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Canvas Canoe Restoration

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Tris, Jun 30, 2020.


Fiberglass or Canvas

Poll closed Jul 30, 2020.
  1. Fiberglass

    0 vote(s)
  2. Canvas

    15 vote(s)
  1. OP

    Tris Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks, Bruce. Power washing went ok. It’s a small Bosch unit I have. Not that powerful. I have and actually uncover a new small spot at the bottom where a wood plank was rotten. I will do my next cleaning following your advice.
    The trick will be to remove those 7 cracked ribs, shape the new ones, install them properly and maintain the smoothness on the hull. I still have to figure it out how.
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Keeping the hull shape is actually pretty easy. You will form the new ribs on the outside of the hull. Each replacement should get formed 1 1/2 or two ribs away from the location where it will go. That accounts for the planking thickness when you install them. Form them over the hull, clamp them in place and put pressure on them to keep them close to the hull. Let them sit for at least a few days and more if you have the patience. I like to let them sit for a week. Once they have been formed and set you can start replacing the ribs one at a time. The boat won't lose shape if you don't yank them all out at once. Backside repair is an option but for a boat that is not super rare or valuable there isn't much point to it. It's not much more effort to replace the rib. avoid chopping up planking to get at the back of the ribs. You need to span at least three ribs when you install a short piece of planking. You will need to open up the planks on each side of the crack to make room to work. Two of the visible ribs appear to be cracked in two places. Replace them first. It looks like a previous repair replaced at least one rib. In that area you have some small pieces of replaced planking. You might pull those and properly replace them with full width pieces.
  3. OP

    Tris Curious about Wooden Canoes

    This is fabulous. Thank you!
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I might add to Mike's comments,
    when I have my best luck getting new ribs in, I carefully measure the inside distance and then find the location on the outside that matched it, and that's where I bend the rib. I only leave them there for a day and I want a bit of "flexibility" in the rib when I install it. And start the tacking from the center and work out to the rails.
  5. mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The answer is right there on the tag!:)
  6. mccloud

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

    AS to taking ribs out, there are several methods, but the one I've been using recently which works for me involves a Dremel Multi-Max tool. Remove only one rib at a time, and while it's out, clean the planking underneath. With the Multi-Max and a metal-cutting blade, dive into the rib at a low angle so that you cut the tack about 1/8" below the surface, thus removing the clinch. Do 10-15 at a time, then tap out the remaining brass using a prick punch. When nearly done it is time to work at the inwale. The two nails that hold the rib tip are steel, and frequently badly rusted. With the Multi-Max, cut the heads off, then destroy the top 1" of the rib tip. With a vice-grip you pull those rotten nails out. Now get underneath the rib with a couple hacksaw blades. Work them along until you are sure you've removed all the tacks and have freed the rib, which is often stuck with old varnish. You should be able to lift the entire rib out in one piece by rocking the center toward the midpoint of the canoe. Then use the old rib as a pattern and trace its shape onto a new rib blank, or else just sand a bent rib to this pattern. TM...
    Tris likes this.

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