Canoe building for the scratch builder

Feb 18, 2019

Pubnico, Nova Scotia, Canada
Building a canoe model - Information about the lumber needs for the scratch builder.
Here is the dimension list for material:
Building base and "form"
- 2.5” x 20” x 1/2” piece of squared lumber (poplar works well) - for the strongback or building base.
This piece can be any wood as it is just the building base / support). but it needs to sturdy and the top face needs to be flat and leveled.

- 3” x 24” x 3/32” or 1/8" - basswood - for the station molds.
These can be cut from other lumber as well, even thin hobby-type plywood , they are basically the "bulkheads" making the mold for the canoe: they are to be attached to the building base. At some point, the station molds are removed so these bulkhead are broken off.
The station molds can also be cut from thicker lumber. I use and recommend the use of lumber on the thin side to avoid having to bevel the edges. It also helps when the cross sections are removed to avoid severe glue marks to be sanded from the inside planking. The stem pieces can also be thicker but as they are to be bevels anyways.

Canoe building strips and sheet wood:
This is traditionally done with red cedar but other lumber can be used: I have personally made model canoes using red cedar, walnut, mahogany, spruce and even maple: so the choice is yours. Even pear wood could be used.
- 3/32” x 3/32” x 24” - for the planking. (including a few extra strips, in case...)
- 1/8” x 1/32” (or 3/64) x 24” - for the ribs, inside keel and and other decorative elements.
- 1/4” x 1/32” (or 3/64) x 24” - for the inside keel and outside stems.
- 3/32” x 3/32” x 24” - for the keel (optional) and gunwales.
- 3/32” x 3” x 24” - for the decks, seats and yoke. The dimension of this piece can be much shorter: 6 to 8 inches would be plenty. It could also be thicker material.