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Re-webbing Canoe Seats?

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Any tips, tricks or ideas out there for how to stretch canoe seat webbing during installation?

I know the webbing on Conk’s seats is mechanically stretched, and bounce-a-quarter drum tight. But I have no idea what that involves, or if it is practical for a DIY’er.

(I recently DIY’ed new survival boot laces from mil-spec paracord, snare wire and heat shrink tubing aglets covering emergency flint and steel. And DIYed a snot rag by cutting the frayed arm off a Guayabera . The embroidery makes a nice touch, but is rough on the nostrils)

In stretching seat webbing I resort to cutting each length of webbing long enough that I can attach one side, with enough excess to fold over to staple inside of the frame, clamp the seat down and pull the webbing as taut as I can before seating staples on the bottom of the other side. Then fold under a bottom flap and staple that with the webbing taut.

Is there a better shop bench and rudimentary tools way?

(Does a Shopsmith have a webbing stretching accessory?)
 
I'm just about to post about it on my YAER thread. Here's a tool pro upholsterers use. My wife has one.94B03D7A-0FAE-4204-95D6-F88039C12B24_1_102_a.jpeg
 
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Any tips, tricks or ideas out there for how to stretch canoe seat webbing during installation?

I know the webbing on Conk’s seats is mechanically stretched, and bounce-a-quarter drum tight. But I have no idea what that involves, or if it is practical for a DIY’er.

(I recently DIY’ed new survival boot laces from mil-spec paracord, snare wire and heat shrink tubing aglets covering emergency flint and steel. And DIYed a snot rag by cutting the frayed arm off a Guayabera . The embroidery makes a nice touch, but is rough on the nostrils)

Wait, if you have a shirt, why do you need a separate snot rag?

In stretching seat webbing I resort to cutting each length of webbing long enough that I can attach one side, with enough excess to fold over to staple inside of the frame, clamp the seat down and pull the webbing as taut as I can before seating staples on the bottom of the other side. Then fold under a bottom flap and staple that with the webbing taut.

Is there a better shop bench and rudimentary tools way?

I don't cut the strip from the roll until after I've stapled the second side, that way I have plenty to hold on to and I don't have to cut twice. Also, I make the "cuts" with a soldering iron (stinky, best in a well ventilated area, etc.) so cut and seal are the same operation and nothing has a chance to fray.
 
I never knew, but might have suspected, that an upholsters webbing stretcher device existed. I did know about sheet metal vice grips but hadn’t considered them for tensioning seat webbing before stapling, and I can see how they would be handy for other things as well, including sheet metal.

I still have piles of old seats that will eventually need refinishing and re-webbing. Sheet metal vice grips should arrive next week.

About cutting the webbing; I measure, cut, stretch and staple one piece and, if the stretched length is a perfect cut to fold under and staple, cut all of the other pieces to length for that orientation. Cutting/sealing the webbing ends with a metal putty knife heated over a propane touch, so I have a sealed cut straight across the weave, it is easier to cut all the webbing pieces at once, without stopping to reheat the putty knife for each length.

It was a short sleeve Guayabera, and I tired of having snot on my wrist. Next up I need to DIY some new party garb more suited to my station in life.

EK_0019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
 
I lever-pull replacement webbing taut using regular vice grips and a shallow piece of wood set against the seat frame, but with 3/8” the wide jaws, grasped by the - I promise, just the tip - of the vice grips I can get webbing wrinkles where I want to seat a staple.

With colorful plaid (Prancer) webbing of unknown material, maybe nylon, maybe poly, don’t remember, I soak it in a bucket of water, then vice grip stretch it taut.

If sheet metal vice grips prove easier and more effective it might be just the kick in the pants I need to finally refinish stacks of old seat frames for future re-use. Or start my illustrious sheet metal bending career (I hate metal work almost as much as sewing).

It will be hard, nay maybe impossible, to resist going with some garish plaid for the bow seat of funky reservoir fishing Explorer. That boat, once finished, needs a new name; there are too many Explorers, including on our racks, and three syllables is unnecessary. I have painted moniker homage ideas.
 
Harbor freight has a rope cutter that works good. 'Heavy Duty Hot Knife', $20. I've used mine maybe 25-30 coats cutting ropes. Not as good as the $149 sailrite but it works and I'm not that good either
 
Just finished replacing the worn cane seats on a canoe that was offered for free in my neighborhood. I used 1 inch polypropylene (low stretch, UV resistant), and the sheet metal vice grips mentioned at the start of this thread (harbor freight – $12). Polyester is the next best option, but expensive. The hard part is laying out the marks for where the webbing will go. I was able to flip the seats upside down, to be sure that the bolts still would be able to be passed through the pre-drilled holes. It gives a better finished look than the caned side up. I used 5/16 inch stainless steel staples with my arrow T-50 stapler. Here's a LINK to the slideshow, start to finish.

gary

IMG_4093.jpeg
 
Webbing on seats work really well. I have bought a couple of them. I got tired of recaning seats. I have used parachute cord on drift boat seats and recently on a canoe seat. It works fine and stays dry.
 
I am going to replace the cane with webbing on my project Penobscot. It seams that most people go with polypropylene in either 1 or 1-1/2 inch width.

@gyork thank you for the slide show.

Any recommendations for width of webbing?
Is polypropylene the best material?
 
I use polyester seatbelt webbing, 2" wide. Polyester is more UV resistant and doesn't stretch when wet compared to nylon webbing. In the past I haven't been able to find polyester webbing in anything narrower. I've never used polypropylene webbing, but I think it's the type of ribbed webbing you find on cheaper outdoor gear and at the hardware store.

From the Sailrite website: "Polypropylene is the least expensive webbing material type, but it’s not as strong, abrasion resistant or UV resistant as nylon or polyester."

Mark
 
I wouldn't use nylon for seat webbing because it stretches and stretches even more (sags) when wet. Polypropylene and polyester won't. I prefer polyester for its feel and strength, especially seat belt polyester. Here is Strapworks page for seat belt polyester:

 
I wouldn't use nylon for seat webbing because it stretches and stretches even more (sags) when wet. Polypropylene and polyester won't. I prefer polyester for its feel and strength, especially seat belt polyester. Here is Strapworks page for seat belt polyester:

Prices seemed high, so I checked another source I've used, about 1/3 less. Lots fewer colors, though.

Edit: this is 2", they don't have 1". Glenn, how do you delete posts?

Seattle Fabrics polyester webbing
 
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Edit: this is 2", they don't have 1". Glenn, how do you delete posts?

I don't think we need to delete your post because anyone who reads the link can tell what width webbing is available there.

Nevertheless, to answer your question, members can't delete their posts. They can edit them for 48 hours, after which the edit button disappears. During the 48 hour editing period, you could erase everything you wrote and replace it with something like "disregard" or "n/a". Alternatively, if you really want the whole post to be deleted, you have to ask me either publicly or privately and I can and usually will delete it for you.
 
I don't think we need to delete your post because anyone who reads the link can tell what width webbing is available there.

Nevertheless, to answer your question, members can't delete their posts. They can edit them for 48 hours, after which the edit button disappears. During the 48 hour editing period, you could erase everything you wrote and replace it with something like "disregard" or "n/a". Alternatively, if you really want the whole post to be deleted, you have to ask me either publicly or privately and I can and usually will delete it for you.
Thanks.
 
I used 32mm Nylon webbing for my seat. A week or two before mounting it to the seat frame I stretched the webbing between two trees. I used a ratchet strap to tighten it until I could play it like a bass guitar. It rained and it dried a few times and I could tell from the tone that it had stretched somewhat once I took it down. I didn't use any tools to stretch it on to my seat frame except my fingers and it is drum tight. In fact, I could have made it less tight. Most seats gets saggy because the material stretches. This can be minimized by pre-stretching it.
 
Here's a good source for a wide variety of webbing styles, colors and material. They will cut to length, too. And they usually ship custom straps in less than a week.


This is the type seat webbing I use the most.


These were from the restoration of a green three seat 15' Dagger Legend.

20200403_193737.jpg

20200404_094650.jpg

My experience has been that the seat will be more comfortable if the webbing is just pulled fairly tight by hand and stapled off. It will tighten up some as you weave in more strips of webbing. I use 5/16" stainless steel staples. If you staple straight across the webbing the staple legs only catch one or two strands of the cross weave. If put in at an angle they double the number of cross strands supporting the load.

20200404_105750.jpg


Lance
Sent from my Lifepak 1000
 
Any recommendations for width of webbing?
Is polypropylene the best material?
For me, 1' webbing is more work and takes more time to install. I find that 1-1/2" gives me the best balance of strap width to being able to space the straps evenly.

Polyester is more UV resistant than Nylon or polypropylene and doesn't shrink when wet like Nylon. As far as strength goes, for seat webbing we aren't going to go anywhere near the minimum breaking strength of any of the common choices so that's a moot question.

Lance
Sent from my Lifepak 1000
 
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