Cedar Strip Canoe Build #1: The Wood

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by farmerdude posted 12-12-2015 11:25 PM 3787 reads 7 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cedar Strip Canoe Build series no next part

I am building a canoe for my sister’s boyfriend. He wants a sixteen footer. I am going with the Wabnaki model from Gil Gilpatrick’s book. I’ve never done a blog before and am not real good with computers, but I will do my best. I’m going to start off with just a few things and if I see there is interest in this blog I will continue until it is done. So if anyone out there is interested just post and let me know and I will continue. So, first pic. is the white cedar I bought at a sawmill not far from home, he only saws cedar, but in all sizes.

He had a pallet of cedar right near where I had parked and it had all lengths on it. I chose 6’ boards because my shop is 20’x20’ and the shorter lumber is easier to move around in there. The boards are 4” wide (give or take 3/16” on some). I will try to get a better picture it. They are mostly clear. Only an occasional tiny knot here or there. I have my own sawmill so I seldom buy lumber, so I don’t know much about prices. I bought 60 board feet at $3.00 per, so the total for cedar was $180.00. Next job. plane it to the thickest I can get and have it smooth on both sides. If this blog continues the next step will be ripping the boards into strips. However, I will leave you with some pics of the pieces roughed out for the decks, and the seat frames. The wood on the left is Elm for the decks and maybe the yoke. On the right is yellow Birch. This is for the seat frames.

So, if anyone wants me to continue with this blog, and I can figure out what I’m doing I will post more.

-- Jeff in central Me.

14 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4319 days

#1 posted 12-12-2015 11:28 PM

Thank you Jeff for posting this! I will be watching as I am very keen on boat building.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2779 days

#2 posted 12-12-2015 11:28 PM

Projects builds are always interesting. Check at the top for project reads a lot of people read but don’t comment.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3641 days

#3 posted 12-13-2015 12:24 AM

I wll watch the build, I want to build one someday, I thought you had to have strips as long as the canoe was going to be

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2645 days

#4 posted 12-13-2015 01:21 AM

cutmantom, strip length doesn’t matter. Joints are really easy to make.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View onoitsmatt's profile


439 posts in 1782 days

#5 posted 12-13-2015 01:25 AM

I’ll be watching, but having blogged a single project myself, it adds a lot of time to the project. I’ll understand if you decide to stop. It was hard for me to keep doing it due to lack of time.

Building a canoe is on my bucket list.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2645 days

#6 posted 12-13-2015 02:11 AM

onoitsmatt, I see what you mean, when it comes to pics sometimes I forget to take some until it’s too late. I promise nothing, but I plan to stick with it. I already have a few strips on so I need to catch the blog up with the job.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1693 days

#7 posted 12-13-2015 03:46 AM

Appreciate you sharing your experience I also have a strip boat (probably a kayak) on my project list, am very keen to see your build!

-- Learn Relentlessly

View Andre's profile


3006 posts in 2412 days

#8 posted 12-13-2015 07:14 AM

I bought some clear old growth, center cut cedar over 20 years ago to build a canoe, maybe some day it will happen? Guess I will watch and see how it is done! I think I got 40 bd/ft and it was well over $300 then.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View HerbC's profile


1801 posts in 3465 days

#9 posted 12-13-2015 07:23 AM

Looking forward to more…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View JimYoung's profile


338 posts in 2193 days

#10 posted 12-13-2015 02:49 PM

I’ve been considering a canoe or boat project, so I’d love to see how one of these comes together. Carry on please. As far as the blog, you don’t have to post a lot. Just keep your camera in the shop and snap a photo whenever you step back to scratch your head. Then whenever you’re just sitting around, upload a few photos.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View CaptainSkully's profile


1612 posts in 4164 days

#11 posted 12-13-2015 06:39 PM

Hey Jeff,

Combining woodworking and boats (with no straight lines) is the most challenging and rewarding of projects. Consider me “Subscribed” on your blog. Great job, BTW, I had trouble even posting my first serialized blog. I built an 8’ Eastport Pram from Chesapeake Light Craft last year and had a blast taking the family out on the lake. Starting is the hardest part, next to finishing of course…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View MasterSergeant's profile


1428 posts in 3294 days

#12 posted 12-23-2015 01:02 PM

You have captured my attention! I have aspirations to build a canoe soon. Keep posting and I will keep reading!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View English's profile


682 posts in 2083 days

#13 posted 12-27-2015 01:39 PM

Was the cedar dryed? Kiln dried or Air dryed? Do you know the moisture content?

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2645 days

#14 posted 12-27-2015 08:41 PM

English, the cedar was on a pallet that he hadn’t put away yet. It had only been sawn for a couple of days. Northern White Cedar dries really quickly so I don’t worry about it. I ripped it into 1/4” strips right away and that thin they dry even faster. by the time I got the strongback built and the stations on I think the wood was done doing what it does. Only four strips twisted enough to bother. I have no way to measure moisture content. My first canoe was built the same way with no problems.

-- Jeff in central Me.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics