“Fixin' the form and Shrink Wrap"
We used a pre-mixed drywall compound to touch up the damage from the last canoe release. Although it's been 3 years since the last one, there was no additional damage to the form from the intervening storage in the barn (under a tarp). The form was then sanded down (gently), in preparation for re-waxing the repaired spots.
The following weekend we put on the shrink wrap. This was ordered (~$25) on line; it's used to cover large windows for winter ("picture" windows, sliding glass doors, etc.). 6 feet by 25 feet, I think. The trick appears to be to put it on as tight as you can before heating. We used double-backed tape on the gunwales and stems. We also duct-taped up the excess underneath. Be very careful when shrinking. I did each side slowly, then came back and got out the wrinkles. You can smooth/stretch the wrap to the sides, the heat it to shrink, then stretch some more. This is what it looks like in the "gathers" section near the portage yoke area. I was able to get almost all of it out. It does take some patience. We spent about 2 hours putting the shrink wrap on and shrinking it down. The end result looks pretty darn good! I did manage to burn through on one spot (it's real easy), which was repaired with more double backed tape and shrink film.
We also did a test run of the Kevlar-over-shrink wrap to see what it would be like coming off the mold. This is just a 5 gal pail with double backed tape in a 10"x22" section. I used some leftover Kevlar (from 3 years ago!) for the test. It tacked up in about an hour (97F out!) with West 105 and 207 hardener. It came off the pail just fine - no issues whatsoever.
We also worked on the hotwire rig for cutting the foam strips for the ribs. We will cut the last 1/2" of a 4x8 sheet of 2" yellow polystyrene as shown below. The "Trapezoid" is what the book tells you to do. We think we'll get a cleaner rib this way.
As you can can see, all this does is essentially round the corners on the trapezoid of the original design. The hotwire cutter will make a nice clean cut, as the hotwire strongback makes an arc of 1-1/4". More on this later.
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