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Filling stems

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Craig Johnson, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    So I just finished filling another canoe and the part that is always the trickiest for me is making the cut edge of the canvas along the stems disappear. I have seen others on this forum ask about this also. I try to get the edge to fall underneath of the stem-band but usually it is to one side and not completely covered by it.First I take a little bit of white glue and carefully work it under the loose edge of the canvas being careful not to get it all over. Then with a heat gun to speed up drying I use my finger to tightly press down the edge so it is as smooth as possible. Then what I have been doing is this, when I open a can of filler which is always settled out, I pour off all the liquid on top and then dig down to the hardest sediment at the bottom of the can and grab a glob. this will seem like it is too dry and crumbly but if you kneed it a bit it will liquify to about the consistency of very thick pancake batter. After I fill I use this to build up over the canvas edge and fill in any irregularities along the stem.The problem is even as thick as it is it still tends to sag a bit. So today I was waiting for my brother to show up to give me a hand and I thought I would try filling the stems first while I waited. The raw canvas absorbed some of the mineral spirits in the filler and it held its shape better. Then I filled the rest of the canoe and re-smoothed the stems after each coat and ended up with a better result this time.

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