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Can I remove WEST epoxy to recanvas. HELP!!

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Stephan, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Stephan

    Stephan Canoe Enthusiast

    I'm looking into buying an old wood/canvas canoe that had the canvas replaced by the WEST technique epoxy. I am not familiar with the WEST system. Is it possible to remove it safely without damaging too much of the existing wood? I'd like to recanvas it but I don't want to buy it if I can't. I have a canvas canoe that was fiberglassed in the 70s and we were able to remove the fiberglass quite easily. I don't have much time to think about it so any speedy replies would be very much appreciated. If you need more information, I can try to get some answers for you. I appreciate any and all replies. Thanks!!!
  2. OP

    Stephan Canoe Enthusiast

    This is how it was described to me in an email:

    "There is no cloth used as in fibreglass. Any holes or gaps are filled with putty (the guy who fixed my canoe used a product called Sikaflex), and epoxy resin is painted over the surface."

    Can any or all of this stuff be removed from the wood? And if anyone has done it, was it very difficult?
  3. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Hi MAN

    wEST system is good stuff. Which is to say this is bad if it has it. I'd pass unless the canoe were free, or nearly so.There are alot of canoes still out there. that aren't 'covered in frozen snot'. (Quote from Dan M.) Good luck.
  4. OP

    Stephan Canoe Enthusiast

    Is it even possible to remove at all? I don't mind putting in the long hours and hard work but I don't want to even try it if all the planking will be ruined and need to be replaced.
  5. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Unless it is a particularly rare or unusual canoe, then why bother? There are lots of good canoes out there that don't have this problem. Any epoxy resin is going to be much more tenacious than the polyester resins that are usually used to glass a canoe.
  6. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I agree, it probably has no value. Stay away from it unless it has significant history/value once restored. Right now it shouldn't even be used for a wiener roast due to the air pollution it would cause. What a shame.
  7. Longpaddle

    Longpaddle Curious about Wooden Canoes


    As bad as fiberglass is for wood canvas canoes, why are wood canvas and fiberglass grouped together in this forum?

  8. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck Woodworker


    This quote is supposedly from Dan M...
    Is the author the same as the venerable Dan Miller we all have grown to respect and who loves all things wooden? I certainly hope this quote was not pertaining to Strippers as opposed to W/C that were glassed over... Dan, did you really say this?
  9. OP

    Stephan Canoe Enthusiast

    So far it isn't looking good I guess.....

    What if it had a lot of sentimental value (this isn't the case this time). How could someone proceed to remove it?
  10. Longpaddle

    Longpaddle Curious about Wooden Canoes

    You could always grind it off. A heavy duty grinder with 36 grit paper, It probably wouldn't take that long.

  11. OP

    Stephan Canoe Enthusiast

    I called someone and they said that it might be possible to sand it all off but it would take an aweful lot of work. Does anyone think this can be done without ruining all the planking?
  12. Ron Carter

    Ron Carter WCHA # 7925

    Truly a lost cause

    The epoxy is several times harder than the underlying cedar. Without absolute depth control of the grinder you will ruin the planking as the grinder breaks through the epoxy. If you are bound and determined to proceed I'd strip all of the planking and replank. Less work in the long run and after grinding, replanking will certainly be the next step anyway.
  13. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Wood canvas and fiberglass were grouped together in this forum simply because there are a number of canoes around where the canvas has been replaced by fiberglass. These fiberglass to canvas conversions are a common discussion topic so it seemed logical to keep it all in one place. Opposing viewpoints will be given equal time...

  14. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    ?Grind it Off?

    You'd have to be a skilled plastic surgeon to remove the snot without taking most of the wood with it. Remember thats cedar under the snot.

    I agree with the guy who said you couldn't even use it for a wienie roast.

    You could use it as an outdoor display, like paint your address on the side and put it out in the front yard.

    Find something else.

  15. sandpiper

    sandpiper canoe builder

    Good day everybody. Well, fiberglass cloth and epoxy on a canoe is like embalming the canoe. I would make a flower pot with it. Have a nice day! Sandpiper
  16. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    A grinder doesn't work. IF you get this canoe for free or they pay you to take it away you can try this. I have successfully stripped fiberglassed canoes with a heat gun and paint scrapers. The heat will soften the epoxy allowing it to be removed. Grind a hook onto the end of a hack saw blade to remove the epoxy between the plank edges. There is nothing you will be able to do where the epoxy has gone between the ribs and planks so it creates a problem if re-clinching is required.
  17. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Yep, I did. But L. Francis Herreshoff coined the term, I believe. Fiberglass has no place on a canoe meant to be covered with canvas. Fiberglass, both inside and out, is an essential component of modern strip-built canoes.
  18. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    See the attached photo for one way, where the canoe had epoxy slathered all over the bottom before a recanvassing.... That canoe, believe it or not, is now back on the water.

    Attached Files:

  19. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Hey Joe

    You are right. I quoted oUR good ole DanMiller. And he was referring to fiberglass resin in general, strippers excepted, I think. Dan can correct me if I misquoted. And I'll pre aplolgize for my error if I got it wrong.
    BTW, here I am in Navarre Florida in the path of Hurrican Dennis and I don't have a good canoe under me. WE are prepared and plan to ride it out. After all we are half a mile from the water. And outside the surge area.
  20. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck Woodworker


    Thanks, Dan, for your honesty and your reputation is still in tact. I thought it was a real catchy phrase and I hope to reuse it very soon.

    I also hope that some of these guys learn to read and take to heart with what is said about grinding, etc. Using HEAT and a SCRAPER is the only way to go...

    We used to remove multiple coats of varnish from mahogany hulls in the 50's with a blow torch and a scraper and it is not hard. When you start, one is very cautious but after awhile, you get the feel of it and as soon as the finish starts to bubble, lose the heat and bring out the scraper. After a little practice, we could do 16-18 footers in about two days. One can do more damage with the scraper than with the torch...

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