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Omar Mir

Exciting part of the build and some questions

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Thanks everyone for really helping with answering my questions (my many questions!). I promise I post a full write-up summarizing everything I learned as this was my first real woodworking project and post pictures. I just had a few (hopefully final) questions on the stonefly canoe:

  1. I bought WRC - I would like to get the baltic birch ply to match the WRC with a stain - any stains that would make em match? I would prefer to leave the WRC unstained. Or am I just being crazy and I can leave it?
  2. I'm thinking, WRC for gunnels/stringers, baltic birch for frames, ash for seat and thwarts, maybe walnut or cherry for breasthooks - that is a lot of different colours. Is that going to look fine oiled or should I be trying to stain some of it to match?
  3. How thick of a wood is needed for breasthooks?
  4. So I'm just (maybe) staining the wood and then oiling it with a rag? Thats it? Anything else I should be doing? plywood maybe twice?
  5. I'm doing a dry fit first with the frames and the stringers, then removing the stringers and oiling everything first and then assembling it - read a few other people that did that - seem ok?
  6. What exactly am I using on the fabric? Can I get a link just so that I buy the exact right thing? I went to home depot yesterday and there was a million choices and I left a bit overwhelmed.
  7. Paddle - what kind of paddle would be ideal? I know a lot of people like the greenland style but I'm an avid canoeist and I've always used a single blade paddle. I' m happy to try the double blade but what exactly would be the ideal shape/type of paddle for this canoe?
  8. Thwarts - a lot of people seem to be placing them below the gunnels - I was going to place them between the inwales. Is that ok?
  9. Has anyone tried bending a wooden rubstrip instead of brass? Sound like a bad idea given the sharp angle?


I have the assembly manual but some of the stuff seems to assume some knowledge which I don't have and the internet makes a million suggestions which makes it a bit confusing at times. If this turns out well, maybe next year I can try the expedition 2 person canoe Jeff just released. And maybe a kayak for myself...i might be developing a problem.

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1.  You have chosen sound materials, the rest of this is aesthetics.  You are the one who has to like it.  You will look at it the most.

I like woods to be their natural color, maybe slightly enriched with oils.  I would not use stain.  If I were to build one of these I would possibly go over the top and buy BS 1088 Sapele plywood which is a close relative of Mahogany to go with the WRC.  I might even consider 8 coats of natural varnish on all the woodwork before covering, but that's me

I don't think you can go wrong with any color scheme for your finish, wood is beautiful.

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So many questions.... I will hit a couple. 


#6  If you use polyester fabric, Anything will stick to it.  If you want paint, use Rustoleum if you can stand the limited color choices. It is oil based, you have to use acetone to thin it and clean brushes but it is the most durable paint you can get.


If you want a clear finish you will need an exterior poly or varnish. Need something with UV inhibitors. have not done one in a long time so someone might have a specific answer.


#7 Stonefly is designed for you to sit low and be paddled with a Double blade paddle. But you can use what ever you want.


#8  Sure, as long as they are securely attached. I cater to the person with limited skills so I specify easiest way. All that matters is it is securely and permanently attached.


9. You can use wood, it doesn't last as long but I have used them and after a year of so  had to replace them.

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Since you asked, I'll provide my two-cents worth. Take it for what it's worth.

1) My son sells really expensive furniture and he says that no two pieces of wood match perfectly but all wood looks good with any other wood. In other words, no need to stain. Let the wood match or contrast as it is; it will all look great.

2) See item 1.

3) Depends on the type wood but remember that the principle reason for building a SOF boat is lightness. Breasthooks are subject to tension and compression in the horizontal plane but little twisting; therefore, they can be pretty thin.

4) Put the frame in the sun, apply oil generously, and let it soak in. In places where there is oil left on the surface, wipe it off. In places where it soaks in rapidly, add a bit more.

5) That is an unnecessary step. Lash the frame together then oil. Plenty of oil will penetrate the joints.

6) See what the Kudzumeister says.

7) The geometry and ergonomics of single-blade and double-blade paddles are very different. With a single blade, you are either sitting on a thwart or kneeling on the floor. You can generate more power (especially when kneeling on one knee), but need to make corrections to keep the boat going straight, which dissipates some of your power. With a double blade, you are sitting on the floor. You generate less power but the symmetry of the stroke means less power lost to course correction. I have an Old Town Pack Canoe and have it set up so I can switch between double blade and single blade. I usually use a Greenland type paddle with my Ravenswood kayak, but I doubt it would work well with the 29" beam of the Stonefly. A longish European-type paddle would be better.

8) One thing to consider regarding the height of the thwarts is whether you would use the rear one to support your butt while kneeling on the floor to paddle.

9) My Ravenswood has rub strips cut from pieces of vinyl fencing. They are 1/8" by 1/2" and fastened with flat head, stainless steel screws about 4" on center. Painted along with the rest of the hull, these protect the bow and stern, look good, and show no sign of deterioration.

Have fun building and paddling, Andy

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Thank you so much for the feedback and help guys. Just in case anyone in future is curious, based on the advice I'm going to:

  1. Not stain
  2. Not stain
  3. I'm thinking maybe 1/4 to 1/2 in for breasthook - likely will glue on top as feathering the gunnels looks hard and I'm not sure if I like the look better.
  4. Oil w/ rag but leave in sun
  5. Will not oil separately - guess I was being overly cautious
  6. Can't find rust-oleum - will see what else I can find. I can maybe order it on Amazon from USA BUT what if I need more on short notice, I'd rather use something I can find locally.
  7. Euro blade it is for now, likely something cheap from Amazon to get a feel for it. Then I can make a new one in wood this winter when I have tons more time.
  8. Thwarts I'm still going back and forth on. I might have to make a call when I get the boat closer to shape.
  9. I hadn't even thought of Vinyl fencing. I have easy access to brass and wood so we'll see where I get.

Jeff have you thought of starting a wiki on the site? I'd be happy to contribute or help you set it up if you decide to go down that route. There is a wealth of knowledge on the forums and I'd love to see it consolidated.


And Andy thanks very much for going in full depth. It was very helpful! I've been nervous about getting the actual assembly started and have done absolutely everything else but I finally started the frame assembly last night.

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So apparently in Canada Rust-Oleum is branded as Tremclad (according to: https://www.clcboats.com/modules/forum/archive-thread.php?filename=48747 and that Tremclad is a Rust-Oleum brand: https://www.rustoleum.ca/product-catalog/consumer-brands/tremclad)


And that's readily available locally:



Green is also available and Red (though I remember reading it fades to pink so maybe skip that).

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I have all but stopped giving advice.


But, I always use porch and floor paint on my boats. The newer types are single pot polyurethane type paints.

And water cleanup.




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