Rushton Canoe

Ray Arcand

Curious about Wooden Canoes
In the process of restoring a 100 year old wood/canvas Rushton Indian Girl canoe, I have encountered a layer of something next to the wood which is black and sticky. Is it possible that this is pine tar? Does anyone know if Rushton used pine tar to darken wood either applied directly or mixed with varnish? The same material was found under the shoe keel. What was used 100 years ago as a bedding material?
Thanks for your help.

Ray Arcand - Pender Island, BC
I have never heard of or seen a Rushton with pine tar on it. Does it smell like pine tar?

Rushton typically bedded with thick varnish. They may have also bedded with white lead in the case of the keel. Shellac was often used as a base coat, and this can get sticky under certain strippers - see if you can remove it with alcohol.
Not Pine Tar.Probably this canoe was reeskinned maybe in the 50s.This could be anything from Tar to over-ripe linseed-varnish mix.Quite often I run into varnish that must be chemically removed as it is so thick and gummy that I can not possibly sand it for removal.Have fun scraping and allow lots of time.