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Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Gregory Dongilli, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Recently purchased two Old Town canoes and want to know where to begin. The canoes are structurally sound without Wood rot. The boats have not been in the water for 47yrs. From what I can gather, the boats were purchased in Pittsburgh and have never left the area. I just picked them up today in Pittsburgh where they were in a outdoor shed covered and out of the weather. The paint is cracking off the exterior and the canvas seems to be intact to the best of my knowledge. I would love to get these things in the water. Just want to know where to get started or if there's anyone I can contact in the Pittsburgh area that could possibly mentor me in bringing these boats back to life and in the water where they belong. Look forward to your response respectfully Greg
     
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Welcome to the WCHA! You'll find a wealth of information & help here...

    Notably, the Three Rivers Chapter is pretty active: http://www.wcha.org/local-area-chapters and should be pretty close to you... there's a wealth of expertise in that area!

    Posting pictures of the canoe, taken from multiple viewpoints, will help with identifying the canoes, and if they're actually Old Towns, can land you the original build sheets from the factory. Old Towns have the serial numbers stamped onto the stems, so pictures of the stems (both ends, both canoes... sometimes one end is beaten up worse than the other), can help a lot in pinpointing the canoe's historical records.

    Looks like a fun ride getting started!!!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you so much for the information. I will reach out to the three Rivers chapter today. I already have the build information of both boats. And has mentioned one was 1942 and the other was 1966. The 1942 is a CS Yankee model. The 1966 is a OTCA model. I think all I need to do is just stripped the paint off and have the bolts repainted. And that's where I need the help in order to determine whether or not that is all I need to do or does the canvas need to be replaced as well. This is where I need somebody with some expertise to guide me. I will post some pictures later on today once I get home from work. Thank you again for your reply. Respectfully Greg
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    A quick water test is usually the fastest way to see if the canvas needs to be replaced. Good luck,

    Benson
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson thank you for the response. Excuse my ignorance but when you say water test do you mean putting the boats in the water? Or do you mean putting water in the canoe to see if it leaks out? Look forward to your response respectfully Greg
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson I would think that you want to put the boat in the water. I just want to make sure before I do anything stupid the ruin the boats any further. Thanks again respectfully Greg
     
  7. mccloud

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

    Take it out for a paddle and see if it leaks. No harm will be done. If the paint looks bad, perhaps slapping another coat on will get you a couple years of use, but replacement of canvas is considered routine maintenance after 30-40 years.
     
  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Either option works, the small pond near my house is usually the easiest alternative for me. I once went to an auction, asked for a bucket of water to pour over the outside while the canoe was upside down and then turned it over to check the inside for wet spots. The inside out option could also work but it would probably take more time and water. None of these options are likely to do any serious harm to a canoe. Let us know how it goes,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  9. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson and McCloud thank you both for the information. My plan will be to float the boats this week on a pond to see if I have any leaks. If I have no leaks my plan will be too strip and repaint the boats. I will keep you posted. Out of curiosity would you know what would be the best way to remove the existing paint that is chipping off in some spots but yet is totally sticking on in others. Look for to your response respectfully Greg
     
  10. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Greg...it is very rare that removing the paint from the outside and repainting is a successful repair. It has been done and there are threads on this site that speak to this (use the search feature to poke around) but realistically the repair that is expected is a re-canvas. Usually once the paint fails the filler that is worked into the canvas also fails. A repair is generally going to last only a short time and until you can pull the canvas, replace it, re-fill it and then paint. That is generally a good time to restore the wood...sanding, spar varnish...necessary maintenance.
    You should post pictures here so that we can assess whether or not it is realistic to try to restore the current paint.
    If you go down that path, a paint scraper and a sander should be all the tools required.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I will post some pictures as soon as I can figure it out. I've been trying to attach some pictures but it's telling me my file is too big and it won't load for me to send. As soon as my son gets home I can to try to help me. Bear with me and I think you for the your help. Respectfully Greg
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hear the boats I've been talking about. Can give you an idea what I'm working with. As mentioned the paint that is shipping off reveals the canvas underneath which appears to be intact. Sorry for all the questions. Any help would be appreciated as it relates to whether or not I can paint strip the boats and repaint or do I need to do the canvas as well. Look forward to your response respectfully Greg
     

    Attached Files:

  13. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Making sure pictures posted
     
  14. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Those pictures do not tell us much about the canvas...but they look pretty good. If you flip them over and take a few pictures of the failing pant you mention that would be helpful...
    Otherwise as Benson has suggested, water test.
     
  15. Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Are you referring to the clear varnish as paint?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Gregory Dongilli

    Gregory Dongilli Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Attached or pictures of the boats upside down so you can evaluate the paint. As mentioned the canvas that I can see when I chip off a piece of paint that is cracked, the canvas revealed is not cracked. The canvas and filler appear to be solid. Let me know what you think when you look closely at the paint that is peeling off the boat bottom. I look forward to your response respectfully Greg
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Not a great idea using stripper to remove the paint. The stripper will soften the filler and you will have a bigger problem than you do now.
    My suggestion is to recanvas, but if you want to paddle and play, sand it and put a couple coats of paint on.
    Check for folks in your area that might have some experience canvassing. There are many members and at least one chapter in PA.
    If you do get to canvassing, prior to it you can do all repairs and refinish the inside...good for another 60 years.
     
  18. mccloud

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

    Dave has a lot more experience than I. However, Most of the paint looks pretty good and I don't have a good explanation for why it has chipped the way it has. Take this suggestion with a big grain of salt because I haven't done it, but if I had your repair problem I would try this as an experiment: mix West System 105/206 epoxy and paint it over the chipped places. Wait 15 minutes. Take that epoxy mix and add West System 410 fairing filler into it until it is the consistency of toothpaste, then trowel that into those places you have already painted with epoxy, to fill in the potholes. Let it set overnight, then sand it smooth. This will be much softer than straight epoxy. Lightly scuff your red paint and repaint the entire bottom only with a good quality red paint. This might get you several years of use, but new canvas is in your future. Stripping the old paint and re-painting is unlikely to be successful. TM...
     
  19. JSRIII

    JSRIII Curious about Wooden Canoes

    WOW, I was expecting a horror show based on your description. From looking at your photos, your canoes are showroom quality compared to my project canoe. I agree with others that have suggested a good filler and repaint as opposed to a re-canvas. However, I am a big fan of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". With my Old Town restoration project, removing the canvas was the only way that I would have found the approximately 41 feet of replaced planks. With my boat, the planks appeared to have been home made on a table saw and still have saw marks and are slightly thicker than the surrounding wood. I could probably cover the hull with new canvas and be quite pleased but my OCD kicks in and makes me want to remove and replace the prior owners handiwork. Good luck. Keep the photos coming.
     
  20. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    No paint job is any better than its foundation – a good sub-surface is critical. Painting over peeling paint is pointless – the old paint will continue peeling, taking the new paint with it. New paint will not keep old paint from flaking, but will simply come off as the old paint keeps failing.

    Is the old paint at the edges of the chipped-away areas really tight, or can the chipped areas be easily enlarged by lifting up the edges of the chipped areas? If you can chip paint away, can you get to an area where you can’t chip the paint? If the later, you might be able to prepare the hull and apply paint that will be serviceable for a few years. But given that the chipping away of the old paint is scattered over most of the hull, and given that the crackling of the paint is very extensive, I expect that the old paint will continue to chip away and fall off.

    Below are links to some discussion about this issue, and how you might proceed if you judge that the existing paint is sound enough. As you will see in these discussions, I have re-painted an old canoe and successfully gotten a few years of use from it. But your photos show much more missing paint than I had to deal with, and your paint seems to have come off in large pieces, indicating some sort of failure of the paint to adhere to the filler. A new coat of paint will not cure such a problem.

    Your canoe well may not leak much even in its current condition -- if the filler is uncracked, it will keep water out even with the failed and failing paint. But something has caused that paint to come loose over a large area of the hull, and even if the hull is water tight, I would expect continued paint failure.

    And as has been mentioned, if you do go ahead, do not use paint stripper to remove the old paint from the exterior .

    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=5790 see pp. 2-3 of this thread
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?7769-Painting-over-existing-paint&p=41339#post41339
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.p...t-Restoration-advice-please&p=32358#post32358
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?7775-Temp-repair-to-bare-spot-on-canvas&p=41357#post41357
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?7619-time-is-not-on-my-side!&p=40689#post40689
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?8564-Smoothing-Canvas/page2 starting at post 12, on bondo spot putty
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?6607-sanding-or-not&p=35286#post35286
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?8906-Repaint-Tips
     
    JimT likes this.

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