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Start up questions ? Restoration and re canvasing

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Doug, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks al.

  2. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Back again , found a place with what looks like good prices on #10 Cotton Duck.
    It comes in varoius widths but also different colors.
    Any one see any advantage or disadvantage to a colored duck ?
    My thinking is since is is going to be filled and painted it might as well be the white .and the colored might react to the filler
  3. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    They also have a #8 Duck, which would be heavier and more corse correct. ? Any one with an opinion ?
  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    From where I sit it looks like Dan summed this up for you pretty well last month. Dan has hammered a few tacks:

    "3. You want canvas duck, usually No. 10 (which is not the same as 10 ounce). Painter's drop cloth or artist canvas is not suitable. You can sometimes get No. 10 duck from a tent and awning place, otherwise mail order it from one of the WCHA Builder Suppliers ("

    Someone suggested Northwoods....I agree. Call them or one of the other suppliers and listed ( )
    These builder/suppliers do more than sell materials...they share their knowledge and experience.
    Rollin is on boat number 1,000......That's a pedigree that few (aside from him, you will see that he chimes in and why I am growing a clinching iron belly) trafficking this site can offer.
  5. ian

    ian Curious about Wooden Canoes

    i wonder if #8 isn't over-kill for most contemporary applications -- i mean if you're not cracking ribs and planks every season it's probably unnecessary weight -- most 'damage' now happens over time and in storage and most canvas canoes are not used in the way that heavy-duty boats of the past would be -- tho some still are, and i applaud that

    i would be skeptical of any line that included colour as a option, you want 'untreated' canvas -- no UV, Fire, or waterproofing...for tent and baggage these are value-adds -- for canoes you want to apply your own 'treatment' -- that is filler...
  6. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I think number 10 is the most often used. For most canoes I like number 12. It is slightly lighter, slightly easier to aply and still quite tough. I've used number 8 for rowboats and it's more difficult to work with. For more rugged applications like a possible tripping/expedition canoe I'd use Dacron that Gil has. It's real tough and impervious to rot. It is more difficult to work with but not that bad. For a regular canoe I think most would agree that 8 is overkill.
  7. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok #10 it is now a new question :).

    I have< I hope attached some pictures. for the wood parts of the canoe which were off when I got it. The keel and inwall. outwalls I know . But on the paper are some parts I cant identify .
    It was suggested before they may be a short type water line or keel type thing but there are no cooresponding holes in the hull or sides I can find. They are both slightly rounded on one side and look like they might be from some sort of seam or maybe a round over for the canvas ? ( They do not run the length of the canoe . Any ideas ?
    There are two and they have what looks like screw holes evenly spaced.

    To add to some other information, I found that in getting the spline out of the cained seat If I go and every inch drill a small hole thru the spine ( Short of the bottom , and use a viniger/ water c solution let it stand for a while) The spline is " easier" to remove


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  8. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Really hard to tell. Looks like a keel may be there and I wonder if they could be the outside trim/outwale to sponsons?
  9. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Sometimes when canvas deteriorates, the canvas tears and separates from the hull right under the outwales. Sometimes strips are placed right under the outwales to clamp or hold (temporarily) the canvas in place. The two strips with the series of holes (nail or screw?) may be such strips -- sort of thin extra outwales just to hold the canvas on. Depending on the length of the canvas tear, the holding strips would not have to be full length. Just a guess.

    Alternatively, these may be old parts (or broken parts of old parts) that have been removed and replaced (inwales, outwales, cap rails??) People sometimes hold on to such things and pass them along when selling a canoe -- some fragments of in- and outwales came with an old Morris canoe when I acquired it.

    Now that you know how to post photos, maybe you could put up a few pictures of the canoe these pieces are related to? They might help with a diagnosis.
  10. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    It's a 1960s canoe, and according to the record did not have sponsons. I would follow Greg's suggestion that they are a later addition, installed just under the outwale, to hold on a canvas that was separating from the rail, as is very common.
  11. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I think Greg and Dan might be accurate.
    I cant find any corresponding holes and the holes spacing does not match the ribs spacing.
    They do more or less conform to the sweep of the canoe.
    Bottom line : I guess they are not that critical and are some sort of add on.
    Thanks ALL !.
  12. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Here again !!. Decal question

    Attached is a picture , I hope, of a deck and the original old town decal.

    1. Here are the questions . How important is it to keep the original decal if possible? I can re do ( strip and varnish most of the deck and " leave the decal' , SPLICE IN A NEW TIP ( See the split in the original deck thru the decal, not fixed well).

    Or I can build a new deck with no decal ( Or maybe fix the split in a less noticable way).

    MY GOAL IS TO use as many of the original parts as possible, my wife thinks I am getting obsessive.

    2. Also , any sources for T50 9/16 stainless staples or munro ? ) ( looked on line no find.

    I find 5/16 but not the 9/16 ( I have found 1/2.)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  13. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Doug --

    How about a few “before” pictures of this canoe, so we can see just what you have now, and what a great job you have done when you post the “after” pictures?

    What you do here with the deck is really a matter of how obsessive you want to be. Your canoe is not a rare antique, but a relatively modern (1965), relatively common (16’ Guide) canoe. It seems to me there is no compelling reason to preserve every little bit of original fabric, such as the decal.

    That being said, there is also no compelling reason the replace, rather than repair, something like the deck, assuming a repair is readily done. However, if repair entailed great expense or undue amounts of time or effort, or if you want the canoe to look factory fresh, you could certainly consider making a replacement.

    If it were me, I would not worry about preserving that decal, because for $6 you can get an accurate reproduction decal, approved by Old Town, from the WCHA online store.

    I have preserved an original decal on a paddle that I was refinishing -- but the varnish over and around the decal was clean, unstained, and in good shape, so it was easy to mask the area around the decal, strip the rest of the paddle, sand the varnish over the decal very lightly, and revarnish the whole thing.

    Your original decal is stained, dirty, and torn. As best can be determined from your picture, the varnish covering the decal is not in good shape. Preserving this decal just doesn’t seem worth the effort, especially since it would likely not look good compared to the rest of a newly painted, newly varnished canoe.

    Restoring the deck looks like it is readily manageable -- again, just judging from what can be seen in the photo. What you need to do would depend on the nature of the crack -- is it just a slight surface check, or broken nearly or all the way through? The odds are that at least some evidence of the crack will remain after the repair, but not such as would detract from the appearance of the refinished deck and canoe.

    I’d probably opt for repairing the deck with a new decal. After a few coats of varnish on the deck, place the decal, then cover with more varnish.

    9/16” stainless staples are available from Amazon:,k:stainless+staples+T50+9/16

    or from Jamestown Distributors:

    or probably from other sources.

    I’m not sure that monel staples come any longer than ½”. Are you sure that you need 9/16”? If so, I think you are limited to SS.

  14. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes


    Yah, The deck is split all the way thru with a poor repair, the decal is not so good, and it is not an " antique " canoe. I might be able to repair the deck but I can not save the decal. so I will probably try repairing the deck and if I fail use it as a template to replace . Get a new decal . Unless others have other options, which i am sure are " out THere"" ( smile.
  15. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    You're not being obsessive, you're being passionate. That makes it okay! :)
  16. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    And for the record, there's nothing wrong with a bit of obsession -- obsession makes the world go 'round!

  17. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Pictures requested and more questions !

    Picture0 96 and0 71 is the bow which I have taken apart . I am putting in a new top to the bow stem and replacing the bad parts of the inwall.
    As i position the new sections it appears the deck and inwalls sweep up and over the top of the stem and end a little in front . Does that appear accurate ?
    Now the next pictures 97 and 70 is the stern and it appears the deck and inwallls stop at the stem and it is like a thru tennon. It appears t o be is a different configuration
    Does any one know why they would have two different types of joints at the bow and stern where the stem meets the deck etc ?
    72 and 715 are before pictures :).

    Attached Files:

  18. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    rebuilding deck

    After fiddling with the deck ( in picture above I have decided to put in a new one.
    The issue I am having ( whats new? :) is that the deck has a very woounderful up ward sweep towards the bow. It apears inthe original that this is bent in an upward sweep. towards the bow, It also appears slightly crowned.

    So how have folks duplicated this deck? ?

    ( there is also a curve along the edge of the deck which the inwall follows ( I am replacing about 14 inches of inwall on each side but I have that ok more or less but it also sweeps up along the deck towards the bow.

    Thanks DOUG
  19. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    From the pictures provided it doesn't look like you need to replace anywhere near 14" of each inwale. You only need to replace what's rotted off or broken. Don't cut them off past the length of the deck unless absolutely necessary. The decks serve a purpose which is to hold things together and it will work a whole lot better if they are screwed through the original inwale rather than a spliced and glued on repair. As far as the deck itself goes, Old Town used to steam and bend the decks to get the curve. There is a discussion about it in Stelmocks book if I recall correctly. Most of us who only restore the occasional canoe start out with a thicker piece of wood and cut the curve in rather than trying to bend it. The crowned curves are simply cut with rasps, planes, drawknife or similar tools before you install it on the boat. Jut my 2 cents worth. Good luck.

    Jim C.
  20. smithb

    smithb New Member

    Is there an alternative to canvas??

    Hi all, I have been reading through all of these posts and am learning a lot. I am also working on restoring an old cedar and canvas "Chestnut" and consider myself lucky since my wood is in pretty good shape. I can see that some work has been done to the sides at the thwart area but it is all real sound and with new filler, the outer shell should be good to go. I will strip and re-stain all of the inside wood of course but am considering using "Rhino Hide" (usually used for truck bed liners) instead of canvas. I called a local company that does the spraying and the guy thought it would be a perfect application for the product since it is super strong and will bond to the wood very well and is waterproof. He said that the coating can be applied in a smooth finish and can be colored green as I requested. This should eliminate the concerns of mold and rot and I expect that the weight would be reduced as well. I know it is not the authentic way to do it and all but I am looking for some real durability. I can't see my wife hopping out in knee deep water to avoid touching canvas to the shoreline rocks and I am concerned about how easy it is to damage canvas. Rhino Hide will allow for that kind of strength and can be repaired if need be. I think it would be hard to tell the difference by looking once my gunnels and keel are back on. For that matter, I doubt anyone would be able to tell even by touching and tapping.
    What do you think?

    Attached Files:

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