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Building a frame to stretch canvas

Discussion in 'Guestbook' started by thechief, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. thechief

    thechief Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I'm in a predicament. I restored my first wood and canvas canoe in a 19th century carriage house with heavy wood walls and ceilings this time I'm doing it in limited space no way that I can think of to attach the canoe to a strong wall or object to pull and strech the canvas from. Is it possible to build a strong wooden frame to do the stretching? Basically I'm in the cinder block garage bay that I could put my car in. its a block garage. I have a solid wall in the front but I have a fiberglass traditional over head door in the front. Does anyone have any ideas? Could I build a frame of sorts? Over the closed Gargae door?
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I also work in my garage. It's framed but because of the doors I can't go wall to wall. Instead I have mounted hooks into the corners and stretch on a diagonal. It seems that you should be able to do the same with block if you are willing to bust out the masonry bits. There are probably a few other options using the doors, a few long boards and a truck...
    There are also other ways to stretch..if you poke around on this site you will read about stretching entirely by hand... I've not tried that and I'm not convinced that the canvas would be tight enough but there are others that will disagree.
    Let us know what you end up doing.
  3. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac In Memoriam

    One anchor point could be a 4x4 laying across the outside of the garage door frame. I did this once. I wonder if something similar could be done up against an inside wall with wedges driven against the ends of the 4x4? Tom McCloud
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    When I canvased in the garage, I just pulled against the side of a boat trailer on one end and my truck trailer hitch on the other, no problem.
    Your not trying to "kill" the canvas. Or you could do like Gil, and just install by hand, no stretching by clamps.

  5. OP

    thechief Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    thank you MGC & mccloud .I just started to disassemble Its never been apart. Im in NJ and have an unheated garage its been unseasonably cold but ill have it ready to canvas by spring. So far it doesn't look like there will be any repairs to do. I thought Id start getting some ideas so I'm ready once warm weather gets here. I defiantly don't want to have to leave the garage door open but both other ideas are feasible. The first time I didn't have to think about it. Not being a builder I am having trouble having faith nailing into block although I have done it. Ill continue to read more on this site. What a great forum! Thanks. Its a 1943 16' old town with sponsons, that part might be a little intimidating. I'm ready to take them off, very slowly with many pics. Hank Flowers
  6. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    As Dan said above, " Or you could do like Gil, and just install by hand, no stretching by clamps."

    A few pictures of Gil Cramer, helped by Mike Darga, at the 2014 Assembly, demonstrating how to stretch a canvas without clamps or anchors -- as you can see, the results are quite fine.

    s 100_5225.JPG s 100_5226.JPG s 100_5227.JPG s 100_5234.JPG s 100_5236.JPG s 100_5238.JPG s 100_5250.JPG
  7. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hank, In my first shop I had a cement floor. I took a 4x4 and drilled a 1/2 hole in the bottom inserted / epoxied a bolt and let it stick out a couple of inches. Then drilled a 1/2 hole in the floor with a masonry bit and it fit in like a pin in the floor. That kept the bottom of the 4x4 from moving and there's always something on the ceiling to fasten the top to. then I hung my come along from my standing 4x4. I'm in Branchville , the other end of the state from you if you have any questions. Dave
  8. OP

    thechief Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks everyone this feedback is a tremendous help. I don't know about streching by by hand but will delve into that a little more for sure.
    Dave I really like your idea! Drilling a couple holes in the cement floor just might be the ticket. Love your idea. That way I can strech exactly where it stands and exactly where id prefer to do the work.
    Thank you everyone
  9. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I like the upside down method. There is a great deal of discussion to be found on the forum about this method. Canvas the canoe upside down on two tall sawhorses. I have used a low point on the garage wall and a well placed automobile bumper for anchors. This method avoids the need for ceiling supports and weights in the canoe.

    Dan Lindberg likes this.
  10. OP

    thechief Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks I'll have read more about that. I'm novice for sure. I had never heard of that method.
    I just removed the canvas yesterday accept around the sponsons. I'm taking lots of photos. Being only my 2nd canoe and first with sponsons il really taking my time. It's been unseasonably cold which also keep the pace down.
  11. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Chief , I had to put these photos here I couldn't get them up on the other page. Their not great but it may help. 001.JPG 002.JPG 003.JPG 004.JPG
  12. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Like Fitz I use the upside down method. The photo shows everything set up to start tacking. The strap on the left goes to a tree and the one on the right to a bar set across the doorway. I've now done quite a few canvassings now - the last one took 3 1/2 hours from getting the boat outside to putting it back ready for the first coat of filler. On winter canvas jobs I have the bar on the other side of the doorway pulling across the garage to my vans tow hook outside the up and over door as seen on the second photo.

    Hope this is helpful

    DSC01005.JPG IMGP3755.JPG
  13. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Information on canvasing sponsons can be found at page 172 of The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration, and Maintenance by Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok. If you don't have this book (the bible, as it is sometimes known, of canoe restoration/repair), you would do well to at least get a look at it. Two other books to look at are Building the Maine Guide Canoe by Jerry Stelmok, and This Old Canoe: How To Restore Your Wood-Canvas Canoe, by Mike Elliott.

    The information you get by asking questions here (and questions are always welcome) is good, and often offers ways that are good alternates the the methods discussed in the books. But the books are an invaluable starting point.
    thechief likes this.

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