Building a canoe outside?

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Building a canoe outside?

Post by overland » Tue May 15, 2012 8:31 pm

Rabbit's cautionary tale notwithstanding, I wonder if anyone has had success building a canoe out of doors? It may be my only option, and I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.

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Re: Building a canoe outside?

Post by wb9tpg » Tue May 15, 2012 9:51 pm

I have it on rollers and move it outside to work on when the weather is nice.

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Re: Building a canoe outside?

Post by Fredz » Wed May 16, 2012 11:22 am


I'm currently building my canoe outside. It was my only option too, so I take the step forward last month. So far so good.

I am now planking the hull (about 1/2 done). It is a little bit time consumming each time with the protecting tarp, but it doesn't bother me too much until now.

For what I understand, the challenge will be with the epoxy later ... but for every problem there is a solution !

I think at the end my canoe will be a little less perfect, but at least I will have complete this fun project.

Keep posting your experience !

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Re: Building a canoe outside?

Post by Rabbit » Wed May 16, 2012 6:46 pm

you might also want to read some of the posts by bryan hanson, particularly "Canoe Fiberglassed and Dyed" where he had bug problems. aside from the wind issue, which either securing the stongback properly or storing it out of the weather when not being worked on would fix, the three main issues i had were:

1) being held up by rain - at one stage it rained for 3 weeks continuously... it was looking like one of those 40 days and 40 nights deals
2) uv damage - the timber darkend considerably with exposure to harsh sunlight. possibly less of a problem if using staples, but using the stapless system i used with straps, there was tan lines. the sanding involved with fairing took care of that. remember to slip, slop slap! (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat)
3) poop. yeh. luckily birds didn't give me much of a hard time, and when there was a bird bomb, it was while it was covered by the tarp. but bugs on the other hand did leave stuff on the hull while i was working on it. luckily this time of the year where i am the bug level has dropped off now, so when i glass i should have less of a problem.

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Re: Building a canoe outside?

Post by HighPlainsDrifter » Wed May 16, 2012 9:56 pm

I like that idea of having rollers on the strong back. If I could I would take all my sanding work outside. I am currently sanding my exterior epoxy. I am doing it using sanding blocks rather than turning on the RO sander. If anyone has a cure for shop dust, post it

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Re: Building a canoe outside?

Post by BearLeeAlive » Thu May 17, 2012 7:18 am

My RO sander is an inexpensive 5" Ridgid, that when hooked up to a vacuum does get rid of the majority of dust, I am guessing at least 75%. I also have a 1,200 CFM dust collector that is ceiling mounted that I bought used for $120. This dust collector probably gets at least 75% of the airborne dust. This has been a real nice addition, as I found there is a lot of places and situations where hand sanding is a must, from all the fairing, to awkward places.

Yet, wearing a good dust mask is still important, especially when sanding epoxy.

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Re: Building a canoe outside?

Post by Chipper1959 » Thu May 17, 2012 8:42 am

I also minimized the dust problem by hooking my shopvac hose to my RO sander. I also made myself a dust collection system by taping a furnace filter to the intake side of a 2ft x 2ft window fan and let it run during, and an hour or so after, I sand.. At the end of each day I vacuum off the's amazing how much dust it collects !!
But.......if I had the option of working in a garage I would definitely do the strongback-on-rollers thing and bring it outside whenever I could.

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