Woodworking in the great white north.

Canoe – part 6

One thing I forgot to mention was what we did to seal up any holes/gaps in the hull before we did the fiberglassing. Even though we soaked a lot of epoxy into the fiberglass, and it will fill in most of the gaps, we did a bit of proactive work first. We mixed up some epoxy with some of the cedar sawdust (of which we had plenty) and made a woodfiller which we rubbed into any gaps or holes (yes, the staples holes got filled). For the most part this ended up looking pretty seamless once it was sanded. You’ll see a few spots on the inside where we plastered some of this one before sanding.

Before we can get to the inside, we’ve got to get the canoe off the form. The form was built such that a few station blocks at one end could be easily removed from the form and the canoe slipped back off the form quite easily.

I was unprepared for just how springy and loose the whole thing was once it came off the form. This thing can bounce! In fact, to demonstrate how strong and flexible this type of construction is, someone at one point made up a curved panel and epoxy/fiberglassed it together. They would put it cup-side down and jump on and off of it….and it apparently bounced back with little or not damage. I never saw this myself, but I can see it…to a point.

Hey…that almost looks like a canoe!

And here’s the inside with the woodfiller spots.

Once again we had a very very long day of sanding to get the inside of the hull nice and smooth. The inside was much harder to do than the outside since the curves were concave, adding the risk of cutting in with the sander. Up in the bow and stern ends it became a labour of love to do the sanding by hand. Especially around the inside stem bands.

Here’s the nice shiny sheet of fiberglass draped into the interior.

And once again, the same process of pouring in the epoxy and spreading it out evenly.

Once this had dried, we could trim off the excess.

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