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Canvas filler

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Michaux Hiker, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    What do I use at the ends to cover the nails and canvas cut ends to smooth it out? I have a gallon of filler from Island Falls. Do I need to mix anything with this filler, seems a little thin.

    Thanks, Mike
     
  2. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I cover the stems by painting with epoxy, saturating the cloth, then after 15-30 minutes, trowel epoxy mixed with sanding dust over the epoxy base. Cover this with saran wrap stretched tight so it is smooth, and you can 'work' the epoxy with your fingers if necessary. The next morning, sand the epoxy smooth. It's a good base for primer.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    What brand of epoxy do you use? This is my first time canvasing a canoe.
     
  4. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Hmm, never heard of using epoxy for this. I use it for plenty of other things, but you want to be sure it is molded smooth with the Saran wrap. That will also leave a hard surface through which to screw the stemband.

    I use ordinary carpenter's glue to seal the flap of canvas that is nailed to the stem using ring nails. You have to be careful not to pull free threads from the loose edge of the canvas when trying to smooth it down. Using the face of a hammer to slide across it seems to not pull threads free. Later, bedding compound will go on top of this seam before screwing on the stemband.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Think gluing may be the way to go.
     
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    The filler will go on thin. Before you mix it, there should be about 1/3 or 1/2 a gallon of solids in the can. Half an hour later it is mixed up! Anyway, I roll it on and the rub it in with a gloved hand, going over the entire canoe three times. I hit the stems multiple times with the roller and keep rubbing the material into the canvas seam. I don't use anything else on the stems except paint and bedding compound under the stem bands. Never had a leak.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  7. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Fitz. Wasn't sure as the filler is quite thin. Did stir it up but wasn't very solid at the bottom. Must have stirred itself up during shipping. Doing a test patch on a scrap piece of canvas. I guess the filler takes some of the imperfections out, slightly raised planks, etc...

    Mike
     
  8. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I’m with Fitz. When I open a can of filler I pour all the liquids off and then scrape out some of the rockhard sediment in the bottom. Instead of waiting until after I have filled the whole canoe I do the Stems first because the raw canvas sucks the liquid out of the thick filler I’m using and it sets up better.
     
  9. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Yeah... I have another can that I pour most of the liquid off into. Then I take a putty knife to start chipping the silica out and breaking it down. I usually will create a slurry by mixing in a little of the liquid back in. This is what I do the first pass on the stems. Slap it on and smooth it out.

    Then I slowly add the rest of the liquid back with the solids while mixing. Fill as per the usual. If there needs to be any additional filler smoothed on the stems, I can do a last pass on them with the dregs at the bottom of the can.
     
  10. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    The filler should suffice for the seams at the stems.
    I bed the lap but the outside of the seam gets covered several times with filler until the seam is well filled. Same method as Fitz.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I stirred the can and it seemed I was at the bottom. I'll pour it into another can and see what's at the bottom. Hope to start tomorrow with the filler. Thanks for all the help. I feel better about attempting this.
     

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  12. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    You can always add some silica thickener to your filler if you keep some on hand. you can buy it from Jamestown distributors , they sell it as epoxy thickener. but it's just silica powder. It's cheap. The same as in the filler. Just bedding compound between the flaps of canvas and the filler should be enough to seal the final finish. Then paint, bedding compound and stem bands.
     
  13. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Why reinvent the process? Like others here, I use filler only. The stems get extra coats, but otherwise nothing else is done and it always turns out great. As described by Stelmok and Thurlow in The Wood and Canvas Canoe, just work the filler around as you rub it in and you can readily cover the seam smoothly without any additives or additional processes.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Spent yesterday afternoon applying filler to the canoe. I did glue the edges down at the stems and then used thicker filler at the seams. Seemed to work well enough. Although I have a few loose strands so may cut them and go over with a little more filler.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Any ideas on finish paint? What brands should I use for primer and finish paint?
     
  16. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Typically you don't need primer over traditional canvas filler.

    Use a good marine enamel, such as Kirby's (traditional colors, moderate gloss), Epifanes (high gloss), Pettit, Interlux (though these last two have really cut down the number of colors recently), and some folks have used the newer Rustoleom marine paint (I have no experience with it).

    I usually use Kirby's.
    Dan
     
  17. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I really like Kirby for their colors. Plus they are a family-owned American company. I think you can get away with just the paint without the primer. I use a primer if I think I'll need a little extra material to get everything built up and smoothed out.

    I thinned it out with 20% mineral spirits. And rolled and tipped it on really thin. Depending on the humidity and temp this will be different for you. Then when it's dry you can use something like turtle wax polishing compound and some carnauba wax to get a good shine.

    It took me 3 times(canoes) to get the hang of it. But even my first canoe came out pretty well.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Think I will use the primer as the canvas is not very smooth, although I haven't done any sanding so it may smooth out some. Originally it was painted brown in 1923. Not sure if I'll keep it the same but leaning toward the brown. Want to order soon while the filler is drying and have to scarf the outwales too.
     
  19. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Primer works great, but not always needed. Just roll the primer with a small foam roller. Don't brush it or try and tipp it. Most of it will sand off. I use Kirby paint a lot. I love it but It's a little harder to get out your brush tipping marks. If your looking for that high gloss smooth finish, Brightside, Epifanes, or pettit paints.
     
  20. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I sanded the filler a little but was worried that I would sand through it. It's also pretty hard and wears out sandpaper quickly. So I used 2 part epoxy fairing compound from Total Boat. I could put on a thin coat and sand that back easily. It's a weird green color so I could tell where it was thick or thin. It's light. It will show you how smooth the hull really is. I sanded a lot of that off. I also used it to smooth out the overlapping canvas at the stems. I bought quarts (2 part so you get 2 quarts total product) and used half of that. This photo is after sanding it back, so you can see it's mostly gray.

    [​IMG]IMGC5455 by Dave, on Flickr

    After that, I primed, mostly because then you can really see the surface smoothness and still have a chance to fix problems.
     

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