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  • Writer's pictureDan

Canoe: Episode 4 - "Glass taping"

Last time I had fitted the inwales to help stiffen the rim of the hull and keep it's shape better.

The internal seams had also been glass-taped to give the hull its main strength.

The next step was to decide whether or not to glass-tape the external seams. Not entirely necessary but would add strength and robustness. The downside is it costs more materials and time, and also it diminishes the look of the exterior due to the messy epoxy-glass-tape process...

Hmmm... what to do? ... so, i decided to tape the exterior since this is my first canoe build and i need to prioritise robustness over aesthetics since this could have my kids in it!!

First i spot epoxied the tape in position to stop it blowing everywhere in the wind (the glass tape catches and frays really easily and has an annoying habit of blowing and landing on some spot of glue somewhere else than where it is supposed to be)...

"Spot epoxying" the glass tape in to position.

I used two-inch tape for the seams which take the most stress/strain - the central three. For economy of glue i used one-inch tape on all the others...

Inch and 2-inch tape used on exterior seams.

Once the seams were epoxied they were visibly darker than the adjacent plywood and detracted from the canoe's appearance...

All exterior seams taped and epoxied.

All exterior seams taped.

This encouraged me to think in terms of painting the canoe instead of finishing with a varnish although i wasn't sure if the contrast would be as noticeable once the planks were varnished.

Wind keeps blowing the canoe into the hedge!

The wet and windy weather was a real nuisance and kept blowing the canoe of it's stands. Covering it with tarpaulins was also a nuisance because you can't cover it when the exterior glue is drying which meant picking opportunities to get 4-8 hours drying time before the rain came on.

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