Happy Holidays!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
Here at the school, we have been upgrading the class room and preparing for the classes next year. Thanks in large part to a generous donation from a repeat student and friend, we were able to buy 6 new Lie-Nielsen 4 1/2 smoothing planes and 10 small dovetail saws from Veritas tools in Canada. A big thank you to Brad for his generous gift. Also David, the shop apprentice has been busy sharpening tools, flattening bench tops and repairing some of the wiggly benches.
I personally have been making a roubo style bench for a customer this month and will probably post some pictures at some point next year. But I wanted to finish the posts about the canoe first. So here you go. . .
Pulling the staples out went faster than putting them in! After I removed all the staples I used a spokeshave and bloke plane to smooth the outside surface of the canoe were the cove and bead connected. I then filled any cracks or defects with colored epoxy before sanding the hull with 80 grit sandpaper, I raised the grain with water, then sanded the hull again with 120 grit.
Next came the dreaded part of epoxying the fiberglass down and the subsequent coats of filling, and burying the fiberglass. I had a very hard time getting the epoxy to finish out the way I wanted. Even after squeegeeing the epoxy smooth with the squeegee, I kept getting a rippled effect. (It was very frustrating) One of the problems was mixing up large batches of epoxy, the larger the amount, the quicker it sets up and dries. I ended up doing a lot of sanding after the third coat and adding a fourth coat to make the epoxy thicker. The last coat of epoxy turned out pretty good.
After the outside of the canoe was epoxied, I popped the canoe off the station molds for the first time. To finally see the canoe upright and intact after working with the many different parts for so long was very satisfying! I began scraping the inside of the canoe with a modified scraper to smooth where the strips connected, then repeated the process of sanding and raising the grain before applying the fiberglass and epoxy. It was amazing how much the fiberglass and epoxy stiffened the sides of the canoe.