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Bill Sheet - Colored

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by jam010148, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. jam010148

    jam010148 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I am currently restoring 2 Old Town canoes - 1958 15' 50 pounder and 1944 15' Ojibway. Both have the inner hulls stained in what appears to be black walnut or red mahogany. The bill sheets for both have a date entered in the "Colored" box. Did these canoes come from the factory stained? Do you know the proper stain colors?
    thanks
    joe
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Can you provide the serial numbers or scans so the rest of us can see these build records? The Ojibway from 1944 that you requested previously at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/40350/ shows "Aluminum" on the color line, which was a popular color at that time. Old Town did not typically stain the interior of their canoes so you may be seeing something that was done after they left the factory.

    Benson
     
  3. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Joe - I believe what you're referring to ("colored" on am Old Town build sheet) means the application of colored paint to the filled canvas. I agree with Benson about the interior, especially if it appears red. If it's just dark (your "black walnut"), this could simply be old, possibly original, varnish. Share some photos if you can - that will help. Viewers here would be happy to watch the progress of your restoration jobs too.

    Michael
     
  4. OP
    OP
    jam010148

    jam010148 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson, Michael -- Thanks for the information. It appeared kind of strange that a 1944 and a 1958 both showed dates in colored and both were stained dark walnut and other build sheets did not mark this entry but were clear. Coincidence, I suppose. In any case, I tried to strip and then sand but when varnish applied, the dark color came back. Well, except for the 7 ribs and planking that that I had to replace:-( I will stain the new wood.
    thanks again
    joe
     

    Attached Files:

  5. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    When you replaced the planking... did the old planking look like it was stained under the ribs? Or was it brighter and unstained? Also have you tried to brighten the wood at all with bleach or a teak cleaner like Te-Ka?
     
  6. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hard to tell if there is stain there or not. But as Benson said, Old Town didn't stain the canoes at the factory. If there is stain, it would have been applied at some later date. On the other hand, the wood of old canoes has a much darker patina than new wood because the canoe had varnish, water, dirt and other things on it for so many years. There is no way that fresh cedar ribs and planking are going to come anywhere close to the color of old wood. What's often done after stripping is a thorough cleaning of the hull with something like TSP and then (as mentioned above) treatment with a two-part cleaner/bleach system (not household bleach). This does an amazing job of getting all the old grime out of the wood. But even then you won't get a good match, so new wood can be dyed or stained. Some people will actually put in any new wood before stripping so that the slurry of grime helps stain the new parts.

    This advice is coming a little late for this canoe, but perhaps some of it will give you some ideas.

    Michael
     
  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I believe that the "Colored" line indicates when the exterior was painted. This is different from the other lines that reference various applications of interior varnish. The "Colored" lines have dates on most build records, especially the older ones.

    Benson
     
  8. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I've found several canoes from Northern NY that were "colored" on the interior. I currently have a Carleton that was finished with a very reddish mahogany stain and I have seen several others from that area of the Adirondacks that received similar treatment. It must have been "a thing". I haven't gotten around to stripping that canoe yet so I don't know what to expect but I will follow the process that Michael suggested, stripping, TSP, a multi-part bleach and then sanding, sanding and more sanding.
    Something I have done to try and match colors is to save a bunch of the goop/varnish that I strip from the canoe to rub into the replacement wood...I also try to blend colors with stains to try and mask the new wood but it's difficult to completely hide your work. The new wood doesn't have the character that the old wood does. I have thought of leaving new ribs and planking outside for a few months to help the matching process but when canoe has a 100 year head start it's hard to compete with that amount of aging.
    Your canoe looks like it might have had a bath of linseed oil applied to the interior...it turns black over time. You might be able to significantly improve it with TSP and Snappy Teak-Nu....use a nice soft brush for the TSP and use lot's of clean water to rinse. Snappy comes with it's own brushes.
    This past summer I saw a canoe at Jerry Stelmock's shop that was literally black on the inside. I believe that the owners had used motor oil on the wood. Nasty!
     
  9. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    As a relevant "aside", Don Kerr will be leading sessions at next summer's Annual Assembly about color matching so that new wood appears the same as the old wood. But it looks like most of you can't/won't wait for that with work already in progress.
     
  10. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    That might make a good article topic.........
     
  11. OP
    OP
    jam010148

    jam010148 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for all the information to all. It is too late for the 1958 as I already stained all the wood again. However, the 1944 will be the learning/test canoe for a complete cleanup. I have not fully inspected the interior for cracked or broken ribs so don't know the extent of new wood replacement. I got side-tracked on a 1955 Old Town 11 ft 50 pounder but the Ojibway is next in the queue - end Jan???
    thanks again
    joe
     
  12. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Good morning, Joe. I looked at the build records for Old Town canoes that we have right here. Of 18 canoes from the teens through the 1940s, none have been stained and 17 have dates in the "colored" line. An 18' Guide model from 1938 has nothing there, and neither do a few canoes that were built in the 50s to the 80s... and none of these were stained either.

    As for coloring new wood to match old wood, here's what I do. Different people do different things, but here's my approach. I strip, clean and sand the hull as described above, and then before doing anything else other than maybe - or maybe not - removing any old damaged wood, I put on two or three coats of thinned varnish. One coat isn't enough but two or three really show the final color of the ribs and planking. I use that as a guide for dying, staining or chemically treating new wood to match the old, mixing stains/dyes as needed to get the color right. I color the new wood before putting it in the canoe so I don't run the risk of accidentally getting stains or dyes on the old wood. After installing new pieces and getting the whole canoe fully varnished, its hard to tell new wood from old based on color (but as Mike said above, there's no way to fully match the character of old wood with its dents, dings, etc.).

    Its okay that your first canoe is a learning project... really they all are. You're not doing any permanent harm to the canoe, but rather making it a good, useful boat again. That's a good thing. With all you learn now, you'll have even more fun practicing on your next restoration.

    If you REALLY want to learn, see some wonderful canoes, meet outstanding people and have great fun, go to the 40th anniversary Assembly this coming summer (July 16-21, 2019) in the Adirondacks and learn from Don Kerr and many others. You'll be very glad you did!
     
    MGC likes this.

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