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Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:33 am
Craig, you wouldn't believe that there are paddlers who think that you cannot - should not make boats of wood. Of course, you have to totally ignore about 50,000 years of history to think that way. But - they're out there.
I've noticed when speaking with people about canoeing or kayaking, and when the conversation turns to what kind of boat each person has, I get funny looks when I say I made my own. However, once being told how easy it is, a few decided to try building their own.
Was the redwood easy to come by. Amazingly, living in the Pacific Northwest, I have a hard time finding it. To get good clear boards, I poke through the piles of cedar decking material at Home Depot or Lowes every time I go there. I can usually find one or two perfect boards. The problem then is deciding if it is too perfect to rip into strips or should I carve a Greenland paddle out of it.
Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:42 pm
I looked all over , did a computer search for red wood and about fainted at the cost.
One day at Lowe's , looking threw there cedar I asked the guy working there about the red wood and he told me about a guy who has a stack of it almost in spitting distance from my house.
I went and saw him , he had a stack ( over a 120 ) of 20 foot 1 x 3's that were about 20 to 30 years old. To make a long story short. I got 25 of them for ... You will not believe me but I swear it is the God's Honest truth.
$55.00 was all it cost and I got to pick threw the stack for the ones I wanted. I told a friend of mine , Dapper Al (mitchstrip on the southernpaddler forum ) , and he went up there and got a stack for his stripper canoes. He took them back to Michigan with him for his canoes.
PS. The guy had bought out another lumber dealer many years ago and that guy had them , the new fellow just put them in his warehouse and let them sit , for years till I found them.
Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:45 pm
Tacking the seams:
I followed the instructions for this. I flipped the boat and put tape on the inside so the epoxy/wood flour mix would not come through the seam and make a mess. I used the blue masking tape. The wood flour came from the bag on my random orbital sander. I sifted it with a flour sifter before using it. I used a mix of cedar and pine.
I flipped it and added the epoxy/wood flour mix. I was very liberal on the hull panel. Although it looks messy on the side, I scraped the wood flour of the sides with a squeegy.
On the ends, I tacked the panels as I described above, but I didn't completely fill the gap flush with the front of the panels. After waiting over night, I pulled the stitches and fininshed the tacking. On the front and rear, I filled in the ends liberally and pushed strips of ash into the epoxy wood flour mix. I then wiped of the overflow, and held the strips in place with strips of tape until the epoxy cured. I forgot to take pictures of the process, but this is the end product
I then sanded off any that got onto the sides of hull and rounded the edges using my random orbital sander (creating evermore wood flour).
I then flipped the boat and applied masking tape to both sides of each seam. Then, using a spoon, I applied a woodflour/epoxy glue fillet on all the seams. After allowing it to set up for a little while, I cut strips of 4 oz cloth on a bias, and lightly pressed the strips into the fillet and wet them out with epoxy. I have no photos of this stage for some reason. However, several other people on this forum do it this way and have posted excellent photos of the technique.
The epoxy I have used for my last two boats has been the Marinepoxy from Duckworks. I have had really good luck with it and dealing with them. I have had no problems with blush. I buy the slow cure hardener. However, I met get a combination of slow and medium next time. I have also found that they have excellent prices on cloth and the shipping is reasonable.
Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:05 pm
I don't want to hijack your thread but here is a good use for some of the left over strips.
Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:07 pm
That is a beautiful paddle. I want to build a single blade but have not attempted it yet. I like the use of left over strips. I built a double paddle for my kayak as per the instructions in Nick Shade's book. However, it proved not to be so easy. It was cut out of solid laminate ash and cherry with a band saw. The problem was my blade wobbled a bit and there was a lot of sanding involved in repairing it. I like your method better. What i did to protect the blade on my paddle was soak a 1/8 rope in epoxy and stick it to the blade edge with sewing needles until the epoxy cures. However, i think your method is prettier. It looks more natural.
The only photo i could find is this one. You can see the white rope on the edge. Ignore all the dust on the kayak and paddle.
Speaking of wood, I have tons (literally) of beautiful hardwoods such as ash, cherry, maple, oak, and walnut. My father used to build cbainets for a living and would buy it by the truck load. Problem was, not enough people wanted to buy custom cabinets. He couldn't compete with the factories. He built them too well so they lasted forever. Therefore, he had no repeat customers. When I go back to my home town, I still run into people that he built cabinets for 30 years ago and they still comment on how great they are. I guess the bright side is, I have a lifetime supply of good solid hard wood and he found a better paying less demanding job. Most of the wood was cut long before I was ever born, so its the good stuff. Problem is, its a little stiff and heavy for strip building. Its nice to trim the boats out with. I put walnut rub rails on the pirogue and my paddle shaft is spruce with a thin laminate of walnut for contrast.
I have to admit, I hated having to work for him on weekends when I was a kid, but boy, the skills I learned from him are paying dividends now. I never need to hire anyone to do anything at my house (except to spray for spiders). All those Saturdays working for him have saved me ten's of thousands of dollars in my lifetime. The down side is that when I need something for the house and I go to purchase it, I think to myself, I can build it better and customize it. Therefore, I have a never ending list of projects. Well, at least I have the lumber I need
Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:50 pm
You built a boat in the same area as the kayak , I'm surprised there wasn't more dust on it.
Guess you got most of it on yourself.
Never thought of the rope trick , sounds like a good idea and will remember it.
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:51 pm
Working with wood is an array of magical experiences. It lived once, and lives again in our hands. It once swayed in the breeze and luxuriated in sunshine. As it does again in our boats.
We set wood free.
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:29 pm
Amen to that Jack
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:44 pm
Beleive me Chuck, there was plenty of dust everywhere. I took the Kayak out once to get it wet during the build of the pirogue. I needed a break.
Back to the build:
Next, I fiber-glassed the outside. I cut a 6 oz piece of glass the shape of the hull panel and applied it to the hull bottom with a squeegee. The next day, I covered the hull and sides with a layer of 4 oz cloth. This is the first build I have used 4 oz on. Boy what a discovery. It is so much easier to use then 6 oz.
Then, I attached the outwales which were made of two layers of cedar laminated together. I used a 1 to 8 scarf joint to make pieces long enough. I cut these with a scarf joint jig I made for my table saw. I chose to have these extend the entire length of the boat. After the epoxy set, clamps were removed and it was sanded to shape.
Ends sanded round. This is just to show the rounded end. This photo was from later in the build after I did the end pour.
A simple Scarf jig that rides in the slot on my table saw to scarf the gunwale strips The visible pencil line was from my brain fart when I accidently drew the wrong cutting ratio:
Then there were 3 or 4 fill coats of epoxy. I can't remember.
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:45 pm
I've been so busy here this summer I don't know how this thread escaped my glance.
That is truly beautiful work. Makes me want to be more carefull on my next build. Both boats are stunning!