Weldwood plastic resin glue

Todd Bradshaw

Yes, you can pretty much figure that you are going to ruin the first canoe you sand with a big disk. We would use three different back-up pads. The initial sanding of the outside wood was done with a hard phenolic plate, backing up an 80 grit, 7" resin-backed floor sanding disk. The sander was a Black and Decker industrial Wildcat turning at 3450 RPM and weighing about 14 lbs.. The trick is to barely lift the leading edge of the disk as you move it back and forth sideways. Too much lift, or not enough lift makes nasty deep chop marks and thin spots and does so very quickly. The next grit used was 100-120 paper glued to a thick foam autobody8" "feathering disk pad". The fiberglass filler coats were sanded with the same feathering disk, usually about 180 grit. The inside wood was the most tricky and dangerous to sand. The pad was a 7" B&D "Super flexible" which was thick black rubber and not really all that flexible with another floor sanding disk. You had to lean on it, bending the pad to fit the hull's curves and press the boat against your body to sand the inside. It was not at all fun and a nearly perfect way to screw up a good canoe if you weren't extremely careful.

The drift boat was kind of a fluke. I had always liked them and at some point had heard that Bob Wonnacott had built a strip drifter. I thought that was a cool idea, so I also built one. Side strips were 1/4", the bottom strips were 3/8" and the glass was 7.5 oz, double-layered over the bottom. The panels were stripped up flat, then glassed on their insides, bent to shape and tacked together. The little spruce riblets had been nailed in from the outside, over the inner glass. They were there pretty much just to prevent the sides from wiggling and the entire outside was then glassed in one piece. A fiberglass chine seam was added on the inside. It was a cool boat, but kind of a back-assward way to build a drifter.

As for beveling, the method we usually used to strip canoes (football-shaped bottom panel that met the side strips along its edges (Hazen-style) probably only required maybe 30 minutes of beveling for the entire boat. The edges of the bottom panel, port and starboard, would be beveled to mate with the side of the first (lowest) side strip on each side of the canoe. With 3/16" thick strips, there was seldom any need for additional beveling, anywhere on the hull but there never seemed to be obvious light gaps or other fills present or needed (no doubt helped to some degree by the color and gap filling ability of the Weldwood. Staples also helped with this, as one of the biggest advantages they provide is the abiity to really get the strips very tight to the forms and to the strips next to them.

Both the hull and deck of this kayak (18' Hazen Nanaimo model) were built using the football method and you can see it on the deck. This was the first stripper I ever built, but the only photo I ever had of it, from about 1974. It was built in two halves, hull and deck, and joined with both inside and outside glass seams The first side strips are the upper, curved dark colored stripes. That pair on the deck and the similar pair on the hull are the only beveled strips on the boat. Cockpit rims were built with multiple courses of cloth, mat, cloth over a temporary mold (a loop of garden hose taped around the holes in the deck. It was a pretty boat, but modern double sea kayak designs are faster, more stable and more seaworthy.