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How to Work With Glue When Planking Your Canoe

Posted on January 07 2013

Working with glue with planking your canoe

The routine for glueing while planking your wooden canoe project is simple, and  will get the job done efficiently plus ensuring you don't forget to put glue on the stems. The syringe you use for gluing can be bought from epoxy or dental suppliers. It holds enough glue for about 18 feet of plank, so you can judge how much glue you are using. If you run out halfway down the plank, you are applying too much glue. If the syringe is still almost full when you reach the far end, you are applying too little glue. Applying the right amount of glue while building your wooden canoe is a knack that you will develop as you become comfortable with the process. In principle, there should be just enough glue to bond the joint, with only a small amount squeezing out when the next plank is stapled in place. In practice, it is better to use too much glue and wipe off the extra than to use too little and worry about the planks coming apart when the staples are pulled out.

When filling the glue syringe, use this trick to keep the glue from dripping all over your shoes:

  • Place your little finger over the tip of the syringe
  • Slowly pour in the glue
  • Stop pouring before the glue reaches the top so that the plunger will fit in without making a mess
  • Holding the tip of the syringe over the mouth of the glue container, start the plunger, squeezing out enough glue to lodge the plunger
  • Pull back the plunger slightly to create suction to prevent the glue from weeping out
  • Wipe off excess glue as you go with a water-dampended cloth - glue comes off a lot more easily when it is still wet!

This tip is from Ted Moores’ bestselling book, Canoecraft. Published by Firefly Books 2000, Canoecraft, first published in 1983, is known as the standard textbook on woodstrip epoxy construction. With over 200,000 copies sold, thousands of builders from around the world have discovered that their first canoe can exceed their greatest expectations by using Canoecraft to guide them. Completely revised and expanded in 2000, the book includes five new designs, a chapter on carving a paddle, building without staples and a series of insider tips.

You can buy Canoecraft here on our Bear Mountain Boats website. Learn more tips to building your own woodstrip canoe by joining the Bear Mountain Boats Builder’s Forum.