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Ideas for restoring 40yr old stripper, wha?

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by Aurek, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. Aurek

    Aurek Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Alright, I never thought I'd see myself asking that question. But yes, I have a 40yr old Stripper. It has many cracks, a lot of the trim pieces are rotten and gone. I want to restore it back to it's former glory however I'm not sure how. I have been peeling off some of the cloth but some of the resin remains. Will that show through if I leave the remaining resin and just refiberglass over that?

    To explain my decision to restore and not build from scratch. This stripper built back in about 1967 was completely built by my Father. He has now handed it on to me and I'll do whatever needed to restore it back.

    Thanks for any advice and/or direction.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Aurek

    Aurek Curious about Wooden Canoes

    And I guess most importantly. Would you strip down the exterior and refiberglass THEN do the interior. I had thought that I would just strip down the whole thing. But I read somewhere that the fiberglass is the only thing really holding together a Stripper canoe.

    I may have to resort to asking my Father these questions. I'm trying to restore it without him realizing I'm working on it already but.. that won't work if I have no clue how to do it. :p

    Thanks in advance
     
  3. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I've heard of people trying to do this type of restoration, but don't actually ever remember seeing anybody pull it off, mostly because it's much more difficult than just building a new boat. Chances are that any place you leave old resin on the surface you'll have some sort of visible color variation. How bad it will be is hard to predict. The old resin is likely polyester. New work should be done with epoxy. It will stick to old polyester fine (assuming the polyester is well bonded to the wood) but it will probably color any bare wooden spots differently from spots which still have polyester on the surface, so I'd make a pretty serious effort to get down to uniform, bare wood everywhere before re-glassing.

    The biggest problem that you face is that until a stripper is gunwaled and braced with thwarts, decks, etc. it's damned floppy and the hull construction won't take a lot of bending or distortion without something fracturing (glass layers, strip-to-strip joints or along the grain of individual strips). Certain steps in the building process, like sanding, require a fair amount of force to be exerted on the hull. Normally, the building forms and strongback inside the hull keep it in shape while working on the outside and later, the outer fiberglass layers do the job once the hull is removed from the forms so that you can sand and fiberglass the inside. Removing the glass from both sides at once is likely to make the hull extremely floppy and the rebuilding job very difficult without breaking something.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Aurek

    Aurek Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you sir, for your response. Looking at that I think I'll definitely start with the exterior then. I have noticed that the canoe itself is somewhat flimsy. Well, it gives a little anyways, I guess I shouldn't say 'flimsy'.

    It's definitely probably not the smartest thing to do, restoring rather than building from scratch. But as I mentioned it has a lot of sentimental value for me. This was the canoe that I went on my first canoe trips in as a child. Along with the fact that my Father built it.

    I got a little more info on it. He got the plans form a Popular Mechanics magazine. He actually used 1"x6"x18' Redwood. He mounted his 6 1/2" Skilsaw into a sheet of plywood to make a tablesaw and ripped the boards into 1" strips. That just sounds like a whole lot of work. :p
     

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