I just found this Forum the past week and was pleased to see all the interesting discussions. I have previously (2006) built and launched a 16 ft. Peterborough Stripper from Tom Moore's original Canoecraft. The Bear Mountain Boats Forum was a wealth of information, as I had not built anything from wood that was expected to float, in water. The stripper was a lot of fun to build.

About a year later I discovered/purchased Roger Fletcher's book and decided to make a go of it and build a drift boat. Last April I laid out all the framing on poster board full scale. I am a retired Mfg. Engineer with 41 yrs in the Machine tool and Automotive Industry with lots of hrs. Hanging over a drafting table. After making the decision to build I spent many hours deciding materials, features etc.

I have 210 BF of White Ash from a couple of trees infected with the Emerald Ash Bore (big issue in Mid-Mich). So the framing is Ash (3/4" x 3.00"). I finished the last one in December. I just need to coat them with epoxy (been waiting for 60 degree temps). The frames are constructed using Half-lap joints. I discussed this in 2011 with Jim Watson of Gougeon Brothers and he offered their services in testing the joint strength (they have a MTS Tensile Test Machine w/ 100K Load Cell). I just received the results and test pieces a couple of weeks ago and will post them soon in this discussion. (I need to figure out how to post pictures here.)

The Stem blank is solid Ash. I just finished the transom a couple of weeks ago. It was made from African mahogany. The sides are going to be 1/4 x 7/8" WRC w/bead & cove. I have a couple of planks left over from the canoe. The sides will be encapsulated in 6 oz. glass and West System 105-207 Epoxy prior to being fastened to the frame. The bottom of the boat will be "cold molded" ash at 1/4 x 2 1/4" in two layers one oriented Fore Aft and the other 90 degrees to the first. Planning to add graphite to epoxy on the bottom.

Next work is to build a strong back and begin assembling the framing. Am looking foreword to your comments and assistance.

Thanks for being here.

phil w. (Dorf)



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Phil to post pictures click on the small picture icon next to the word "link". Presuming you know where on your computer your pictures are located you can browse that file and then select the picture. The picture "file" will then show up and you can choose left, right, center or full positioning.

I am assuming you will a pixel width of 400 to 500. Still a good size and it loads relatively fast. Padding refers to any space you want to include as a clear border around your picture, 5 or 10 pixels should be suitable.

Click on OKAY and then upload files and look over what you did. If you like it fine. If you want to change something then click "edit".

Good luck, contact me if you need help.

Rick Newman


Thanks!!!!!  Worked too.  See above.




16 ft. double-Ender w/Tramsom, Re: Woody Hindman's Boat , Roger Fletcher's Book.

I thought I'd share some information on the process I am using to create the framing.  If you have comments or concerns please share them with us.  This is my first Real boat I am attempting to build.  Past experience with Bear Mountain Boat's Forum proved to me the value of having access to lots of good ideas and experience.  Looking forward to learning as I progress.


The first thing I did was to lay out all nine of the boats frames on poster board.  The dimensions were all derived form the Table of Offsets in the book.  Note:  I have access to Auto Cad,but am deeply rooted in the old way.   I don't even like/use mechanical pencils.  As evidenced in picture below.

The one shown above is typical of all nine.  I drew only half of the frame, from the centerline out to the shear/Chine.

I chose to use Half-Lap Joints to connect the floor to the side frames.  I am looking for a cleaner look.  Don't like the look of Lap joints, as shown in the design.  I have more on that subject, and will support my decision with some really interesting data in a future post, soon.

Also having recently finished a Ceder Strip Canoe with out any screws my goal is to minumize their use in this drift boat.  Just call me crazy or inexperienced, whatever.

I used a 10" carbide blade to nibble away the wood for the half-lap joints.  I did one frame at a time and didn't want to set up the saw with a dado blade for just one piece.  I used hand tools to fit-up the joint to get them fair and ready for epoxying.  They were cleaned including wipeing the joint surfaces with alcohol & white paper towel and then coated with epoxy.  I mixed enough to add thickining to the remaining epoxy and then coat the mating surface of one piece.  Four spring 2" spring clamps (Home Depot's $1.00ea) were used  to apply pressure while the epoxy cured.  I used Talcum Powder as a thickener, cost issue I guess.  Any how it worked fine.  Note:  for $10 at Harbour Freight I purchased a small electronic scale and measured the resin and hardner  +/- 1.0 Gram in plastic yogurt cups.  It took about 25 total grams per frame.  since I started using the scale I have had ZERO problems with epoxy results.  i use it for darm near everything for joining stuff.

Ready to Epoxy!


Shows partially finished frame with clean up required after gluing.  Drops on top surface is the thickened epoxy.  They came off with a sharp chisel in two three passes.  Used hand plane to remove the overhang on bottom and side surfaces. 

Cut relief for chine log w/hand saw and cleaned them up with a sharp chisel.

Still need to coat all the frames with epoxy and sand prior to assembly.


Hope I didn't drag this out too long.  All comments welcome.  More to come.




Wonderful documentation. thanks for sharing. I am interested in the strength comparisons. Does the comparison by any chance discuss the strength that the joints have when the stress comes from the side as in a collision of an outer chine with a rock. I guess that would be in shear.

By the way it looks like you conquered the photo thing just fine!

Do you ever visit the Wooden Boat Forum? If so have you followed the "Build-a-Bear" mountain style canoe thread? I think that it is quite entertaining.

Rick Newman


Thanks for the kind words.   The test was requested to determine the relative strength of three different methods of frame joinery.  The frame samples are half frame members, from the centerline to the shear.  The load was applied to the apex of the two pieces (frame No. 5), which would be similar to hitting a partially submerged rock or stump with the boat moving downriver crosswise to the river flow.  I need to complete the write up and scan a few pictures to properly submit the paper for this forum and any others.  I am tied up until the weekend and hope to have it posted by the first of next week.

The picture thing was easy enough, thanks, much easier than some others.

I have occasionally ventured into the Wooden Boat Forum (that's where I recently found the reference to this forum).  I have seen the "Build a Bear Mt. Boat" post but have only given it a brief look.  I did however spend quite a bit of time in that forum in 2005-2006 while building my Stripper.  Sure was a great thing to have all the good people there willing to share their experiences.


phil w

Phil, it is a pleasure to help you and share information with everyone on the forum. Your test is exactly what I was hoping to see someday. After viewing the results I may have to rethink these frame joints!

Perhaps science will trump tradition.

With Regards;

Rick Newman

Been a little slow in geting back in the Saddle, but last Saturday was a good day.  Managed to build the strongback for the drift boat.  I used some recycled 2 x 6's  and used Deck Screws to hold them together.  I placed the cross members at the same intervals as the framing (9pcs.) in the boat's plans.  Hoping to provide maximum access to the inside as I add strips to the sides.  Will need to cleanup/remove excess glue as I add the strips to the sides.  I added locking wheels to make it more mobile as I can't over take my wife's parking space in the garage. 

Here's a picture of it.

I am planning on stringing a permanent steel wire on center, from from one end to the other at 1.00 inch above the top surface to use to locate the framing.  I am thinking of using a small turnbuckle to maintain tension.  Looking for a comment or two, is there a better way?

Also laid out the frames on the strongback to see what it'll look like.  Looking for a good method to support (clamping) the frames in position on the strongback without putting any screw holes in the framing.   Have some thinking to do here.  Hoping to build something in the next day or two.  Am concerned about stiffness of the framing supports along the long axis of the s'back.

Anyhow, this beginning of the assembly of the framing has given me a renewed desire to get this baby built.  It won't be long before the fall Salmon/Steelhead Runs begin.

More to come,


Had a good day Thursday.  Built supports for the framing to mount them to the strongback.  I don't want to have or patch screw holes in the frames so I built a clamp system to hold them in position.  They are adjustable in the vertical plane but need to maintain them in the horizontal plane (fore to aft).  I am thinking of adding some bracing between them and to the support for the stem and transom.


There's more to come,



Looking pretty darn good! Can't wait to see more.

Rick Newman


I have access to some cherry wood and am wondering how well it would work for the Chine Logs and Shear Rails.   I'd have to scarf it to make long enough pieces as the boards are eight ft. long.   Other than the color are there any issues with epoxy, bending, strength, etc.   I had planned on using Ash but now have made a deal with a friend to swap some wood.  I'd think it would look rather nice on the inside of the boat.  Or would this be overdoing it? 

The transom is African Mahogany and this might not look too good together.  Any comments or opinions out there?



I've worked with cherry lot but never for exterior uses.what I've herd is it is rot resistant and should hold up good if coated with some goo.

I finally found some time to get back into the business of building the Drift Boat. I spent the better part of the last two days assembling the Transom and Station 1 & 2 frames to the strong back. Turns out it's not as easy as you think it is, but you folks who've done this before already know it, eh.

I added a steel wire 1 inch above the strong back to use as a reference for all measurements. I used a piece of 1" square steel tubing at each end with a saw cut on the corner to hold the location of the wire and a turnbuckle to maintain tension.  Here are a couple of pictures of the work to date.


 I leveled the strong back in the garage and marked it's location with tape on the floor maintain it’s position each time it’s brought in to work on it and minimize variables.  I mounted stations 1 & 2 with supporting braces to maintain their position after alignment to the wire and leveling both horizontal and vertically.  A batten was clamped in position on the centerline to verify alignment.  So far so good!

I discovered a “woops” in station 1’s  frame.  The angle of the cutout for the Chine Log on the port side is cut the wrong direction.  To correct it either I cut it deeper and change all the frames increasing it’s height or epoxy in a piece at the correct angle.  After all the stations are in position we’ll evaluate the situation and decide what to do.  I’ve had reservations about the size of the chine log since I began making them.


The rest of the frame mounts should go a little quicker now I have a better idea of what I am doing. 

More to come.



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