Canoe Seat Webbing

Wooden Canoe Seat Webbing Guide

It’s canoeing season and it’s finally time to take out the canoes from their storage unit. As you assemble them, you notice that the seat webbing isn’t in good shape.

After being left all winter long, time hasn’t been exactly kind to the canoe webbing. You’ll have to replace or better yet, make a new one.

A wooden canoe seat webbing guide is what you need to make your own new webbing. The process mainly requires your patience, time, and the right supplies. We recommend freeing up a whole day for this project.

That being said, stick around to learn more about how to install a new seat webbing on your wooden canoe.

How to Make a Webbed Wooden Canoe Seat

After taking the wooden canoes out there may be a hole punctured in the old seat webbing or it’s completely frayed. Either way, you’ll want to replace it to enjoy some summertime fishing and fun.

Without further ado, here’s how you can make a wooden canoe seat webbing.

Step 1: Prepare Your Supplies

Before replacing the seat webbing, you’ll have to prep the supplies. You can find most of the supplies listed below at a hardware store.

The materials needed for one seat are:

  • Staple Gun
  • Measuring Tape
  • Nylon Webbing
  • Half-Inch Staples
  • Scissors or Exacto Knife
  • Lighter
  • Wood Varnish
  • Wood Adhesive
  • 80 inches Hardwood
  • 8 Nuts
  • 8 Washers
  • 8 Lock Washers
  • 4 6-inch Threaded Rods
  • 4 3-inch Steel Corner Braces

Step 2: Decide Where to Position the Seat

Now, you need to pick which part of the wooden canoe you want your seat to be placed. You can put the seat just behind the thwart if you’re looking to add an extra seat on the other side for balance.

Otherwise, if you’re canoeing alone, you can place it behind the yoke, near the center of the wooden canoe.

You may have already made your webbed seat for whichever place you pick. In which case, you can’t move the seat to a different part of the canoe since the different width sizes won’t allow it.

This brings us to the measuring point. You should now have determined the space and depth you want your seat. Next, grab your measuring tape and estimate the distance between the gunwales across from each other.

That being said, the seat won’t be connected to the gunwales, but the inner frames of the boat, or the inwales.

Overall, you should have two different width measurements since the canoe has slightly curved frames, even near the yoke.

Step 3: Prepare Your Wooden Seat Frame

After getting the measurements down, it’s woodchopping time. You can pick different types of wood, such as softwood and hardwood. The latter would be the better option since it has a longer lifespan.

If you’re using hardwood, you can pick between Maple, Oak, Cherry, or Ash. On the other hand, if softwood is your go-to, then we recommend applying a good wood treatment so that the surface is well protected and lasts longer.

Having said that, you should now cut the seat pieces to fit the measurements prepared earlier. Next, you want to glue the pieces together to create the seat’s frame. You can optionally screw the vertical and horizontal wooden pieces for added security.

Step 4: Prepare the Seat Spacers

How will you attach the seat to the gunwales of the wooden canoe? With some seat spacers. These will be placed above each corner of the webbed seat frame.

Typically, the depth of the seat spacers is around four inches. Before attaching them to the frame, make sure both pieces are properly sanded so you’re working with a smoother surface.

Next, drill the seat spacers and seat frame corners all the way through. Then, connect the seat spacers perpendicularly to the corners of the seat frame with the 3/16 threaded rods.

We wouldn’t advise using wood screws because they’re more susceptible to damage. Plus, they can easily split the wood.

Step 5: Connect the Seat Spacers to the Gunwales

In this step, grab the steel corner braces and seat spacers and side them together against the gunwales to make sure they compactly fit.

To do this, first, drill a hole in the corner braces and connect them under the seat spacer. There should be some excess of the threaded rod above the seat spacer to accommodate for the corner brace.

Then, you can secure the corner brace using the nuts, washers, and washer locks. Make sure to screw the seat frame, seat spacer, and corner brace tightly on all four sides.

For more security, you can glue the seat frame and seat spacer together before screwing them with the threaded rod. Be sure to leave the glue to dry overnight.

Step 6: Apply Varnish to the Seat Frame

Before letting the contraption sit overnight with the adhesive, you can apply the wood varnish as well to save some time.

One of the best types of varnish to apply to wood is long-oil varnish. It can be composed of boiled linseed or tung oil. It’ll help provide your webbed seat frame with some much-needed sun protection.

On the next day, your varnish should be dry and your seat will be ready for the next step. You may notice the threaded rods poking out. These can be sanded to smooth out the rough corners.

Step 7: Thread in the Seat Webbing

In this step, you get to start the fun part of the whole process, the webbing. Get your nylon webbing roll, but don’t cut any pieces yet.

You’ll first roll the fabric around the seat frames parallel to each other. Next, grab your staple gun and hit each end with two to three staples.

Your staple gun may be difficult to maneuver to staple the inner side of the frame. In this case, you can just staple it upward where it’ll be facing you. Then, you can cut the fabric off from the roll.

Additionally, keep in mind that the seat spacers should be facing down while you’re completing this step.

Having said that, between each nylon strip, make sure to leave a little gap to make the perpendicular webbing easier for you to do.

Finally, you’ll need to weave the lengthwise strips through the shorter strips and staple them. It may seem tricky, but all you have to do is go in an up and down pattern. Try to keep the overall design organized.

Speaking of design, you can pick two different colors for the nylon webbing’s horizontal and vertical strips for a more aesthetic look.

Step 8: Put the Seat to the Test

In this step, you’ll assemble the seat and place it in the canoe. The best part about this seat is that it’s removable. You don’t have to bolt in your gunwales.

You just have to position it where you initially intended to put it. Keep the corner brackets facing outward, where they would support the seat.

Next, just plop yourself on there and feel the comfort. If it’s feeling a little unstable, you can try to tighten the area of the threaded rod more.

Pros of Making Your Own Webbed Canoe Seat

You might be wondering, “Why don’t I just buy a canoe seat, rather than make one?” Well, there are a couple of main advantages to DIYing a webbed canoe seat.

Enhance Craftsmanship and Health

Making your seat can enhance your woodworking and weaving skills. This summer project can be fun and rewarding to undertake.

Healthwise, woodworking lowers your stress levels and also improves your range of body motion. This activity can also be enjoyed with your friends and family.

Ability to Customize

Most webbed canoe seats available are standard in size and color. Imagine the possibilities of making your own.

You can customize the shape to make it fit exactly where you want. It can be near the edge or center. Apart from that, you can choose any color and webbing type options as well.

This will essentially give you more freedom and keep your creativity flowing.

More Budget-Friendly

Chances are, you probably already have some of the supplies needed such as the nuts, washers, and screwdriver.

Luckily, the items needed for this mini-project aren’t too pricey as well. Bottom line is that you can save more money if you make it rather than purchase a ready-made seat frame.

Con of Making Your Own Webbed Canoe

We’re not going to lie. The whole process will take some time, especially if you’re new to webbing and woodwork.

It can take a couple of days to complete the webbed canoe seat. In which case, you can think of the satisfaction you’ll gain from making it by yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re not particularly patient, then we recommend going straight to the store.

Types of Canoe Seat Webbing

Although we mentioned nylon webbing when making a canoe seat, you don’t have to stick to it. You can choose from a variety of other webbing options available. Check them out below.

Jute Webbing

Jute webbing is more commonly used in furniture upholstery, but you may also consider it for your canoe seat.

The fiber of jute webbing is relatively strong and tightly spun allowing it to last long. That being so, there are a couple of types of jute webbing. There are high-quality and low-quality kinds. The latter is usually marked with a black stripe and is used for back seats.

Meanwhile, the high-quality jute webbing is marked with a red stripe and can support more weight.

If you’re using jute webbing for your canoe seat, a high-quality type should be your go-to. Plus, you can add a back seat with the low-quality if you want the extra support.

Rubber Webbing

If you’re looking for more bounce in a seat, then rubber webbing is your best bet. The material is highly elastic and versatile.

The best part is that, unlike nylon and other fabric materials, rubber webbing won’t fray. You can also stretch the webbing as tight as you want to adjust the seat to your comfort.

Polypropylene Webbing

Polypropylene webbing is a more industry-used kind of material. It can withstand a large amount of weight.

The webbing has a plastic feel to it, which makes it waterproof, which is perfect for canoeing. Out of all the webbing types discussed, we’d recommend polypropylene webbing as the best option for your canoe seat.

Nylon Webbing

Nylon webbing is pretty much the standard type of material used for canoe seats. Like polypropylene, it can handle heavy weights.

It also holds similar elasticity characteristics to rubber webbing. It can expand by over 2% when wet.

Nevertheless, too much water absorption can easily damage nylon webbing and even cause mold and mildew.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Wooden Canoe Seat Webbing?

After figuring out how to make a wooden canoe seat webbing, you may want to know how much it’s going to cost you.

Well, if you simply buy a replacement canoe seat without making one yourself, it can cost you around $40 to $50.

Meanwhile, the cost of making it all boils down to the supplies you’re using. The initial cost of the project might be expensive; however, you wouldn’t be using all of the products to their full capacity.

You could use the extra for other different projects. That being so, the price of the items you will be using could amount to approximately $20 to $80. This also depends on the quality of material you purchase.

To Conclude

Finding your old webbed canoe seat in a bad condition can be disgruntling. You can look at the bright side, though. Making a new one can give you an opportunity for a quick little summer project.

By using our wooden canoe seat webbing guide, you’ll be able to create your customizable webbed seat.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend that much money. In addition, if you’re not really a DIY person, you can always purchase one from a canoe store.

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