd-nut. I actually have a Ph.D (piled higher and deeper) in Floydology.

Their are many of us though. :cheers:


Thanks Sarah for the fix, your almost to the fun part, wait it was all fun part :dancetl6:

My shellac and pumice arrived friday so some time next week I hope to start to french polish, hopefully I can get results like Buck and that schmoo shaped scraper worked wonders on the starboard side of the Swift. Way better then sanding and its shape fits most every concave contour of the hull.

Five more planks to go on the larboard side and one soaking for forming ATM. I really need to get some pictures up in my log also....

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Yay I've  made some fantastic progress since I've been off work the last few days.  

So you saw some planking earlier, I continued with that. I found that I needed to bevel the edges of the planks to get a smooth curve in the transition from side to bottom. For such good instructions they kinda failed there since it wasn't noted...





When I got to the point that less than two planks would fit I stopped.  I glued two planks together and let them sit and dry.




Then I cut them into the shape that remained open on the bottom of the canoe.




I sanded them into the correct shape and then glued them in.




Next was adding the sloped top of the canoe.


I used some of the leftover teak and mahogany to make it pretty.





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I made my oars during all this glue drying time




I also sanded (A LOT) and then got to the point where I added the support frames.




Don't worry, they are only sporadically distributed because I couldn't clamp to glue them any closer.


I finished adding them, then added the covers to the front and rear of the canoe





I added the little decorative strips  to the top of the covers and clamped them with a magnet.




I also added the gunwales to the sides. Looks pretty slick all sanded.




I've also started working on my cherry flooring.




That's it for my updates so far but I'll get some more up before I go to work later this week.

Thanks for looking in!

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Looking good Sarah.

I wish I hadn't bevel the planking at the stem initially but rather left it like you did it. That caused me some problems with thinning of the planks at the false keel line, but live and learn.


I also noticed many plank edges need beveling to help make the curvature, but still got alot of clinkering (I didnt even know it was called that then).

Its amazing what sand paper will do. Ive been scraping and sanding the Swift today and have it close to where I can start working the keel section for fitting of the false keel.


I cant wait to see a side view of your canoe all sanded slick with all that wood variation.

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Ok, I think I finished!!!! I didn't have a lot to do after what was in the last post.

I started by installing the flooring that I showed you outside the canoe



Oh, the dark edges are just fro where I used some instant set. Because of the slightly curved bottom I had trouble getting wood glue to stay (couldn't find an appropriate way of clamping...so I used some CA to tack it down.



Then I installed the keel and sanded a little curved edge to it.




I also installed the brace things and the strip around the front and back of the top of the canoe




Then I got out my brand new Tung Oil...



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Nice Work, Isn't it just amazing how that Tung Oil makes the wood come alive. I really like your added woods. So now back to munchkin rigging, huh. 


In reality, is the HL bigger than the peterboro? Be interesting to see them side by side for the HL's scale. Without the bowsprit they are probably about the same size.... and they both have paddles.


Great job, Its a fun build. I'd recommend it for anyone. As a tutor for new builders or as a break for expereineced builders that just need a break. So are you going to build the kayak also Sarah, I know you mentioned preferring to Kayak somewhere. It should be another fun build.

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Very nice. The Peterboroughs that I've seen are usually stained a bit darker (red cedar), but you're looks great as is. ;)

I've seen a few at the Toronto Boat Show over the years...


Incidentally, the difference in the spelling of "Peterborough" is actually due to the railway. When tracks first made it to town, there was not enough room on the station signboard for the full name, so it was shortened to "Peterboro"


Did they give you the decal for the small bow deck?


I found this online http://store.wcha.org/Peterborough-Canoe-Decal.html






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