Friday, April 24, 2015

Closing The Clam

This was the toughest one yet. "Everyone" says to put the forms back in the hull while it sits after glassing, but I guess you have to do it immediately, which I didn't. The hull & deck mismatched by as much as one inch in places. My Home Made Aluminum Tool wouldn't even stretch it out enough.
I ended up putting spreader sticks across most of the hull. Tape wouldn't hold the two halves together, so I "tack welded" with epoxy. I tied strings to the sticks, so I could pull them out after the epoxy set. It worked!
I used 9 oz. tape to put the halves together, making the usual mess.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Footbrace Stud Kit

Instead of drilling through the hull, I decided to go for these glued-in studs.
Kit from CLC includes some fiberglass tape. Vinyl tape protects the threads. I put them in before joining the hull & deck. It was all easier than I thought it would be. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Glassing The Hull

I did a rather crappy job on the hull interior, earning myself a lot of extra work.
It seems that, after building four kayaks, and having the same problems each time, I finally had a revelation about saturating the glass. I had usually been using too much epoxy in one place at a time, and letting it saturate too long. The fiberglass wants to float off the wood, of course unevenly, causing ripples. This time, I let it saturate a minimal length of time, and removed the excess thoroughly and immediately. I maintained a "wet edge', as with painting. Voila! Only one or two small ripples! The fill coats went well-nearly filled the weave on the second coat, in some areas.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Having separated the two halves, the remaining forms came out easily. Smoothing the interior was just as much "fun" as usual.

Tools: the small Surform rasp was pretty useful.  I also used a scraper made from an old saw. At the top is a surform rasp mounted on a bit of minicel foam.
I also resorted to filler on the resultant thin spots, and dealt with the internal stems by filleting the corners.
Glassing didn't go easily. The glass seemed to really want to pucker & lift off the wood. I tried the "saturation coat" that some builders use, but it mainly seemed a waste of epoxy. However, I think I'm finally learning what causes this-too much epoxy and too long a saturation time. The glass wants to float up to the top of a deep coating of epoxy,  unevenly, of course.