It is tedious, but relaxing at the same time. Plus it's not greasy. And I'm not doing it for anybody else. It's fun.
Mostly, I use a small quality nail puller, get behind the plank just enough to push the head of the nail out a bit, get the flat end corner of the puller in under it to raise it enough to get the other end with the leveraged puller under it, then rotate it to get the nail out as painlessly as I can (I show it here in relation to a standard box cutter). It really can't be rushed, and trust me, it doesn't always work. In those cases, and in the case of most everything I've removed, new planks will need to be made I think. This canoe was very well made, I'll tell you that!
Also pictured here are the first of the two stems that I've uncovered enough to determine position of a scarf joint, and a pic of the hardware I've already collected. Lots of small nails as well as highly sought after cup washers and screws that held the keel on from the inside.
All clamped up and ready to start restoration. Got some new stuff today too, and some extra ribs a buddy brought over yesterday. Doing good, but not sure how much I'll be getting done the next couple weeks, got other stuff going on.
Sometimes(NOT always) HD has some pretty nice cedar fence boards that you can get clear sections out of. If it works, use it. If not, look for some actual Eastern White Cedar. Google can be your friend. Being picky on wood adds cost but not a lot in the whole cost of the project.
Have you tried Len-co Lumber yet ?
They are based in Buffalo, and was always a good source for what you need. If they didn't have it, I think they'll order it. As for price ????? Take a look at threir website, they do have white cedar.
It's worth a shot since you're near there ?