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Ottertooth Forums * Canoeing and camping * Thwarts, yokes, seats, etc. < Previous Next >

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Post Number: 93
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010 - 10:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have ordered a Swift Yukon Royalex canoe. But it is just the shell and the gunwales. I need to provide and install the rest.
I am thinking of making my own yoke. I have a lot of ash trees on my property, does anyone know if it is OK to use green wood?
I also have some clear white oak, but it seems a tad heavy.
Also, I am thinking of using cedar for thwarts as they need to be rigid, not load bearing.
Any comments and/or advice much appreciated.
I have made canoe seats in the past out of Baltic Birch multi-ply plywood, with holes drilled throughout of for lightness. It worked fine so I am probably going with that. the woven seats look nice, but these are stronger, require no joinery and one can make them lighter than a traditional hardwood/woven mesh seat.
My hope is to save a few pounds and dollars doing it this way.
I will do my own skid plates as the cost charged by Swift is quite expensive, in my opinion. I bought enough Kevlar felt and epoxy resin to do 30 canoes for what they charge for one. even the kits from MEC and so on, are over priced.
Noah's boatbuilding has it all, as i am sure many of you know.
The Yukon is a nice boat and spoke to I bought it. What man can't use a fifth canoe in his life???
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Post Number: 9
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 3:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

just noticed this post and you probably already finished the canoe! ash would be the ideal wood for the yoke (or cherry) both are strong, relatively light and very split-resistant- the last one is critical because the shape of the yoke necessitates potentially weak projections where it wraps around your neck. a split-prone wood (like oak) would be fragile across the long grain in these projections.
using completely green wood could be risky but might work out fine in this application. the risk is that the drying wood might warp in unpredictable ways. if possible try to find a dead but not decayed limb and mill the stock from that. if this isn't possible, cut out an oversize blank, say 1 1/2" thick x 8" x 5' and let it dry as long as possible before carving it; when it is done immediately install it so that it is clamped in plane at the ends and can't twist. put penetrating oil on it.
trouble with cedar for the thwarts is that they can't be as spindly as hardwood thwarts and you will lose the weight advantage by having to make them thicker and wider. also cedar dents and gashes easily. the ash would also look better with the birch seats...
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Post Number: 109
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

thanks, I ended up buying a cherry yoke, and finding an old broken seat I fixed up fine, and being lazy, I bought the lightest ash rear seat they had. And I am very glad I did. The fussing factor with just installing the seats was enough work for one long day.
It came out fine, and given the length of the boat at 17'4", reasonably light, for a royalex.
doing the scuff plates, seats and yoke saved me $600. well worth it, and I dare say the installation was superior to the factory.
I was building a canoe trailer at the same time along with fixing up another canoe. enough work for this guy. thanks again. I have a lot of ash on my property, I should cut some down and dry it for future projects.
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Post Number: 10
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 12:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

you should make a single-board ash paddle... not too many of those out there i bet.

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