Thursday, November 10, 2011 it continues

What do you know, the bottom looks like it will fit. (don't look too closely at the edges)

Looking from the front at the fitted floor and inside of the canoe.

Does this look finished to wouldn't believe the amount of work still to do at this point.

About here I was thinking I was on the home stretch.. Dream on!

After putting the sides together and joining in the floor sections with wooden batons, stainless screws and lots of waterproof wood glue, all that remains is to plane, sand and make the joints all look good with filler and sandpaper before painting.
Sounds easy doesn’t it?

This whole section was just one sentence in the plans but took many weeks to do.
Plane the edges to perfection…took a week. Sand the joints smooth as a babies bottom… another week.
I filled the many screw holes and fibreglassed the stem and stern posts* into the boat then discovered that fiberglass resin is not the right resin for the job.
The plans were a budget set and when I checked I found the resin they recommended is not at all suitable for wood.
In a panic I consulted the web forums… to find out that I had no option but to tear the fiberglass and resin out of the boat and start again… Easier said than done, I had to pry the edges up with screw drivers, tire irons and anything else that came to hand. (there was some hammering) Then I pulled the fiber glass off with pliers, it actually tore the surface of the wood off with the fiberglass and I had to sand it all smooth again in the tightest of areas. (another two weeks effort and a little weeping)
With the right shipbuilding grade Epoxy Resin and fiberglass cloth I started back where I had been weeks earlier by glassing the stem and stern posts* and refilling the screw holes and gouges I’d made removing the original dodgy fiberglass. (mutter, swear)
Making filler from sifted sawdust and Epoxy Resin** then filling every tiny hollow took another week. Filling the bits I missed, sanding again, another fill and another sanding etc.
It was about here that I learned just how hard Epoxy Resin actually is. It’s a mixture of several nasty chemicals in a two part mix that sets faster than you want it to, then continues to harden until it’s so hard you cant sand it…
It’s so damn tough that it blunts sandpaper in seconds…and I MIGHT have used a little too much of it and had to sand most of it off to get the smooth surface I needed. I ended up using two hundred dollars worth of sandpaper, boxes and boxes of the very best quality paper I could buy.

As an aside I bought over 50 new paintbrushes and used them all just once.
The resin sets in just 5 minutes and the brushes cant be washed clean. Cheap brushes loose bristles into the coating so you have to use good quality brushes. If it’s not hot you might get 7 minutes to spread the resin before you have to throw the brush and unused resin away, mix more resin and start again with a new brush and container.

*The wooden sticky-uppy things at the front and back where the sides join.
**The official way of doing it…can you see why I don’t work with wood? Dodgy stuff..



Magsx2 said...

Hi Tempo,
Oh my goodness, you have certainly put a lot of work into this, but I can tell you from the photo it is looking good. :)

How stupid are the people that wrote the plans? It shouldn't really matter if it was cheap or not you would think they would know what type of resin should be applied. I think you must have a lot of patience, good on you.

Tempo said...

No Mags, I didn't have a lot of patience, that's why I was making it. I needed a distraction and something different to do to feel challenged. That's why I kept going long after many would have taken the short cuts just to have it finished.. the challenge! (would it drive me nuts before I finished it)

Belle said...

I admire your perseverance! What a royal pain about the resin. Knowing me, I would have torched the boat at that point. (honest, I've been known to smash things with hammers)

Well, you have a lot to be proud of and the boat is shaping up to look great. I bet you will have a lot of fun with it.

Sarah said...

Wow I won't ever complain about labor-intensive stuff again! I'm betting that it will make the final result all the more satisfying in the end.

Tempo said...

Hi Belle, Dont be thinking I wasnt tempted to burn it and forget about the whole thing...Keep reading, theres a twist at the end..
Hi Sarah,Labor intensive...a nice way to say what I was thinking at the time I can assure you.

Windsmoke. said...

With all the blood, sweat and tears and no doubt some swearing in between its shaping up really well :-).

Spiral said...

Which is the part that's supposed to take 6 hours???

Tempo said...

@Windsmoke, Yes there was blood, there was sweat and there were nearly tears...and there was so much swearing that I actually invented new words.
Hi Spiral, I'm still trying to work that out...maybe reading the plans?! I cant imagine how it would look if you did spend just 6 hours on it..

The Jules said...

Very good.

But shouldn't it be hewn from a single log, with you simply taking away all of the wood that isn't canoe, before spending the evening smoking wampum jerky and communing with your spirit guide?

Adorabibble said...

very nice!!!!!!

Tempo said...

@Jules, wrong country mate...I'm an Australian. We strip the bark off big trees, sew the ends together with Kangaroo tail tendons and cram the ends with mud to stop the leak...a real 6 hr boat. But then it most probably sinks and the Crocs get you...
Hi Shan, Thanks very much but theres a long way to go yet. (which was a surprise to me as well)

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

WOW..that looks like a mighty ship. I wish I could learn some of that craft just to learn what my ancestors went through as Nova Scocia lobstermen and ship builders.

Tempo said...

Hi Kal, Its in your blood mate, my ancestors were miners and I managed alright. Ive no skill with wood, I only made a bread board at school and a few really nice fires...and thats it. I learned as I went so I'm sure you could make one if you want.