Old Town Guide 137211 18


Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
In Memoriam
Could you post the build record for this canoe? You posted it before the Great Website Crash, but I seem to have lost it during a hard disc issue I had. Sorry for the rework.

It is Dad's Guide. 18 footer with a floor rack. It came home with me from the Holiday and is scheduled for new skin.:)

Many Thanks!
No problem, here you go from July 28th, 2002. Good luck with the recanvasing.



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Thanks very much Benson. Hey, I just noticed something on this build record. Under the "Stored" Section and after the "2nd Varnished" section it appears that "A Shellac" is hand written in. Do you know if Old Town offered amber shellac bottoms that some Maine Guides preferred?
Old Town would generally do almost anything that a customer was willing to pay for. However, shellac bottoms do not appear to have been a frequent request. Orange shellac does appear to have been a common addition during this time period as shown at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=835&d=1129139469 and in the other two records attached below. The dates indicate that this was applied before the interior varnish or exterior colored paint so this may not have been a traditional shellac bottom. This notation was very common on records from 1943 and 1944 so it may have been an adjustment that was made due to the limited supplies available during the war. The records at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=565&d=1120874842 and http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=376&d=1115086446 indicate that "Smith's Sealer" was used in place of orange shellac in 1941.



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Just to round out the thread on this canoe, it does appear that shellac was used under the varnish. The shellac is evident during the stripping of the finish.
'43 Guide

I am also working on a 1943 OT Guide, It happens to be one of the canoes Benson referenced above, SN 136774. I believe the stem bands were the originals, and they were steel. All the tacks are brass. My Guide was canvassed in Jan. '43 and yours was done in March of the same year. I guess OT ran out of their supply of brass sometime aroung then. This is my first restoration. Stripping the varnish and shellac from the interior took longer and was more of a mess than I expected. What stripping method worked best for you? I still have a few areas I need to hit again.

Yah, its a stinking mess huh?:rolleyes:

I've tried a few methods, the orange stuff - the orange odor alone gets to me after a while and the stuff is probably not much more green or healthier than the methylene chloride, a heat gun, and the methylene chloride based gel. I use the gel now except for smaller parts like thwarts and seats, outwales, and keel, which I use a heat gun on. I do it outside usually with a respirator on for comfort.

Typically it takes about 3 passes with the gel to get it all off. I find if you can do smaller sections with 3 consecutive passes that seems to work well, the varnish stays soft and more comes off with each pass. I use a putty knife to gently scrape. I think if you search on "stripping" you may find other techniques. Time varies with the amount of varnish. I did one last year with a heavy, heavy coating of old black varnish and paint on the decks and rails and it took about 24 hours of stripping to clean it up. Ugh.