In an email today another blog writer pointed out that the sabani turns the log canoe on its head, starting with the side planking and then adding the bottom instead of the other way around. He's got a good point and a great blog including an old posting about sabani:
Once we finished bending the side planking, a process that took three days of pouring hot water on the plank set-up while we tightened large turnbuckles that we temporarily bolted through the planks. We then firmly fixed the side assembly to sawhorses, braced it to the floor (though it is not that firmly, so we have had to be careful), and then dropped the bottom timbers on top, fitting them one at a time. The first was the largest, the center timber, followed by one side then another. The chainfall was absolutely essential for this.
The sawing motion is VERY important. Essentially the kerf of the saw, in passing between the two pieces, is creating two parallel edges. In our case both the side pieces had changed shape as we removed material. They were tight at the ends leaving a gap in the middle. We snapped in inkline and carefully planed the edges straight again, but still when we put them together the ends were tighter than the middle. We did about three passes with the saw at either end and one long, slow pass down the middle and Shimojo san called it done.
His son explained to me that while sawdust is coming out you must move very slowly down the seam, even if there is very little resistance, because the saw teeth need to cut closely spaced kerfs. If you move fast then you don't create the "rubbed" surface that is considered ideal. Shimojo san's son used a good metaphor when he told me it was like rubbing glass lenses. Here are some shots showing what our finished surfaces looked like. Remember that these were planed smooth when we started.