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Gaps in Planking

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Coanbu, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Coanbu

    Coanbu Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have just started cleaning out the canoe I pulled out of my parents barn to start fixing it up. It needs the ends fixed up and a few planks but not too much. There are quite a lot of gaps in the planking though. What are the best ways to address this?
     

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  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Well, the "best" way is to do nothing.
    They are not a problem when you put new canvas with filler and paint over the outside.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Coanbu

    Coanbu Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I do like problems I don't have to fix.
     
  4. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    One of the last canoes I restored suffered from the hands of a wanna-by restorer who felt he had to use plastic wood to fill all the gaps in the planking as well as all the other holes, chips & gouges that the canoe had accumulated. He must have used a putty knife to cram it in, and in doing so he left a thin layer of the stuff all over. It had all turned yellow with age; hard as a rock and ugly as hell. And a bitch to remove. As has been suggested - leave your canoe as it is. Do clean it well though.
     
  5. Tim Belcher

    Tim Belcher Apprentice

    I've been restoring a 1913 Old Town Charles River CS that someone covered with fiberglass and filled the gaps with something grey and hard. I removed all the exterior glass and interior varnish, but have not removed the filler between the planks. I'm replacing probably 1/3 to 1/2 of the planking, but the rest still has the filler in the gaps. Should I be digging it all out? Also curious about small gouges from removing tacks in the old planking, from the ribs I replaced, and whether I can get away with filling in the gouges with filler or should I (1) leave it alone or (2) replace that planking as well.
     
  6. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    If the stuff between the planking looks bad I'd get rid of what I can. Maybe a heat gun will help loosen or soften it.

    Do not fill in outside gouges. First, small divots won't show - they will not show through the canvas and filler. Also if the filler becomes loose it could cause its own problems.
     
  7. Tim Belcher

    Tim Belcher Apprentice

    Thanks. The goop between the planks that are left is pretty stable, so I'll go with leaving it. To quote Coanbu above, I do like problems I don't need to fix. Much appreciated.
     

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