Half Way Home

Once the deck is stripped out, I’m told you’re at the halfway point in the build. It has gone quicker than expected and has been a joy really. Yet, at some point this past week I became much more absorbed with turning another page on this kayak. Taking pics became a distraction, but I did continually stepped back to admire the lines.With the hull ready for glassing, the deck seemed an easier undertaking. In reality it is perhaps more difficult, yet my new found skills have allowed me to motor on through completing the strips. I’ve become proficient at measuring, whittling, planing, and then sometimes giving a slight sanding to the tapered ends of strips for a tight fit.

Thursday night, with the help of the “crew” that showed for dinner, we put the table saw back in the shed. It deserves better care than it has had over the past 2 months. I also thought any more cutting would be of shorter boards. As luck would have it, I ran short on strips and have been scarfing pieces together, but generally that went well.

The weekend allowed for much progress. Was expecting to complete the stripping, but we are still seven strips shy of a “full deck”. Ran out of time … and to some extent, energy. Slept well last night in spite of the time change. Having the extra daylight hour as the days get longer is going to improve productivity. Working in the evening with more daylight will definitely give a psychological boost. Sunday was by far the nicest day of the year thus far. the warmer weather has me eager for the 1st splash.

I had thought the deck would be easier than the hull. There is physically less of it. Yet, the strips are really tortured left and right of the cockpit. A tremendous amount of twist here requires using the heat gun to relax the ligaments in the wood. Additionally, there is a rolling bevel that must be shaved here to assure a nice joint. I think I’ve got it, but only later planing and sanding will tell. I’m certain the underside will show some misses. Thankfully that will be hidden.

Here are shots of the steps to fit a strip:

mark the cut

Step 1: lay the new strip in the opening and draw a scribe line from the start of the hole to where the strip exits the lower edge of the hole. If done carefully, you are 95% fitted.

Step 2: whittle close (1/16″ removed) to the line.
A sharp stout knife works best for getting there quick.

whittle to line

Step 3: hand plane to line.
Depending on the strip, a bevel may be needed.
Occasionally a slight sanding may be needed for the final touches.
Test fit several times to confirm a tight fit.

I’ll cast in the remaining pics for proof of work. Not much to add. I was getting short on full strips and scarfed several together. The ragged opening in the center will be the cockpit cut out so craftsmanship here went out the window. None required, unless you think the attitude reflects on the rest. So be it.

Those slant eyed holes became increasingly difficult to fir strips. Aside from the twist at the cockpit, the tapered ends grow longer. Again, sanding will tell.


Eventually my bar clamps didn’t reach and masking tape wasn’t adequate. Thus, various and sundry “wedges” were employed.



Blogger is really protesting today. Photo organization and captioning isn’t working. I’ll have to try again later.

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