This week has been a week to do indoor stuff as the temperature dropped below zero most evenings. We had rain of Biblical proportions on Thursday and on Friday the white stuff arrived.
I therefor took up a bit of weaving and managed to get both the front and rear seats re-caned. All they need now is a final rub down and a coat of satin varnish before the brass mast ring is re-fitted. I am not unhappy with my first ever attempt at weaving; there are a couple of unders where there should be overs and vice versa but that's life. They will do the job.
I made the stern seat. The bow seat is the original.
On Saturday the weather whilst cold was dry and sunny so I thought I would get the canvas on. First job was to check the hull over and give it a final sand and check for raised tack heads. That done we were good to go but with a bit of improvisation. It was to be a three way tug of war:-
In the red corner...
In the blue corner....
and in the middle......
So I set it all up on the trestles attached the straps to the tow bars on each car and to the bemusement of the neighbours and passing dog walkers I started to put the tension on gradually working out all the creases and folds until I was happy and we had a drum sound from the canvas at either end.
Although I live in Norfolk, I have not yet grown a third arm and hand so to make life easier and to stop the thin rib tips from splitting, I stapled the canvas using stainless steel staples. The job took much longer than I anticipated for a couple of reasons (a) the world and his wife were passing so stopped for a chat. (b)I wanted to ensure that especially at bow and stern every crease was pulled out. I tacked the canvas along the stems using a waterproof exterior mastic as a bedding compound.
In the end I was happy with the job and the canvas is tight and smooth but leaves nothing to the imagination as it highlights every plank ripple and blemish but much will be evened out by the filler, primer and paint.
I trimmed the excess canvas down using my canoeing rescue rope cutter which has the sharpest blade in the world. I will go around and check the staples and replace any that are not fully home and check some which may be just below the level of the outwales so will take those out and replace with ones slightly higher.
It"s looking like a canoe now. The temperature was dropping rapidly so I tidied up and got the canoe back in the garage.
That's it for this week. Time for tea. Keep warm & safe.