The filler coat of epoxy has cured, and I sanded it with 80 grit, then sanded with 120 grit. Once again the beautiful, shiny hull is now whitish. I’ve checked it and the epoxy is thick enough to have taken the sanding without sanding into the cloth. This means it is finally time to turn this canoe over and have a look at the inside.
The first thing I like to do is remove the screw on each end that holds the stem form in place.
The other stations have one screw in each side. I just went up one side and down the other removing them.
The stations all go on the same side of the cross pieces, so there is always one station that has screws that are hard to get at after the canoe is built. I use an angle drill, but if you don’t have one you can put them in from underneath at an angle upward, and remove them the same way. As you can see, the drill doesn’t fit in there.
This is all the hardware that was needed to hold everything in place.
Now the whole thing is unfastened and just sitting on the strongback. I just slide one end over to one side until it is close to the edge. Be sure to wear gloves when doing the next steps, the cloth hanging down has cured epoxy on it and is very sharp.
Next I go to the other end and lift it just a little. Then move it over like the first end, and let it go down into the holes in the strongback very slowly, and carefully. As you ease it down onto the strongback you will hear a crunching sound, this is OK, it’s only the extra cloth on the edges giving way.
Now back to the first end and do the same thing. It’s kind of heavy, due to the plywood stations being inside. Sometimes a station or two may fall out on it’s own, but I would rather they stay put, then I know they will not get in the way. It’s also very top-heavy, so you have to do this slowly or it will topple right over onto the floor. I know some of you are probably thinking that it would be smarter to get some help, and it would be, but I’m not known for my superior intellect. So, if all has gone well, this is what it will look like now.
When doing this you have to think things through. I did not, but fortunately I saw these screws before it was too late.
I had put these screws in when I was putting on strips. I was using an exacto knife to trim little spots on the joints, and I would set it on the cross-piece. It kept rolling off onto the floor, so I put in the screws to keep it where I needed it. I told myself I would remove them before turning the hull over. You know how that goes. I hate to think about the damage it would cause if that heavy canoe landed on them. Now go to the open side of the hull and see what you have. All the stations except the end ones are off the strongback. Just grab one and move it back and forth a time or two and it will come right out.
Now all that is left inside is the end stations. You will remove them after the canoe is turned over.
Step up to the center of the hull and put your hands inside. It’s lighter now without the plywood. Lift it up and take a step backward, then set the canoe down on the edge of the strongback and slowly roll it down onto it’s bottom.
Next is to address the end stations. They are screwed to the stem forms, so unscrew them and remove these two stations.
All that is left is to remove the stem forms. I do this as the book suggests. They don’t touch the bottom of the hull, so you just pry them out. Put in a scrap piece of board to protect the cedar, and to distribute some of the pressure. Then take a pinch bar and just carefully pry it out.
Here is a picture of the stations after getting them all out. Now you see how important it is to tape them. If you don’t use enough tape you stand a chance of gluing the hull to the stations.
So here we are. If nothing else, it looks better turned over.
Now I will trim off the extra cloth. It is sharp and needs to go before doing the inside. This is what I usually use to do the job.
Most of the cloth can be trimmed with a sharp utility knife. It works great.
If you come across some really thick epoxy a sharp draw knife works well.
When you’re done trimming you will have this sharp edge. A sanding block will take care of it.
Now it’s looking pretty good.
There are many hours of sanding ahead, but the next job is to make a sort of cradle to hold the canoe. It needs to be a little lower so it will be easier to work on. Well, that’s all for now,. See you next time.
-- Jeff in central Me.