Boy Scouts and War canoes

Mark Adams

all wood nut
Hi All,

Just thought I'd let everyone know about a project I have embarked on.

I have started the process to bring a troop of scouts into the wooden canoe fold. I will be getting a 1945 Old Town 25' War Canoe roundabouts April. I am getting the canoe from Ken Kelly. I will be restoring it with a group of scouts, taking them from start (stripping) all the way through to the final finish. The scout master I am friends with is so excited abut the project, he is giddy. I am excited too. I think it will be cool to have some kids that will be excited about learning abut wooden canoes. They will be earning their woodworking merit badge along the way too. (I am a woodworking merit badge councilor) I hope to get my canoeing endorsement as well.

There is a paddlesports race up at Lake Tahoe in the late summer/early fall. I hope to get the canoe, myself, and 10 eager kids entered in the race.

The only drawback to the whole endeavor is what I do with the canoe after! I have been contemplating donating it to the scouts for use at their regional camp, but I have wanted a war canoe for years. (megalomania??)

I'm leading a group of volunteers at a local outdoor education center in restoring a 1926 War Canoe. We are now letting the filler cure and will be painting in a few weeks.
The thought of stripping the beast was overwhelming, even for many volunteer hands. I had never had good luck with water soulable, environmentally safe, stripping compounds before until I used a product called Aqua Strip. I got it from Jamestown. I bought 5 gallons and used about 3 to do the stripping. It worked famously!! Load it up, give it 4-5 hours then come back and take it off. It dries out and scrapes off right down to the wood, and can be washed off with water afterward. We wore gloves when we used it, but this stuff is so benign that I think you could spread it on crackers for lunch! There is NO odor. I think it would be a great thing for a bunch of scouts. Here is the link:

Check out the review section.
Good luck!
Strippers - Caution

Just a word of caution regarding some of these strippers and children. While this product may be safer, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Paint strippers are tough chemicals. Unlike Methylene Chloride, which has been around for decades and the health effects are (bad) and well known, much is not known about some of these rather new chemicals/products.

Use Google and check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product. Search on the major components of the product. While this product maybe better than methylene chloride, much is not known.

For example the MSDS for this product indicates that one of the major components in this stripper is N.Methyl-2 Pyrrolidone (872-50-4) the hazardous components are "Not Established". A search on the chemical itself indicates this description:

Health Hazard Reference(s)
Recognized: Developmental Toxicant P65
Suspected: Cardiovascular or Blood Toxicant RTECS
Kidney Toxicant RTECS
Neurotoxicant DAN HAZMAP
Reproductive Toxicant EPA-TRI FRAZIER P65-PEND

Stripping canoes requires lots of precautions. Be careful, look up the MSDS and follow the safety precautions.

I think it is great that kids are working on these things. I just wanted to point out that sometimes things are not as easy as they appear.