The prospect of fiberglassing overhead when laminating the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →
Cover Photos: Our special issue on building features practical and simple techniques.
Building a natural finish wood-strip canoe can be exciting and a bit daunting, particularly if it is your first clear finish canoe. You’ll commit time and money to the project and your expectations may run high. Most people are happy with the results of their first strip composite project, but deep down they wish some aspect of it was a bit better. Continue reading →
This article is Lesson 2 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.
With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat.
Strip-planking may have been the first step after the dugout in the evolution of boatbuilding techniques; the way the quality of wood is going, it might be the last to survive. At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to strip-plank construction with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Continue reading →
The WEST SYSTEM User Manual describes the basics of fiberglass cloth application and coating for clear finishing over wood. This article is the ultimate guide to applying fiberglass over a woodstrip hull to achieve a perfect finish. Ted Moores is a master of the perfect finish, author of CanoeCraft and KayakCraft and co-owner of Bear Mountain Boats. Continue reading →
When two or more fiberglass laminators meet, the discussion always turns to resin application and hand wet out tools. In some respects, this is much like a political or religious debate. I thought it might be helpful to describe some of these tools, and identify (as I see it) the best tools for laminating. Continue reading →
The prospect of having to fiberglass the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →
If you are using the strip planking method to build a canoe, kayak or even a telescope, you already appreciate the beauty of wood. The following tips will help you achieve the clearest possible fiberglass coating to protect and reinforce the wood and show off your handiwork. Continue reading →
Corners that require fiberglassing need to be rounded to allow the fiberglass cloth to conform to the corner. If the fabric you are working with won’t conform to a rounded corner, here’s a tip that may help. When draping fiberglass around a corner, orient it so the fibers are at a 45° angle to the corner. The fibers will conform much better than if oriented at 90°, because they are not bending nearly as much. Continue reading →
Occasionally we receive calls from people who want to remove fiberglass cloth from wooden structures. The fiberglass on the bottom of a stripper canoe has worn out or the fiberglass and polyester on the deck of an older wooden sailboat has delaminated. The techniques described here work well for removing 1 or 2 layers of fiberglass cloth from wood surfaces. Continue reading →
It’s difficult to prevent cloth from lifting when fiberglassing around a sharp wooden corner. Even if you were able to lay glass tightly around a sharp corner, it could easily be dented. The slightest compression of the underlying wood could leave a void, and an invitation for moisture and the problems it creates. To avoid these problems, we always recommend rounding over the corner so the glass will lay flat against the surface. However, there may be times when you need a sharp corner. Here’s a method to make sharp fiberglass corners that are strong enough to prevent dents and protect the underlying wood. Continue reading →