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Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by dskomsky, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. dskomsky

    dskomsky New Member

    living on the shores of Hudson bay I find it fitting to be the proud owner of of 2 nor-west canoes, a 24 ft. that needs canvasing and a 22 ft. that was rescued from being cut into pieces and taken to the local dump it has a gaping hole in one side but solid other than that .
    There is a lot of history connected with these boats and many stories that I hope to hear as I move forward with repairs . The fort Severn project has been my biggest inspiration so far . that being said the reason for my post..
    In the past year and a half I have done a tremendous amount of research including these forums looking for a definitive answer to the canvas and epoxy question . I see the pros and cons of traditional fillers vs. epoxy fillers with classic canoes and if that's what I had I probably would go with a more traditional train of thought , but I don't . they are nor west freighters, work horses that are being cast aside for the shiny aluminum rides . my hope is to save a few of these learn some things along the way and hopefully spark some interest in others to repair these in the future .
    so here are my thoughts .
    • repair prep fair and seal the wooden hull with a linseed or marine varnish , wax the wooden surface then stretch the canvas as it is normally done .
    • fill the canvas using west system 650 epoxy .. I contacted west system explaining in detail what I wanted to do . they said that this product would work but said most people adhere the canvas to the wooden hull and thought that the wood might slip around in the shell . I then explained that the keel and 4 other boards will be fastened to the bottom of the boat, spray rails and gunwales at the top. not wanting to adhere the canvas to the hull to facilitate future repairs. they said this would work
    • I have purchased 24 oz. canvas as nor west uses , they also use an epoxy filler at the factory. but the person that I spoke with said they coat the hull with epoxy then stretch the canvas on wet epoxy and the fill with 2 more coats of epoxy - sand and paint. I was quite surprised with his answer and it stopped me in my tracks
    • so at this point I have all of my materials to repair and re canvas 2 freighters except for filler and paint . the Ice doesn't go out until mid June , materials take 2 to4 weeks or more to get here and that still gives me time to dig them out of the snow .
    Give me your thoughts and any resources for these freighters. someone should write a book on them .
  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    The first thing I'd do is a bit of experimenting to what using 650 epoxy (WEST G-Flex) on scrap canvas is like. How much does it take? How deep will it penetrate the cloth? What sort of surface should you expect it to leave? What does it take in terms of the number of coats needed in order to get enough coating thickness to be able to sand it smooth, as unsanded epoxy coating usually has a lot of orange-peel texture which isn't very nice looking? It would be nice to have a decent idea of what you're in for before you have 24' of it on your hands.
  3. OP

    dskomsky New Member

    Thank you Todd I will do some experimenting and see what I end up with. It all makes sense in my head .
  4. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow member since 1980

    I would not epoxy the canvas to the wood hull. Apply several coats of varnish to the outside of the hull, give it a light sanding just to smooth it up a bit and give it a heavy coat of paste wax. Then you canvas the hull and apply the epoxy with out worrying about the canvas being glued to the hull.

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