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 you....you 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..