The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.09.29 - Waxed Canvas

Waxing canvas is not as difficult as it might sound. In fact, the hardest part for me was trying to find where I'd stored the beeswax I bought whilst we still lived in Royston. Having done that it was just a matter of measuring out the waxes, heating them in a tin can and applying the mix.

Mind you I only covered a square foot or so of canvas as a test, the cockpit cover would be another thing altogether.

The raw ingredients. Bees wax, white candles and some test pieces of canvas.

Equal part of the two waxes. I measured by weight and not volume. I don't suppose it matters much. In total there is about 150g of wax.

The heating vessel. A baked Bean tin on a tee light powered teapot warmer. Does the trick well.

I left all the wax in the tin heating and made a cup of tea and on my return to the workshop the waxes were all melted. Now for the interesting bit.

Using a disposable brush I brushed some of the wax onto the canvas. The top piece is the covered piece with the bottom piece being for reference.

The heat gun was used to melt the wax on the treated canvas and this was brushed around so that the canvas was covered. The canvas has changed colour as the wax has been absorbed by the cotton.

Here's a closer look at the two pieces.

The acid test, is it waterproof? I cupped the waxed canvas and poured in some water as you may just be able to see here.

The view from the outside and none of the water is coming out.

This is surprising since, as you can see above, even with the wax there are still small holes in the canvas.

The waxed canvas is stiffer than the untreated piece as expected and slightly heavier. I suspect that despite the waxing that water will still penetrate due to the weave being very loose and as a result I will need to buy a better canvas to make a replacement cockpit cover and the cockpit tent.