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  • Sanding curved canoe ribs

    I need to finish sand the interior of a canoe I'm building. It has 45 cedar ribs lying crosswise, conforming to the shape of the canoe.

    My challenge is to finish sand the flat surface of these ribs as they curve up the sides of the canoe.

    I'd like to use a 1/4 or 1/2 sheet sander, but will need a soft foam interface pad to avoid gouging the ribs where they curve up the sides of the canoe.

    Where can I get a foam interface pad for a sheet sander? I haven't seen them advertised anywhere.

    Any other suggestions for sanding these ribs?? If I have to, I'll hand sand them, but I'd sure prefer to use a sheet sander.

  • #2
    Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

    Sanding curved shapes offers unique....opportunities(???) for the woodworker. I say opportunities because this is when we get to see what we've got that'll do this!! If you're unable to find anything, you can try making something. This will mean going into a fabric store (OMG WOMENS STORES!!!). Ask for some high-density foam, and see what thickness they have. You'll probably have to purchase at least a square foot. You can try different density foams and see what works best. If you have a hook-n-loop type sheet sander, you can get hook-n-loop tape and attach it to the foam.

    Other than that, a shaper sander is what you need. These kinds of power sanders are sold under various names by a lot of different manufacturers. I found the Rockwell Sonicrafter at Woodcraft for around $120 for a full kit. I'm sure if you search around you can find cheaper ones elsewhere. Home Depot sells some of the "Mouse" sanders.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

      Another option is not to sand, but use a card scraper. If there is a lot of wood to remove, then a spokeshave would do a lot if not all the work.

      Sets of card scrapers with a flat, curved, and multi-curved (french curve) scrapers are available at most woodworking stored for about $15 - $20. You may need to go on-line to find a spokeshave if you don't have any good woodworking stores near you.

      Go
      Practicing at practical wood working

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      • #4
        Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

        Originally posted by Gofor View Post
        Another option is not to sand, but use a* card scraper.* If there is a lot of wood to remove, then a* spokeshave would do a lot if not all the work.* Sets of card scrapers with a flat, curved, and multi-curved (french curve) scrapers are available at most woodworking stored for about $15 - $20.* You may need to go on-line to find a* spokeshave if you don't have any good woodworking stores near you.Go
        Another source for spokeshaves is antique stores or second hand stores. I have paid between $5 -$15 for them. If you have options look for a spokeshave with an intense curve in the heel. That might work well for the smaller radii at the ends of the canoe.

        Quick canoe story. One of my pals helped a friend of his build a cedar strip canoe. Working on it part time it took all winter to build. The friend gets a divorce during the following summer. His wife sells the canoe for $125.00.

        Where am I when these deals are available?

        Tom
        Last edited by Tom W; 03-06-2009, 10:16 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

          It sounds like a flap sander could work in a situation like you describe...

          Cheers! - Jim
          -------------
          All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

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          • #6
            Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

            hand sand and a foam carpet pad, or possibly the carpet pad under the sand paper of the sheet sander,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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            • #7
              Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

              Thanks everyone for your responses. You've given me some good suggestions to pursue.

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              • #8
                Re: Sanding curved canoe ribs

                Here are some options to consider:

                The link I pasted would not bring up the search. Enter "contour sanding" in the "Wizard Query Search" at top center page and there are several options to choose from.

                https://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/search.exe

                Good luck and don't forget to post pics!

                Ern
                Last edited by erngum; 03-08-2009, 10:45 PM.

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