Cedar Strip Canoe Build # 24 Sanding The Hull..... Again

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Blog entry by farmerdude posted 01-19-2016 09:33 PM 1886 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not a big update, but an update none the less. First off, it’s going to get cold this week, so wife and I figured we would get in some firewood before it cools down.

Second, another one of my foolish mishaps. When we glassed the canoe we moved it down out of the corner to do that end first. Before rolling it back into the corner I picked up all the crap on the floor. Or so I thought. Today I went to roll it out and it didn’t want to move. I got looking it over and found that I had missed a small piece of cloth when I cleaned up. I also found that it apparently had wet epoxy on it at that time. It was now ‘glassed’ to the wheel. Kind of funny, actually.

Minor setback. A few minutes with a hammer, and small cold chisel, and it was like new.

One more thing I like to do is trim the cloth around the edges. Sometimes I set things on the strongback, so I get the cloth out of the way. The best way I’ve found is a sharp utility knife. I just get the heft of it, it’s easier to get right up to the wood after you turn the canoe over.

The ends look like this right now, you will need to feather them out so they make a smooth transition to the rest of the hull. Also sand the whole hull so the next layer of epoxy will grab.

I used 80 grit for this. Another thing you need to address is anything that looks like this point. On the point I will use a rasp to get most of it, then sand the rest.

So, now it’s time to make some dust. If you have ever sanded fiberglass, you know how bad it is. I’ve always put on a dust mask and opened the door. Today it was 20 degrees and the wind was howling, so the door stayed closed. I’ve never done this before, but I hooked the sander to my shop vac. I used an old hose that I had hanging on the wall, it had ends on it that fit perfectly. I put a small piece of duct tape on the vac end to make sure it stayed. The sander end didn’t need it.

I was very impressed with myself, if this worked the way I hoped, I wouldn’t be all itchy when I got done. I snapped on the vac, I could feel the suction through the holes in the bottom of the sander. Cool. I clicked on the sander, and away we go. I started on the top at one end. The dust was going into the sander and not coming back out. Yeehaw! I sanded about for about forty five seconds then the vac died. Cancel the yeehaw. This shop vac and I have some history. It was given to me about 20 years ago. It was a bottom, the cover and hose, and a bag of motor parts. It took me a long time to figure out how to put it together and make it work. It’s performance has been spotty over the years. Today I assumed that the small hose was restricting the airflow too much and it overheated. I let it sit but it never started again. I will tear it apart someday. Today it’s time for plan B. I have an old electrolux vac in the shop, so I dug it out. I hooked the hose up, and it’s time to try again.

As you sand you are apt to find some runs that you couldn’t see before. When you sand them they show up better. Just try to smooth them out, but not sand too deeply into the cloth around it. If you’re careful you can get it to look like the rest of the hull.

Here it is half sanded.

It’s a shame to mess up that nice shiny look, but it will happen a few more times before it’s done. Speaking of done, here it is all sanded.

When we glassed the hull the other day, I had to trim the cloth on the ends. It’s almost impossible to do this without getting the scissors all sticky. I keep one pair just for trimming wet cloth. I was up to Harbor freight the other day, and with a coupon, I got a new pair free. I’ll keep the new pair to trim dry cloth.

The next step on the canoe is to put on a coat of epoxy to fill the weave of the cloth. It’s too late to do it today. I needed a small project to finish out the afternoon, looking around I spotted the paddles. I need to put a strip of cloth all around the paddle blades to give them some protection from rocks and such. I have time to do one paddle today. I use a brush to carry some epoxy to the cloth and stick it in a few spots.

Then when you have it stuck so it doesn’t keep moving, use the brush to wet the rest of it. Then use a squeegee to remove the extra epoxy, and make sure it is laying down where you want it.

In these pictures it’s done. You’ll notice that the cloth is not entirely wet out. That’s because I cut it wider than I wanted it. So where the epoxy ends and the cloth is dry, I will cut off the extra cloth and feather the edges, and it will look fine.
I won’t be able to work on the canoe tomorrow, so i will try to get out there on Thursday. If I do I will update Thursday evening or Friday. See you then.

-- Jeff in central Me.

9 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4341 posts in 2590 days

#1 posted 01-19-2016 09:56 PM

Great work….I have really enjoyed this blog…Thanks

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16319 posts in 3220 days

#2 posted 01-19-2016 10:00 PM

Farmer, thanks for the blog. I know it’s a lot of work to take pictures and tell the long story on a project like this. Don’t know if I’ll ever build a strip canoe, but now I have an appreciation as to how it’s done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2641 days

#3 posted 01-19-2016 10:31 PM

Redoak, thanks. Glad to have you following.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2641 days

#4 posted 01-19-2016 10:33 PM

Smitty, it’s not as big a hassle as I thought it would be. Thanks for following.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View English's profile


682 posts in 2079 days

#5 posted 01-20-2016 12:59 AM

Looking good!! Just a few more coats on this side then you get to turn it over.

I have burned up two shop vacs sanding, they’re only good for about two hundred hours of sanding, but that beats eating all that dust and itching from the fiberglass.

Thanks for sharing the fun!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View hoss12992's profile


4165 posts in 2495 days

#6 posted 01-20-2016 05:24 AM

Looking good and very interesting. Thanks buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View JimYoung's profile


338 posts in 2189 days

#7 posted 01-20-2016 05:34 PM

Hi Jeff,

Dittos on enjoying your blog.

For the ends of the canoe and your paddles, have you ever cut the cloth on a 45 degree bias? I’ve done a bit of glass work, and the cloth cut this way it lays down much easier without the puckers. There are also specially woven cloths that conform to complex shapes. It cuts down on the sanding and feathering.

Another technique I’ve used is to put peel-ply over the wetted out glass. I’m not sure if this would work well on such a complex shape as a canoe. Peel-ply is just 100% polyester fabric ($2/yd at Joanns). Excess epoxy will wick though it and you peel it off after it has cured, leaving a smooth surface and most if not all the weave filled. It also takes off any blush from the epoxy.

Oh, and nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duck tape! ( ^ ;

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2609 days

#8 posted 01-21-2016 01:15 PM

“I put a small piece of duct tape on the vac end to make sure it stayed. ”.

So Jeff, ol’ buddy. DEFINE “small piece” ! ! ! LOL
And yep, I sure know about how frustrating finding runs in the glass AFTER it hardenes can be. I had sanded out a ‘67 Corvette hood for what I thought was going to be the final time, and BAM! ... there it was! GRRRRRR

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View farmerdude's profile


670 posts in 2641 days

#9 posted 01-21-2016 09:54 PM

Joe, Joe, Joe. You had to look at that end didn’t you? Haha, I guess there’s nothing small about that gob of tape.
It’s bad enough to find a run on a canoe, I surely wouldn’t want to find one on a nice looking car hood. Thanks for the laugh buddy, have a nice evening.

-- Jeff in central Me.

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