I'm finally building a Rubens Nymph. Things started off well but when I started securing the panels to the frames, the panels lost their nice shape. There's no bevel on the frames and when the screws pull down to the nailing blocks they tend to distort the fair curvature. For now I'm trying a workaround by attaching the gunwale and an additional "fairing strip" to the sides before attaching the bilge panels. So far so good but I was curious if anyone else has had this challenge?
Am I missing something (besides a few brain cells) for maintaining nice curvature ?
- Hi Bill...I'm curious how you were building it? I've built a couple of Rubens Nympths and a half dozen of the Nympth and never used screws of any sort. The beauty of the design is its tack and tape construction and my first thought that screws would add distortion and this may be your problem. Also the thin plywood is thin enough that combined with the fillet and tape bevels are simply not needed.
> Am I missing something (besides a few brain cells) for maintaining niceYou don't need to tighten the panels down tight to the frames.
> curvature ?
After having modeled many Bolger boats and having built a few, one
axiom to live by is that the shape of the boat should be determined by
the spring of the plank.
If the frames don't agree with the sprung curve, go with the sprung
curve and adjust the frame by trimming it or filling of gaps to the
frame. Use thickened epoxy to fill any gaps and/or trim any of the
frames that protrude.
- Thanks for the suggestions.
One additional bit of info is that I'm using 1/4" Meranti "Hydrotek". In spite of its significant cost there are a couple areas (one visible, I suspect one internal) where there are filled knots. The panels tend to flatten in these areas.
Now that I've gone through this once, I can see how using wire or zip ties would be a better way to loosely attach to a frame while maintaining curvature. I now also appreciate the wisdom of letting the panel curves dictate the final frame position. It can be easy to lose the big picture when focusing on the plans.
- If you don't already have it do get Dynamite Payson's books which covers the Nymph (Build the New Instant Boats) and his new one which covers the Rubens (Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson)... as a picture is worth a thousand words.
As many boats as I have built and as many boat building books I've read Dynamite is still my most used resource!
> Now that I've gone through this once, I can see how using wire or zip tiesOther potential tools in the arsenal include duct tape and drywall screws.
> would be a better way to loosely attach to a frame while maintaining
Another tool which I like is a 'narrow crown' (3/16" or 7/32") air
powered finish stapler, (popular with furniture builders), which has
the huge advantage of being able to quickly shoot a light weight tack
into flimsy floppy panels one-handed.
- There's been a wealth of good advice in this thread, but one thing has been niggling at me for quite a while and that's the practice of using those plastic ties to hold the panels.
A couple of my projects have been stitch and glue kayaks out of very thin and very accurate precut panels. My work schedule includes an extra day for tweaking and fussing with the wire stitches after I think the job is done. I leave it for a day and go back over every part of every join with a strong light.
Tweaking, usually with needle nose pliers, is what makes the job look right to me. Plastic ties don't tweak -- they 're either on this 'click' or the next and that's too coarse an adjustment.
Besides, epoxy sticks to most plastic and plastic won't heat up to soften the epoxy so you can pull out the stitches.
I use concrete rebar wire that's stronger and a bit stiffer than copper wire and it heats up just fine with the soldering iron if you've left a stitch in place too long. Rusty is better than new, so if there's no wire in your shop all rusty and dusty, go buy a roll and leave it out in the rain to lose the mill scale. The stuff only costs a couple of dollars for a lifetime supply.
ps. Pliers with spring loaded handles become a God-send after you've twisted and tweaked a hundred stitches or so.
--- In email@example.com, Bruce Hallman <bruce@...> wrote:
> > Am I missing something for maintaining nice
> > curvature ?
> > Bill
> You don't need to tighten the panels down tight to the frames.
. . . If the frames don't agree with the sprung curve, go with the sprung
> curve and adjust the frame...
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "eohiggins" <eohiggins@...> wrote:
> Tweaking, usually with needle nose pliers, is what makes the job look right to me. Plastic ties don't tweak -- they 're either on this 'click' or the next and that's too coarse an adjustment.My 11 y.o. son and I built a 4' wide Nymph (1/2 way between original Nymph and Ruben's Nymph) last summer, and unable to find the copper nails referenced by Dynamite decided to try zip ties.
> Besides, epoxy sticks to most plastic and plastic won't heat up to soften the epoxy so you can pull out the stitches.
I agree the lack of adjustability, and the inability to extract them after filleting are a major pain in the neck. We ended up tabbing the bulkheads in place, removing the ties, then completing the filleting which was definitely not the fastest way to build a simple boat like this.
I have used copper wire on kayaks before, which worked well, and would use it again (or possibly a bit stronger wire as you suggest) on my next S&G build.
One other tip for building a Nymph - temporarily reinforce the frames across the bottoms and sides before bending the bottom panel in place. The only 'oops' we ended up with was a slight curve in the aft-most bulkhead that I didn't notice until it was too late to easily correct. Something only I notice, but you know how that goes!
They're great little boats...