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Old Town Wooden canoe refinnishing, recanvasing etc.

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Doug, May 27, 2012.

  1. Doug

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Just given an old town canoe, wood,
    Canvas cover has been removed and need to redo
    Wood is in good shape,although very dry almost powdery. Needs to be refinnished.
    All original parts appear to be present although removed when canvas was removed.

    Questions, ( I am getting ID Information Number 17 5048 16 from other forum):Wood is very dry as finnish is mostly worn off
    1. To restore wood and get a little more moisture into wood is using Boiled Linseed oil ok.
    2. To refinniish wood plan to use a poly type spar varnish, probably gloss. ( Can this be applied over Linseed ?
    3. Is it ok to use a ppoly varnish on outside of canoe under the canvas? ( Idea another layer of protection. )
    4. Filler.
    There are a couple of inches of punk wood at top of bow and stern stem. I do not plan to remove decks as they are in great shape except for the leading edge near the stems. Ideas on fixing this small area ( probably about 2inches long by 1.5 inches wide V shaped Plan: Clean out punk wood, seal edges, cut wedges ( What type of wood? ) to fit, glue in place with epoxy, sand, finnish etc. any other ideas ?
    5. There are a couple of bullett holes in planks, small pencil size, ( No broken ribs) Plan fill with epoxy sand and refinnish with rest of canoe ( Any other ideas? )
    6. Pros and cons, Canvas, dacron, fiberglass, covers
    7. Original Decal still visable, how to protect it during refinishing? Ideas
    Thank you !!.
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    1. It is a common practice to apply thinned BLO to the exterior of the hull. Be warned that it darkens over time, so perhaps best not to use on the interior. Tung oil is more expensive, but won't darken the way BLO does. My preference is for thinned spar varnish. There has been much discussion of this in these forums, so search around a bit.

    2. Do not use poly varnish. You will have problems down the road when it comes time to refinish. Stick with good traditional marine spar varnishes, like Z-Spar Captain's or Epifanes. Some folks use Man'O'War as well.

    3. Ok to varnish hull exterior, but again, no poly.

    4. Filler - lots of options. See the filler page here: - I use either the Old Town unleaded recipe, or Ekofill, depending. Filler is also available from several of our Builders and Suppliers (

    4a. for stem repairs, scarf in new wood. Several examples should be found in these forums.

    5. Dutchmen.

    6. Stick with canvas. Search the forums for why not to use fiberglas, and other discussions about the use of Dacron.

    7. If you are stripping the finish, you may not be able to save the decal. Reproductions are available from WCHA. You could try covering with packing tape. If just sanding, don't sand to hard over the decal, just enough to scuff the covering varnish so it can adhere.

    Stay tuned, lots more options and opinions are probably headed this way!
  3. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    THANKS, CRANKY !. Dragonfly s are unique
  4. frogahern

    frogahern frogahern

    Bullit holes? Is that really your canoe? There must be a story there. Tell us! Cheers Mike
  5. OP

    Doug Curious about Wooden Canoes

    1. I was not in the canoe when it was used for target practice.!!, My wife was told by a "friend" I was shot at by revenuers after my still< ( Except I dont drink!) Actually it was stored in an old abandoned barn and someone shot the windows with a ??22?? and some hit the canoe.

    2. Thanks for the info>

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