Rawhide seats-really stiff

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Rawhide seats-really stiff

Post by fisherguytoo » Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:39 pm

So, one seat is done using 3 / 16' rawhide. Damp when weaving (installing).

As it dried out it became very stiff and tight as a banjo string. It will probably be uncomftable to sit on.

Has anyone tried boiled linseed oil to take the stiffness out of rawhide ???

Or, what has worked well for you ???



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Glen Smith
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Post by Glen Smith » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:34 pm

As I have stated before, I have never worked with rawhide. What I have read of interest is that if it was installed with the concave side up, it will be rough and uneven so it should be laced with the convex side up. Also, rinsing it with a strong jet of water from a hose will clean it off after lacing and improve the texture. This info comes from Jean-Pierre Auger, one of our members, who laced his seats with rawhide. He also says to apply varnish, sanding between coats. Rawhide should be tight as a drum after drying and it will stretch a bit under your body weight. There isn't really much info on the internet concerning rawhide lacing that I have been able to find so far.

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Post by sedges » Fri Jun 03, 2005 6:08 am

This leads to dermitological condition commonly called "snowshoe butt"

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Post by 2dogtripper » Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:02 am

No No! Always varnish rawhide after it dries. It should remain drum tight. Rawhide seats are very comfortable, not that you should be sitting on them. You should be kneeling , with your butt against the front of the seat.

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Post by Rick » Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:26 am

The 3/16 rawhide should stretch and loosen up a bit with time and use - it's the wider rawhide lacing (eg. 3/8) that keeps a hard edge and could be rough on the butt. The higher-quality weaves are usually the finer types and look better as well as being more comfortable, as long as the weaving pattern isn't too tightly or too widely spaced.

I couldn't get 3/16 here when building my Huron and went with 1/4... it's rougher and harder than a thinner lacing I have in another canoe, but still OK. Next time, I might try 1/8 - more work, and better looks.

PS... a good rawhide seat should be comfortable kneeling or sitting. Although I mostly kneel while paddling, it's good to sit back to relax and stretch out every once in a while.

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Post by Erik » Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:35 am

i used 3/8", the first batch i ordered was 3/16" and as glen described it had a convex and a concave side, it was very rough. the 3/8" was very smooth and nice. a light sanding after lacing and before finishing is a must, makes it sooo smooth to the hand its unbelivable. i dont think the issue is with the wider lace, but the quality of lace.

The supplier i used for the good stuff does not use linseed oil, just varnish. i followed his advice and it is wonderfull. i have had a few people paddle the boat and they are always very amazed at how comfy the seats are. the key i think is to not pull really really tight, just snug when wet. once dry they have some give, just a little.

if you do use linseed oil, dont forget to varnish afterwards also.

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