The sun is out and things are starting to dry up a bit. We finally seem to have shed that low-pressure area that had been hanging over us for about the past ten days. Time to start looking forward to summer!
This week in the barn was all about doping, doping the canvas I stretched last week. First, I had to mix up the dope. A lot of people keep their recipes a big secret, but I use one that was shared on the wooden canoe heritage association website. If you want the exact amounts, it’s posted openly there. Basically it uses a bit over six pounds of silica per about a gallon of 4:3:2 boiled linseed oil:paint:mineral spirits, with small dashes of varnish and Japan drier.
The dope, or filler, is applied to the hull using a four inch brush that had its bristles cut to half length (to effectively stiffen them.) I work it into the weave using a circular motion on the brush, then push it even deeper with a “mitten” that I sewed from canvas scraps. A few hours later, a second coat, painted on and smoothed in with the “mitten” finishes the fill.
Now the boats must sit and cure for anywhere from four to six weeks. Luckily, I have a bout four to six weeks work to do getting the yacht club launch, Ginny T, back into service and getting Preamble ready for an early June launch.
Ginny T and Preamble, last summer.