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Refinishing Unglassed Furesø wood canoe

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Very interesting. I have no experience to offer, but as to this . . .



. . . unless there is some special tool or jig or clever trick available, maybe you need two people for the hard-to-reach nails—an iron holder and a hammer tapper.
I'm not so sure I can find a willing volunteer for that job.
 
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In doing some research on this sealing compound, it seems the common pretreatment for using it is a penetrating epoxy sealer that gets absorbed into the wood. Looks like a two part epoxy, that is thinner than laminating epoxy. Is there a reason this is not the preferred method to boat soup? Seems to be the same idea minus the oil. Does this just make future repairs near impossible because it's too hard?

Also I've found some other boat soup recipes on this forum woodenboat.com

Seems to be rather hard to find boiled linseed oil in Denmark, plenty of raw though, but I want it to dry this century.

sabs
 
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Glenn MacGrady

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At the end of this WCHA thread, in which poster alick burt over a few years tries swelling the wood and using many coats of varnish, he finally tries the Geoffrey Burke procedure with apparent success.


Another poster in the thread says he is going to try to seal the crevices with wood flour mixed into the varnish, but I don't see him report any results.
 
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At the end of this WCHA thread, in which poster alick burt over a few years tries swelling the wood and using many coats of varnish, he finally tries the Geoffrey Burke procedure with apparent success.


Another poster in the thread says he is going to try to seal the crevices with wood flour mixed into the varnish, but I don't see him report any results.
Yes I've read his posts and blog. That was the second time he tried it, but the first time it fails. I'm not sure why his first boat soup attempt doesn't go well, but maybe he didn't hammer the nails the first time.

sabs
 

Glenn MacGrady

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In doing some research on this sealing compound, it seems the common pretreatment for using it is a penetrating epoxy sealer that gets absorbed into the wood. Looks like a two part epoxy, that is thinner than laminating epoxy. Is there a reason this is not the preferred method to boat soup? Seems to be the same idea minus the oil.
I get the sense that part of the reason for the BLO/tung oil mixture in the boat soup is to reduce the dryness of the old wood and restore a greater measure of moistness and flexibility into the wood—that is, for a much longer period than water soaking can do.

It also occurred to my non-experienced mind to use coats of penetrating epoxy on the outside and inside after using the boat soup, as a way to seal in the oils and help "dam up" the butt joints (which would seem to be harder to dam up than lapped joints). After the epoxy, several coats of varnish would be applied to protect the epoxy from UV degradation and to further dam up the joints.

I also saw the video using this penetrating epoxy:

 
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I think I will skip the epoxy. I know how hard that can be to sand back if needed. I don't mind keeping up with a yearly varnish.

Currently I'm looking into this sealing compound situation. I'm quite convinced that the boat was made with red lead putty sealing in the seams, but I'm pretty sure red lead powder will be hard to come by. I can find linseed oil putty, but it says you can't varnish over it which is concerning. And new sealing compounds don't stick to wood as they do to epoxy sealed wood.

Also it seems that the correct fix is to redo the cotton caulking before applying new putty. That is pretty daunting too. Oh boy...

sabs
 

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I sense from WCHA threads that many paddlers who have these kinds of boats simply live with a little leaking.

I'd plop the canoe in the water, get in, paddle for two hours, see exactly where it leaks, and mark off those places. Then, perhaps focus on those areas with the tightening, cottoning, caulking and sealing methods you've been researching, in addition to boat souping and varnishing the entire hull.

Just another thought.
 
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I've read a lot about people using sponges on the WCHA forum. I guess they don't know about the foot pumped bilge pump used by marathon kayakers. Hands free.
 
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I would defer to those with experience in doing this !

But just cleaning and reclenching the tacks, doesn't sound like it would take up the gaps.

I also think a method that is less permanent than say epoxy. Something that could be redone, if needed later on !
That's why I suggested oil.
Watco in my experience on my wood gunnels, is better than Helsman's similar product.

The video previously shared, is from a far more experienced builder, in that field than !

Looking forward to see, what you end up doing !
 
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So, I've spoken to some local boat builders and it "seams" like there are more than one way to skin this cat.

I've been told not to reclench the nails unless I plan to sand the entire boat down to the wood, inside and out since I am likely to crack any finish that is in the gaps, and I won't be able to get the hammer marks out unless I can put wet towels on the raw wood. This makes sense to me. Also the nails seem tight, and not protruding on the inside much past the wood, so it looks like I would need to put something much smaller than a piece of sledge hammer against them to tighten them up. Doing it that way, since the wood is proud of the nails, I could in fact loosen the nail by setting the inside flush with the wood. Don't want that.

Then I scraped some seams to see what was in there. Looks like it's oakum not cotton. It looks pretty rough.

IMG_4232 2.jpeg

But some of the seams look like they're empty.
IMG_4235 2.jpeg

And some that are still fine look even tighter.
IMG_4238 2.jpeg


So today I'm off to a boatyard to try to find some materials and ask if there is a point in adding cotton to such fine seams, or if I need to replace the oakum that is already in there.

My hope is that I can just prime the seams with oil, put new putty in and varnish over it.

Sabs
 
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Geoff can help you with oakum or suppliers. Geoffrey Burke, Tamworth NH.. Google it. for contact info. He however will be leaving in a couple of days for the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association assembly in Paul Smiths for a week. He may have contacts your way as he has exported boats to Scandanavia.
 
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