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Seeking Dacron Skin Installation Help In Philadelphia--17' Octa

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by David Dannenberg, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. David Dannenberg

    David Dannenberg Curious about Wooden Canoes

    After running out of weather last fall my wife and I want to get back to shrinking the new Dacron onto our 1950s OCTA. Last fall when we briefly tried it just didn't seem to be going according to plan, notwithstanding my wife's excellent ability in handling textiles.

    Is there anyone in this area who has experience with this that could help us our for an hour or so? Willing to pay for the service.


    David Dannenberg
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Members of the Upper Chesapeake Chapter have experience applying Dacron. You can contact them via Bud Gillis (listed as Chapter Head);
  3. Gary Willoughby

    Gary Willoughby Boat Builder

    There are people that have used Dacron. I would ask a professional like Alex Come Stewart River Boat Works. phone 218-834-2506 I have used Dacron and Alex has been helpful .I don't think I would trust anyone else with all the cost involved.
  4. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Bud is doing the Teen Boatbuilding thing at the museum in North East this week, so kind of busy. We did a demonstration on covering a canoe with Dacron at Assembly last July. I wrote up the instructions and could email that to you. What problems are you having? Maybe Bud or I can respond, and others who read this forum can learn something.
    Tom McCloud
  5. OP
    David Dannenberg

    David Dannenberg Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the quick responses everybody. The main problem seemed to be that the glue at the gunwales was not sticking, though the problem is the glue or us I don't know. I really need my wife Susan to chime in and will ask her to elaborate when she is home and near the computer. We may also contact Bud and Alex. In the meantime Tom if you could email me your instructions to that would be great. We can compare them to the other instructions we have and maybe figure out the problem.
    Again thanks everyone.

  6. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Dacroning instructions in pdf format are on their way to your mail box.
    When you say 'glue is not sticking', can you be a bit more specific? The initial pass with a warm iron is intended just to hold it in place while you position the Dacron. The initial bond is not strong, and even after you heat it longer and hotter so that the Dacron is fused into the glue, that bond is still not real strong. But that doesn't matter, because the gunwales will hold it in place. I'm not suggesting this, but if I were in a tough spot in keeping the Dacron where it has to be, I'd use a few short SS staples or tiny tacks along the gunwale line, where they will be hidden underneath the outwales.
    Tom McCloud
  7. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy

    I’ve done several canoes in Dacron and bought everything from Alex Comb. He was a huge help. I had no problem with the heat sensitive glue along the gunwales and stems. You do need a thermometer to assure that your irons are at the correct temperature. I think Alex wrote a very informative article for Wooden Canoe that told you almost everything you need to know. Perhaps Dan Miller can give you the volume and page reference for that article. Alex is at Stewart River Boat Works near Two Harbors MN.
  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This starts on page 4 of the Wooden Canoe Journal issue number 142 from August, 2007 which is available from in the store. His web site at has more information about Alex.


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