Sunday, October 23, 2016

Setting Up

I tried a new thing: actually following someone else's instructions.
Since I followed Rob Mack's instructions for building a box beam, I figured I'd also follow his instructions for setting up forms. They are pretty good. I set up the top alignment string with two strong wooden posts screwed into the box beam, and aligned it with the bottom string, using a plumb bob, just like the illustration. 
 In the past, I had suspended a top string, and snapped a chalk line on the beam to mark center. I aligned the forms to the top string, and used a spirit level to level them. This time, I have two parallel strings, longer than the entire kayak.
Setting up the first form, #9. The mounting brackets are dadoed to allow the string on the box beam to pass through. A strip of wood is stapled to the form along the center line, leaving room for the thickness of the string. When I brought the stick to the strings, and checked one of the horizontal lines, it was level! 
Not, however, that I got it right the first time. When I got to setting up the bow form, I discovered that I had miscalculated the height of the string, and the tip of the form ran into the box beam. I managed to break the bottom string, then had to relocate the top string to a higher position.
The bow form in place. I cut a 3/4" slot in Form #2, and attached it to the  back of the form, so as not to cover the lines. I also made the small fork-shaped bracket next to form #1, to adjust the bow form across the box beam, and keep form #2 at a right angle to the beam. Everything seems correct with a spirit level, and the tip of the form is lined up on the bottom string. 
I did the same with the stern form. I can see how I blew it the last time. Everything straight and  level is a very fine point.
I tried some test strips, and everything came out even & fair, except for form # 10.5, which had to be moved several inches.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Box Beam

In order to prevent another Crooked Kayak Disaster, I looked for a new way to set up a strongback. Rob Macks uses what he calls an "external box beam" for a strongback, so I bought his kayak building plans to get the dimensions & instructions. 
I made it 19' long-two 8' sections, one 3' section, and two "nesting sections" in between. Its so long, I couldn't fit it all in the picture. Rob calls for 1/2" CDX plywood. I almost used "nicey-nice" 3/4" ply, and I'm glad I didn't, because it weighs a lot as it is. I like the idea of the beam being longer than the whole kayak, because now I can align everything to a string, and not have to resort to shenanigans to get the end forms aligned. It was harder to build than I thought it would be-I had to re-do a section to get it to fit together. Here, I'm using a variety of shims to level it on my uneven basement floor.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Another Outer Island

I decided to chicken out from the Kayak Foundry program for now, and just build another, full-length Outer Island.
I still have the forms from when I bought the original plans, but I decided that they were a little flimsy & troublesome,made on 1/2" CDX plywood, so I traced them onto 3/4 Masonite, and solid pine. This all went well enough, but it brought a quandary to my mind: did I have the forms copied at 95%, or did I just reduce the length? I found nothing on any of the forms that was a specific, measured length, and what really made me wonder was that when I had the bow & stern forms printed at Staples, they didn't fit forms 2 and 16 exactly. After racking my brain for a while, I finally asked Jay Babina for help. He sent me a PDF file of form 16, and my width was exactly what it was supposed to be, however, when I printed it, it wasn't that size! I was finally satisfied that my forms are 100%, but we think Staples' printer is off a little. Its only about 1/8", I think I can work around it.