Repair Time

  • Advertise with us
Project by Tom Landon posted 02-03-2009 06:31 PM 2707 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the filming of a movie, two (very old) borrowed authentic dugout canoes were somehow dropped and broken. Split almost stem to stern might be a good description of the damages.

Cross bracings were placed across the inside before turning them over and pulling the splits back together with tie down straps and one of Jorgenson’s strap clamps. Marine adhesive caulking compound was put in the cracks first and then, with the aid of a jig made of plywood, bowties of hard maple were cut and fitted to hold everything in place. The bowties were fixed in place with plastic resin glue and screws.

Once the exterior of the hulls were fastered together the clamps were removed and the repairs were repeated inside the hull.

The final step was to distress and blend the bowties into the background so they wouldn’t be real obvious with a casual look. Sorry I don’t have more pictures to illustrate the process but I think you get the idea.

Repairs are just as much a part of the woodworkers job as building itself and often they’re much more challenging.

-- Tom Landon, Lakeland, Fl. When you're through learning, you're through.

8 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 4173 days

#1 posted 02-03-2009 07:10 PM

I can’t even imagine allowing someone to use such a fragile and valuable item so carelessly.

Thanks for sharing the repair info. That’s an awesome canoe. Can you elaborate on the history and details of it? What type of wood is it made from? It looks to be quite fragile since it’s so thin.

When I paddled for the Waikiki Canoe Club, the outrigger canoe we used was made of solid koa. It weighed 600 lbs. dry. We had to carry it to and from the beach to the water every time we practiced in it. It took the whole team of girls and a few guys that we could co-erce to do this 20 yard dash.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4413 days

#2 posted 02-03-2009 07:35 PM

Great fix, Tom. It’s always interesting to read and see how someone solved a problem. Thanks

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4611 days

#3 posted 02-03-2009 08:36 PM

how horrible that moment must have been and how horrible it still is that this was damaged.
Thank goodness for folks like you who are able to put things back together for others to see and learn from. Thank you for saving this piece of history.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4357 days

#4 posted 02-03-2009 08:56 PM

stages hands…nothing but butter fingers…ah, but stage carpenters and woodworkers…a miracle in a minute.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View savannah505's profile


1832 posts in 4037 days

#5 posted 02-04-2009 02:16 AM

Quite the repair, I am wondering if you would not have been better to use resorcinol glue, far superior for actual use in the water.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Tom Landon's profile

Tom Landon

69 posts in 4203 days

#6 posted 02-04-2009 02:41 AM

Thanks for the kind words folks. Let’s face it though, accidents happen, there’s probably as many reasons or excuses why as there are occurrences, but that’s a whole different forum.

I don’t know what kind of wood was used for the canoes but it was hard and dense. I just referred to it as jungle wood. They were thin though as you can see. The one in the photos was not hard for two people to lift and re-position while working on it.

One of them, I was told, came from Panama. The story was that the guy who they borrowed them from had bought one of them right out from under the guy who was paddling it at the time.

-- Tom Landon, Lakeland, Fl. When you're through learning, you're through.

View Tom Landon's profile

Tom Landon

69 posts in 4203 days

#7 posted 02-04-2009 03:12 AM

Good question Savannah. I didn’t want to use the resorcinol glue because of the purple glue line it leaves and the canoes would most probably never see water again. Just in case though I used the powered Weldwood Glue.

They built the wood landing craft during WW II with it and when mixed with fine wood sanding dust makes an acceptable gap filler. Until the two part resorcinol glue came along it was the glue of choice for boat building although the Mfg did not recommend it for underwater use. It’s still used today for wood welding.

-- Tom Landon, Lakeland, Fl. When you're through learning, you're through.

View pitchnsplinters's profile


262 posts in 3889 days

#8 posted 02-04-2009 05:51 AM

Killer fix.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics