Restoring a classical canvas canoe

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by mrbeats, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. mrbeats
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    mrbeats New Member

    I am restoring an old wooden framed canvas canoe.
    How would I go about making a new canvas for it?
    Do I use glue on the seams or do I stich them?

    Thank you.
     
  2. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    Do you not have any of the original covering?

    How was it done ?

    The only one I ever messed with was stretched over
    the frame and held at the sheers with a batten, same
    at the bow and stern.
     
  3. mrbeats
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    mrbeats New Member

    sadly i only have the frame and no old cover.
    I was just wandering of how to cover it and if stitched seams or glued seams would be better.
     
  4. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    i'd do both.
    ( not knowing anything bout it sorry)
     
  5. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I believe you only have seams on the ends , which are tacked one side over the other and covered with a brass half round.
    I could be wrong, of course.

    Alan
     
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You will have seams at the end and also at the gunnels.

    You only need to sew the material, but you will need to apply some type of waterproofing over the stitches.

    There is some structural advantage to gluing the material to the stringers, but it makes repairs harder.
     
  7. Flumixt
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    Flumixt Junior Member

    In the mid 40's I learned to canoe with the wooden canvas covered canoes. Practically lived in em. We carried stuff to patch and repair which included among other things needle, thread, extry canvas and Orange Shellac to water proof the canvas. When we got home we painted over the shellac.

    No special paint that I recall and there probly wasn't any such thing either at least in the north woods. Not sure orange shellac still exists.

    I recovered a complete canoe one time and used the orange shellac/paint technique. Worked just fine. I think the canvas went up under the gunnels and was tacked there ie and attaching the gunels held the canvas. Attaching the keel without causing a leak thru the canvas was a problem I don't remember how I did that. It was attached with screws. That'd been 1948. Wow!

    You must realize that these canoes cannot be run up on rocks or a shore etc like the aluminum or fiberglass canoes - you have to be super vigilant. Carry em out into the water then load and get in - get out, unload then pick out of the water.
     
  8. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Here's a couple of links that should help:

    http://dragonflycanoe.com/stephens/canvas_canoes.html
    http://www.bushcraft.ridgeonnet.com/canoe2.htm

    If you have a classical canoe you shouldn't do anything that would make the next restoration difficult, like using glue! You may be able to get some pointers from a boat museum: here's a link for some of them:

    http://groups.msn.com/woodenboatbuilder/yourwebpage1.msnw

    On the other hand, if it is not really a classic there are better materials than canvas to cover a boat with these days ...
     
  9. boreal
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    boreal New Member

    You may want to check out the following:

    http://forums.wcha.org/
    Stelmok and Thurlow's book, "The Wood and Canvas Canoe"

    The procedure is quite simple. Finding canvas filler may not be as easy. There is great debate over the latter subject but i prefer the traditional solution, considering you are renewing a traditional craft.

    Good Luck

    Boreal
     
  10. dory543
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    dory543 New Member

    No glue needed. Built one 40 years ago. Simply stretch the canvas over the hull and fasten to sheer strake with battens.
     
  11. ancient kayaker
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

  12. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    dory is right, KISS is what these little suckers were all about, we simply tacked a battern onto the overlapped canvas and appield an oil based paint, lasts for years and years.
     
  13. rideaubill
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    rideaubill Junior Member

    Canvas canoe

    http://www.amazon.com/Wood-Canvas-Canoe-Construction-Restoration/dp/0884480461
    this is the best book I have found, it goes thru building one and restoring with pics and all. Here is a few of my canoe as I recanvased it. streching the canvas from end to end and fastening it using canvas pliers. BTW don't buy the pliers from a canoe supplier but rather go to an art store, about 1/3 the price.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Rod Tait
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    Rod Tait Junior Member

    Did this canoe not have gunwales? Usually the canvass is stretched end to end and then either tacked or stapled to the top edged of the planking. The gunwale screwed to the sheer covers the top of the canvass and also helps to hold the canvass in place. On the ends of the canoe, the canvass is wrapped over each other and also tacked and then a brass half oval is placed over the ends of the canoe.
     

  15. rideaubill
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    rideaubill Junior Member

    yup, these pics were taken before that process, the canvas has been tacked along the length, the ends cut and overlapped with bedding compond and tacked. The canoe is then filled with filler then I add the Gunwales. You could paint first then add the Gunwales but there is lots of opportunities to mark up the paint doing that. After the keel will be screwed on along with the brass stem and stern straps. (this canoe in a 1964)
     
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