Agh! Spreader stick stuck

Posted by Michelle Moran on Sep 6, 2004

OK, this is a really dumb mistake, but then it just never occurred to me until it was done. The first part of the mistake was that when carefully reading the directions via several sources, I noted that it was important that the epoxy mix filling the strake seams on the Sassafras need to be thin enough that it would go all the way into the joint, or you ran the risk of having a weak joint that could break at the seam. That evidently stuck in my brain as I envision my canoe imploding around me on some cold canoe paddling trip because the epoxy was too thick. I dutifully made the epoxy like thin salad dressing. It ran nicely into the joints. It also ran through the joints dripping down in places. I kept adding more as the seams are supposed to be filled up to the plank edges. The thin salad dressing flowed down the seams and off the canoe stems. My garage floor now has a nice coat of epoxy and I've used 10 gazillion gloves. Finally, I took a break and checked a Skerry builder's web page. He indicated that after the thin epoxy, you add a THICKER fill to level out the joints. (Somehow I missed that sentence in the directions...) I wiped up most of the spills and drips and added the thick mix which worked like a charm. Just now, I removed all the wires -- did a search, this time BEFORE I actually started the step, and found the nifty tip about warming the wires with a soldering iron which made removal very easy. All was well. Until I turned over the canoe just now, and discovered that my spreader stick, which is made of a strip of 1 inch plywood that had previously been used as a concrete wheel barrow ramp, so you can imagine its condition, is now permanently epoxied to the inwales. So what's the best way to remove it? A thin japanese saw? Would it be best to cut as close to the inwale as I can, or cut a little ways out and plane the remainder? I don't suppose I could break it at the joint with the inwale?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Somehow a piece of concrete stained plywood is not what I had in mind for a thwart..

Michelle

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