canvasing & weight

Rick L

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I intend to put the canvas on the 18 OTCA this weekend. Trying to plan the apparatus out ahead of time. An anchor point on one end and a come along for tensioning are figured out, but the set up of the garage does not lend itself to using timbers to press the canoe down into the canvas envelope. I have seen methods pictured that using sand bags or other weights (big bags of pet food in this case :) ) to accomplish the same function.

My question is - is there a known amount of weight/tension required to do this successfully , or is it one of those until it looks right kinda things?

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I;m wondering the same thing myself! Don't have the chance to brace inside...Canoe will be canvassed outdoors.
Waiting for the answer....
It is a "kinda by feel" exercise. You want enough tension on the canvas to pull out the wrinkles, but not so much as to cause puckers along the stem line. The canvas should follow the first little bit of the curvature of the stem, then a few wrinkles are ok. I use 4 50# bags of salt to provide my weight, and canvas between 2 cars using uprights that I made specially for that purpose. Too much tension is a bad thing! It will rip the canvas.
Do it Upside Down

If you are canvassing outdoors, you might try the upside down method on saw horses and borrow your neighbor's car(s) to serve as anchors. This has worked well at outdoor canvassing demos etc.

I'm guessing I have done rightside up with about 4 to 6 cinder blocks (well padded against the fancy varnish job) plus or minus of weight in the canoe.
well - that was an adventure. the salt did provide enough weight

however - the first location it tried with the truck as one anchor would not give me any lift off the ground, so - plan b

I placed an iron pipe accross the top of the shop door (the pipe bent - it took three) and a tow strap around the fork of a maple tree. Without the canoe the top of the canvas was six feet off the ground. But once the canoe and weight were added and everything retensioned, it came out just about right. I got the tacks into the canvas for about four ribs when I heard a loud crack, Jumped back in time to not get hit by the combination of the canoe and weight crashing to the ground. The end of one of the 2 by 4' end clamps had snapped .

i was very suprised after careful examination to find that no damage was done- that is a testement to that strength of these canoes and my dumb luck (in which proportions I don't know.) I reworked that clamp and got everything back in place. Next the ash "clothespins" split in two. quickly reassembled with c-clamps. lots of hammering and pulling with the canvas pliers and the canvas in now on, we took it down ahead of an approaching storm and darkness, only the end flaps are left to do and I am about to head out and do them now.

I had very little trouble with loose bits getting in between the canoe and canvas. and everything seems to be tight with a little "dimple" above the tack head.

still lots of work to do, but after the end flaps are done each step will be definate progress towards a finished canoe.

might have to do another so that I can actually learn from experience. :D