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1935 Thompson Hiawatha

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Thomas Baumberger, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    I know that you are moving forward in the correct direction, good move. Although your canoe may not be rare, its got a really cool story attached to it. How cool would it be to take it back to the lake that the young man sailed it on and sail it in his memory! I say, restore it to original, he would be proud!!!! Dont alter its history, it would be a shame.;)

  2. martin ferwerda

    martin ferwerda LOVES Wooden Canoes

    For the stems with lots of holes, I sometimes will dip round wood toothpicks in epoxy and push them into the holes as a wood filler, tacks or staples tend to go into the wood better than epoxy. If the stems are really bad, you can take the stem face back a bit and glue on a new face strip so there is a fresh face for the tacks/staples.
  3. OP
    Thomas Baumberger

    Thomas Baumberger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Strengthening Internal Hiawatha Stems

    Chris and Martin,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yes, I will restore the canoe to its original configuration and take it for a paddle and sail on Lake Waubesa in honor of that young man who gave everything for his Country.

    I'll have to get a new sail made somewhere. Not sure where:confused: ? Fortunately, they can use the old fragile sail for a pattern. I also noticed they only put one bolt in each side of the sail thwart. I believe I should put at least one more bolt in each side of the sail thwart.

    Martin, I am thinking about mixing some hardwood saw dust into the liquid epoxy and pushing it into the stem holes along with the toothpicks. I might even try to make up some of my own hardwood toothpicks to make it a bit stronger.

    Martin, can you tell me a little more on your procedure for taking the stem back and placing a facing strip on it. How far do you take it back? Do you use something like a belt sander? What type of wood should I use for a face strip that would be flexible enough to bend and glue on. I assume a steamed or soaked piece of wood would be to wet to glue.

    Perhaps I should use the same procedure on old nail and screw holes in the tops of the cedar ribs, i.e. put some little cedar plugs in with epoxy, or just mix up some white cedar sawdust with the epoxy and force it into the holes.

    Also, do you think I should make these repairs before I have the canoe stripped? They power wash the canoe out after stripping, and it seems it would be best to keep the moisture out of those holes in the stems especially.

    Do you think I should cut out the cracked section on the one outwale and splice in a new section, or attempt soak epoxy into the crack somehow:confused: ?

    By the way, Martin, would you be interested in building me, or sending me a diagram on how to build, a clamp-on style portage yoke for the Hiawatha:) ? Would you have any interest in rebuilding my broken stern seat? The hand cane is also shot on the stern seat. I don't have a woodworking shop of my own, but can probably get into one or more friends shops on occasion:eek: .

    One of my friends makes cedar/epoxy/glass stripper canoes and I should be able to seal and varnish the canoe in his dust controlled varnish area. Persoally, I'm a wood/canvas or all wood stripper purist myself, but he is a nice guy and does some nice work. I believe I'll do all the sealing and varnishing before canvassing and painting.

    I am excited about this project, and plan to do more restorations and some wood canvas canoe building in the future. However, I don't yet have a shop up, but believe I can get through this project with some help. Hopefully, I can get a garage/workshop built in the next year.

  4. martin ferwerda

    martin ferwerda LOVES Wooden Canoes

    There was an article a long while ago about this in Wooden Canoe with the entire procedure outlined. Taking a stem face back means for the most part freeing up the planking from the stems so you can glue on a new face, usually 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick ash, you want to avoid gluing the planking to the new face strip. You can use a belt sander or spoke shave, but you need access to it free of the planking, so it is a bit of work, but if the stems are sound I would go with filling in the holes and keep things simple.

    For the cracked outwale, I would try to epoxy the crack if it is not too bad, cracks and splits are part of owning a wood canoe. A good way to get epoxy into the crack is with a hair drier, just work the epoxy in and go over it with a hair drier from the back side, the heat will thin the epoxy and help pull it into the crack.

    For a clamp on yoke, I have been using the Mad River BWCA Universal Yoke, REI sells them, and they work fine.

    I would make repairs after stripping and I do not know if strippers affect epoxy or not, but if you do it after, then it is not an issue.

    Fixing the seat is no problem, send me an email and we can work it out, my email is available by clicking on my name in these threads, and then "View Public Profile".
  5. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut


    I was just reading this thread, and I noticed that you have mentioned that the stripper will power wash the canoe. I did that ONCE and it was a huge mistake. White cedar seems to be a little too soft to power wash except on the lowest possible setting. I'd perhaps consider having them NOT power wash it.

  6. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Unless they've changed their ways, V&L uses a standard garden hose sprayer, not a pressure washer. Based on the results I got with them, there is no need for a pressure washer.
  7. OP
    Thomas Baumberger

    Thomas Baumberger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    1935 Thompson Hiawatha Restoration

    Martin, Mark, and Dan,

    Thanks for the good advice!

    Yes, I think the stems are sound enough that I'll just put some sawdust epoxy mix and wood picks into the old holes.

    I guess there is a "liquid epoxy" that is more fluid than the two part paste epoxy that you mix up. That should penetrate better I would think. Are you guys aware of this and can you recommend a good brand.

    I guessing that the just spray the canoe out with good garden hose pressure, if they have gone to power washing, I'll make sure they use just regular hose pressure on the canoe.

    I'll try to follow this response up with some photos of my progress if I can get the pictures downloaded tonight.

  8. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    You may want to check out a copy of Todd Bradshaw's book, Canoe Rig, which should make you even more excited about having a sail canoe!
  9. OP
    Thomas Baumberger

    Thomas Baumberger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Photos - 1935 Hiawatha Restoration

    Kathryn, I'll have to check out that book since it has been a long time since I have sailed. I have never sailed a canoe:eek: .

    Here are some photos!:cool: I'll send them in two consecutive responses. The second batch shows the holes in the stems.


    Attached Files:

  10. OP
    Thomas Baumberger

    Thomas Baumberger Curious about Wooden Canoes

    More Photos - 1935 Thompson Hiawatha Restoration

    Here is the second batch.

    Attached Files:

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