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This is my first cedar canvas project

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by KAT, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. KAT

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Not sure of the maker although it had been suggested to be a Bastien Bros boat from the mid 50's. It spent the past ten years in a garage awaiting canvas and the fellow that had her finally decided he wasn't going to do the work so we picked it up for $250.

    I know she needs work prior to canvas, I just don't know how much yet and that is where you all come in. :)

    I took plenty of photo's and started my refurb album on photobucket as I did for my stripper build this past year.

    The planking is thinner than I expected, less than 3/16" and it tends to creak if pushed upon, which may indicate brittle wood. There are places where it has been repaired in the past with nails instead of the proper tacks and a board replaced of the incorrect thickness and wood type I think as well. There is one rib that will need replacing too.

    There isn't any historic or monetary value in this boat that I know of and my intentions are to use her as a solo tripping boat once finished, hopefully in time for ice out in 5 months, or, before vacation in July.

    I have a supplier for canvas, filler, paint and tacks already, tools I will need to find still. Canvas refurbishment/

  2. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    You should find a lot of information if you search this site for " Huron " canoe.
  3. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Douglas Ingram of Red River Canoe & Paddle in Lorette (east of Winnipeg) is a very nice, knowledgeable guy if you need any supplies, advice, help, etc.
    His website isn't working but the URL still takes you to his blog "Wood be Creative";
  4. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Welcome, Karin--

    I hope you'll continue to post pictures of your project-- including the launch and initial paddle!

  5. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    No, he's not! He's a cranky old curmudgeon. OK, maybe not that old, but he's working at being cranky! It takes training and lots of practice. Lots and lots.
  6. OP

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The not so old or cranky Douglas Ingram has an e-mail from me in his inbox from his blog site contact address.

    oops, nm, I should check my e-mail more often.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  7. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I gave you the same advice already elsewhere on this forum and probably on another forum but check out Mike Elliot's blog,, for lots of good info on canoe restoration....especially check under Huron canoe,, such as Dimensions for a Huron Wood-Canvas Canoe, Lacing Rawhide “Babiche” Seats in a “Huron” Wood-Canvas Canoe or Terry-Thomas and “Huron” Wood-Canvas Canoes....of course there's lots of great folks here to help too....good luck with canoe....
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  8. OP

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yes, and thank you for all the information everywhere I posted on this years project. I have oodles of time for this so I just need to decide how much I want to do with it, as in, stripping the interior varnish or just sanding and recoating, etc.
  9. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Karin, check the WCHA Classifieds under canoes for sale. I have 2 restored Huron canoes advertised there. The pictures may help in the restoration of your Huron. Cheers, Dave
  10. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

  11. OP

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Pictures of progress

    Ok, so things are going fairly smooth with this new project. I suppose having decent wood working skills helps. I have found it somewhat annoying with how slowly it is going, in the sense that I cannot work on it everyday because I have to wait for something.

    Stripped it, in the basement, starting with a water based stripper which worked ok'ish but even a second coat of it wouldn't take it to wood, so, doing about 18" at a time with gelled chemical stripper, had it done in a day. Opened a window to vent, not so bad, only -9c that day. It looks much better now and stripping revealed another couple of ribs to be replaced.

    Picked up some ash for inwales, 2 1/2 days of soaking then 8 days clamped into the boat and they worked out pretty well. The old inwales came out in about an hour each and the new ones fit nice and snug. New decks are cherry, I didn't use the old decks as patterns, instead I used a chunk of pine to make a pattern first, much less expensive and easier to work with, then cut the cherry from the pine patterns. Each end was different of course. New decks are in but they need finish fit and sanding and yes, the steel screws will come out during final fit.

    Next up was ribs. Had 3 to be replaced. Had some cedar which was left over from last years stripper build, cut it to size and shaped the top edge then dropped them in the water trough I have for this project (just some cheap plastic eavestrough sitting on the floor). Soaked them for 3 1/2 days then poppped them in the steamer for 20-25 minutes each and bent them. Our red cedar seems to like being bent, no issues what so ever. Let 'em dry on the outside of the boat overnight then moved them inside and they fit really well. Makes us look like we know what we are doing.

    Tonight, tacked them into place and removed planking that needs to be replaced, including some which cracked while putting in the new ribs.

    So, next will be ripping up new planking and getting that in place this week, then re-clinching every other tack on the hull.

    The boiled linseed oil part is coming up and I am wondering if that would be an issue in the basement being near the gas furnace and water heater? I know it is flammable so what is the general consensus on oiling the hull? Can it be done in the basement or is that too risky? I did do all the 'glassing on the stripper down there last year, but I had all the windows open and a fan going since it was summer, not quite able to do that with day time highs now in the -10c range.

    I was just pointing out tonight that we have a half full box of ring nails, which means, we will need another project for next winter...

    Stripping continues.jpg Inwales.jpg Stern Deck.jpg Inwales and decks.jpg Three new ribs.jpg New ribs fit snugly.jpg
  12. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Taking shape nicely!
  13. Danroy

    Danroy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Karin
    I'm a new member as well and saw this Quebec made boat and just had to look at the pictures you've taken of your project...most impressive and I see that someone is pretty handy with woodworking. I'm having my canoe a 1973 'Tremblay' restored by Mike Elliot of 'Kettle River Canoes". Mike has some really informative articles about 'Huron' canoes on his blog that you may want to check for your restoration. I'm new to all of of this but I'm really keen on learning the history of canoe building and particularly about the old Quebecois builders. Bienvenue et Bonne Chance!

  14. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Great work. We find it easy to envy another person's canoe. It is even easier to envy another person's TIME to work on a canoe. Yes, I am envious.
  15. OP

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My woodworking skills keep growing with each new project and I have been doing it for a couple of decades now and do hope to continue to do so until I no longer can. I also do relief wood carving when I get inspired. I've painted wildlife and done wood burning on my paddles too. Always learning, always trying something new.

    Time I have plenty of, no family where I live, no relationship, no children, just my job which is 4, 10 hour days leaving 3 day weekends every week. Although I don't get home til 6pm every work day, I do try to spend an hour working in the basement every night. Since I will have time to do other things once this project moves into canvas filling stage, I hope to laminate a seat for this to-be solo boat and I can put another couple of coats of varnish on the stripper I built last year.

    When a project ends, I am always looking for the next one, although I do have two waiting for me, an aluminium fishing boat I bought last fall that needs all the wood replaced and I have a 20 year old truck I have to motor out of that needs attention as well. I lack the funding for all these additional projects and the ongoing refurb is the least expensive of what I am doing.

    Basically, I have time for projects because I don't have a life.
  16. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I think you're proving what K. Grahame said In Wind in the Willows: Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.....and I'd say you have more than a life....
  17. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Yeah, what Woodncanvas said...
  18. Larry Westlake

    Larry Westlake Designer/Builder

    Nice work. You seem to have a very organised and confident approach.

    I don't see that anyone has answered this, so I will. I always apply linseed oil with about 20-30% solvent added. The fumes from that solvent are a real fire hazard if you have two gas appliances nearby. I once had an ignition event from a mere hotplate which I had thought was safe enough (since no open flame).

    I would not risk it in your situation. Even in warm weather and venting, I think those pilot lights should be turned off before you do it. The amount of solvent shipped in the linseed oil is negligible, so I think it would be safe to apply straight, but I believe it will build too thickly and go gummy if applied unthinned - can someone else confirm or deny this?

    The epoxy on your stripper was not a hazard because those fumes aren't flammable (except for the cleanup solvents).

    Larry Westlake
  19. Danroy

    Danroy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Karin
    Thanks for your reply and I have to agree with the two previous posts. With regards to the linseed oil application I personally would not apply it undiluted and would definitely apply it in a well ventilated area away from any spark, flame or heat source. The WCHA needs an active and ongoing membership to continue telling the world about all these builders/restorers and their creations.
  20. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Two issues here. One is that while the linseed oil is not dangerous around open flame the solvent definitely is and I'd not want to even pour turpentine in a basement with open flame. I don't know how big the basement or if any ventilation is possible. My experience shows that turpentine is close to gasoline in term of "vapor pressure" which is the technical term. It is definitly more volatile than kerosene or diesel.
    The second issue is the dicussion over "does it do any good and is is really necessary?" There is much on this site from persons who say the "boat juice" treatment is of no value. consider.

    Last, ditto woodcanvas, I'll take your life any day.

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