Peterborough's 10 and 11 How I make my Canoes Part 3.
November 26, 2015
There is always a certain amount of trepidation that goes with the glassing process. The reason for this is that there are so many things that can go wrong and once the resin is set there is sometimes very little that can be done to make things right. That said it is a fantastic material which renders the hull waterproof and strong.
It is best to apply the resin in one day which makes for the best bond between coats and the coats have to be applied at the right time when the previous one is not quite set. Given that applying one coat to a hull typically takes around two hours I knew I was in for a long day.
The first coat is applied partly with a squeegy using a brush on the vertical areas. The idea is to get the resin on quickly and evenly before it heats up and sets in the cup.
Here is a video of me starting the process on the first hull. It is at 2x speed in reality the resin is applied more slowly.
I continued the process the same way on both hulls working on alternate sides to avoid a dry line along the centre.When I get to the bow and stern the cloth is carefully cut around the stems leaving a 25mm overlap.This will be tidied up later once the first coat has set.
Each coat takes around two hours to apply. After the first is done you go over the whole hull with the squeegy and make sure the cloth is stuck down and the excess resin is removed ready for the second coat.
The second coat is applied with a brush and spread out well but with care to avoid making bubbles.At this stage the weave of the cloth is still not quite filled and the cloth around the stems has been trimmed allowing the stem edge to also be coated.
They are checked over for runs and after a very quick lunch I had to get straight on with the third coat.This is applied in the same way but once all the resin has been applied you go over it with the brush again and again as it dries tipping it off to remove bubbles and runs.
Here is the second hull at this stage.
and the first hull.
I arrived at work at 8.00am and by the time I finished it was 10 pm so you see what I mean about a long day but I think it was worth it!
I returned to work next day to find the resin had a few tiny bubbles that had risen to the surface but would require a rub down and re coat to get rid of them Arrgh!
That's the problem with working late. I should have stayed and watched over them for another hour or so tipping off with the brush but how many people would after a 14hr day!
The hulls would need to be keyed first by rubbing down with wet and dry paper. At the same time I could also tidy up the bow and stern edges again before applying a final coat.
And here is the first hull rubbed down.
Then I spent the rest of the day applying a final coat to both of them and I had plenty of time to make sure it was well tipped off. Here they are once they have been coated again.
and so ended another though this time a normal length day.
When the weather and workshop is cool at this time of year it is a good idea to give the resin time to harden so next day I left the hulls alone and decided to prepare the decks and Gunwales.
First I took the opportunity to trim off the excess glass around the sheerlines.
I had some timber with a straight edge on it so I began by cutting 1” wide strips for gunwales from this.
I needed six as One canoe will hang upright so does not need inwales whereas the other will be made with inwales and outwales as per normal.
Having cut three from my first plank I had to get out a big plank with a waney edge and cut this off before I could continue to cut strips off it.I mark a straight line using a string line.
and then cut it with my skilsaw as manhandling the big plank on my table saw would not be easy!
The strips are then planed and thicknessed up.
The two pairs that would be made into inwales were then marked out for the scuppers or slots that will be cut in them. Some people like to make these with a router but I find this a noisy messy operation so prefer to do it my own way with a drill then a jigsaw and a router to finely trim just the front of the slot.
Next the end of each slot is drilled from both sides.
With the drilling done the sides of the slots are marked out.
Finally they are cut with a jigsaw and the cut is ready to be cleaned up with the router next time.
Next the slots are sanded and the ends of the inwales are tapered. I sand them with a flapwheel
and the tapers are cut on the circular saw before being finished on my bench with a jack plane.
The outwales are slightly easier to make as they have no slots in them but they do have a bevel on the underside and like the inwales they too are tapered. I like these tapers they give the boat a certain elegance.
The edges of the inwales are rounded so this is done next and you can also do the same to the outwales but I like to leave them till they have been fitted as it makes them easier to fit.
The decks for these two canoes will be different. One canoe is going to hang the right way up so its top will not be seen. To save money it will just have simple small one piece decks. This is also a good option if you wish to keep the weight down on your boat.
The other boat will have my usual style of laminated cambered deck. First the parts are prepared.
The outer pieces are bookmatched.
Another day over I had the parts ready for joining.