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Canopy repair help

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Among the lists of things to do on Royal Tudor, under the heading of 'stop getting wet' is the repair of the canopy. RT has a canvas canopy supported by four wooden spars, curved to allow water run off, that are fitted snugly into slots on the cabin sides with the aid of brass shims.


Now since we got rammed by the Herbert Woods Cruiser last year the canopy has been playing up. The rear spar would always twist in position so it hung upside down making the canvas canopy into a water reservoir and has since snapped in two.


Repair to the actual canvas itself is not a problem (20 years a Scout Leader and I'm a dab hand at stitching and proofing canvas). Where I am coming unstuck is with replacing the curved spar and the brass shims, some of which went missing in the collision.


What I wanted to know was, is there any where I can take a new spar to and ask them to steam it into shape? And if so how much is it likely to cost me? Also is there anywhere that can make up the shims for me?


The diagram is neither to scale or with the right number of components. Fingers crossed Tim


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Hi Tim,


If I were doing the job I would make the spars from solid hardwood and machine them to suit rather than trying to steam them, the alternative would be to make some laminated spars which you could produce curved. The brass shims I assume protect the cabin sides, these would be an easy job for any engineering company.


I would have a word with  Jon at Wayford Marine.




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Hi Tim, 


Timber as Alan said, go to any timber yard and get a board which is the wider than the curve and just cut to size with a jigsaw. Sapele is strong enough (although it can be a bit brittle) and wouldn't expect it to cost you more than £30 for a board an alternative is to use thinner timber (again like Alan said) and laminate it up in various sections to get the same curve.. although I doubt its much of a curve so its probably wiser to just cut out a larger board... (If you really want to bend yourself out of the right size, get a drain pipe, cap the end (drill a small hole in it) and use a steam wallpaper stripper to make the steam)


Brass - I'd say ebay but I just looked and there's not much on there.. Google pops up with http://www.themetalstore.co.uk/.. You could try model shops as they do thin brass sheet for model making (depending on the thickness).


I'm sure Jon at wayford bridge, Marthams or Maffetts could all help you though.


Good luck.

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I confess I'm biased here, I'm a great fan of laminating curved items with epoxy.


Tremendously strong, and quite easy to get a superb finish.


You just need to make a simple jig with blocks set to the finished curve, then pre-cut and epoxy glue multiple laths of ply, clamp them together against jig blocks, and wrap with cling film to avoid the whole lot sticking to the jig.


It looks very scruffy when you release it from the jig after setting, but after it's planed and sanded, the finished curved beam becomes a real feature when varnished, with the perfectly smooth coloured ply laminations.

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Thanks everyone for the advice...I'm determined to learn all of these skills, but if you see me waving at you as you pass me by... please do heave to and make sure I've not nailed my hand to the deck?

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