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To Canvas or not?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Gary, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Gary

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Hi, I'm late in finishing a cedar canvas canoe restoration and regrettably the weather is turning colder and my shop is not heated. I've got it ready to be re-canvased but wondering if I should wait as I wont be able to fill it until Spring. Is it better left in it's current state, varnished inside and out, or with it canvased but not filled? It will be dry in the rafters of my shop either way, but cold.
    Thanks, Gary
  2. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    If it were me, I'd canvas and fill (traditional) it now. I think it's better to give it ample time to dry. Better than waiting to push timelines as spring rolls around.
  3. OP

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    That is my point I can't fill as my shop is not heated and we already have temperatures at or below freezing at night so the fill wont have time to dry, so I can re-canvas but not fill it till Spring.
  4. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac

    Last fall I canvassed and filled at just about this same time of year. The canoe went into an unheated garage with two light bulbs underneath it for months. I occasionally moved the bulbs, and I occasionally touched the filler surface lightly with coarse sandpaper, just to make sure a skin had not developed. It didn't. The filler cured fine, and come warmer weather I proceeded with sanding and painting. Of coarse it is warmer in MD than northern states, but I recall Benson posting photos of canoes that were canvased and filled resting on the roof of the Old Town factory in snow, so they must not have been too concerned. TM..
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Gary likes this.
  6. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    @Gary, my bad, I thought you were asking if you should wait or not.
    I filled my Chestnut last year in the dead of winter (December) in a non-heated garage. I boosted the temp in the garage with a hydronic space heater placed under the hull for a day or so. The filler went on almost exactly like the warmer applications. You may want to try for a less humid day though. That may help it "skin" better.
    Then I left it in the cold garage to do its thing. I put the rails on in April and In May it was warm enough to Paint.
  7. OP

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Thank you, I did not realize that the filer would still harden/dry/cure in the cold, which was my concern. So looks like I'll go ahead and get the canvas on and try on as warm a day as I can get to apply the filler. Once again this forum is awesome! Thanks guys.

    Great photos Benson thanks.
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have applied traditional filler in near freezing temps with no ill effects noted.

    I did store a canoe outside one winter and the sunny side developed some cracks in the filler compared to the shady side. Lesson learned.


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