Stripping fiberglass?

I have recently acquired an old cedar canoe with a terrible fiberglass skin on it. One board has a small hole (all the way through the hull) while a few others suffer from dry rot. I was thinking of stripping the glass off of it, replacing a few boards or portions of boards and then re-glassing it. Am I asking for trouble? Any suggestions on how to proceed?

Never did it but…
My impression is that it would be easier to cut out the bad wood, replace it and then re-glass that section.

curious , is your canoe …

– Last Updated: Aug-12-10 12:42 AM EST –

...... a "strip built" (no interior ribs or bridge frame works) ... or does it have ribs or interior frame works ??

If you are going to grind off the glass exterior you will want to have a proper respirator mask , proper eye protection , and recommended dispoable suite , gloves . These protective wear should be used , and can be the minimums or the better (but more expensive) professional versions .

A random orbit sander (Dewalt w/hook and loop sand disc) , and #60 and # 80 hook and loop sandpaper pads will do the removal .

My guess is the cedar is 3/8" thick no matter which construction type . You don't want to cut into it (the cedar) too much during removal sanding ... the random orbit can be controlled with precision to 1/16 of an inch or less cut depth #60 papers (much less if you wish and have the skill) .

I'm not sure if this is how the most experienced canoe restorers would remove the glass skin , I've heard some can be peeled off (??) ... but I would remove it with the random orbit and #60 .

If you need a link for the protective wear to see what's available and some guidence on same , drop an email .

Heat gun and a pair of pliers. Usually you can heat a small section at a time and pull the fiberglass loose over that section. Takes time buy you won’t be covered with fiberglass dust this way. Fiberglass dust isn’t fun.

Oh yeah, wear leather gloves, it gets hot and have a bucket of water just in case you get it too hot.

Bill H.

Wood Canvas?
If it is a former wood and canvas canoe that has ribs and 5/32’s inch planking, consider stripping the glass and recanvassing. It is renewable and better for the life of the boat.

The weave of the canvas is filled with canoe filler which makes for a hard durable finish.

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