Author Topic: Cedar Strip Kayak  (Read 8472 times)

Offline sparky961

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Cedar Strip Kayak
« on: January 05, 2016, 10:47:08 PM »
This began (here, at least) as a posting requesting advice on a strongback.  (see here: http://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,10612.msg121715.html#msg121715)

Progress has been slow, as I completely expected, but I've recently assembled the form that will become a kayak.  Its encouraging to see it starting to take shape!





The next step, arguably one of the best, is to start laying strips.  The wife kinda gave me a sideways look when I told her I'd be spending a lot of time stripping in the basement....

Still a long way to go but now it's taking up space so I'll be reminded often.  I also suspect that the boat may be a bit on the small side for me, but that's ok for a first attempt.  I know enough smaller people who would enjoy such a thing, or put it up for sale.  It's the journey, not the destination.

Offline Sid_Vicious

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 10:50:57 PM »
Looks nice, are you working from a set of plans?
Nothing is impossible, it just take more time to figure out.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 11:05:06 PM »
Looks nice, are you working from a set of plans?

The design is a slightly modified version of Nick Shade's "Guillemot".  I've scaled it down to about 14' from the original 17' or so.

I have Nick's book: The Strip Built Sea Kayak, which is well-written and gets the occasional chuckle from me too.  I wouldn't be as far with this project if I didn't have it to refer back to as a reminder and motivation.

One small complaint is the way the boat data is given.  There are charts in the book for the form "offsets" and although I suspect this is maybe how boat builders do it, I'm a CAD/CAM guy and I just about lost it trying to convert this data into a 3D model I could work with.  I don't know if he really thought it would be the best way to present it, or was more interested in selling full-sized templates and such.  Either way, I got it done but am still a bit annoyed because it didn't need to be as difficult as it was.

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 01:41:07 AM »
The wife kinda gave me a sideways look when I told her I'd be spending a lot of time stripping in the basement....

I got a lot of mileage out of this, but I had my (then) 14 year old daughter and her (then) boyfriend "attach" the back porch to a house we bought in 1995.  After all, how many father's would send their 14 year old daughter to screw on the porch with their boyfriend?

Offline nickle

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 05:19:05 AM »
Sparky,

The boat will be a thing of beauty when done and will turn heads wherever you take it. I built two stitch and glue kayaks a few years ago (one of which was designed by nicks brother Eric Schache). They are simpler and a little less graceful than the strip built ones but it's hard work to get them into the water without being stopped so that people can admire them and ask questions. There's tremendous satisfaction in building a little boat to paddle around in. Good luck with the project. It's a long slog but very rewarding in the end.

Regards,

Nick

Offline Pete49

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 07:37:38 PM »
Lew I can just imagine the looks on the faces when you told that story. Funny how even staid peoples minds just jump into the gutter. :D
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2016, 12:26:09 AM »
Lew I can just imagine the looks on the faces when you told that story. Funny how even staid peoples minds just jump into the gutter.

Back in the 90's I developed a special (rifle) scopemount system for our Special Operation's longshooters.  These are guys who can (95+% of the time) shatter an 8 inch dinner plate from 6000 m.  Inside the spotting shed at one of the 6000 m ranges where these guys practice someone had carved, We endeavor to avoid having the motto of Ready, Fire, Aim!  The problem is that I regularly work for outfits who's motto is ready, fire, aim...

Offline Spurry

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2016, 05:28:23 AM »
These are guys who can (95+% of the time) shatter an 8 inch dinner plate from 6000 m.

Can I ask what sort of gun they were using? I had thought the Barratt was one of the best with a range of 1800m. :scratch:
Pete

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 11:15:35 AM »
These are guys who can (95+% of the time) shatter an 8 inch dinner plate from 6000 m.

Can I ask what sort of gun they were using? I had thought the Barratt was one of the best with a range of 1800m. :scratch:
Pete

No, I cannot comment further.

Offline joshagrady

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 04:04:49 AM »
These are guys who can (95+% of the time) shatter an 8 inch dinner plate from 6000 m.

Can I ask what sort of gun they were using? I had thought the Barratt was one of the best with a range of 1800m. :scratch:
Pete

No, I cannot comment further.

Can you at least tell us what they have against dinner plates?   :lol:

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 04:50:39 AM »
At the risk of being 'up the creek without a paddle' might I ask why a sea kayak design be reduced in length?

Somewhat quizzically

Norman

Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2016, 05:49:46 AM »
I already have a very nice 17' boat. I was going for something very light and nimble to be used primarily on small lakes. Good question though.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2016, 08:06:47 AM »
OK but surely reducing the length  also increases the depth? Not necessarily the manoeuvrability because this requires rocker as I have no doubt that you are aware.

I'm one of the old brigade who used 'folders' like my old Klepper T65 and Slalom 55. One of my old mateys( well in his 90's) used a Prout- or so he said. Found Blondie Hasler's mob just a bit too - well- dangerous.
I trained with the British 1948 Olympic coach and we had a rather long K4- in case you don't have such things now- that seats 4. It came from Royal Canoe Club on the River Thames on the deck of an empty collier returning from the London fired power stations back to the Tyne.

your post is consequently very interesting.



Offline vtsteam

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2016, 10:06:43 AM »
Looks good Soarky.  :thumbup:

Tables of offsets were originally developed from solid carved hull models constructed in lifts. The lifts were traced around on paper to produce waterlines, and stations erected at convenient mould spacings. Not necessarily frame locations. So they could be at irregular spacings, as indeed the lift spacings were often as well. All of these measurements (offsets) were relatively inaccurate because of the degree of scaling up needed to produce a ship. So the table of offsets for the model was used only as a starting point to loft out the lines full scale on the floor of a mould loft and faired there with battens.

In later times, fairing and development happened not through carving a solid model, but by drafting. Additional lines were needed for that in the form of buttock lines and diagonals. Nevertheless the very small scale of most drawings still needed to be corrected by lofting full scale to avoid unfairness on a finished vessel. Tables of offsets which were proven out full scale this way are called "corrected offsets."

Because traditional tables of offsets are developed to aid construction spacing, and for fairing and development, they aren't necessarily spaced or described ideally for quick entry in computer programs. Rather they were done that way for conventional lofting purposes. Just a situation now where old meets new. I worked on computer programs to do naval architecture design work in the late seventies and early eighties, and it was definitely a pain doing the conversions -- the usual traditional small craft NA practice up to that time was in giving offsets as three numbers -- feet inches and eighths, and even using a plus for indicating a sixteenth occasionally in the table. All that is pretty irrelevant now unless you just eliminate the computer altogether and do it the old way, start to finish.

I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2016, 07:03:43 PM »
OK but surely reducing the length  also increases the depth? Not necessarily the manoeuvrability because this requires rocker as I have no doubt that you are aware.

I'm one of the old brigade who used 'folders' like my old Klepper T65 and Slalom 55. One of my old mateys( well in his 90's) used a Prout- or so he said. Found Blondie Hasler's mob just a bit too - well- dangerous.
I trained with the British 1948 Olympic coach and we had a rather long K4- in case you don't have such things now- that seats 4. It came from Royal Canoe Club on the River Thames on the deck of an empty collier returning from the London fired power stations back to the Tyne.

your post is consequently very interesting.

Both the length and rocker, amongst other things, affect the maneuverability.  Anyone who's paddled a 10' Big Box Store Plastic Special kayak will be keen to tell you that they don't track worth a damn.  They have, however, very little rocker to speak of.  Incidentally, nor do they have many other redeeming qualities.

In modifying the length, I did not do so linearly.  The process is described well in the book but essentially you leave the cockpit mostly the same, while taking most of the length from the narrow bow and stern.  This preserves a lot of the volume but does sacrifice efficiency a bit.  Considering this is already a very narrow boat, I'm not worried about it.  I don't expect given my own weight and the boat size that I'll be able to load it down with gear like my other expedition boat.  But that wasn't the intention in the first place.

Looking at the big picture, I was trying for a balance.  It is intended to sacrifice tracking and speed while gaining (in this case by losing) in the weight department.  My estimates and comments in the book put this somewhere around 30 lbs.  My current boat is almost double that.  Hard to say how things will turn out... likely more like 40-45 lbs but we'll see.  I have no experience laying fibreglass so that might be where it gains a few lbs extra.

Interesting to note that you were kayaking long before I was even born.  It might have even been before my parents were conceived. ;)  Were they still making them from animal skin in those days? ;)  Perhaps more ecologically sound when you think about it.  I'm privileged to have the opportunity to partake in the stories of your wisdom, experience, and undoubtedly some mistakes over those years.

I had never heard of a K4 but I'm somewhat familiar with the current K1's.  I always have a good laugh watching the clips of the Olympics.  If you haven't seen them, picture taking the narrowest kayak you can fit an adult male's hips into.  Now get out the shoe horn and stuff a guy with the upper body of Arnold Schwarzenegger (thank you spell check) into said boat.  Fire off a starter's pistol and it looks like the Road Runner on a Jet Ski.  Not quite the kind of paddling I'm into but I like watching the slo-mo to improve my own technique.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2016, 07:13:56 PM »
Not to get carried away... (ok, yes I'm getting carried away but this is important [to me])... but good maneuverability can be had from any boat that you can easily put on edge (tilting the boat, not the body).  This changes the profile of the hull that's in the water from the long sleek shape typical of a kayak, into more of a(n) (American) football shape.  Turning is thus greatly enhanced.

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2016, 07:16:40 PM »
These are guys who can (95+% of the time) shatter an 8 inch dinner plate from 6000 m.

Can I ask what sort of gun they were using? I had thought the Barratt was one of the best with a range of 1800m. :scratch:
Pete

No, I cannot comment further.

Can you at least tell us what they have against dinner plates?

At 6 km, a "hit" in an 8" (200 mm) circular area is deadly accuracy.  A dinner plate shatters when hit removing arguments about where the "hit" was made and whether or not it was truly deadly.  [I, on the other hand, am a decent shot out to 1200 yards -- good enough that the longshooters would turn away before laughing at me.  At 1500 yards, I may as well throw rocks at the target.]

Inside one of the "spotting sheds" at one of the 6000 m ranges somebody had carved, We endeavor to avoid having the motto of Ready, Fire, Aim!


Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2016, 07:22:11 PM »
Looks good Sparky.  :thumbup:

Tables of offsets were originally developed from solid carved hull models constructed in lifts.
<... snip ...>

Thanks.  Now we need to have some really crappy weather that encourages me to stay inside and work on it.

I appreciate the history lesson.  It explains the presentation of the data and makes me a bit less annoyed with it. :)

Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2016, 10:20:15 PM »
I was flipping through some pictures tonight and ran across a few I snapped while cutting the strips.  I sawed them from 3/4" clear cedar, if I recall correctly.  After sawing they all got a bead and cove as well.  The pictures are a bit of a whirlwind tour, as this took many evenings and a few weekends to complete.  I know think hope I have more than enough to complete the job and select some nice contrasting colours.

By the picture's filename, it looks like I was doing this in October of 2014... right around the time I switched jobs, so no big surprise that it got pushed to the back burner.

The attached pictures show my cobbled-together setup for ripping the strips.  Looks like hell but works quite well.... maybe I should adopt that as a new motto.

I'll try to describe the pictures in less than 1000 words:

The device consists of shelf brackets attached to a bare studded wall that hold pieces of wood comprising the infeed and outfeed tables.  The bandsaw is set up in the middle of these.  My longest piece was about 12' so you can see this required lots of space.  And for those who have been paying attention, yes this is shorter than the kayak I'm building.  Strips will be joined strategically and doing so does not compromise the strength.

Attached to the table is a wooden fence covered in tape to reduce friction.  There are three spring-loaded (elastic band) fingers that hold the board down to the table and against the fence.  This is important because it's almost impossible to guide it by hand and end up with consistent strip width.

I noticed early on that my strips were getting wider and wider and couldn't figure out why.  Turns out the saw was dancing away along the floor so I knocked together a little bracket that I clamped to the top of the saw and screwed to the wall.  It didn't move until I was finished.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2016, 05:30:38 AM »
Until I started to follow your exploits, I'd sort of forgotten Kayaking because I asked for  a kayak on my 80th birthday and got a helicopter ride as a substitute. So be it!

However, a little Googling, reveals that one of the most popular British designers Percy Blandford celebrated his 100th Birthday a trio of years ago after 770,000 sales of kayak plans built on the old lath, plywood frames and canvas skins principles. If you think of it, this is little different to the old Inook designs. We had tougher things and less money and used worn conveyor belting from the coal mines to skin ours.  They were perfectly successful and we would take them 7 miles out to sea and even go canoe camping.

The other alternative design was the 'folder' and used in peace and war but primarily using the same old construction mentioned but using round roads and sliding ferrules instead of continuous strips on a folding wooden ladder. Suffice to say that a Captain Roamer crossed the Atlantic in one! It was a Klepper from Bavaria.

The wooden racing kayaks were Struers and Jicwoods( ?) and built on the lines of skiffs and much to your current efforts. Thet were 17 feet long and only 1 foot 8 inches wide and needed hair parted down the middle to balance the things.  Oe kept a straight course with a pair of pedals as foot rests. These were the originally K1's. Pure, flat water things. K1's today are white water things and almost capable of being rolled as the Inuuk used to quote, by a twist of the tongue.

I'm afraid to admit it, but we built the first GRP things on Tyneside. I suppose that there are still some of the old boys left.

Digressing, I recall being with a couple who were training with the Olympic hopefuls who had a brother who with a fellow marine commando had rolled a two seat military folder.  Incidentally, K4's were gutted rowing shells.

So it is worth a delve into the film 'Cockleshell Heroes' and  presumably records of looping kayaks in the surf prior to al this board 'nonsense' Reflecting again, there is the record of the old International Sailing canoes with about 109 square feet of sail and crossing the English channel at the end ofa 5 foot plank.

Have fun, we did

Norman

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2016, 03:28:03 PM »
Fergus, you must have read John MacGregor? I have some of the original Rob Roy canoe travel adventure books. Mid 1800's decked canoe voyaging.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
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Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2016, 05:12:56 PM »
Fergus, you must have read John MacGregor? I have some of the original Rob Roy canoe travel adventure books. Mid 1800's decked canoe voyaging.

Ah yes, stuff of legends. A young lads dream-so thank you for the memory or memories. In all, I would thoroughly recommend the sheer excitement to others. As long as there was a bit of water more than could fill a wet sponge, I'd have a go! So I'm enjoying the articles and wish that I was just a bit younger.

My kind regards to you all


Norman 

Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2016, 02:54:39 PM »
A little update to my slow-motion kayak build... got the first couple of strips mounted.  I think I was putting it off for fear of messing things up, but seem to have gotten over that now.  There's a lot of up-turn in the bow and stern so these first few strips have been putting up a good fight.  I learned quickly that I don't own enough clamps but might just try to make do with what I do have.

I'm trying to avoid putting too many staple/nail holes in the strips, though the bow and stern have been exempted from that requirement.  The combination of staples, finishing nails, clamps, and packing tape seems to be holding things well enough for now.  My only fear is that half way though the job - or even when removing it from the forms - I'm going to hear a loud "CRACK" and a bunch of strips are going to revert to their preferred "straight" orientation.  I hope that the bend will have a tendency to set into the wood by the time I'm ready to take it off the forms.  Once I get the glassing done I doubt anything will be able to move.

I believe these first couple strips will be the most difficult.  The rest shouldn't be quite so difficult to bend and the rest of the boat will provide structure to attach them to and hold in place while the glue dries.  Because I'm trying to go mostly staple-less, applying the strips will be a slow process indeed.  Meh... no rush.  This is something I'm doing when I can't bring myself to do other things.

Oh, and something else that just came to mind when I was adding the pictures below.  I had forgotten from my previous wood gluing experiences that putting metal clamps directly in contact with wet glue leaves nasty black spots on the wood!  DOH!  I think they'll clean up alright with the planing and sanding to come.  I have a plan B if they don't.  I've been putting clear tape underneath them now.

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2016, 06:09:59 AM »
Glad that you are making progress but making me somewhat jealous.

As for black staining, might I suggest oxalic acid?  Working as we did on 'folders' there was a lot of ashwood and it stained really badly especially immersed in sea water.

I'm going back a bit( well, more than a bit, but we pinned veneers down but with bits of scrap veneer.

Best wishes for your success

Norman

Offline sparky961

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Re: Cedar Strip Kayak
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2016, 10:31:37 PM »
I've been continuing to plug away at this in very small increments, but I recently reached a bit of a milestone so I thought I'd put up some recent pictures.

As the strips are laid side by side up the hull, you get to a point where the ends meet more horizontally than vertically.  According to Nick Schade's book, this is when you install the keel strips.  That's where I'm at!  I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but I've been taking my time on this making all of my joints fit as well as I can make them.  I'm also not using many staples/nails so it means that only one strip can be applied and the glue left to dry.  So at most I can do one strip per day, though I've done two on some weekends. :)

The keel strips are interesting.  There's about 5-6 hours of work in those two little strips!  There are two angles that need to meet snugly in the bow (front), and the same angles plus overall length in the stern (back).  At the same time there's a bevel that gets planed between the two so they meet at an angle and have a wide flat gluing surface.  This bevel varies over the length so it's rather finicky.

Plenty of clamps and tape later, plus 2 days of drying (the ends were _really_ sprung so I wanted the glue _very_ dry before trying to remove the clamps) and I'm very happy with the results.  The ends meet as nice as I'd expect, the bevel looks good, and most importantly it runs in a very straight line down the middle of the hull.

The next step is to start filling in the two voids on either side of the keep strip.  It's starting to look like a boat!