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Chestnut: Wood over Fiberglass repair

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by jlarrabee, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. jlarrabee

    jlarrabee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi everyone,
    I am a 16 year old kid who loves old canoes, I went to Camp Wabun, and recently bought two Chestnut Canoes. One is beautiful and is ready to go, but my other is butchered. The previous owner ripped off the canvas, then continued to fiberglass it, then managed to scrape most of that away and epoxied it. This canoe had 14 damaged ribs that need repair, along with the stems, seats, sheeting, and the mid-thwart is totally missing. Does anyone have suggestions on how I should fix my repairs.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    First of all, congrats on your purchase! At 16 though, you are already 2 wooden canoes down the path to what might be a massive collection.

    The hull looks like it still has the glass on it, but that the epoxy was added as a repair. Fiberglass is glass cloth, that has been impregnated with epoxy, so what you are seeing isn't really added epoxy, just further epoxy added. Since the hull is already glassed, and the runs are what I am guessing are the problem, simply sand out the runs, and then repaint the canoe. Be very careful sanding the runs though, as you do not want to cut into the glass cloth underneath. Sand jyst enough to get everything leveled out.

    I am going to guess that the epoxy used is a modern resin, and not polyester resin. The difference is that polyester is (relatively) easily removed, while modern resins are kinda like herpes, you'll be stuck with it forever. With all the damage you describe, this hull might be toast. Try and peel off the fiberglass , and if it doesn't want to come off, or tears away large portions on planking it is probably modern resin. At this point, you'll want to examine if you want to spend the time and energy trying to fix it. I am not sure if a modern glass job can be removed with a heat gun as I have only worked on 2 canoes that had been glassed with polyester. I am sure others will pipe up though.

  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Modern epoxies CAN be removed with a heat gun, but work very slowly and carefully. Patience patience patience!
  4. OP

    jlarrabee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank You for your help, now once I use a heat gun, will I be able to access the remove the cloth and get to the sheeting? This poor old canoe needs help, and the previous owners never knew what they had until I told them... when the mid-thwart broke they cut it, and when some ribs broke they glued it plywood. I hope to fix this one up to trade, or sell for another project, or my first car. Not many kids can say that.
  5. OP

    jlarrabee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    This is their repair, and the bolts shows whats left of the mid-thwart IMG_3762.jpg

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