BWCA Split gunwale... Boundary Waters Group Forum: Boat Builders and Repair
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      Split gunwale...     

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amhacker22
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02/20/2016 10:40AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I was installing some new gunwales, and one split a little as I was screwing it in. I was able to back it out before it completely split, and I'd like to salvage the rail. Any thoughts? Spread it again and shoot some glue? Shoot some epoxy? Screw it from the bottom?

It's pretty confined and I'm not really worried about it structurally. I just don't want it to rot.

Thanks!!
 
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Alan Gage
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02/20/2016 01:36PM  
I'd tip the canoe so gravity is on your side. Then I'd try to spread open the crack without making it any worse. I'd heat the gunwale with a heat gun and also warm up my epoxy to thin it as well. Put it on a little heavy and encourage it to flow into the split. Once you think it's flowed in all it's going to flow close the split and wipe off the excess.

Alan
 
Wables
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02/20/2016 07:56PM  
quote Alan Gage: "I'd tip the canoe so gravity is on your side. Then I'd try to spread open the crack without making it any worse. I'd heat the gunwale with a heat gun and also warm up my epoxy to thin it as well. Put it on a little heavy and encourage it to flow into the split. Once you think it's flowed in all it's going to flow close the split and wipe off the excess.


Alan"


How long is it? I fixed one with the above method plus a dowel through it.
 
DeterminedOrange
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02/20/2016 10:08PM  
compressed air from a small nozzle also does a nice job of pushing epoxy into cracks. Epoxy will make a nice repair as long as too many wood fibers aren't broken.
 
amhacker22
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02/21/2016 06:12AM  
Thanks for the replies!

It was a pretty small split. It's actually a couple of little ones, I was lucky to react quickly enough to keep them from getting big or deep. That sound though...frightening! my solution on each subsequent screw was to keep a mini-clamp on the rail itself while I drilled and screwed the hole. I never had another problem. Live and learn!

I actually just used some wood glue since I had it handy. I feel pretty good about that given the size of the splits. I'll see how these sand up and go with the epoxy if I need to. I think this will be fine though.

This is a boat I finished up in a hurry a couple of years ago so we could use it on a trip. It's the original Merlin. Anyway, I threw on some square mahogany gunwales the day before we left that always looked terrible. I replaced them with some spruce rails I made. Even unfinished, it's incredible what a difference they make.

Thanks again!
 
1JimD
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02/21/2016 06:46PM  
Great advise to witch I have little to add, except let the epoxy cure near a week before stressing the crack.

Jim
 
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