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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Canoe Building: Fairing the Outside of the Hull

Now that the hull is stripped, it's time to fair the outside of the hull.  It seemed like as I was stripping it, I would step back after I was done and say "Wow, this looks even better then it did yesterday!"  Fairing the hull is more of the same- each little bit makes it look better and better.  When you are done stripping, the canoe looks like a canoe, but it has little ridges where the strips come together,  Fairing is making the transitions between the strips smooth- making those ridges go away.  The heavy lifting is done with a hand plane.  Just run the plane down the ridge and it shaves off a curly strip of cedar.  Do that for all of them, and you've got a hull that looks better then when you started.  I planed it until I thought it looked good, then put the plane away and got out the 80 grit sandpaper attached to my random orbital sander.  Dont' forget your dust mask!  The dust gets all over the place, and is mildly carcinogenic (It causes mild cancer or something like that!)  Take care to move the sander all over the place so you don't sand all the way through the hull.  After you're done with the 80 grit, you'll think it looks better then when you had planed it.  Then repeat the process with 120 grit sandpaper.  When you're done, wet it down to raise the wood fiber and do one last sand.  It's gonna look great and feel smooth!  It can be a little tiresome, but just like stripping it is super rewarding.

Have you wondered about fairing the inside?  Don't worry about it yet.  You still need to fiberglass the outside. Once the added durability from the fiberglass is in place it will be time to pop it off the forms and turn it over to fair the inside.

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