Saturday, 31 January 2009

This will be the last time...

The deck and layback are complete except for a few strips that have had to be added , and a wee splice on the hull where it was damaged when I scraped it over a ladder. 

Do you like my little Devil horns?!!

This is the last time you will see the boat 'au naturelle'; the epoxy and glass has arrived so it's all [West] Systems go... 

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The laid back layback

This was the most awkward and time consuming bit of  boatbuilding so far. 

The usual way of fitting the layback is to glue the strips in 1 at a time, which involves cutting and sanding a bevel on each one, but I reckoned it would be easier to make a big ring of strips following the template I used to mark out the hole.

By making it a couple of mm wider I could then use my block plane to shape the running bevel around the perimeter; it just took ages, but I managed to get the joint pretty close and I'll give it a fillet of epoxy + filler on the undersurface before the glass goes on.

I'm still not sure whether to blend in the thighbraces to the coaming at the moment; as I use foam blocks in my other boat, so I may have a wee tinker when I get the deck of the forms and see how they fit. 

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Strip the deck me Hearties!

Last week I  found a buyer for my P&H Easky 15' plastic boat, which will pay for the epoxy resin and fibreglass I need; I  was sorry to see it go, it was a smashing little boat and I had many a trip in it, now it's gone to a good home in Ireland.

I finally finished stripping the deck, and after some planing and sanding in the workshop, a clement break in the weather allowed me to get the boat out into the yard so I could tidy up and vacuum the sawdust and shavings

It was immediately obvious I must get the boat out more often before laying the glass and resin, as natural light is far better at highlighting flaws.

The cockpit hole looks very large at the moment, but it will be filled with a layback piece which is intended to  lower the height of the coaming / spraydeck lip.

Originally I was going to use a piece of marine ply to form the layback and coaming, which is a quicker method, but now I'm going to construct it from cedar strips.  Carbon fibre and glass cloth will form the spraydeck lip and the interior of the coaming.

I'm also going to try and design a mould to make carbon fibre recesses to take the decklines and bungies, using Valley components.  Some people don't like combining hi-tech materials in a strip build, but I'm happy to have a go...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Deck started..

Finally started to get a few strips down on the deck. 

My jointing technique is vastly improved and I'm finding it a lot quicker to do than the hull.

Unfortunately the wood I bought is a bit characterless and next time I will take greater care to buy some outstanding stuff and have a go at some fancy patterns maybe. 

I'm using all the odd strips on the rear deck, taking solace in the words of Nick Schade in his book, 'The Strip Built Kayak' ...The main thing is to get the boat stripped, finished,  and in the water..

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Pointy bits..

I've not really done much work on the boat this week, but I found a few scraps of maple and beech lying around the workshop so I glued them to the unfinished bow and stern to finish off the joints.

I had to steam the maple to go round the bend at the bottom of the bow and was really lucky to get it right first time. It's lovely wood to plane too.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Outside for the first time!

I got the hull outside to clean up the workshop, and viewed it at  full length  from the side for the first time.

And it looks OK so far to me.
 If I build another boat in the future I will select more consistently grained and coloured wood, however when the boat is epoxied and varnished there should be a pleasing transition between the dark and the light wood.

I estimate I have so far spent around 60 hrs on the hull + 12 hrs constructing the strong back and forms.


Friday, 2 January 2009


The hull is finally stripped! 

As the U.S. makers say 'I've filled the ball!' 

I am soooo happy to have reached a milestone in cedar strip kayak making.

The last few strips were a swine to finish off;  lots of planing and accurate fitting,  and maybe one wee gap at the front to fill in where the strips were displaced in the twisted bow episode. 

In 10 days time I'll start on the deck once I've got a work job out of the way. 

Thursday, 1 January 2009

January 1st ..could be better..

Well there was a twist, it was a holiday, so I took drastic action. 
I de- stapled back to the 4th form, and cut thru the strongback and removed the bow stem. The mdf had warped, and using a trusty
piece of string I reckoned the bow was out just over an inch. [this is over a kayak 17'6''..long..some might not notice, but to a trained eye......]

I cut through the bow and planed an inner bevel w
hich I roughed up with a rasp, and reglued it with plenty of glue, after realigning the lot using the laser and a set of guides on the remaining forms. 

I bunged the cut off stem back in after hacking it up to fit and banged a few staples in to hold it in place. 
I will have to glue on a cheater strip as it is a bit lower on one side, but at least it's true now! 
I haven't a clue what caused the twist in the mdf, maybe the transition from a different room.