Cedar Strip Canoe Build # 21 A Strip Of Cloth On Bow And Stern

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Blog entry by farmerdude posted 01-13-2016 11:23 PM 1822 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My pickup broke down so I spent the better part of two days working on that, so no shop time there. I did manage to get out there this afternoon. If I remember correctly this is what it looked like last time I updated.

That picture was after putting on the sealer coat. It looks really nice, now to sand it and mess up that great look.
Here it is with one side done, then all done.

Before I do any fiberglassing I put plastic on the floor. There will always be drips. When you get done and pick up the plastic, any gobs of epoxy will fall right off. It won’t stick to this plastic. The only problem is you have to be careful because it is slippery.

I am going to put a strip of cloth on the ends. It will add strength, and give it more protection where it will be beached on the shore. The cloth should be around 3 to 4 inches wide and 3 feet long.

The curve of the ends can be pretty sharp, so you will need to make a few small cuts in the cloth. This way you can overlap it and make it smooth.

I start on the top and wet the cloth using a chip brush. This will hold it a little and allow me to work my way down.

All you do is wet the center and then the sides, and then move down.

When you get down to the first cut, just tuck in one piece, then fold the other piece over it. You will have to be careful not to move them apart as you work it around. This isn’t a very good picture but I tried to get a shot of the fold.

The biggest thing to watch for now is the cloth moving sideways. What I mean is, when you are using the brush to wet the cloth and fold it over, and get it to lay correctly, it will sometimes pull right over towards the side you are working on. If you don’t watch carefully you may end up with the edge of the cloth pulled right over to the point of the canoe. If this happens just use the brush to pull it back where it belongs and go back to what you were doing. You will be surprised how long you have to work it before it becomes too hard.
The next issue is the bottom end. Once you have it pretty well stuck to the hull, you may want to cut off the extra cloth that is hanging past the wood. If you don’t it will try to pull away from the end.

Even after you cut off the extra, you still want to keep an eye on it. The cloth naturally wants to hang straight down.

Once you have it pretty well stuck down take the squeegee and remove the extra epoxy.

Get as much of it as you can, but you don’t have to worry about getting it all, right now. The bad news is, it’s almost impossible to do this without moving the cloth some. This is OK because you can straighten it out later. The main concern is to remove the right amount. If you don’t remove enough it will be shiny.
This picture shows one side that is done correctly. This is what it will look like.

This is the other side where I have not removed enough yet. Notice the shiny spots.

Here is a spot where I have purposely removed too much epoxy. It’s not a great picture, but when you remove too much it will look whiteish. If this happens, just add more.

Once you get the extra epoxy off and get the cloth where it belongs, you need to be sure you double check the epoxy. The squeegee moves the cloth, as you have seen, so for this I use a different “tool”. I use one of those credit card sized things I get in my junk-mail.

I keep the plastic ones. They work well for spreading glue also. I have even trimmed the edge of them with pinking shears, that works great on glue. And, with glue and epoxy, when it hardens overnight you can usually peel it right off and use the card again.
Here is this end all done.

In those pictures you can see some strands of cloth hanging off here and there, they will be alright because you will sand them off when you sand these ends up.
Once this end was done I moved to the other. When both ends are done you will have to do what I call babysit.
When you get done you never want to walk away because you will eventually get bubbles. After finishing the second end I went back and found these bubbles.

All you need to do here is work the bubble out through the cloth using the squeegee or the credit card.
So that’s about it for now. just watch for bubbles for a while and when you think it’s safe you can leave it. I will usually watch something like this for about an hour if I can do something else while I wait so I don’t get bored.
Next time will be sanding and getting ready to fiberglass the whole hull. See you then.

-- Jeff in central Me.

8 comments so far

View English's profile


682 posts in 2080 days

#1 posted 01-13-2016 11:51 PM

Looking good!!

Working with Epoxy is hurry up and wait.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View hoss12992's profile


4165 posts in 2496 days

#2 posted 01-13-2016 11:52 PM

Very informative. Great job and thanks buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Bobsboxes's profile


1387 posts in 3267 days

#3 posted 01-14-2016 05:09 AM

This is great, I always want to see how it’s done, thanks for sharing.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2775 days

#4 posted 01-14-2016 02:18 PM

I am beginning to wish I had never seen this blog. I have 4 flotation devices now and this is making me want to make a canoe.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View BareFeet's profile


37 posts in 3135 days

#5 posted 01-14-2016 04:19 PM

Great work and detail in your blog. Thanks for documenting!

Quick question…I’ve seen people add a steam bent piece of hardwood to the bow and stern ends (basically directly under where you just added the fiberglass). Is there any reason you didn’t do that? Or should I say, is there any benefit/drawback to doing it one way or another?

I look forward to reading your next installment!

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2642 days

#6 posted 01-14-2016 09:30 PM

Thanks everyone.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2642 days

#7 posted 01-14-2016 09:32 PM

lohnstoneb, no time like the present. It is quite enjoyable to build your own. You’ll be glad you did.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2642 days

#8 posted 01-14-2016 09:37 PM

BareFeet, The canoes in this book do not call for hardwood stems. There will be three layers of cloth on the outside and two layers inside. There will also be some extra epoxy inside you will see later. All that gives it plenty of strength. The author states that that is all that is needed.

-- Jeff in central Me.

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