Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Old Town Design #4

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Feathers, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I'm getting close to being ready to attempt this. I found some very informative old threads and I feel pretty comfortable with setting up a reasonably accurate representation on my 16' Old Town. I've ordered Kirby Gloss white as well as red and blue. I also have several rolls of Scotch blue painters tape to tape off the triangles as I go along. But if there is anybody who has done this before that has any wisdom/ advice to share before I get started I'd appreciate it. Perhaps there is a better tape to use? If not, well, I'll let you know how it goes. :)


    Number 4.jpg
     
  2. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Use 3m 218 fineline 1" tape. 1 roll will do. Calculate the size of triangle needed( it will always be an odd number because red starts and ends the design). Make a pattern slightly smaller than the triangle. Mark the triangles on the canoe with a water soluble marker, doing both ends and then adjusting the sizes in the middle where the difference will never be noticed. Tape the triangles. run another piece of tape parallel to the outwale at the bottom vertice of the triangles. This will create the smaller upright triangle. Tape 7 or 9 triangles on each end ,and again tape from the triangle vertex to create the blue triangles. The diagonal in the corner between the two red triangles is created similarly.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you very much for the help. When I followed some dimensions for the triangles that I found on an old thread here I ended up with 33 and some left over rather than the 35 suggested. I simply did the math to get it to come out at 34 even thinking what difference could that make? I've only seen photos of one end or the other and it never occurred to me that I need red at the start on each end. So you just saved me that mistake! 3M 218 fineline tape? Auto supply store?
     
  4. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    TRIANGLES AND OTHER REPEATING DESIGNS

    Painting Old Town’s design number 4, or any design with a repeated pattern running the length of the hull, requires certain amount obsessive-compulsiveness in the painter’s personality. There is a lot of careful detail work called for when laying out and masking such a pattern. Some people use stencils for such patterns, but I do not, as I will explain later.

    Old Town’s design 4 is a series of large, alternating-colored down-pointing triangles placed right under the outwale (red and blue in design 4), with smaller, up-pointing triangles of one color (blue in design 4) filling in between the larger triangles, separated from the large triangles by a space the same color as the hull (white in design 4). I have seen pictures of it done in red and black.

    PT-low.jpg (picture courtesy of Benson Gray)

    The following is how I laid out and painted a modification of design 4.

    Passadumkeag put-in.JPG

    First, I determined the number and size of the large triangles, and then the size of the small triangles and the amount of space separating the triangles. In my modified design, my triangles are larger than those of OT’s traditional design 4, but as the forum discussion at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.ph...light=triangle makes clear, even Old Town varied the triangle sizes -- there are no canonical dimensions, unless attempting to replicate one particular canoe. I estimated that about 4"-4 1/2" would be a good height for my larger triangles. The sheer under the gunwales of my canoe is about 174” and after some guessing and trial and error, I determined the approximate length of the triangle base (about 7 1/4”), then figured out how many triangles I would have. For my design, I decided on 24 large “down” triangles.

    I used green Frog masking tape, finding it much better than ordinary blue tape (even 3M blue tape) -- but I understand that the 3M fineline tape Gil mentions above is much better, and I will try it next time I’m masking a design.

    Once I chose a height for the large triangles, I marked out a line parallel to the sheer along the length of the hull -- I used a short “story stick” to mark multiple pencil dots along the hull, and then connected those dots with ¾” green tape. This line of tape parallel to the sheer of the canoe forms the base of the small “up” triangles and marks the tip of the “down” triangles.

    s cr ed 100_3493.jpg cr ed 100_3497.jpg

    Because masking tape has a certain amount of flexibility, it is not hard to get a fair curve when placing the tape while following the marked dots. I then ran a line of wide blue tape under the green tape just to provide extra protection for the hull in case of a slip of the paint brush.

    Using a pencil, I then marked out the width of the 24 larger triangles along the sheer line with a pencil, right on the outer rail. It is in this task that many people have trouble. Because measuring the curved sheer under the gunwale is difficult, and because the exact starting and ending point for measuring are not necessarily clear on an old and somewhat worn canoe, your measurement of the length is likely to contain an error, and therefore any dimension you figure by simply dividing this sheer measurement by the number of triangles will contain an error. If you start laying out triangles at one end of the canoe, whether by measuring or by using a template, all of the error will accumulate and show up at the other end – either your last triangle won’t fit, or your row of triangles will be too short. And it doesn’t take much of an error to make a big difference. An error in the base length of your triangle of only 1/16" would result in an accumulated error of 1 ½" in a 24 triangle pattern like that on my 15' canoe.

    ed cr 100_3505.jpg (because the picture was not taken square on, the pencil marks on the outer rail may seem to be out of position, but they are accurate when viewed straight on.)

    Instead, to minimize error and keep it from accumulating in one spot, mark the center point of the sheer line. Now you have to fill each half -- in my case, with 12 triangles. But again, I did not just start running the triangles from the middle to the bow and stern. I put another mark at the half-way point between the middle and the bow, and the middle and the stern, and then divided each of those sections in half again, giving me eight sections to fill with three triangles each, by simply dividing each space in three. This way, any error is spread more or less equally among all of the triangles, and any fudging that may be needed is small, easily done, and just not noticeable. If one of your triangle bases is 4 1/4” long, and the adjoining one is 4 5/16” long, no one will know but you, and even you will not be able to see the difference on the completed job. If working with an odd number of triangles (as you probably should -- see below), mark out one triangle over the center point, then divide the remaining space on either side of it as just described.

    Now locate the point of the large “down” triangle. Place a small try square under the gunwale with the corner of the square at the center of each triangle. Mark the point where the arm of the square crosses the long masking tape base line -- this point is the tip of the large “down” triangle. Then outline the triangles with the masking tape. Trim the ends of the tape pieces to points meeting under the gunwale, making sure that the tape ends overlap. The tape is then run down to the point on the base line that had been marked with the square. See picture above.

    The “up” triangles are smaller than the larger “down” triangles by the width of the masking tape -- wider tape will give you smaller “up” triangles. On design 4 as painted by OT, the small triangles are much smaller than in my modified design. I used ¾” tape to create a ¾” separation; I could have used wider tape or doubled up the tape I had, but I like the smaller separation and larger “up” triangles. Again, I was not shooting for a reproduction of design 4, but rather, just using it as a jumping off point for my modified design.

    It is necessary to burnish well the edges of the green masking tape to keep paint from bleeding in under the tape -- and even then, some bleeding occurred because I did not burnish firmly enough. On a later job I used the barrel of a ball-point pen and rubbed hard, and had much less bleed through. For the bleed through, I took an artist's brush and cut the lines by hand as needed to eliminate the blurring; I also filled in small missed spots under the rail by hand.

    While it pays to take care in marking out the triangles, absolute precision is not needed -- no one will notice if the base of one triangle is 1/16" or even 1/8" different from the triangle next to it, even close up. The width of the masking tape takes care of the uniformity of the width of the separation of the triangles, and a well-taped baseline takes care of the uniformity of their height.

    I subsequently modified the triangle design on this canoe, with 32 smaller triangles all the same size, with no separation between them:

    sm 100_9030.jpg

    I first taped a line parallel to the sheer and painted a wide green stripe. I then laid out the magenta and blue “down” triangles as above. After painting them, and removing the tape, the green stripe had changed into green “up” triangles between the “down” triangles.

    After I started painting this pattern, I became aware that I should have used an odd number of “down” triangles to get the end triangles the same color. Rather than start over, I merely painted the two center triangles the same color -- I don’t think anybody ever noticed, and it was handy to have a clearly-marked center point when placing the canoe on my car roof rack.
     
  5. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    image.jpg Tim,
    Gil's advice on fine line automotive tape is spot on. The blue painters tape might be good for around windows in your bedroom with latex paint, but if you want a really crisp line, go with automotive stuff.
    I bought tape from this place ... http://www.finessepinstriping.com. Same thing that Gil recommends...basically.
    I used it on the "Kokopelli" two-tone sponson canoe that you saw and the Lyman runabout in the back shop.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
    JimT likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Well this is good information. Too bad I didn't ask this before I put in the last order from Jamestown and added four rolls of the Scotch painters tape. Ah well, a little more money into the old canoe. It seems to like that...
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Greg,

    Thanks for the detailed response. There is enough here I will have to read it carefully when I have more time later tonight. However, I should tell you I read that first sentence to my wife and she burst out laughing. Apparently she feels I meet the first qualification?
     
  8. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Jamestown should have 1" 3M fine line tape. There is a 17' Old Town with design #4 shown on the completed items of Ebay. It has 35 triangles along the shear. Not knowing the exact length, the base of each triangle is approx. 5 1/2-6 inches. The actual size varied with different canoes. I use a plexiglass triangle to lay out the triangles, and have at least 2 different sizes. The stem usually had 7 or 9 triangles - the more recurve, the more triangles.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Okay, tape is ordered. For anyone who stumbles across this thread in the future looking to attempt this here are the two older threads I found helpful.

    Thread 1
    Thread 2

    I appreciate all the help. My attempt to set this up was to create stencils and attempt to get them to line up perfectly.
    Old Town-1.jpg

    I would have had an even number and would have started from one end and worked my way to the other. Now I will be sure to have an odd number, and I will begin from each end and work to the middle allowing the middle four or five triangles to adjust slightly to make up any slight mistakes or differences between the two sides. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to help me out.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Another question. I'm close, I have two coats of white on so I will be ready to attempt the triangles soon. This may be obvious to you that have done this before but it isn't to me. I figure I'll need two coats of the red and blue to cover the white. Can you leave the tape on until both coats are dry? Do you need to remove the tape before the paint fully cures? Would it be best to remove the tape shortly after the application of the first coat and then hand paint as close to the taped line as possible for the second coat?
     
  11. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Leave the tape on until the red and blue triangles are completed. If the white has dried sufficiently, 3M 218 will come off without any residue. Red might take more than 2 coats, and both colors can be scuffed with grey or purple Scotchbrite between coats.
     
  12. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Also, after pulling the tape, use a paper towel with a little paint thinner to wipe away the paint that bled under the tape. If done soon after the tape is pulled, the paint is still wet enough to be removed. Wipe into the color.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks. The help is very appreciated. We are planning on attending the assembly and it's a long way for us. It will likely be the only one we attend and I'd like to bring a canoe I've worked on along. I think it's unlikely that I can finish this in time, but it's not impossible. One mistake that costs time will make it impossible so I appreciate the help in saving myself the mistakes that would set me back.
     
  14. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Time is short to allow your paint to cure. If your base paint has been well cured you may be *OK* to car top but if not you risk damaging the paint on such a long trip. The roof straps can dig into the paint. . The sun beating down on tight straps for so many miles can really do a number on fresh paint. It is a real bummer to loosen the straps and pull up paint. The damage is really hard to repair. My Morris has strap marks buried into the finish.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  15. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I think you just gave me more free time this coming week. My timeline is aggressive, even if everything went perfectly the last coat of paint wouldn't go on until Thursday or Friday and we're planning on leaving Saturday afternoon and taking our time driving out there. Arriving to have the paint come off with the straps would put a damper on enjoying the assembly. Thanks for sharing the wisdom.
     
  16. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    check your private messages

    I've cleared out old files, there is room for me to get a reply
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  17. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I'm finally just about finished with this. Last step is stem bands. With no outside stems folks have reported that Old Town would just paint the red and blue triangles over the stem band. I did a test spot and the paint comes off with a fingernail very easily. They are the original bands and pretty rough but I didn't sand the heck out of it. Any suggestions for getting the paint to stick better?
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Cancel that question. After cleaning them up a little they are a beautiful copper color and I like the contrast. I'm going to clean them up and leave them as is.
     
  19. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    You know, I'm not a big fan of the look of clear-finished wood/canvas-style canoes, but that white on brown preliminary pattern is rather striking in its own right.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Feathers

    Feathers Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Well it's long past that look now. In fact, with the help of Dave Osborn mentoring me, and the advice on this forum, today was the day I got to stand back and say "It's done!" Old Town Design #4 tested my patience and skills. But, there it is, on the front lawn. Without Dave and the painting advice here it would never look like that. Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread. I appreciate it.

    Old Town-3.jpg
     

Share This Page