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PostPosted: September 26th, 2009, 6:39 pm 
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Freedom 15 assymetrical cedar strip canoe.
I haven't built a canoe before, but am handy at woodworking and mechanical projects.
I just bought this project from a guy that doesn't have the time to finish it. At this point it is still on the mold, with the staples out. To me everything looks to be okay, all strips glued (not coming apart). Some small imperfections where strips would meet together along the length, not alot, just a few. 1/4 -1/2 inch in length, maybe 1/8 deep.
It needs a final sanding, then I'll start the next steps from there.

Questions:
1. Where the staples were, the small holes, do I fill these with a type of cedar wood filler. or leave as is?
2. Fiberglassing- On the outside, is it a 6oz fabric I use, and on the inside can I use something lighter, 4oz?
3. Fiberglassing- When I lay the sheet over the outside, how do I finish the bow and stern with the fiberglass, with both sides coming to the bow, where or how do I finish the seam where they meet? I wouldn't over lap them by an inch would I ?

Can anyone link me to a great website, that has a step by step build, so I can refer to it time to time.
Can someone link me to a website for or store for buying anything I may need to finish this project. (fasteners, seats)

I'm going to make myself the yoke, gunwales, decks.......

Any info would be a great help!
Thanks, Kevin.

P.S. I'm from Mount Albert, Ontario.


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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 8:27 am 
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Get Ted Moores' Canoecraft, 2nd edition, and the info will be there.

Quote:
1. Where the staples were, the small holes, do I fill these with a type of cedar wood filler. or leave as is?


No need to fill the staple holes, there will be gaps, scratches, dents, and other far more visible imperfections in time. Most others will admire the wood tones and they won't see the staple marks.

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2. Fiberglassing- On the outside, is it a 6oz fabric I use, and on the inside can I use something lighter, 4oz?


You can use 6 oz inside and out, unless you want to save weight... 4 oz won't save you that much weight. I'd opt for more durability, having used my Huron stripper for some time now... my opinion only. Having run into invisible rocks that made their presence felt upon the fiberglass, the double layer of 6 oz on the bottom is worth the extra pound and the 6 oz inside still hasn't dented (much) from the tent poles, saws, pails, boots and packs.

Quote:
3. Fiberglassing- When I lay the sheet over the outside, how do I finish the bow and stern with the fiberglass, with both sides coming to the bow, where or how do I finish the seam where they meet? I wouldn't over lap them by an inch would I ?


Let the fiberglass cling to the sides and the stem during the wetout, brushing it into place as much as possible as it hardens. Then trim off the excess and glass and cover any remaining bare areas with bias-cut fiberglass where the weave is at 45 degrees to the length of the strip... it should cling to the stem and sides after being wet out.... enjoy the build!

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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 9:40 am 
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I agree on obtaining Canoecraft, the bible of strip canoe building.

You can use 6 oz inside and out, but for weight savings try 4 oz with an additional football of 4 on the bottom.

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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 11:20 am 
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After you are done sanding the outside of the hull, you will need to crack fill any gaps. At this time, I also fill the staple holes. I just run a plastic putty knife over the holes with Durhams water putty. Then a light resanding with 120 and then fiberglass. I'm a big advocate for a double layer of six ounce on the bottom as well. If you are going to use it as a tripping canoe, it will greatly increase the long term durability. I always complete the glassing of the stems after the wet out coat has dried. I just trim the glass to the the outside edges of the stem, give the edges a sanding, and then cover them with three pieces of glass.


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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 7:16 pm 
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I like the idea of double layering the bottom, on that idea, I think I would apply the bottom only first, let dry, then the complete fiber glasssing on the 2nd layer?


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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 7:24 pm 
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I learned the hard way not to do it outside, late afternoon, on a warm summers day. Drying epoxy makes great fly paper. Interesting effect though. :oops:

Blair


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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 7:39 pm 
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Frozen took all the easy answers. :wink:

vette68 wrote:
I like the idea of double layering the bottom, on that idea, I think I would apply the bottom only first, let dry, then the complete fiber glasssing on the 2nd layer?


I've done a double layer on the bottom twice now. Both times, the smaller piece has been put on first with the full layer put on second. After the first layer was applied and dried, then I feathered the edges before applying the 2nd layer.

The first time I did, I was working outside and the glue down the centerline was letting up before I could get the hull fibreglassed. Just got too damp when it had to sit over the winter. In that case I just did about a 6-8" strip down the centerline.

The 2nd time I was refinishing the canoe and it was intentionally planned. That time I applied a layer to the 'football' shape, carrying it up above the waterline gouge that was one reason for the refinishing job.

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PostPosted: September 27th, 2009, 8:56 pm 
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The unresinated cloth will conform beautifully to the hull shape if you drape it over and work out the wrinkles with a dry chip brush. Start from the center and work your way to the ends. Take you time and keep brushing with light strokes in the direction of the wrinkles.The cloth will adhere to the hull via static cling and you won't have to worry about working out any wrinkles during wet out as they will already have been worked out dry.

I'd put the extra "football" layer on the inside of the canoe. Fiberglass is stronger in tension than it is in compression. An impact to the bottom will result in less damage if laid up this way. If you're worried about abrasion damage rather than impact damage, add a football on the outside as well.

4 oz. is plenty strong enough if you double up on the bottom, but the weight savings is small. Very useful if you're trying to cut ounces on a small pack canoe, but on a full size tripping boat, use the 6 oz. and you will paddle with less worry.

Always put the football piece over the full surface piece, that way you won't risk sanding through the full sheet at the overlap and compromising the hull at that point.

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 12:56 am 
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vette68 wrote:
...Some small imperfections where strips would meet together along the length, not alot, just a few. 1/4 -1/2 inch in length, maybe 1/8 deep.

1. Where the staples were, the small holes, do I fill these with a type of cedar wood filler. or leave as is?
2. Fiberglassing- On the outside, is it a 6oz fabric I use, and on the inside can I use something lighter, 4oz?

Can anyone link me to a great website, that has a step by step build, so I can refer to it time to time.
Can someone link me to a website for or store for buying anything I may need to finish this project. (fasteners, seats)


I agree with the comments so far, generally. Leave the staple holes as is, or fill them, or muddle with them to try to make them smaller. It's your choice. Some folks use an iron or heat gun with a damp cloth in an attempt to steam the holes closed. The theory is that the wood fibers absorb moisture and swell closed. For me it worked a bit, but not much. I've heard of others using tooth picks, though I'm not certain how effective this was either. On the cracks and some of the staple holes I made up my own wood filler with epoxy, sawdust (wood flour), and colloidal silica, playing with the mix until I had something not too far off. It also worked a bit, but not perfectly. For the staple holes, next time I don't think I'll bother doing anything at all about them.

Regarding the glass, it really depends on how you are going to use it. There's always the trade-off between bomb-proof and light. However, the inside glass does much more than just protect the inside of the hull from the abrasion and help hold it all together. When you impact something, the hull will tend to flex inward. To build a strong canoe it needs to be strong on both the outside and the inside.

If you have not worked with fiberglass and epoxy on this sort of scale before, I recommend finding someone in the neighbourhood that is glassing a boat and offer to help them out for an afternoon or evening. You will learn a lot and your own project will go much better. I've seen nearly-perfect jobs and I've seen lousy jobs (due to inexperience). The lousy job had way too much epoxy, especially easy to do on the inside, and this doesn't help the appearance, adds no strength, but adds lots of weight. My own boat wasn't as bad as the lousy boat but there's still a fair bit of room to improve.

For websites, I'd start with the Bear Mountain Boats web site, especially their forum of builders: http://www.bearmountainboats.com/phpbb2/index.php.

Noah's Marine sells a lot of the hardware that might come in handy. http://www.noahsmarine.com/

I hope this helps. Welcome to the boatbuilding club! We all look forward to updates and pictures of the project.

Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 5:48 am 
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easiest way to do the football is to do them both at once. Put the football piece on, and then put the full piece over top. Wet out both at same time. I can guarantee you will not see the edge of the football. I have done five like this now.

The reason I fill the staple holes is to prevent bubbling when the wet out coat is drying.

BK, two layers on the outside is generally due to nature of rocks up here...not too many nice round ones, all slicey, edged things that will lacerate through to the wood quite easily.


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 8:10 am 
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Quote:
On the cracks and some of the staple holes I made up my own wood filler with epoxy, sawdust (wood flour), and colloidal silica, playing with the mix until I had something not too far off. It also worked a bit, but not perfectly.


This is my most visible mistake, as far as the looks go... I didn't spend enough time matching colors and the filler ended up too light. I'm sure too dark would have been a much better-looking mismatch so next time the filler will be mixed up to be slightly darker.

Also doesn't help that epoxy turned the filler and cedar different colors than water when I tried to get the color matched.

:doh:

I don't see the staple marks (which weren't filled) but I do see that light-colored filler from time to time.

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 10:22 am 
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frozentripper wrote:
This is my most visible mistake, as far as the looks go...

Hi frozentripper, that's why we all want to build another boat and it becomes an addiction! Even though my kayak came out very well, there are a number of things I'd like to do better, and a few different techniques I'd like to try. The difficult thing is to prioritize them, and then to find the time and space to take on the project (I have a long list to make a dent in first).
Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 12:09 pm 
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Filling the staple holes at least tripled the sanding effort for my buddy. It also taught him a bit about when not to use a random orbit sander.

I had advised against filling the staple holes, but he did it anyway. That was fine it was his boat. Then he sanded down the filled staple holes when I was away one weekend. The random orbit sander worked fast but he ended up with hollows along each line of staples. Not good. He then had to hand sand the whole hull with a fairing board to even it out again.

Not only do you not need to fill the staple holes ahead of time, but if you leave them open then it gives the epoxy some more grip to mechanically bond to the hull.

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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 12:29 pm 
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I think one of the mistakes people make is using thickened epoxy as a crack or hole filler. This will be very difficult to sand and will change the colour of the wood. A simple wood filler from the hardware store will sand very easy, and depending on the type of cedar being used, can often be easy to colour match. I don't think you'll receive a substantial change in mechanical bonding by leaving the holes open. However, if you have had the experience of those holes outgassing, you'll know how unfun it is to try to compensate for the divits left by the bubbles. It takes me apprximately 20 minutes to cover all the staple holes on the exterior of a 17 foot canoe...I just slap it on in lines with a putty knife, then sand it off with 120 an hour later.


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2009, 8:17 pm 
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Yep, he used thickened epoxy to fill the holes. Wood filler would have been safer, but he was excited about the new random orbit sander at the time, so he might still have had a bit of 'recovery' work to do even if he had used wood filler.

I can see the potential for outgassing, just haven't had a problem with it yet. Of course another option is to build staple-less to start with.

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