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Bedding Compound Options?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Gary, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Gary

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Hi, I just finished putting the stem bands on my canoe so almost done it's restoration. I have always used Sikaflex bedding compound which is excellent for preventing any water leaking in and as an adhesive helps to keep the stem bands and/or keel affixed while preventing any leaks through the screws. It is horrible to work with though, very messy and difficult to wipe off and clean up afterwards is only through solvents. Although this may also be attributed to my ineptness! Any suggestions for other options?
    Thanks, Gary
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Any bedding compound is messy and needs a solvent for clean up. I use both traditional and Sika bedding compounds.
    I think over the years I’ve learned to use it more sparingly, making for less overflow. For better control of the stuff in smaller areas like the stem band, I pack it into a syringe and apply it from there.
    Other than that, I can’t think of any way to make it a cleaner process.
    Gary likes this.
  3. OP

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Thanks Dave I like the syringe idea, what are you referring to by traditional bedding compounds? I like the Sigurd Olson quote by the way, big fan of his books.
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I buy syringes from Jamestown Distributors. I use both sizes that they sell, but mostly the smaller size. They are great for injecting epoxy or Tite Bond as well.
  5. dogbrain

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    I used boatyard bedding compound. It goes on easy and cleanup is trivial.

  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Gary, Sika is a synthetic rubbery adhesive that is good for bedding and bonding. The traditional bedding compound is an oil based mixture similar to plumbing putty.
    The traditional bedding is touted to stay flexible and seal for many years. However, I have pulled many stems and keels that had had rock hard bedding.
    I use traditional bedding, like Dolfinite or Boatyard Bedding in areas like outer stems and brass stem bands. Those parts may be likely to be removed at some point. The traditional bedding is easier to remove than the Sika and it’s adhesive properties.
    For those that used and now miss the Dolfinite Mahogany colored bedding, it is available at Sandusky Paints.
  7. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have used Dolphinite for stem bands. It too is messy, but cleans up easily with paint thinner.

    I have used Life Calk polysulfide as a bedding compound for keels, because it can be painted. However, on a recent keel bedding project, the Kirby paint would not dry on the Life Calk overflow. I also tried Pettit Precoat primer with no better results. Not sure what the deal is, but I will be using Sikaflex 221 for that application in the future.

  8. OP

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Thank you all, very informative, looks like I'll stick (literally) to my original choice of Sikaflex but try the syringe application. Dave have you heard Thoreau's quote of "Everyone must believe in something, I believe I'll go canoeing" Another favourite of mine.

    Cheers, Gary
  9. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    My 2 cents worth. DAP caulking compound is water soluble until it sets up. It easily cleans up with water leaving no mess or solvent damage. It quickly drys to become water proof. I have used it on over 100 canoes with no issues or come backs. It is cheap to purchase. It is paintable. For keels and stem bands it works great plus it comes in clear, white or brown.
    Gary likes this.
  10. OP

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Thanks Dave, great idea, I'll give it a try. Caulking, specially bedding compound and I don't get along very well!
  11. rbudge

    rbudge Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Dave, you are completely right. I have also used Dap caulking as a bedding compound for stem bands and keels, maybe 12 or 15 times. Works perfectly, cheap, clean, paintable. Five years later it is still flexible. It is perfectly suitable for our kind of boats. We are not dealing with boats that go in the salt water and stay there for years.
  12. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Anything that squeezes out from the keel or other places like that. Take a piece of hard thin plastic like yogurt cup plastic . Maybe 3'' square fold it in half with a sharp crease down the center. open to about 90 degrees . Now run that down between the keel and the hull and it scoops up anything that has squeezed out. You'll have to wipe it off every few feet. You'll be amazed it cleans up 90% of any compound that comes out. Kind of like a 90 degree putty knife.
  13. Craig Allen

    Craig Allen Curious about Wooden Canoes

    One thing I learned in the sailboat building industry when it comes to bedding compounds, whatever mechanical fasteners are being used, don't tighten down on them all the way. Just tighten enough so that the compound squeezes out a bit and then let it cure. After curing, then tighten down on the fasteners which creates an incredibly watertight bond.

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