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Old 03-25-2015, 07:31 PM   #1
Vermont Scott
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SOF canoe

Since I had so much fun carving a couple of single blade paddles last year I thought I'd take it up a notch and try a skin on frame canoe. I've been looking at the Geodesic Snowshoe 14 or better yet the Arrow 14. I think the Arrow would be more like my Rapidfire which I really like. I've looked through the info here on SOF and it's helpful but I've a question with respect to which wood to pick for the ribs. Green ash or oak are recommended by Platt Monfort. I can get white ash or red oak that hasn't been kiln dried. Question is which would be better? Or is white ash a bad idea? Should it be air dried for a while or the greener the better? Dimensions for the rib stock would be great too. I've got Skin-on-Frame Double Paddle Canoes by Hilary Russel on order. I'm sure I'll have more questions if and when I get this started and I can start a Fireside thread.
Thanks,
Scott
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:10 PM   #2
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Good for you. That sounds like a very interesting project. Red oak is not at all rot resistant and white oak is reputed to be, but I have never had it to work with. I am guessing that the members would be sealed anyway so it shouldn't matter much. I would think that for long thin pieces of wood the most important thing may be to find boards that are not only clear but also have as little runout in the grain as possible. I will be interested to learn more about how SOF works.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:51 PM   #3
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Scott,
My son build a Monfort Snowshoe 12 when he was 12(13 years ago now)! It ended up at 10 lbs, and has held up pretty well. I had a bunch of left over cedar that he used for the ribs and stringers, not ideal, but it was hanging around. The floor boards were some left over mahogany shipping boxes, actually looked pretty good with varnish.
I've seen an Arrow 14 in person, kind of nice, I thought. Other than the steaming, it's a quick way to build, not at all difficult.
Have fun and be sure to keep us informed.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:02 PM   #4
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I also built one of these geodesic aerolite canoes, fun to build and VERY light, mine was a snoweshoe 12 which is actually 11 1/2'. I did mine at 12 1/2' finished with epoxy with graphite powder added for toughness, and has been used pretty hard. Without question the least expensive way to get an exceptionally light weight boat. They look cool too!

I used red oak from a tree that came down in the yard during a storm, split it out myself, very green when I built it, just soaked it and bent, no steaming.

Interestingly, I have been steaming bamboo ribs just this week for a skin on frame kayak I'm building. Buy bamboo flooring material, pretty cheap, Very strong and bends easily, but needs a week of soaking before steaming. Going to do the cockpit coaming this evening.

If there is an interest in seeing a few photos of the process of building a SOF kayak I could post some, If I can figure out the new photo posting process. I used to have no trouble posting pics, but can't now, and it's just not than important to me to bother doing any thing new to post pictures, why did the process change anyway?

John M.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:07 AM   #5
Vermont Scott
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Zach, Mike and John,
Thanks for your replies. I just ordered the plans for the Arrow. I don't have a table saw so I'll have to borrow, rent or buy one. I could try and use my circular saw but I've learned that the right tools make any process a whole lot easier.
John, I would enjoy seeing pictures of your SOF kayak build.
Scott
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Good for you. That sounds like a very interesting project. Red oak is not at all rot resistant and white oak is reputed to be, but I have never had it to work with. I am guessing that the members would be sealed anyway so it shouldn't matter much. I would think that for long thin pieces of wood the most important thing may be to find boards that are not only clear but also have as little runout in the grain as possible. I will be interested to learn more about how SOF works.
Zach
White Oak is extremely rot resistant and much stronger than the Reds as well. Also tends to be a much straighter grain so works out better for bending. Would be a great wood to use for interior structure.

Look forward to seeing progress pictures.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:24 PM   #7
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Airolite arrow 14.wmv: https://youtu.be/xZDwSI1PYgc

Here is a slide show of my arrow14. If I were to do it again, I would build the snowshoe 14 instead. I didn't have enough capacity in the arrow

Jason
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:17 AM   #8
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Jason: How much did your Airolite 14 weigh?
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:24 AM   #9
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I think around 23-24 pounds. I used white oak for the ribs and thwarts and cut the stringers from a 2x12- doug fir. Could have been lighter but that was what was available to me at the time. (cedar stringers and ash ribs) For the floor I used pine lattice material from HD
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:31 AM   #10
Vermont Scott
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Jason,
Damn, I already ordered the plans for the Arrow! I'm not too worried about carrying capacity. I'm planning on mostly day trips and I'm more interested in tracking and performance. I'd like the 28" beam more than the 32" and the lower hight amidshp. I'll start with my double bladed paddle and see how it goes. If it feels stable enough I'll try raising the seat and then my single blade paddle.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:29 PM   #11
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Good luck to ya!

I am 5'10" 235 BTW. I had roughly 5" of freeboard with just me and about 15lbs of gear. With an over night load, of roughly 35lbs, I was down to about 3" of freeboard. That put me too close for comfort!
And, it's a pretty 'tender' craft. Unless you are a circus performer I think you'll be happiest sitting on the bottom, thermarest makes a light and comfy sit pad!

Who knows, it was my first build of this type, I only measured the gunnels, maybe mine was a little thin along the midsection!
Jason
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:40 PM   #12
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Thanks Jason!
I'm not as tall as Zach, I'm only 6'5"! And I'm only about 180 lbs so maybe I'll be ok. I checked with Hilary Russel (the author of Skin-on-Frame Double Paddle Canoes) and he suggested that I make a SOF 12"- 13" deep at center and add the 2 or 3" increased depth to each of the forms if I want to sit high and use a single blade. If I want to kneel he suggested adding more ribs to the center.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:42 PM   #13
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That sounds like it could work! As long as you have enough dacron!
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