And so it begins


New Member
Hello All,

I have been checking in on this forum for quite some time, reading stories and seeing great restoration photos. I have recently joined the WCHA, and got myself a canoe. I have a 1934 Old Town HW, CS grade 17ft. The seat caning turned to confetti on the ride home. I have removed canvas, and stripped the interior. to my untrained eye I have three broken ribs, and a cracked inwale, and one hole in the planking. The stems look good. The center thwart was missing, but the diamond head bolts were in the holes. What should I use to clean "bleach" the interior? One of the seats came apart after removing caning, should I use glue or epoxy to repair it? going to attempt to attach photos, I am sure there will be plenty more questions.


Jeff IMG_7048.jpgIMG_7051.jpgIMG_7063.jpgIMG_7077.jpgIMG_7079.jpg
Looking good.I'll be following your project with interest as I'll eventually be doing the same.Keep us updated with pics!:)
Old time marine or canoe glues like Jeffries seem to have been made from various combinations of india rubber, shellac, tar, asphaltum, pine tar, amonium, all dissolved in benzene or petroleum. Maybe Benson knows what Old Town used to use.

Most old canoe seat seem to hold together quite well without the benefit of modern chemistry -- in ordinary use, the joints in a canoe seat don't get wet often enough or long enough for water to have much impact, and the seat frames are held together physically by the cane or webbing, as well as by being fastened to the canoe itself, so the frame joints are not usually greatly stressed. If the joints on your seat that came apart are snug, I suspect it doesn't much matter what kind of adhesive you use -- something like one of the Titebond glues would probably do the job just fine. If the joints are loose, you could shim the joints to make them snug, before gluing, or if you don't worry too much about being able to take the frame apart in the future, epoxy can be mixed to fill gaps as well as fasten.
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Thanks for the responses.Before, and after.Stripped, cleaned with TSP,and Te-Ka 2 part cleaner.Four ribs need to be replaced. Seat cane purchased, should I oil seat frames, thin first coat of varnish, or just varnish? Off to sand the interior.....
Jeff- your canoe looks to be in great shape. You should consider backside rib repairs because new cedar may be tough to match to old. Photos don't show rib breaks but if only a crack, a great repair can be made from the back. Also, the dark stains near the edges of some ribs are where some of your Te-Ka part 1 didn't get neutralized and oozed out from under the rib- some areas outlined in attached pic. You can go back and spot treat those areas with parts 1 and 2, and they'll look much better.


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Seat cane purchased, should I oil seat frames, thin first coat of varnish, or just varnish?

On the two sets of seats I've stripped, refinished, and re-caned (Morris mahogany frame, c. 1909 and Old Town ash frame, 1931), I applied a first coat of marine varnish thinned to help with penetration into and sealing of the frame joints, and very minor cracks and holes of the old frames -- I don't think a whole lot penetrates into the wood itself, but water can get into unsealed cracks, etc. and degrade the finish, if not the frame itself. I followed the thinned application with a number of coats of unthinned marine varnish. I see no reason to have used a first coat of linseed or tung oil, and I prefer to have UV protection in all of the clear coat material, hence the marine varnish rather than oil, which has no UV blockers. The Morris canoe is a long way from having the seats put back in, but the OT seats have had three seasons of use, and look the same as when reinstalled.