Have cut out and dry assembled all the frames and stem for the forward
hull. Probably a little paranoid but we wanted to make sure we got the
framing bevel right before gluing it down. Figured if we cut something
the wrong way, it was easier to replace some framing than do the whole
After fretting over the best way to join the marine ply sheets we
bought for the sides, we put an 8" 1/4" ply butt block with epoxy only
on the inside and glass tape on the outside. Having done this I suspect
that glass tape on both sides may be actually stronger because it is
more flexible. I can hear Dave Carnell saying "I told you so." The
difference is probably irrelevant in this appilication. When we did our
canoe we did both sides at once and got a crease and bubble on the
bottom tape. You need a really flat floor or some ply you can afford to
lay down and it still looks hard to me. I think we got a neater tape
joint on the outside because of the flatness and stability given by the
Used superbond from Fiberglass coatings for the ply butt joint and to
fill the crack that developed in the seam when the bottom of the sheet
somehow wondered off. We had the sheets tacked down and weighted with
cinder blocks but still had something go amiss and had about 1/16 to
fill toward the bottom of the joined sheets. (I can see why Jim
Michalak uses a board to back up his seams. You can put some decent
screws in them and you know they aren't going anywhere.)
Used the 1:1 laminating epoxy from Fiberglass Coatings and 4" tape
from West Systems. It was 25% more than the bulk tape at our local West
Marine but it looked a tighter weave and easier to fill and less likely
to run on us before we could get it installed.
I bought a pint each of resin and activator and they come in paint
cans. We just spooned the stuff out, one spoon of each and mixed it in
a plastic cup. My oldest son is the epoxy expert, uses it alot in
building his radio controlled airplanes. He favors putting the tape on
dry and forcing the epoxy through with a plastic scraper or squeegie. I
would rather paint the wood first but think he works the piece so
thoroughly that the wood is well wetted out. When the tape is
transparent and thoroughly wetted out we put a piece of wax paper over
it and squeegie that in. Put a board on it and a couple of cinder
blocks and go away.
Being very careful we cut out the sides with just the butt blocks on
and then put the tape on. Laid out and cut one side and then flipped it
and used it as the pattern for the other side. Thought briefly about
tacking the pattern to the work and using a flush cutting bit on the
router but decided that it would be hard to get a good bearing. On the
aft hull I think I will rip 2 ft panels from the sheets of ply before
joining the edges. Much easier to handle and to get to lie flat on our
We also picked up some Doug Fir 16 foot 2x4 and ripped out the gunwales
and had a nice batten left over which we used to lay out the sides.
This is about as hard as our little tablesaw ought to work. The batten
urned out to be really unecessary because the runs are almost dead
straight with very little curve toward the stern. But we got the whole
family to hold it to the line and felt like real boat builders scribing
our sheer and chine lines with a batten.
I bought some 1x4 doug fir flooring for the 1x3 frames on the aft hull.
They don't have the ply bulkheads and I wanted the extra strength. The
pine which is the easiest framing stuff to get here is pretty soft. The
flooring is beautiful and reasonable.
Next we will dry assemble the forward hull and if all goes well glue
everything with epoxy and put it together.