Installing bulkheads

April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Installing bulkheads is something I’ve debated for a while. On the one hand, they represent more work, which is bad. On the other hand, they look good and they effectively hide the often less than attractive sanding and fiberglassing at the ends of the canoe.

Even though I did a lovely job at the ends, I’ve decided to exercise my modesty and keep my attention to detail a secret by hiding it behind a pair of bulkheads.

So here we go…

By some fluke, I had an empty case of beer, the cardboard of which I used to create a template. More on the template later.

By somewhat less of a fluke, I had a lot of scrap wood. I glued several of the longer strips together until they were as wide as the template referred to above.

Then I went to bed, because watching glue dry is second only to watching paint dry.

The next day, and without my having observed it, the glue had miraculously dried.

I decided that modesty had its limits and opted to do something that I’d read about. On a sheet of onionskin paper, I printed the Greybeard logo, because after all, how will Lady Gaga ever endorse the Greybeard brand if the logo is never “out there” (even if “out there” is some lake in Ontario)?

I digress though. I placed said logo beneath the fiberglass and applied the epoxy and presto, you get the result seen below.

Using the template, I cut out the bulkheads and with a bit of sanding and gentle persuasion put them in place. I then mixed up a batch of dookie schmutz — a term I believe coined by Nick Schade to describe the mixture of epoxy and wood flour — and applied it to the edges of the bulkhead, thereby permanently sealing in the perfection of my work at the ends of the canoe. By the way, using a gloved finger is the easiest way of applying the dookie.

And that’s not all! I also used said dookie schmutz to attach handles to the gunwales.

And now it’s time to make another empty case of beer, because you never know when you might need to make another template.

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