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OT Guide 1947 – Quetico by summer 2015!!

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Tariacuri, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    OT Guide 1947 – Quetico by summer 2015!!
    Hello Everyone
    Just picked up a 1947 Old Town Guide 18’ that I think will interest folks. My goal for this boat is to make it structurally sound for use as a ‘tripper’. I would love to take it into Quetico next summer for our annual trip. So the goal is . . . Quetico by summer 2015!! Thanks goes out to Ed Moses for much advice and information!!
    The canoe was advertised on the Santa Fe Craigslist, I called and talked to the owner, hemmed and hawed about snagging it, talked to the owner again, hemmed and hawed some more, had a good feeling about it, talked to Ed Moses, and finally decided why not. The canoe has spent the last 20+ years hanging from the rafters of a barn in NW New Mexico and before that – apparently – hung from the ceiling of an outdoor store in Grand Junction. How it got to Grand Junction – who knows? The spec sheet for the canoe is here

    After a relaxing weekend and an amazing drive through the Carson National Forest with the aspens just starting to change, we arrived, snagged the canoe from the very nice owners, and were on our way. They are located in a stunningly beautiful but relatively remote part of New Mexico which I suspect contributed to the three-week listing time on Craigslist. If the canoe were on the East Coast it would have sold much sooner.

    The overall condition of the boat is good but it is not water-worthy. Structurally the canoe is solid (at least I think so?) and needs minimally either a scarfed-in section of inwale, or a complete replacement, four ribs, and probably one deck? Stems, stem ends, etc are all in great shape and do not need repair or replacing. The wood is very dry and needs to be oiled and re-varnished inside and out before it can really be used (IMO).

    I may replace all of the outwales and inwales as the wood is very dry, dented and checked, with a few stress cracks. Not sure why these sections are so dry but it must be a consequence of the way the boat was stored at the top of the barn, worn and exposed wood at these locations, and air moving around three sides??
    I can’t readily get a long plank of spruce here in CO and so would have to scarf the wales. If I were to go that route then I don’t really gain anything by not simply repairing the original piece. My fear is that it is damaged right where the center thwart is located so I would have a scarf in a very structurally sensitive location. An alternative to spruce that is readily available in this region is clear, vertical grain, Douglas Fir which I’m planning on using instead. I could also get a long plank of African Mahogany for the outwales but it would be expensive?

    Not sure what to do about the decks? Both have damage originating from the end of the brass stem band. They could be epoxied into shape but you would be able to see the repair and I would cringe every time I looked at it. If I redo the inwales I might as well replace the decks – do I go with ash again or something fancy? The brass stem bands are there but were dangling when we picked up the canoe so I removed them for transport.

    Rib replacement should be fairly straightforward though the three that are in sequence will have to be done one at a time to retain the shape of the hull. Some tips should also have new ends scarfed on.

    In terms of finish the interior varnish is in good shape and not flaking so as suggested by Ed I will probably just do a refresh rather than a stripping job. The canvas is shot of course. I have the brass stem bands which I think I can reuse. The keel is present and in good shape but is not going back on the boat – it’s massive.

    Color – the spec. sheet says Guide Service gray, everyone likes the red, I really like the color of Tom Thompson’s canoe from the Canadian Seven.

    As always advice is more then welcome
    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

  2. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    And here are a few more pics
     

    Attached Files:

  3. divedog

    divedog LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Chris,
    That section of inwale appears relatively flat, and you have nothing to lose by attempting a scarf. I had good results scarfing in the center of a broken inwale on my Morris. I wanted to retain as much original wood as I could, and wanted to keep the section of inwale where the holes for the brass tag were. I had a significant curve to match, which I bent before the scarf was prepared. I found it helpful to make quite a few reference marks, so I knew it was the proper length, etc. before I applied glue. For my splice, I chose a piece of a 2 X 2 furring strip that had some wonderful vertical grain that matched the existing wale. I am not 100% positive it was Spruce, but with a little stain, it matches, by my eye. I you aren't happy with the results, you could always go to plan b, at that point. Likewise, via careful grain selection, you could attempt to scarf in deck tips, which look like they could be mostly hidden by the stem band. Looks like a great canoe! I'm jealous! Please post pictures of your project.
    Mike Wootton - Spokane, WA
     
  4. Ed Moses

    Ed Moses LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Chris,
    Your canoe at 57 years of age is in super condition! The few craiglist pics indicated this but now that I see your pics - WOW! It was a good find. You might give serious second thoughts to doing any rail replacement now that I've seen your more detailed pics. Those rails look to be in great shape and other than the one inwale needing a scarf repair, I would suggest you consider leaving them as is. The few dings & blemishes will soon be joined by more that you are likely to put in using it. Gives the old girl character. Were the canvas not rotted under the outwales and pulling away she sure looks waterworthy. Many on this forum would retain the original decks and just scarf in new tips and as Mike has mentioned would be mostly covered by the stem bands. If you carefully align grain of the new wood to the old it can be hardly noticeable. But then again if the looks bother you then installing new decks is a piece of cake. From what I see that NEEDS to be done, you certainly will have it ready for use in 2015. Keep us pictorially appraised of your progress.
     
  5. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Chris,
    This inwale scarf, on Racine, is a little different than yours will be in that you will have a longer straight piece.
    It does show the kind of angle that you would want on both ends.... Rule of thumb is your angle should be 8"-12" long per the thickness of your inwale..... It's difficult to cut one 12" long, for sure.
    But with a thickness of 3/4"-7/8" on your inwale, if you can get at least 8", you will be good.
    I use a Japanese pull saw to cut the angles, then rough cut the new piece with angles and use a belt sander to dress in the new angles to fit the inwale angles.
    Remember to pull all of the rib tip nails in the area you will be cutting. It may also make it easier to acces your cut by removing some planking. Taken off carefully, it can be tacked back on when the joint is done.
    I use a overnight cure epoxy and clamp them as in the photo.
    The good thing, as Ed mentions, is that it is relatively straight in the area you will be replacing.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    Hello Everyone - and thanks for all the great replies. Well . . . perhaps I don't have to do as much work as I had anticipated!! The furring strip is a great idea that I will for sure have to explore. I will probably replace the decks but it sounds like not the wales.

    I'll keep everyone updated - will be a month or so before I can really work on it - have to build a shed first.

    Chris
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    Hey everyone
    Thought there might be interest in this process. Work and other issues have kept me from the canoe until the last few weeks. After ordering a bucket-load of stuff from Jerry Stelmok I have now been able to start. But first . . . I had to build a shed in the backyard to store the new canoe and other crap I have accumulated. No more space in the garage to hang another boat. This shed is 12X20' and can certainly hold many boats along with much assorted other stuff. Doors open away from the viewshed of the finished structure so that boats and other projects can be easily hidden with debris from prying eyes!!

    4.jpg 2.jpg 4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  8. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    And here are some pics after the canvas was removed. Only real surprise was 1) the tips of the inwales at the bow are pretty dry rotted. Will for sure have to splice 1 - probably both; 2) some sort of adhesive was used at both the bow and stern to fasten the canvas during a re-canvas at some point in the past. I'm hoping I can sand it and be OK. I was able to remove the canvas without damage to the planking. I added a picture of the old splice which was of course a known issue.

    adhesive-bow.jpg side.jpg butt-joint.jpg
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    And pics of the rotted inwale ends. One is broken and will be replaced - on the fence about the second one (Bow 2.jpg).

    bow-1.jpg
    bow-2.jpg


    The on the fence one - of course it means I will have to order a chunk which will delay everything by a week. I have no stock for that here.

    cracked-inwale-end.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  10. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    And the last post for today, sorry.

    I found this to be the best methodology for cutting the scarfs - LOL

    New-way-to-create-joint.jpg

    Actually, I used a pull saw and a Japanese rasp. Inwale scarf is ready to glue later today hopefully, bow one is being prepared.

    new-section.jpg
    Scarf-1.jpg
    ready-for-gluing.jpg

    Also have a few rib tops

    rib-tip.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  11. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Most of us feel free to paint our canoes as we like -- if you paint it red, you can always paint it Guide service grey should decide you like that better some time down the road. Exterior paint is one of those things that is always and easily reversible should you desire to match the canoe's original color. The first owner had a choice of color -- no reason for you to not have your choice.

    Greg
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    Thanks Greg - still a long ways off for color - everything taking longer then I thought:mad:
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    And here is the completed scarf. Can still see a slight line but I think it will be OK in the end. The original piece is quite red so will have to do some creative staining for a better match

    scarf-finished.jpg

    And some rib bending

    bending-ribs.jpg
     
  14. Ed Moses

    Ed Moses LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Chris,

    Canoe/Garden shed came out looking nice - good job on it! Your inwale scarf looks very good also. You really had me for a nanosecond there when I saw your spoof pic of the saber saw being used to cut the scarf!!!! Just getting caught up on computer emails and checking favorite forums after being at Assembly.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    Here is an update on the long slow process. Work and other issues ended up getting in the way – including contracting a flesh eating protozoa – been a crazy year. The title of this post should now be Quetico by 2017 (LOL) – this canoe did not make it up to Canada with us this year. I made many mistakes but I suppose that is part of the process.
    8 new ribs, much planking, new decks, stem repair, replaced sections of the inwhale. Stained everything to match but a few pieces of planking came out much darker than anticipated.
    I followed a post by Dave Osborn in this thread and it seemed to work well “Wood Finish Gloss for 3 coats then sand and use Epifanes Gloss Clear Varnish as a topcoat or two”
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?8163-mccloskeys-spar-varnish&highlight=epifanes+woodfinish
    Due to some timing issues I was not able to heed the advice of Ed Moses and got some dribbles from the exterior on the interior – will have to touch these up when the filler is cured.
    The exterior was a major hassle and I could not get it fair – no matter what I tried. It was covered with a black goo which I assume was degraded linseed oil and I could not get it off – or sand effectively. It was also incredibly dry. I honestly wonder how fair the canoe was at the time of construction?
    Instead of adding more linseed oil I opted instead for Deks Olje D1 which I have used before on other projects, followed by several coats of D2. The canoe sucked up an entire pint of D1 in the space of about an hour – without any dribbling into the interior. Prior to the application of D1 when you pressed on a rib or planking the canoe sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies – after – no sound at all so . . . it must have done something?
    Canvassing went fairly well I think – used Titebond III as described in several posts on the stems. I had a heck of a time figuring out if I had enough weight inside the canoe and hope the canvas was tight enough. Also averted a near disaster when the canvas begin slipping out of the clamp by throwing a couple of screws into the clamp frame through the canvas.
    Filling was an adventure and I wish that it had ended up smoother – live and learn. I may have to use some fairing compound on a few spots. Which the planking seams were not so visible in a couple of spots but hopefully fairing compound and some effective primer can resolve some of this.
    Off to hibernation until the filler is cured.
    Ready-for-canvas-2.jpg Canvas.jpg Canvassed-bow.jpg filler.jpg filler-seams.jpg
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    This canoe is finally done, should have titled this thread Quetico by a COVID-free summer 2021. Very crazy at work the last couple of years among other things but aside from a couple paint touch-ups it is ready for the water. I'm going to let everything cure for a couple of weeks then get it into the water. I had some issues painting which are outlined in this thread. This seemed to mostly have to do with the fact that red does not have much pigment? Anyway, here she is more or less - with many mistakes. I had to go through many shenanigans to save those outwhales.
     
    Dave Wermuth and Benson Gray like this.
  17. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Persistence pays off. Well done. Will you have a keel? I've done Quetico with and without a keel. Keel is better.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Tariacuri

    Tariacuri Chris Fisher, Colorado

    Hello Dave - I have the keel and will curate it but was planning on not installing. But I can always install later if the boat is not handling well or I feel I need it.
     
    Dave Wermuth likes this.

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