Navarro resto & gunwales

Hello paddling people!

I’ve been making slow, but steady progress on the Navarro. I’ve completed restoring the sole and the hull, as well as the paddles, seats, thwarts, and yoke. My next step is to tackle the gunwales. It was impossible for me to locate a single board of ash longer than 12’ here on the west coast, so my only option is to join some boards together. I’m looking for any advice/help/words of wisdom form anyone who’s done something like this before. After a month or so of researching online, it sounds like my best bet is to go with a scarf joint with an 8:1 ratio and marry the two boards with some G-flex 655 thickened epoxy. I’ve also built a jig to hold the two boards I’m joining in place so I can make a single cut that’s identical relative to the two boards. I’m planning on borrowing my next-door neighbor’s Japanese hand saws to do the cutting.

Here is the link to the photo bucket album that I have been using to document the process. I’m also open to any other help/suggestions about anything else!

I’m looking to start with the aforementioned plan this coming weekend.

Thanks everyone!


Nice job! Thanks for sharing pics.

Thank you! I will be updating that photobucket album as I continue the restoration.


Tite Bond 3
Made new gunwales for a used canoe I picked up recently. Used Tite Bond 3 this time instead of epoxy. Glued up a couple sample scarfs and tested them. The wood all ways broke not the joints. Been out about ten times and the gunwales are still holding with only Watco for water penetration protection. Unless things change drastically will not go back to using Epoxy. All I can say is you should check out this glue before gluing your scarf joint. Tite bond 3 is water prof unless submerged for extended times. Seen the same warning on some epoxy glues.

Thanks so much for the info IRBC! If I may ask, before you started using Tite Bond 3, did you have epoxy joints fail on you? Why make the switch to the Tite Bond?

This is exactly the sort of input I was looking for.

Thanks again!


I’m all for hand tools.

– Last Updated: Jun-14-14 12:10 PM EST –

But, if I had to do it, I'd probably choose either a table saw or a router and a simple jig to cut the tapers for your scarf joints.

A quick image search for "scarf joint jig" should provide the basic concept and some good ideas.