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Canoe Building at Home: Applying the Fibreglass and Epoxy

Canoe building at home can be a great experience or it can be the cause of a lot of unnecessary strain in a family environment.

Most of the time building your own boat will be appreciated by anyone you share your space with as they too watch the form come together. There are two stages in the process however that tend to become a bit concerning for any non-enthusiastic observer: sanding the hull and applying the fibreglass and epoxy. If you do’t have full support of the people you live with, chances are you won’t look this happy.

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When you are canoe building at home, you need to be sure that you have an appropriate space to complete your build, especially when its time to create a lot of dust and chemical fumes.

The following videos are what I consider “Archive Footage”. Back in 2009, I made a few Youtube videos about cedarstrip canoe building, these were the first videos I had made and a lot has changed since then. In 2013, I upgraded my camera so that I could film in HD and made a few more videos. Nowadays I have a new shop, an even better new camera, audio equipment, lighting… and have been moving towards producing high quality films for my growing audience. The remarkable thing about these early videos is that as embarrassing as they are for me to watch, they are what got me started producing film and still contain some very good information. I hope you enjoy the video, and if you’re looking for more videos about canoe building at home, please check out the other resources I have here.

Canoe Building at Home: Applying the Fibreglass and Epoxy, part one

In this short video, I show how to remove the dust before applying the fibreglass and epoxy. I also talk about doing a first “fill coat” of epoxy. Fill coats are a bit of a contentious issue. Some builders swear by them and others are against them. Truth be known, I’ve built canoes using a fill coat and without a fill coat and have had success both ways.

Canoe Building at Home: Applying the Fibreglass and Epoxy, part two

In part two I begin to lay up the fibreglass cloth and apply the epoxy. I use 60 inch wide – 6oz fibreglass cloth with West System epoxy with the special clear hardener 207. The 207 Special Clear Hardener was developed for coating and fiberglass cloth application where an exceptionally clear, moisture-resistant, natural wood finish is desired. 207 Hardener will not blush or turn cloudy in humid conditions.

Professional builders and those canoe building at home like 207 hardener because it is reliable and easy to use. Fewer coats are required to fill fiberglass weave and in most cases the final coating can be sanded the following day.