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lapstrake canoe project

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by DAVID EDGERLY, Jan 2, 2013.


    DAVID EDGERLY Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I am building my second lapstrake canoe the first one was glued lap, this year i am building one traditionally. Would it be a mistake to put a sealant in between laps i have heard of some builders doing this.i am not to sure my laps will be tight since i am new to this. If sealant was ok to use what would be recommended.
    Dave edgerly
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    I've been working on several projects with WCHA member Geoffrey Burke (out of which will come a book in the near future), and we've done a variety of different things with respect to bedding laps.

    A couple were done bedded with 3M 5200 in the garboard seam and the gains and hood ends to just above the waterline. Be careful if you do this, because 5200 is a ***** to clean up!

    The canoe we just finished (the Burly Laddie, a stretched and deepened Wee Lassie) we built "goopless" - garboard seams, gains and hood ends were splashed with Epifanes Rapid Clear. The canoe has been well soaked with Boat Soup (tung oil, varnish and turps) and will get several more coats of Rapid Clear followed by varnish. Geoffrey has promised to drink anything that leaks in on launching day!

    The take-home message I have gotten from working with Geoffrey is that there is a premium on taking the time to cut accurate rabbets (stem and keel) and chopping the laps. Get these two things right, and the rest is easy-peasy.

    FWIW, the laps on Rushton boats were bedded with thickened varnish, which is still a viable way to do it. Much of anything else though will either show color (e.g. 5200), or be thick enough that when it fails (and it will) it will be hard to repair and the boat will be leaky.
  3. OP

    DAVID EDGERLY Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hi dan
    just want to understand the procedure with the rapid clear did you brush on and let dry all laps before assembly,and same for garboard to keel. Was the 5200 needed to bed plank to stem.i am at the point of getting out the garboard plank how soon before your book is done. Any info on this would be a great help
    dave edgerly
  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Hi Dave,

    With the RapidClear, it was brush it on, then assemble, no waiting necessary, but no harm done if it dries. The purpose is to seal up the joints and end grain of the planks so they don't soak up too much Soup or varnish and get dry. Let me emphasize that this is an experiment, though we expect it to work fine.

    When using the 5200, it was used the full length of the garboard rabbet, the stem rabbet to bed the plank ends, and the gains. The advantage to using 5200 is that it is a very effective bedding compound. The disadvantages are its color and difficulty cleaning up squeeze out, and the near impossibility of separating a joint should repairs be needed.

    There are other bedding compounds that could be used as well, each has its own advantages and disadvantages...

    The book is a little ways out. We have in hand well over a thousand photos to work from. Writing will begin any day now.

    By the way, which canoe are you building?

  5. OP

    DAVID EDGERLY Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks dan
    i am building walt simmons design 15 ft canoe i believe he calls megan, i have previously built his 13 ft canoe with plywood and epoxy. I have brought this to assembly in the past.

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