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Keewaydin Expedition Canoes

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Murat V, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks both John and Dylan for the further info on epoxy filler....really answered a lot of questions for this inquiring mind....
  2. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer

    I've experimented with epoxy fillers on canvas for close to 12 years with excellent result - if it is applied correctly.

    Don't use it on an object with uneven planking or wide plank seams.
    Always seal the hull exterior with a couple coats of varnish followed with a coating of mold release wax.
    Apply the first coat with a light hand, apply to much and you will force epoxy into the plank-seams, too light and the canvas will not soak up enough.
    The next three coats are mixed with a fairing compound like 410 or a micro light filler.
    Be prepared for many hours of careful sanding.

    Dick Persson
    Buckhorn Canoe Company
    Buckhorn, Ontario
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Having built, and then restored, one strip & glass canoe, I've had enough of sanding epoxy for a while. Thank you for the info!
  4. Dylan Schoelzel

    Dylan Schoelzel born in a canoe


    What epoxy have you used?

    I am not so sure I would agree about the statement of not using it on a hull with uneven planking, at least with the use of Gluvit, so I am curious about this. If anything you can use the last 2 applications, i.e. mixed with the micro light and applied via squeegee, to “sculpt” these areas if you will, creating a hull that appears to be smoother. But maybe I am not properly envisioning what you are calling uneven planking.
  5. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer

    I am using an epoxy filler on maybe 50% of my new-builds and the occasional re-canvas job, for the rest I use a soy oil based silica filler.
    Over the years I've tried a number of epoxy brands, but have settled for the West System.

    If you have uneven planking, like a small dip or a wide planking seam, the canvas will span the dip and a hollow space will be created. As you fill the canvas with epoxy, some of that epoxy will go through the canvas and "hang down" in the hollow space. Great! The space is now filled. However, the filling is attached to the canvas and will move with the canvas, eventually creating a bump or small ridge in a slightly different location. The bummer is that you can't sand it down as it sits on the inside of the canvas. A lesson I learned the hard way. No need for anyone else to repeat it.

    Dick Persson
    Buckhorn Canoe Company
    Buckhorn, Ontario
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  6. Dylan Schoelzel

    Dylan Schoelzel born in a canoe

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that west system can penetrate the canvas, at least in the situation you describe. This is not the case with gluvit; it will not penetrate the canvas unless it is put on very, very thick during the first coat and rubbed in compulsively and aggressively. This is virtually impossible to do and you really have to go way out of your way to get it to seep through the canvas. You’d probably wear yourself out tired before it seeped through. Sorry if I came of argumentative there, it was not my intention. Thanks for reply.
  7. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer


    That really depends on how you apply the epoxy! Lets take a step back and look at the application methods;

    - You are brushing on a layer of Gluvit day one, wait until it is dry, then apply three more coats over the next three days, letting each coat dry and sand between each coat. If so, I understand that you don't get too much of epoxy penetration.

    This is how I apply the West System epoxy;

    -A first coat to "wet out" the canvas (applied with a squeegee), followed by two or sometime three coats the same day to fill the canvas and build enough thickness to allow for sanding on day two and painting about four days later. However, as said earlier, you must use a firm but gentle touch it is easy to get to much penetration.
  8. Dylan Schoelzel

    Dylan Schoelzel born in a canoe

    Yes, we are talking apples and oranges here; two epoxies that have different viscosities and different properties. The application process is different too. Thanks for the explanation about west system.
  9. Glen Toogood

    Glen Toogood Builder/rebuilder

    Dylan - I worked on a Thomson canoe from Keewaydin a coiple of years ago that had unusual filler. Would it have been this?

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