Not a big update, but an update none the less. First off, it’s going to get cold this week, so wife and I figured we would get in some firewood before it cools down.
Second, another one of my foolish mishaps. When we glassed the canoe we moved it down out of the corner to do that end first. Before rolling it back into the corner I picked up all the crap on the floor. Or so I thought. Today I went to roll it out and it didn’t want to move. I got looking it over and found that I had missed a small piece of cloth when I cleaned up. I also found that it apparently had wet epoxy on it at that time. It was now ‘glassed’ to the wheel. Kind of funny, actually.
Minor setback. A few minutes with a hammer, and small cold chisel, and it was like new.
One more thing I like to do is trim the cloth around the edges. Sometimes I set things on the strongback, so I get the cloth out of the way. The best way I’ve found is a sharp utility knife. I just get the heft of it, it’s easier to get right up to the wood after you turn the canoe over.
The ends look like this right now, you will need to feather them out so they make a smooth transition to the rest of the hull. Also sand the whole hull so the next layer of epoxy will grab.
I used 80 grit for this. Another thing you need to address is anything that looks like this point. On the point I will use a rasp to get most of it, then sand the rest.
So, now it’s time to make some dust. If you have ever sanded fiberglass, you know how bad it is. I’ve always put on a dust mask and opened the door. Today it was 20 degrees and the wind was howling, so the door stayed closed. I’ve never done this before, but I hooked the sander to my shop vac. I used an old hose that I had hanging on the wall, it had ends on it that fit perfectly. I put a small piece of duct tape on the vac end to make sure it stayed. The sander end didn’t need it.
I was very impressed with myself, if this worked the way I hoped, I wouldn’t be all itchy when I got done. I snapped on the vac, I could feel the suction through the holes in the bottom of the sander. Cool. I clicked on the sander, and away we go. I started on the top at one end. The dust was going into the sander and not coming back out. Yeehaw! I sanded about for about forty five seconds then the vac died. Cancel the yeehaw. This shop vac and I have some history. It was given to me about 20 years ago. It was a bottom, the cover and hose, and a bag of motor parts. It took me a long time to figure out how to put it together and make it work. It’s performance has been spotty over the years. Today I assumed that the small hose was restricting the airflow too much and it overheated. I let it sit but it never started again. I will tear it apart someday. Today it’s time for plan B. I have an old electrolux vac in the shop, so I dug it out. I hooked the hose up, and it’s time to try again.
As you sand you are apt to find some runs that you couldn’t see before. When you sand them they show up better. Just try to smooth them out, but not sand too deeply into the cloth around it. If you’re careful you can get it to look like the rest of the hull.
Here it is half sanded.
It’s a shame to mess up that nice shiny look, but it will happen a few more times before it’s done. Speaking of done, here it is all sanded.
When we glassed the hull the other day, I had to trim the cloth on the ends. It’s almost impossible to do this without getting the scissors all sticky. I keep one pair just for trimming wet cloth. I was up to Harbor freight the other day, and with a coupon, I got a new pair free. I’ll keep the new pair to trim dry cloth.
The next step on the canoe is to put on a coat of epoxy to fill the weave of the cloth. It’s too late to do it today. I needed a small project to finish out the afternoon, looking around I spotted the paddles. I need to put a strip of cloth all around the paddle blades to give them some protection from rocks and such. I have time to do one paddle today. I use a brush to carry some epoxy to the cloth and stick it in a few spots.
Then when you have it stuck so it doesn’t keep moving, use the brush to wet the rest of it. Then use a squeegee to remove the extra epoxy, and make sure it is laying down where you want it.
In these pictures it’s done. You’ll notice that the cloth is not entirely wet out. That’s because I cut it wider than I wanted it. So where the epoxy ends and the cloth is dry, I will cut off the extra cloth and feather the edges, and it will look fine.
I won’t be able to work on the canoe tomorrow, so i will try to get out there on Thursday. If I do I will update Thursday evening or Friday. See you then.
-- Jeff in central Me.