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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
    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
    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
    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...

  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
    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.

    Attached Files:

  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
    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:

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