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Building a woodstrip canoe. What would be the best way to cut, mill and dry the wood?

Submitted by harrykane140693 on Thu, 09/27/2018 - 05:06

I'm starting my first serious attempt at building a woodstrip canoe after playing around with SOF constructions before.

The thing is I can only work on the boat for about three weeks per year. I'm building the boat in Northern Finland but I live elsewhere in Europe. Therefore i want to be efficient with my time.

Anyways, my father in law had cut down some pinus sylvestris trees this winter and we will take them to the lumber mill soon. After that I have about 2 weeks of time left.

Now for my question: is it best to let the planks dry until next year before milling the strips, or will it dry faster/better when I cut the planks into strips and let them dry that way?

I read both Ted Moore's and Gil Gilpatricks books but I don't find a straight answer there.

Thanks for your input!

Sorry if I don't use the correct terms. English is not my first language.

Scots pine is a nice wood to work with.  It has straight grain, is reasonably stable, and resin is no worse than most pines.  I would let the lumber dry before cutting strips.  In my experience the strips are more likely to warp in strange ways if you cut them when it is wet.  I have not tried cutting wet Scots Pine and others may have some actual experience.  Scots pine is a bout 30% heavier than western red cedar so do not cut the strips any thicker than needed.

Hi  I live in sweden I mill a lot of swedish spruce for kayakers.

This is how I do it has worked  well.

I buy my lumber  as flatsawn from the mill 25 mm tickness and its  not extremely dry.

Before I take it to my shop I pass by a thicknessplane (plane both sides down to 22 mm) then next a sawmachine  having 20 sawblades on the axis it splits the lumber perfect to quartersawn strips 6,5 x 22, (in a short time). Each plank is then kept together by tape. Then I let it dry under a roof (unheated ) for a month or more. All is laying on distances so that air circulates then . After coming into the heated shop it will take  a month or more before i mil it.  I mill them to 4-5-6 mm strips depending o demand. I have enclosed a picture so you can se the bundles.  There is always some  banana shaped  pcs.

short answer,  cut mill and flatsaw  and dry over winter lay in piles so that the weight keep them straight . After  you have them as strips they will dry fast on your molds. 

Whos kayak design have you choosen?

/Björn