When To Apply The Keel?


Canoe Grampa
Hi, I'm not opening up the debate on keel or no keel but if one was to install a keel is there any harm in doing it after paint has been applied to the canvas? I ask this because I'd like to keep the oak keel as it is and not paint around it? Just wondering if the bedding compound will adhere to the paint as well as to the filled canvas?
Thank you for your help, Gary
I've seen canoes with unpainted natural keels I like the look personally. Unfortunately I don't have the experience to answer your question but I have a hunch it should be fine as long as there a nice even amount of bedding compound. My OTs stem bands hold down the tapered ends of the keel. My first canoe I painted first before putting stem bands on this time I'm painting around them. I'd like to hear what others say.
Gary, Like you I also prefer the look of a natural oak keel, so have done several canoes that way. The keel is completely shaped and varnished, & dry fit before final attachment. The hull has been painted with its final coat. Bedding compound (at least Dolfinite) is not an adhesive - only seals against water penetration. Most think gluing keel to cloth & paint is a bad idea. Apply bedding compound liberally, as you want to see it squeezed out as your screws pull down the keel. Carefully scrape off excess and wipe off smears from keel & hull with a gasoline moistened cloth. Has worked for me. Tom McCloud
Tom, other canoes I've done I tried to paint around the keel already in place which took longer and was a pain. I'll try it the way you've suggested.
Thanks, Gary