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Pa's Guide Project

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Fitz, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    First coat

    Here is the first coat.

    Larry - I've have good luck with ambroid for patching.

    Okay - joke's on me. How do I get the bug poop off my hands. :eek:

    :D ;)

    Attached Files:

  2. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    If I'm not mistaken, shellac is made from the shell of the lac beetle, which is found in India. It dissolves in denatured alcohol.

    I refinished a piano once, which had been painted green over a finish which had gone black. I thought the finish was varnish, but when I went to wash off with water the varnish stripper, ended up with a gummy mess, so I concluded it was shellac. Amber shellac is different--though I don't know how--from the shellac commonly used on furniture.
  3. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Shellac is made from an excretion of the female lac beetle, not from any of its parts (though parts may end up in shellac through processing - something to keep in mind if you are vegan...). The different forms of shellac - amber, orange, blonde, etc. are a result of different levels of refinement. Dewaxed shellac is better than waxy shellac for adhesion of top coats, especially water-based finishes.

    Fitz, to clean up, just use alcohol. The cheap kind is fine, save your best sipping whiskey for assembly.... Denatured alcohol is the usual solvent, but you can use grain alcohol as well (many guitar builders do this).

  4. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    :) WOW!...Am I ever glad I read this post all the way through!...My friend and I are in the process of restoring an OT Laker square stern and by the description that has been posted..I now believe that there was shellac under the varnish on this one...This will give some insight on the stripping process now!.....Also, I have some great new plans on refinishing two more that I am doing on my own...16' OTCA and a "no-name 15' w/c boat...The stripper goes on this morning on the boat...Nasty stuff!...very potent commercial gel that I obtained under pain of execution by firing squad if I revealed the source;)
  5. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Thanks, Dan. I think it was a prior post of your's I was trying to dig out of the foggy recesses of my memory. I think you're a guitar guy, too. Somewhere--i think here and maybe from you--I learned about the hazards of silicon polishes for guitars and the alternative, Preservation Polish made by Stew-Mac. Got some of it and its great stuff: took grime off my 30 year old martin I didn't know was there.

    Out of curiosity is the amber more waxy and the other stuff less? Whatever was on the piano was a real mess, gummy glue, when I hit it soap and water, but denatured alcohol cleaned it up neat as a pin.
  6. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Pa's Guide Update

    Well, I missed the Father's Day deadline. I'll blame it on the weather. It has done nothing but rain here for much of the last 2 months. 4 inches more are predicted for the weekend. Good thing water is good to paddle on.

    I let the filler "dry" for seven weeks before it passed the fingernail and my sniff test.

    I'm sanding, painting - repeat! - now and varnishing trim, so I will finish in the near future.

    Update photos when conditions warrant :rolleyes:
  7. 43Yankee

    43Yankee 1943 OT Yankee

    Stem Bands

    Fitz - I have a question. Are you going to stay w/the steel stem bans or are you going to brass? If staying w/steel how do you refinish? Mine (1943 Yankee) are galvanized w/some rust near the screw holes. I'm glad to see that you didn't use bleach on the inside. I was leaning in that direction but decided that it would take away the vintage look. I was not willing to risk it. BTW 'Zip-Strip is a good stripper. Just keep it wet and the varnish just dissolves. I used a nylon brush to get at the remaining nooks and crannies and neutralized it w/water. Used CPES as a sealer before varnish. It darkened the wood up a little but not unlike your pics. I couldn't get rid of the floor rack shadow either! I'll post some pics later. Nice progress on the boat!

  8. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Good question.


    Stem bands - The stem bands on this canoe are the galvanized steel flat bands - no hollow on the backside. I was planning to use these bands, they are heavy duty, but as you say a little rusty. I was considering giving them a good sanding and painting them with silver rust-o-leum.

    I had second thoughts the other day though. I'm putting a great deal of effort into the finish on this canoe and I was thinking brass would be a nice touch. I also wonder how flat I can get the steel to lay on the canvas seam, but I think I will try the steel and see how I like it.

    No, I didn't bleach the interior. I did put on a couple of coats of amber shellac before varnish. Shellac was mentioned on the build record. I think the floor rack shadows are now somewhat less noticeable after the varnish, but the floor rack is going back in anyway, so it should be a non-issue.

    Good luck with your project.
  9. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Guide is Green

    Well, after a couple of coats of primer, the Guide is now Green. This is the first coat. It will likely get one or two more.

    This boat was originally bright red, but Pa was due for a change.

    Attached Files:

  10. ebeeby

    ebeeby Novice Canoe Restorer

    That finish looks so smooth - did you spray it?
  11. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    Hi Eric:

    No spray. Lots of hand sanding between coats, 2 coats of a high build primer, Kirby's with penetrol, and some thinner, rolled on and tipped off. It will get at least one more coat.

    Now if I can only keep the skeeters and spider droppings off of it!!:mad:
  12. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I have a question.

    the Roxinator and I are discussing what to do about primer. It seems Pam uses primer and now Rox wants to too. What type of "high build' primer do you use? AND, i have not had any adhesion problems in the past. Is primer going to make adhesion better? Worse? or c). no different.

    ps The Roxinator wants to use Mr. kirby's primer because that is the type of paint we use most all the time. Any thoughts ?
  13. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    I used Interlux Pre-Kote.

    Well, I have confessed my problems with blisters in the past on the forum, but in all cases those boats had no primer that I know of (two were canoes painted by me and two were painted by others). I have used pre-kote on a boat that I finished for a friend last year. As far as I know, he hasn't put it in the water yet, never mind soaked it enough to run into the blister problem that I have encountered. So I don't know the results of this experiment. I did like the finish on that canoe, so I went with the Pre-Kote again.

    I did sand the primer coats thoroughly, by hand.

    I'm still experimenting. Your results may vary. I have not used Mr. Kirby's primer.

    Plus if old Pa gets a case of the blisters, I'll be the first to hear about it!:eek:
  14. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Deadlines and Commitments

    Well, first the Father's Day deadline passed, and then the 4th of July deadline passed, and then the August 3-G's of Fitzs North Woods Excursion deadline passed, but alas, maybe, just maybe, Pa will get his rehabbed 1943 Old Town Guide back for his 70th Birthday on September 1.

    I still need a decal, and I was thinking about a little pinstriping, and the outwales need varnish, and the wartime steel stembands need to go on, but I just might make it.

    If all goes as planned, I just might deliver this Old Town right back near its birthplace. It was delivered in 1943 to Farrington's Camp on Kezar Lake, Maine. Turns out we will be close by to Kezar upon delivery.

    The canoe was Bright Red in 1943, but don't tell anyone. :p

    The first photo is a "BEFORE" rehab shot.

    Attached Files:

  15. Ric Altfather

    Ric Altfather WCHA #4035

    Ah...canoe restoration!


    That's what I like about this work...a little paint, then a little Heineken, a little paint, a little Heineken! Until, you see the runs the next day.

    Nice work,

  16. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Fairing Compound

    Now you have gone and done it Ric! You have brought attention to my secret "Fairing Compound"! If things don't look just so, you just add a little of that to the mix. Also is my occasional secret filler ingredient.:rolleyes: :p

    It doesn't work on keels though.
  17. smallboatshop

    smallboatshop Restorers

    And you probably ought to keep that rabbit away from your beer...
  18. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Pa may get to paddle this one yet.

    Gaining. It still needs a little more varnish on the outwales, probably a final coat of paint and a racing stripe.


    I've been delayed with a bad case of carpenter ants in the 300 year old abode. Lord help me if they find the canoes :eek: .

    Attached Files:

  19. dboles

    dboles LOVES Wooden Canoes

    :D Looking very nice Fitz.! Nice work as usual.
    ( Go back and edit your post to say " to be completed sometime near next Fathers day" you will then find yourself way ahead of schedule) You then will have ample time to take care of the ants
  20. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.


    Fitz - may I call you Fitz?
    noticed in some old posts and on a woodenboat forum that you've got a 12' trapper. I'm about 9/10 away from picking one up, any chance you could post some photos (you know, for inspiration and what not..), maybe another thread in another area? Like to see what it looks like after canvas and refinishing, it'll be my winter project for a spring solo boat.
    thanks much
    Oh and any idea how it'll handle my cougar-like 255lbs?

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