Michigan Chapter @ QWS Sat. March 1st

Gil Cramer

The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.
Once again the Michigan WCHA chapter will have a significant presence at the Quietwater Symposium on the campus of Michigan State University. Russ Hicks, the chapter coordinator, is in charge of QWS also. If you Google QWS you should get the website which lists all of the activities and presentations. If you stop by the WCHA area you can help pull canvas. We're planning on gang canvassing at least one canoe-probably Chris Pearson's 16' OT guide.
rats and mice (covered with snow)

With the current blizzard situation today, Denis and I don't dare head out any farther than we have to (like, to each other's homes, with a stop at the grocery between us)... so we (sadly) won't be attending. We'll be thinking of you, though... please post pictures.

Staying warm and dry,

Was even better this year. Great job Russ. Perhaps folks have photos to post here?
I'll start.
There's Chris, Gil, Pete, and Ken's Waltham CR courting canoe.
Ken Kelly's gave a presentation on the Charles River. Excellent. Glad I did not miss it.


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six more photos

and here are six more photos. I was too busy wandering to take many pics.
Pete made a wanigan. Gill canvassed three canoes, I think it was three. And that was before lunch. And then he covered a Thompson Take a long row boat.


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Dave, Thanks for taking the photos. They arrived home before I did. As usual, Russ did another great job organizing QWS. Attendance was the best ever. Thanks to Mike Darga for all his help with the canvassing. Gil
Interesting pics.

I didn't see any stretching clamps/puller in the pics, were these stretched by hand only?

If so, how do they hold up? Gil, is that your usual method?

Over 20 years ago at a WCHA assembly ( yep, I attended once upon a time) I eavesdropped on a conversation between Harold Gates and somebody else ( I don't remember who it was,) about canvassing canoes. Harold (who has gone on to his reward) emphatically said that he never, ever canvassed a canoe with any clamps, come-alongs or whatever . He only canvassed it by pulling it by hand. He would place the canvas close to the furnace overnight and apply it the next day. That always rather intrigued me. Some time ago, the late WCHA president, Chris Merigold, and Ric Puls held an event in Roscommon, MI for the Michigan WCHA' ers and demonstrated gang canvassing. After watching the gang canvassing demo, I was certain that a canoe could be canvassed easily by hand. The first hand demo that I did was in Imlay City, MI with the help of Ralph Kohn and Bud Luce . Since then I've canvassed a lot (350 or so) of canoes. Demonstrations have been by hand, and in the shop, with a sling, come-along, etc. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Using a sling is a lot easier, physically. Canvassing by hand does not overstretch the canvas. If you are canvassing an Old Town yankee or a Chestnut prospector canoe by hand one is less likely to have the canvas stand proud of the hull immediately aft of the stems. The disadvantage to hand canvassing is that it is difficult to pull the canvas on the bias in the quarters of the canoe to get the canvas to conform to the appropriate hull shape change. Of course, #12 canvas works best, #10 isn't bad, but the #8 for Russ's boat Saturday at the end of the day after 3 canoes was quite a challenge. Once on the canoe, I have never had a problem with the canvassing job no matter which method I've used. When I use clamps and a sling, I constantly remind myself that the purpose is to remove the wrinkles. I know that some manufacturers bragged that their canvas was installed with 2 tons of force, and most people don't agree with my techniques, but it has worked for me. Gil
Thanks Gil,

I'm going to remember this if I ever get to work on another canoe.

After doing that many, it would seem if there would be a problem, somebody would have said something about it.

I've only re-canvassed 5 canoes in that last 15 years, so I can't say I'm an expert, but I've used the "upside down" method that Gil discusses and demonstrates on each one. It's actually a pretty enjoyable way to spend the day in your garage (unless it's the middle of summer and really hot). All it takes is some sawhorses that are tall enough so you don't have to bend down too far, a good staple gun, and the time to do a lot of pulling and adjusting where needed. If something doesn't look right, it's just a matter of going back, popping out a staple, re-pulling, and re-stapling. It does make my hands pretty sore by the time I get done, but it's worth it when the canoe is all covered and ready for filler...:)