Day 4, my birthday, and what do I want to do? Work on the canoe, of course. Goofed around this morning, but still made it to Carlisle Canoe before noon, and still worked almost 8 hours before I left.
When I arrived Roger was working on another canoe that had arrived earlier and needed repair, but we soon got to task on my project. Today was hull replacement. There were lots of holes already, and even more after I cut out the bad areas we had previously marked (and thankfully not nailed to the ribs).
Some replacements had to be steamed to shape, and Roger was great at using ‘low tech’ means. For one he plugged in a kettle and set the piece over the spout. As the kettle boiled, the steam ‘naturally’ shaped the piece. (My father would have referred to this as a ‘Heath Robinson’ method, named after an unusual English inventor).
After the hull was fixed, my job was to prepare the inside for staining. First was wire brushing the areas between the ribs where a sander couldn’t fit. This was much easier than hand sanding, but it still cost me a number of cuts on my hands as I often bashed fingers into the inner gunwales. After wire brushing came the power sanding, which went a lot faster. Roger then showed me how to use the blower with a brush, as he explained that just blowing caused an electrostatic charge in the canoe which attracted dust.
When all was ready, my last job today was staining. We used a cherry stain, as the wood was old and already darker. Cherry gave it a very deep and rich look. I found a cloth, and not a brush, was best for this task. The day was then gone, as the stain was left to dry over night.
Tomorrow is varnish day!