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1947 Old Town

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Dsliger, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Dsliger

    Dsliger Curious about Wooden Canoes


    Today has been exciting, Benson has already hooked me up with all the history on my new, but old, Old Town Canoe. Now it’s time to get down to business.

    This is my first remodel, but I THINK I’m skilled enough to do the job. Think being the key word in that sentence... haha anyways looking forward to the challenge.

    What I know:
    1.) I have at least one broken rib.
    The varnish is all chipping in pilling so it’s hard to see at first glance. The only reason I know this is because I flipped it upside down to look at the bottom And noticed and little inward bow. Flipped it back over found the rib. With that being said when I pull the canvas am I going to find the cedar broken into a million pieces?
    2.) Somebody did a fiberglass job on the back... Read some post on here that say heat to get it off.. what’s the best and easiest way without damaging the planks, I don’t know what they look like so I don’t want to start tugging on it and pull a huge chunk off.

    What I don’t know:
    1.) Where to start....
    Clean the inside scrape and sand all the old varnish off? Or do I start with trying to pull the old canvas and FG off? Pull the gunwales? This is where I need a little help!

    This is the picture from when I got it. It’s stored inside now, planning to start working on it this weekend!

    Thank you in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek Have dog, will paddle

    Start here:
    And here:

    I am also working on an 18' square-stern Old Town canoe with sponsons that was pretty rough looking to start ( Remove the canvas, the cedar planking may be rotted in some parts but probably won't be broken into a million pieces.

    Advice given to me by people with experience: Strip the varnish very gently, don't sand it off. Outwales will need to come off, but leave the inwales intact if at all possible. Also, don't remove that keelson ( and most importantly, take your time and enjoy the process.

    The sponson haters will arrive with their pitchforks soon - stay strong! ;)

    You are! Good luck!!! :)
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
    Dsliger likes this.
  3. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Fiberglass could have been done with two types of resin - polyester or epoxy. Heat will soften either but epoxy is tougher. Use patience because just when you think you can just yank it off, you find a part where it's stuck really well. The outwales and keel if you have one should have been attached after canvassing, but fiberglassers sometimes had their own creative ideas. I had to heat and chip resin out of a lot of outwale screw heads.
  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    As it's been said... Take your time. Plan and research your next move. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. You'll be fine.

    The two books mentioned by Shari are very good and will tell you how to do nearly everything that you'll encounter if you read them and not just look at the pictures. ;)
  5. OP

    Dsliger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Almost a year from the time I wrote this, I finally started!! Over the year I bought a house with a garage big enough to host this kind of project and it’s begun!

    The bad news is that everything under the sponsons must have been coated with resin because it’s not coming off without a fight... a big one...I have read on here about a heat gun and patience... but I don’t know... any advices on getting this stuff off? Maybe hand said it?

    It does have some rotten places on it also...
  6. OP

    Dsliger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Here’s some pics

    Attached Files:

  7. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    You got it...heat gun and patience. There's a reason many of us have sworn off stripping glass from hulls, only to keep doing it over and over again. On the last one I did I actually managed to get my wife to help.... I caught her sitting down on the job. It's hard to get good help.

    Attached Files:

    Dsliger likes this.
  8. OP

    Dsliger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I highly doubt my better half will be lending a hand either lol
  9. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    My bride has helped in the shop from time to time. Removal of 'glass is one chore that I particularly appreciate her help. And it goes so much easier with a helper. Sanding, btw, is not going to get it done. The heat gun is, if you ask me, the only way to do it. Nice looking garage.

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