Opelu Canoe – Scarf and Glue Plywood

OK, I have my scale model and now it’s time to start making the ‘real’ canoe! Just to recap: I decided not to use either the Waka Ama or Ulua plans, but to create my own design using the scale drawing in “The Hawaiian Canoe” on page 69. I made two 1/4 scale models of the canoe hull – one out of solid redwood, and one from plywood strips I stitched together the same as I’ll be doing with the full-size canoe. My first step will be scarfing together two sheets of 1/4″ marine ply; these will be joined end-to-end to make a single sheet 4 ft wide by almost 16 ft long. scarf_n_glue01

I start by stacking the sheets of plywood on top of each other pushing each sheet back from the edge 2″ – this will create a 1:8 ratio for the angle of the scarf. Using a plane and sander I make the scarf.


The finished scarf. This is actually 4 sheets of 1/4 inch plywood.

scarf_n_glue05Here all 4 sheets are ready to be glued up at one time.


All glued and clamped. The epoxy resin glue will create a joint as strong as the wood around it.



The finished joint. Now I have a sheet of plywood that is 15 ft 10 inches long.