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1944 Old Town HW 16

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Just1moredave, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    My dad bought this canoe used in 1967, with three paddles and an outboard motor for $125. He fiberglassed it in 1969. This shot is from around then.

    [​IMG]64827075_10157229898531171_7847395627683020800_o by Dave, on Flickr

    We used it a lot and it might have been varnished once or twice. A second layer of fiberglass was added in the 80s to slow down leaks. It was retired around 1993 with the idea that it should be restored. Someone bought the book and that was about it.

    I started working on it a couple of years ago. The fiberglass came off easy. The sides didn't look that bad. About 8 ribs had obvious rot. The bottom planking was pretty bad.

    [​IMG]IMGB7705 by Dave, on Flickr

    That's when I learned about steel tacks. They don't just rust. The rust expands, making a bigger hole. The rusty water solution dissolves the lignin which is holding the wood fibers together. Only a few tacks rusted through and broke, but none of them could be pulled without massive damage to the surrounding wood.

    My fix was to replace a lot of wood. All the ribs between the stem ends are new. Most of the planks between stems are new. I replaced the cant ribs and most of the plank ends at the stem. Also new stem ends, gunwales, seats, keel and two thwarts. I patched tack holes in old planks with inlays. It's very strong now. It looks strange without canvas, though:

    [​IMG]IMGC3109 by Dave, on Flickr

    Then the usual interior varnish (Epifanes), canvas, filler and paint. I recreated a version of rope seats that my dad made with a weave pattern from This Old Canoe. And in only two years, it was done.

    [​IMG]IMG00103 by Dave, on Flickr

    It even floats.

    [​IMG]IMGC6988 by Dave, on Flickr

    PS Sometimes people post about their canoes without photos, and a reply asks for pictures because "we like pictures". So if those pictures aren't enough, I have an album of almost 300 pictures and six bad videos. I'm in Colorado and my family is on the east coast so I explained what I'm doing in great detail.
    pklonowski, mccloud, JimT and 2 others like this.
  2. Ron Bedard

    Ron Bedard Curious about Wooden Canoes

    In Charlestown, Ma. Old Ironsides (U.S.S. Constitution) is the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy. She has undergone so many renovations and restorations that the experts aren't sure whether there's any original wood left in her.
    Your canoe is even prettier than Old Ironsides. Those skillful repairs must have been hard to cover with the canvas.
    Hats off to you.
  3. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Nice work Dave.
    The canoe looks great, and seeing it back in the water even better.

  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Good Job Dave! I had the "Ship of Theseus" quandary with my first canoe. and ended up replacing all the planking(never again). If you ever want to go for a paddle... I'm in east Denver.
  5. OP

    Just1moredave Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    The part I thought was "skillful" was getting the deck tip, inwales and stem to meet up in a joint. It's too bad that gets covered up.

    Ever watch Leo Goolden restoring Tally Ho? He came up with a nice explanation. Over time, a lot of parts might have been replaced in ordinary maintenance. He's just catching up with deferred maintenance, all at once. (Sounds better than "I've spent two years and all my money to get this far, it makes sense to do it this way and I'm not stopping now.")

    I hope to do a lot of paddling later in August. Slightly cooler weather would be nice! Also either I am not as strong as I used to be or the canoe now weighs a hundred pounds. I was thinking about a yoke - someone added a center thwart right there - but no way I am ever putting this canoe on my shoulders. I think I can make a cart and something else to get it on and off my truck safely. So I might catch back up with you later. I don't know anything about where to canoe in the area.
  6. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I've been canoeing the lake in City Park because it's an easy after-work thing. I really need a permit tag for Denver... but I'm taking my chances this year.

    Bar Lake might be a good one. Bear Creek too.

    We went out to Chatfield last weekend with some friends with an Aluma Craft. It was a bit of a s**t show. Too many powerboats.

    As for mountain lakes... we've been up to Dillon, Jefferson, and Terryall.

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