Today I turned my attention to Miss Nancy’s gunwales. I had joined eight lengths of ash into four using scarf joints last week. Today I sanded the joints smooth (they are pretty difficult to see now, which is good), and then built a jig with which to scupper them.

I borrowed a router from my friend Shaun a couple of weeks ago thinking I was almost ready to do the scuppering, but… it took longer to get to that point than I had anticipated. The jig is just a piece of eighth-inch plywood with a few scraps attached to it – but attached very precisely. There’s a piece on the bottom that the gunwale gets clamped to, and then there are three on the top that the router’s bottom plate rides against.

I made one miscalculation while screwing the scraps to the plywood, which resulted in me running the router through one of the screws.

Oops!

Oops!


Luckily, I was using my own router bit, and not one of Shaun’s. That could not have been good for its edge, but I was still able to cut wood with it.

Here’s the jig in action.

Scuppering Jig

Scuppering Jig


The scuppers are those small areas of scooped-out wood. The scooped-out edge (or scuppered edge) will get glued and screwed to the inside of the hull. The scuppers reduce the weight a little bit, but more importantly, they will allow water to drain from the canoe when it’s heaved over on its side (presumably on land).

But the best thing about doing this is that I get to say “Scupper me gunnels!” in a piratey voice.

Maybe tomorrow evening I will have a chance to attach them to the hull. Then I can fit the decks, and attach the outwales. Miss Nancy is almost ready.