Cedar Strip Canoe Build # 22 Getting The Cloth Ready

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Blog entry by farmerdude posted 01-14-2016 11:34 PM 1846 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The first order for today is to clean up what I did yesterday. I looked it over and do not see any bubbles that developed after leaving the shop yesterday. So here is one end all hardened up ready for sanding.

You need to rough up the cloth enough to give the next layer something to grab onto. The edges of the cloth need to be feathered out so the new cloth won’t snag on it. Also, you need to get it smooth enough so there will be no place that will trap air. The only concern here is to be sure not to sand through the sealer coat. If you do sand through it’s not the end of the world, you can mix a small batch and replace it. The only problem with that is that you will lose another day waiting for it to harden so you can lay on the cloth.
Here is an example of what it should look like.

In one spot, I found a bubble that I had missed before. It was where the cloth overlapped so it did not show up until I sanded it.

This small spot is not big enough to concern me as far as strength goes. There will be two more layers of cloth going over it later. The thing to worry about is that it will hold air and become a bubble. All you need to do is feather the edges and continue on. It’s barely noticeable now, it’s at the end of the stick.

When the sanding is done, remove the dust from the entire hull. Now it’s time to lay the cloth on the hull.
I have very rough hands. Rough hands will snag the cloth and raise, ‘holy you know what’, with it. The best cure I’ve found yet is to use these gloves.

We get these at Sam’s Club. They come as two boxes together. So you get 1000 gloves, and the wife thinks they were about $12.00. At that price I use them for lots of things. If you put a pair on, and get them sticky, there’s a good chance your nose will itch, or your eye, or ear, you get the idea. With these gloves being that cheap, it doesn’t bother me to shuck one off, take care of the itch, and grab a new one. I’ve already found it handy when doing this blog. Sticky hands and a camera are not a good combination. So, I’ve got my gloves on, it’s time to get the cloth. I like to put two layers on the bottom for extra strength. This is referred to in the book as the football shaped piece.

As you can see on the bag. I ordered 5 yards, 6 oz. cloth, 40” wide.

As I unfolded the cloth I found it was longer than I expected.

When I got done trimming the ends I had five and a half feet left over. According to the slip, I only paid for the 5 yards I had ordered, so thank you Raka, for the extra.
I trimmed the ends even with end of the strongback.

When I have cloth that is longer than the canoe, I drape it over the shop chair to keep it from getting dirty on the floor.

I like to trim the cloth with my 8” scissors. I got these at Liberty Tool, for $4.00. They work really well.

When I order the cloth I have the option of them shipping it either folded or rolled. Rolled costs more for shipping because it has to be shipped separately. I have never had trouble getting the creases out when wetting out the cloth.
Now to trim the edges. This piece is for the bottom only. Cloth adds weight so you don’t want more than you need.

Once you have it the size and shape you want, you just have to smooth it out. A soft paint brush works great for this.

Now you see ripples…....

Now you don’t.

Next comes the big cloth

This big one weighs 9 pounds, but it is long enough to do the outside and the inside. Thankfully, my wife bailed me out today. I wanted to get all the cloth laid on today, and it was getting awfully close to supper time. With two of us the big piece went quickly.

Here is what happens if you snag the cloth on the strongback.

You want to avoid snags like this, I know of no way to fix it. The good news is, this snag is just at gunwhale height so it will trimmed off when done.
Look at this next picture, you can see the smaller piece of cloth under the big one. When you wet out the cloth you will do both layers at once.

Here is the cloth all trimmed and ready to be wet out.

So, the next job is a really big one. Wetting out the cloth will take a better part of the day, with both of us working at it. As I’m typing this it is 6:17 P.M. and it’s 7 degrees out. So if we want to do it tomorrow morning I will have to light the wood stove about 5:30 A.M. to get the temperature up early. I like it about 75 degrees for the epoxy to set the way I want it to. I’ll have to babysit the bubbles for a long time after, and keep the fire going into the evening so it won’t cool down in there too early. Therefore, I’m not sure when we will do it. We have an appointment tomorrow, so not then. We’re hoping to do it on Saturday, or Sunday. When we do it I probably won’t get to blog it until the next evening. So the bottom line is, I will update sometime in the next few days. See you then.

-- Jeff in central Me.

8 comments so far

View English's profile


682 posts in 2085 days

#1 posted 01-15-2016 12:31 AM

I don’ t envy you tring to keep the epoxy on the side of the canoe and off the floor. Question. Wetting both layers at one time will the edges of the football shaped layer show through on the finished canoe? I did one layer at a time and feathered the edges before the next layer. This seems like your method will be much faster.

It’s looking good. Won’t be long till you will have a finished canoe!!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View bearkatwood's profile


1809 posts in 1619 days

#2 posted 01-15-2016 12:36 AM

Great job, I had a hard time keeping the wrinkles out when I did a small little boat, yours looks great. Thanks for the post.
I was watching Nick Offerman/ canoecraft and they are fun videos to watch.

-- Brian Noel

View Bobsboxes's profile


1400 posts in 3272 days

#3 posted 01-15-2016 12:52 AM

Great to see things coming along.

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

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2647 days

#4 posted 01-15-2016 01:03 AM

English, you will not see the edge of the small piece. I can’t explain why, but it works. And it is quick.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2647 days

#5 posted 01-15-2016 01:04 AM

bearkat, thanks. I’ve seen the vids. and they are really good.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2647 days

#6 posted 01-15-2016 01:05 AM

Bob, sure is, thanks.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View hoss12992's profile


4166 posts in 2501 days

#7 posted 01-15-2016 02:50 AM

It looks great. Looking forward to next update

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2647 days

#8 posted 01-15-2016 10:31 PM

Hoss, thanks buddy.

-- Jeff in central Me.

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