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Materials needed for new canoe

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by slk, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Ok guys I am not new to the canoe building process. I have been building them or years but covering them with clear epoxy. This winter I want to try doing a canvas one, thus the questions. I have been doing the 17 1/2 foot ones. So how much canvas do you need for one? Also how much filler does one take. I am sure my next question is very debatable, but with the cost of canoe tacks is it ok to use staples for fastening the canvas? One other question. There is a canvas supplier in my neck of the woods, that sells 60" wide treated and non treated 10 oz canvas. Is there any differences in canvas for making canoes? I can get this canvas for $3.48 a yard vrs. $6.00 a foot from canoe suppliers.... Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  2. paddler123

    paddler123 Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    You need about 2 feet on each end, so 21' should be about right. The amount of filler will depend on the weight of the canvas as well as the width/depth of your canoe, but probably 1.5-2 gallons for a 17.5' canoe. Staples are fine and commonly used, just make sure you have ones that won't rust.
    For your last question I will defer to the experts, but I think that 10 oz. and #10 canvas are not the same weight. #10 canvas is commonly used for canoes that will see light use and #8 for heavier use (#8 is thicker than #10). Google suggests that #10 is 15 oz. and #8 is 18 oz., but I'd verify before purchasing.
     
  3. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I'd also want to know what the treated canvas is treated with, or treated for before trying it. A lot of typical canvas treatments are done to make it resist moisture penetration, which might hinder the adhesion of your filler.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    You are right.. My mistake in assuming #10 meant 10 oz. Now my next question is treated canvas or not? Will the new fillers work with untreated canvas? Also if you keep the canoe inside do you still have issues with rot? I would just as soon use untreated.

    Steve
     
  5. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    If it were me, I'd get the No. 10 treated canvas from Rollin at Northwoods Canoe. It is proven to work with most canoe fillers. The small upcharge is worth not having to do it again due to compatibility issues. The cost of the canvas is small relative to the amount of work you put into building the canoe.
     
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    SLK
    Not sure where you live in MN, but Alex Comb sells materials. He is located not far from Duluth.
    His business is called Stewart River Boat Works.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Well this canvas part is new to me, and I like to search for the best prices I can find. Some people sell the canvas for $6.50-$7.00 a foot. This place I found near me sells it in the 60" width #10 for $7.48 a yard. That is a very big difference.

    Steve
     
  8. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Well guys the plan is coming along. I will have to make some canvas stretchers. Any tips or tricks you guys can advise me on will be greatly appreciated. I have the Wood and Canvas Canoe book by Jerry and Rollin.. My biggest issue may be finding a place to stretch it. Living in MN outside is not a great option in the winter..How much tension do you use in the beginning with the canoe sitting in the proverbial web, and when to release that tension to do the stems?

    Steve
     
  9. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    There are two ways to do it.
    Upside down and right side up .
    Check YouTube
     
  10. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Good stuff on youtube...Now with the filler. I have seen different products used. What is a general consensus? I have heard of traditional oil-based filler, to mastic for boiler pipes. I would think with mastic you not be able to sand it at all to get it really smooth. Also do you guys use a propane torch to singe the fibers on the canvas?

    Steve
     
  11. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I go through about 5 quarts of filler for a 17 or 18 foot canoe. 3 coats. Dave
     
  12. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I've stretched both outside between trees and in the garage between a boat trailer (sideways) and car (trailer hitch), all your trying to do it get it snug, not rip it apart.
    I use the upside down method, it seems easier and if Joe used it, that's good enough for me.

    Gil stretches his by hand, and often gives demos at the MI show, check for a video of it.

    For your 1st canvas job, I highly recommend getting materials (canvas and filler) from the pro's, it will reduce your risk.
    Experiment on future builds.

    "My biggest issue may be finding a place to stretch it. Living in MN outside is not a great option in the winter. How much tension do you use in the beginning with the canoe sitting in the proverbial web, and when to release that tension to do the stems?"
     
  13. patrick corry

    patrick corry Curious about Wooden Canoes


    I'm curious about your 3 coats comment. Do you apply 3 distinct coats of filler at separate intervals, or do you mean that you coat each section 3 times within one filling session? I recently coated my first re-canvassing effort, and only used filler within one session- however, going back and re-coating each section as I worked from one stem to the other... then repeated on the other side. During the entire process I rubbed the filler both in a circular motion and parallel to the canoe, using canvas mitts I made with leftover canvas and also lastly rubbed with just a thin rubber glove until relatively smooth.

    On my tiny 15' Willow canoe I used just under 1 gallon of traditional filler.
     
  14. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Patrick, I start down on side smoothing as I go a couple of feet at a time. Then back up the other side. Then do the same thing all over again within an hour or so. Then one more time also within an hour. The second and third coats you can go a little farther before you rub and smooth. So three full coats one after another. I always think a gallon will do, but always seem to use a little more on a 17 or 18 footer.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I am having a very hard time finding silica, or (silica flour). Dave gave me a place that sells it in 50 lb bags but they are in Chicago and the shipping would be crazy for it there. Any ideas on other type places to get it? I have tried some pottery places and they do not seam to have a clue.

    Steve
     
  16. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    For over 35 years, I have never mixed filler. When white lead filler was available, I bought it from Bill Clements. Since then, I have bought it from Jack McGreivey(NLA) or Jerry Stelmok. It never seemed like a good idea to mix my own and guess at the outcome. Of course, that is just an opinion-nothing else.
     
  17. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Steve,
    For your first canoe, you may just want to stick with the status quo and purchase filler from a builder/supplier.
    That’s what I did with my first few canoes. There are well documented application procedures for them. Tried and true.

    I however had some issues with traditional filler wanting to crack and check after a period of time. Could have been my fault. Not sure. I also did not like the curing time. So I sought a different method commonly known as the Chris Merigold Method with waterborne aircraft filler.
    I’ve since revised my materials and process, but is basically the same.
     
  18. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Steve, you'll have to search Silica flour suppliers. Like everyone says if your only doing a couple of canoes buy the filler. If your doing 5 or more a year and you like getting messy , mix your own. I've been making my own for years and am very happy with the results. But yes if I get tired of mixing I may go back to buying it one day.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Low and behold I found the Silica flour. $6 for 5 lbs....$17 for 25 lbs....$24 for 50 lbs. The place is only about 15 miles from me.
    Thanks guys for all the info....

    Steve
     
    David Satter likes this.
  20. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Dave, could you give a bit of detail for me about waterborne aircraft filler? I've googled it and can't find anything that looks like it would do the job in the UK. It would be great if you could send me a link to the product you use.
    Thanks
    Sam
     

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