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Question about the proper amount of filler to use

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by ssommers, May 29, 2015.

  1. ssommers

    ssommers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I am curious what others think regarding how much filler to use on a canvas. I noticed, after applying the recommended amount of filler to the new canvas during my canoe restoration, that there were patches of the grain of the fabric poking through and were still rough to the touch. Maybe I used too much filler in some places and not enough in others? The solution, for me, has been to apply more filler until the whole boat is pretty much silky smooth in appearance and touch. That meant applying about a quart more filler than was called for. This sounds like a lot of extra filler on a boat that calls for one gallon and one quart of filler. Yet, it's a large boat, a twenty foot EM White, it has a massive canvas compared to what I had replaced on four or five 16 and 15 footers (years ago). So on such a large boat I figure an extra quart of filler is not a huge weight penalty. I figured better safe than sorry, and it is not like I am doing this for a living. I can splurge on an extra quart of filler on one of my two wood canvas canoes. I'm just wondering if others, who restore canoes consistently use a bit more filler than is normally recommended.

    For a bit more information, I used a preshrunk and mildew-prevention-treated #10 canvas. I did not burn away the fuzz before filling. I had read that Joe Seliga did not burn the fuzz on his boats, so I figured that was good enough for me. My thinking is that toasting the outer layer of canvas with a torch prior to filling might also make the cloth less spongy and therefore might cause one to be able to do the job with less filler?

    Thanks for considering. And I appreciate ahead of time any feedback people might offer.

  2. H.E. Pennypacker

    H.E. Pennypacker LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Recommended should be the amount required. And for a 20' canoe, 1.5 gallons certainly doesn't seem like too much! The goal, as you suggested, is to get the weave of the canvas filled. What it takes is what it takes.
  3. OP

    ssommers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks H.E.

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