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Old Town Otca Restoration

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Larry S, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Larry S

    Larry S Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I'm restoring a 1964 Old Town Otca. After 47 years, the canvas finally gave up. I know it's the original canvas because I bought the boat new in 1964. In addition, it had some rot at the tips of each stem, rot in the gunnals, one cracked rib and four soft spots in the planking where the boat "kissed" rocks.

    All the repairs have been made and the inside stripped and sanded. I'm ready to varnish and re-canvas. In Stelmok and Thurlow's book, they recommend applying a very generous coat of hot boiled linseed oil and clear Cuprinol to the inside and outside of the hull.

    If I do what they recommend, I can't varnish for a month. Also, over the years, the inside has darkened considerably. I'm afraid the linseed oil/Cuprinol mix will darken it further. I want to keep the inside as light as possible.

    What if I varnish. After the varnish is complete, then I oil the outside only. Then re-canvas? I'm looking forward to any and all advice.

    Thanks!
    Larry S.
     
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Disregard that advice - clear Cuprinol is no longer oil-based and won't mix with the oil. As you correctly guess, linseed oil does darken over time. There is no real need to do more to the interior than thin your varnish 50% for the first coat.

    I used to put linseed oil on the exterior, but I don't generally do so anymore.

    Dan
     
  3. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

  4. OP
    OP
    Larry S

    Larry S Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dan and Greg. My plan is to go ahead and varnish. After that is completed, oil the outside with boiled linseed oil and re-canvas with mildew resistant canvas.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Larry S

    Larry S Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The varnishing is going much slower than I expected. I'm used to putting down one coat per day. With our cold/damp weather, it's taking three or four days between coats. The stuff just won't dry.

    I'm following the manufacturer's (Epifane's) instructions as far as thinning and sanding. I have four coats down and four coats to go.
     
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I've had good success with adding one ounce of Japan Dryer per quart to Epifanes products. Prior to that, I had problems with overnight drying even in warmer weather.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Larry S

    Larry S Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The boat is coming along beautifully. I got the second coat of straight varnish on today (fifth coat overall). The rain and fog have cleared out for awhile, so I took advantage of the situation and moved the boat outside to varnish in the sunshine. I can see soooo much better! Flourescent lighting is ok but doesn't compare to natural lighting. That brings me to the object of this post - even with good lighting, I missed a few spots. By the time I discovered them, I had lost a wet edge.

    So, when that happens on the final "perfect" coat, how do I handle it? What do I do??
     
  8. Tom Widney

    Tom Widney LOVES Wooden Canoes

  9. Dr. Joe

    Dr. Joe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    What are the chances?

    What are the chances of removing fiber glass from an old wood canvas canoe.

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    Thanks for the advice.

    Joe
     
  10. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    Hi Joe,

    It depends on how long ago it was fiberglassed. Polyester resin glass peels off without too much trouble. A little heat (heat gun, torch) goes a long way. If it uses modern resins, it can be a royal PITA. If you do a search on the forums here, you will find numerous threads on fiberglass removal. I have had good experiences removing glass from several canoes and boats.
     
  11. Dr. Joe

    Dr. Joe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you that is very encouraging. This was most likely polyester resin as this is old.

    Joe
     
  12. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hi Joe,

    I'll give you the link to a YouTube video I made, showing Denis at work de-glassing our 18 foot long-decked Morris. This was an "average" amount of work, I'd say.

    Don't worry about having to watch the entire video in order to understand the process... but note how much the music seems to help.

    Denis and I find it very interesting that this video has over 5000 viewings... more than anything else I've put together. I'd like to think this means there are lots of wood-canvas canoes coming out from under the fiberglass.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXILZU6Jm-s

    Looks like you have a nice canoe-- well-worth the work of restoration!

    Kathy
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Larry S

    Larry S Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I think my thread has been hijacked!
     
  14. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    "I think my thread has been hijacked! "

    I think that means you're accepted into the organization... or else it means you're no different than anybody else! Welcome to the club!
     
  15. Dr. Joe

    Dr. Joe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Sorry

    Dear Larry: I am embarrassed to have my first post be a hijack. I don't know if this will make it better or worse. I thought you knowing much more than I do about wood canvas canoes you would be the first to answer. I was sort of hoping you could have told me this looks just like yours did when you started and might show a picture of a fine Old Town Canoe you restored.

    I have gone on much to long and this is only getting worse. Now I am too shy to ask you to identify the canoe in the picture. :D
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Larry S

    Larry S Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Doctor Joe:

    I used the term "hijacked" tongue-in-cheek. My Otca restoration adventure has been just that - an adventure. I am striving for a restoration worthy of my boat which I bought off the showroom floor in 1965. I'm learning as I go and remembering some things long ago forgotten. My boat wasn't fiberglassed. It had the traditional canvas with filler and paint. I've located a source for the canvas on the east coast and have been going through all my old magazine issues to get informed on this next step. I'm not informed on fiberglass or its removal. Didn't mean to come across mean spirited. Welcome to the forum. It is a wonderful resource of information.
     
  17. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hi Joe--If you post a picture of your canoe's deck, we may be able to identify it. Check for a serial number though-- an Old Town will have a serial number stamped on both stems (on the floor of the canoe, near the decks). It would be 5-6 digits, followed by a space and the canoe's length. There are many other wood-canvas builders, however... and it's always fun seeing what someone else has and trying to I.D. it. If it's an Old Town, one of us who has the records on CD can look up the serial number and post the build record.

    Kathy
     
  18. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    If you will be reading up on repair/restoration, you might consider the following:

    "The Wood and Canvas Canoe" by Rollin Thurlow and Jeryy Stelmok, and/or "Building the Maine Guide Canoe" by Jerry Stelmok, and, since you have an Old Town canoe, you will find "The Old Town Canoe Company" by Susan Audette and David Baker of great interest.

    The first is often called the "bible" of canoe repair, restoration, and maintenance; the second is an execellent study of the wooden/canvas canoe and how it is built, and the third is a great history of the company and its canoes. These are available from the WCHA store, are often on eBay, or from Amazon. Sue Audette also sells her book directly (http://www.thebaglady.tv/).
     
  19. greenvilleguy

    greenvilleguy '42 Yankee OTC

    I'm just glad to see that I'm not the only "novice" trying to restore a canoe. Good luck to both of you as the three of us struggle to restore our canoes to their former glory.

    I agree with Greg the "The Wood and Canvas Canoe" is essential. This site is also visited by "pros" who have offerred me a tremendous amount of help and encouragement. Still, I'm finding sutle little things through trail and error. Things I'm sure the "pros" take for granted. You are sure to discover some things like this yourself.

    Here is the deal, I'll start posting little "findings" under the "tips" forum here, if you two will as well. Maybe we can add to the content of the site with these "novice" observations. Hopefully, they will be helpful to others trying their first restoration and amusing to others.
     
  20. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Video can be a great way to explain something... feel free to document your tips and upload on YouTube and post the link here. It would be very helpful to have videos of those aspects of restoration that are hard to explain in words and pictures. Not everyone has access to a local WCHA chapter, or a nearby WCHA member who can share his shop and expertise.

    There are already some videos on YouTube which you may find helpful-- here are a couple that were made by someone who posts here a lot :)

    Canvassing: http://www.youtube.com/user/wccanoe#p/a/u/0/kTTymdnHojk

    Ribbing: http://www.youtube.com/user/wccanoe#p/a/u/1/kd8G0bXv3zw

    Here's one on building a canoe-- even if you're restoring and not building, it helps to know how it was built in the first place, and some of the terms you'll run into are explained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pqv_W3I7jI&playnext=1&list=PLA2BEF145EBDE19C4

    I'll look around for more videos that might be helpful to anyone tackling a canoe project for the first time. If you're near a WCHA chapter, there'd be folks who could help with any problems you run into.

    Kathy
     

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