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Thread: Sources for boat building supplies

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Question Sources for boat building supplies

    I want to build a canoe this fall. Can people post where they got their supplies for building boats? I am thinking of a wood strip canoe, but if you know of suppliers of plywood for stitch and glue boat construction or lapstrake. I am interested in materials and any special tools that you needed. I prefer sources that are in Alaska. Thanks
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by garnede View Post
    I want to build a canoe this fall. Can people post where they got their supplies for building boats? I am thinking of a wood strip canoe, but if you know of suppliers of plywood for stitch and glue boat construction or lapstrake. I am interested in materials and any special tools that you needed. I prefer sources that are in Alaska. Thanks
    Call Neal at SkiffKits.com (344-6677) or email him at sales@skiffkits.com. Great guy, sells good products (wood, epoxy.) He's located on Cinnabar Lp in Anchorage. Tell him Brian Dixon sent you.

    Brian

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Asking for help

    This is the perfect place to ask for advice for your projects.
    No one will get in any trouble if they advocate a product or a service.
    Where folks get in trouble is when they bad mouth a business or a service.
    so ask away, and don't be affraid to suggest a product or service that has given you what you needed or wanted.
    We just don't want the business or paid service to attempt to advertise.
    one other option that is sometimes overlooked is the use of a PM ( private message)
    if you feel some concern about using a certain product or service, you can always voice your concern to the individual using the PM, that way not putting your view out to the public..
    so .... Ask away...
    thanks
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Default rip your own...

    Quote Originally Posted by garnede View Post
    I want to build a canoe this fall. Can people post where they got their supplies for building boats? I am thinking of a wood strip canoe, but if you know of suppliers of plywood for stitch and glue boat construction or lapstrake. I am interested in materials and any special tools that you needed. I prefer sources that are in Alaska. Thanks
    I started a cedar strip about 5 years ago... still have some trim work left and then should be good to go... hoping to splash the hull this summer!

    I purchased some clear red cedar from the Cedar Source in Anchorage; I think he had it special ordered from down south, though it was still cheaper than buying strips from anywhere else. I used a thin kerf blade on my tablesaw, fabbed a jig, and ripped them down. I then routered bead and cove edges on each plank. Didn't take more than a day and had good consistency and quality to it. Made a hell of alot of sawdust though.

    I used ash and hickory for my stems, gunwales, and thwart, then got creative with some exotic hardwoods for my deck pieces.

    Plaschem in Anchorage has best prices around for fiberglass cloth and resin.

    pick up the Canoecraft "bible" by Ted Moores and he will walk you through every step of the way.

    good luck!

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I will look into those locations. Are there any other locations other than skiffkits and SBS? Also any contact info for Cedar Source?
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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    Another vote for skiffkits for epoxy resin. For fiberglass, I ordered from a place in Washington, Fiberglass inc. Their prices are ~ 1/2 of local, and they are super to deal with. I don't mind pay a little more to support local businesses, but I'm not about to pay double.

    Wood is a tough one. SBS carries marine ply, but in limited thicknesses. If you are looking for the thinner marine ply, you might end up ordering from Edensaw in Washington. You also might want to talk to hardware specialties in Anchorage. They often order from Edensaw and can throw in a few sheets of ply with an order at a nominal additional shipping charge.

    A co-worker builds strip built canoes, and says he gets cedar where he can find it. He said on his latest one he ended up using cedar siding and rips it and cuts the beads and coves in. A real PITA, but what can you do?

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    Member jockomontana's Avatar
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    " I am thinking of a wood strip canoe... I prefer sources that are in Alaska. Thanks"

    unless you go to a boat-building school you will need to have some power tools or at least access to them... a good shop space would be ideal but you could work outside in the summertime.

    If you want local AK suppliers, go to Plaschem for fiberglass/resin needs, they are experts in the field and have lots of good advice/pictures/experience with people who have worked with these materials for decades.

    Not sure if Cedar Source is still in business, check the phone book. Hardware Specialties can also order cedar in addition to any type of hardwood you could possibly want to trim your boat... they typically have some good sticks of ash in stock for use in constructing stems, coamings, thwarts, and gunwales. go for wood that is straight and reasonably clear of knots.

    constructing a strip canoe is definately a craft-project. it is labor, tool, and resource intensive. ask yourself why you want to do this in the first place. if your reasons have everything to do with the pride and joy of seeing a beautiful boat transform through completion then by all means go for it. if you just want to paddle a hand-made canoe, then go with a stitch and glue kit... ripping bead and cove strips is probably the least intensive operation of the whole process... not a PITA if you do it right. if you want a quality product, then use quality materials. it will all be worth it in the end... even if it takes five years to get there.

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    Default Second Hardware Specialties

    If I need BS1088 okoume plywood for stitch and glue this is where I get it. They don't charge shipping if you wait for there twice a month delivery.

    For epoxy I have used both Plaschem and RAKA out of Florida as well as the Fiberglass place in Seattle. Plaschem sells WEST System brand epoxy and it is what I would use on a clear finished hull. The System 3 stuff at Skiffkits is also quality materials, but I have not used it. The low end epoxy from RAKA and US Composites is very suitible for a clear finish but I find that there is a little more blush to it and that requires a lot more work to clean up if you are wanting a clear finish.

    The best router bit these day for cutting your cove and bead joint on the strips is made by Rockler Wood Working tools. These use to be a two bit system, but they now make the profile on a single bit.

    You will need a table and a 2hp router with a couple of fences and finger boards to make the beaded edges.

    If you don't have a quality table saw to rip the strips you may also want to check out a small planer to plane everthing to the same thickness. Saves fairing the hull later.

    The best resource in Anchorage for stipped canoes is John Lucking. He has a boat sitting in the front area of Hardware Specialties right now. He used to have a small canoe sitting above the book section of Mountain View Sports. He is in the book and at each of his seminars he always tells the listeners to just call him if they need help.

    Here is a local that posted some of Johns tips.
    http://alaskawood.blogspot.com/2009/...ding-tips.html

  9. #9

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    cedar is EASY to find! It might not be perfectly clear, if it is it's going to be exspensiiiive!!!! As long as you have sharp tools and are careful you'll be fine with spokeshaves and planes.

    Go down to SBS and look at some longer boards and pick through them. We've already talked about the 12 footers at homedepot, they are quite nice and lots of color variatoins, easy to splice too! Just pay attention to what you're splicing. I didnt, not a big deal really she still looks awesome but there is two quite drastic changes in one length of strip. Not a big deal at the time now I'd make sure I dont do it again! So just because there are a few knots or the boards are shorter then you'd like they will work just fine. WIth a simple scarf joint (I used a belt sander with a disc attachment the 100 buck machines from sears to create mine. I already had them for other projects though I'm sure you could use a belt sander in a vise with a little creativity, the scarf is easy to do and have it come out perfect!).

    And another vote for the Raka, it's much cheaper, and extremely user friendly!

    The canoe in mt view is still there as of two weekends ago! Came down for an Aces game and of course had to stop by

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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    Default cedar sources

    Anchorage is not cedar-central. Hardware Specialties can get 18 ft 2x6 yellow cedar, but I'd rather have 20 ft. if I have to pay that price. I built my last stripper using 16 ft 2x6 from HD. Had to pick through the unit to find mostly clear boards and I like the effect of different hues from different boards. Scarfing with a belt sander and jig worked great.

    I wanted to try some local spruce, but couldn't find any free of knots...Actually tried slabbing up an 18 in diameter tree with a chainsaw and making strips from that. It was a total waste of time for the low percentage of usable strips.

    I am considering doing the scarf joint on the block I cut the 1/4 strips from. That keeps the joint clean and flat. Anything that reduces sanding and scraping is worth a try ;o)

    The bottom line for material, in my mind, is this: the strips act as a base for the glass/epoxy. Structurally, I suppose cardboard would work as well. So just find something light that looks nice.

    --

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Another vote for skiffkits for epoxy resin. For fiberglass, I ordered from a place in Washington, Fiberglass inc. Their prices are ~ 1/2 of local, and they are super to deal with. I don't mind pay a little more to support local businesses, but I'm not about to pay double.

    Wood is a tough one. SBS carries marine ply, but in limited thicknesses. If you are looking for the thinner marine ply, you might end up ordering from Edensaw in Washington. You also might want to talk to hardware specialties in Anchorage. They often order from Edensaw and can throw in a few sheets of ply with an order at a nominal additional shipping charge.

    A co-worker builds strip built canoes, and says he gets cedar where he can find it. He said on his latest one he ended up using cedar siding and rips it and cuts the beads and coves in. A real PITA, but what can you do?
    Hey Paul,

    I think you mean Fiberglass Supply in Washington, right? http://www.fiberglasssupply.com (yes, that's three 's's in the middle.) Anyway, I agree on their prices and availability. Friendly family-run outfit too.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    If I need BS1088 okoume plywood for stitch and glue this is where I get it. They don't charge shipping if you wait for there twice a month delivery.

    For epoxy I have used both Plaschem and RAKA out of Florida as well as the Fiberglass place in Seattle. Plaschem sells WEST System brand epoxy and it is what I would use on a clear finished hull. The System 3 stuff at Skiffkits is also quality materials, but I have not used it. The low end epoxy from RAKA and US Composites is very suitible for a clear finish but I find that there is a little more blush to it and that requires a lot more work to clean up if you are wanting a clear finish.

    The best router bit these day for cutting your cove and bead joint on the strips is made by Rockler Wood Working tools. These use to be a two bit system, but they now make the profile on a single bit.

    You will need a table and a 2hp router with a couple of fences and finger boards to make the beaded edges.

    If you don't have a quality table saw to rip the strips you may also want to check out a small planer to plane everthing to the same thickness. Saves fairing the hull later.

    The best resource in Anchorage for stipped canoes is John Lucking. He has a boat sitting in the front area of Hardware Specialties right now. He used to have a small canoe sitting above the book section of Mountain View Sports. He is in the book and at each of his seminars he always tells the listeners to just call him if they need help.

    Here is a local that posted some of Johns tips.
    http://alaskawood.blogspot.com/2009/...ding-tips.html
    I've used both WEST brand (special hardener 207) and System Three Silvertip Laminating Resin ("Brilliant Blush Free") epoxies and both are excellent, although WEST is less flexible than the System Three and has a less forgiving mix ratio. Given a choice, I'd take the Silvertip stuff. Price is about the same either way.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    cedar is EASY to find! It might not be perfectly clear, if it is it's going to be exspensiiiive!!!! As long as you have sharp tools and are careful you'll be fine with spokeshaves and planes.

    Go down to SBS and look at some longer boards and pick through them. We've already talked about the 12 footers at homedepot, they are quite nice and lots of color variatoins, easy to splice too! Just pay attention to what you're splicing. I didnt, not a big deal really she still looks awesome but there is two quite drastic changes in one length of strip. Not a big deal at the time now I'd make sure I dont do it again! So just because there are a few knots or the boards are shorter then you'd like they will work just fine. WIth a simple scarf joint (I used a belt sander with a disc attachment the 100 buck machines from sears to create mine. I already had them for other projects though I'm sure you could use a belt sander in a vise with a little creativity, the scarf is easy to do and have it come out perfect!).

    And another vote for the Raka, it's much cheaper, and extremely user friendly!

    The canoe in mt view is still there as of two weekends ago! Came down for an Aces game and of course had to stop by
    I don't think RAKA makes a good epoxy for a bright (clear coat) finished boat do they? Unless you're going to paint everything, the boat will need to use a better brand epoxy designed for clear finishes (blush free, crystal clear, etc).

    As far as scarfing strips go, since each strip is individually trapped between two others and the boat is sheathed in fiberglass inside and out, there is no need for long drawn out scarfing processes. Just use the steepest angle possible with your chop saw, usually around 50-60 degrees, and cut the bad sections out and call that your scarf joint. Works super fine and goes fast. If you have a portable thickness planer and cut your strips just slightly thicker than desired, then you can run the scarfed wood through the planer make the joints even prettier. There's not enough wood in a canoe to worry about wasting a little. The epoxy and glass will cost you more than the wood.

    Brian

  15. #15

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    My Raka is CRYTAL clear! My varnish job was a hurry up rush job (divorce) so it sucks quite bad! It IS effective though!

    Mine also had NO blushing between coats...was quite nice considering I work a regular job. I did use a slower curing epoxy so cranked the heat in the morning before work, and dropped it down an hour or so before coating the first sealer coat and the first couple of wet out coats..either way, the glass is completly gone and the wood shows up perfectly! And I saved a ton of money over using the west system found locally.

    There is a pretty good (ok was one at one time) epoxy comparison with a bunch of tests done on One Ocean Kayaks site....I believe you could also find it on Nick Shades site (strip kayak building). Had tests that were done, showing clarity, blushing, and dedgredation over time both WITH and WITHOUT varnish. Raka stood test towards the top of the group and with no blushing and for me at the time great cost, it was a hard deal to pass.

    Really looking at building something, maybe a skin biadarka this summer, or maybe next winter. Would like to build a bigger canoe/freighter also.

  16. #16

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    well duh on me Nicks site IS one ocean kayaks site..Has been awile sorry .

    heres that test.

    http://www.oneoceankayaks.com/Epoxtest.htm

  17. #17

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    Forgot to add, most pics you can click on to get a up close view of the differences of all of the major brands out there right now.

    And there is a 2 month, 6 month and 12 month photo and over view of all the epoxies and how they stood up.

    I did use some of the fast hardner and it worked extremely well. As did the slow hardener. I used the slow for the initial sealer coat (sealing the wood before laying the glass) and the initial wet outs of the glass, first being the tack coat, 2nd the filler, third being the top of the weave coat. I did put on 2/3 more coats, albeit them thin, of the faster hardner inside and out. I did have a big bubble develop and had to do a repair on the inside on the end of the stem, more so where the glass didnt tack down then a bubble, either way, it was a relatively easy fix.

    All and in all my biggest fear was glassing this boat, and overall the raka proved simple, user friendly, cheap, and the guys are great to talk to.

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