Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cedar strip kayak

After several months of thinking about it, and seeing it on my list hanging on my garage wall, I have decided to start my next project.  I have started to build a cedar strip kayak.  I intend to use this page to provide updates to the project, share pictures, help others...etc.  Enjoy and stop back often for updates.

So far here are the steps which I have taken in this project.  About a month ago I purchased the book "The strip build Kayak" by Nick Shade.  I arrived at this book through an internet search and think that I chose wisely.  The book details all of the necessary steps to take when building a kayak.

Second, I have to make space in my shop.  I will be building this in my single stall shop of my garage.  The size is about 11' x 25'.  It is tight but in order to make some more room, I needed to build a storage shed, or barn as I like to call it.  So this has taken me a couple of weeks to complete but it will be nice to have as I can park my lawn mower in there and use it for other storage.  This will free up space to arrange my shop so that along one side I can put together the forms for my kayak.
I have decided to build a sea kayak.  I read various articles and compared designs and decided that I would build the Guillemot "L" design from Shade.  Why?  Well, I envision the day when I am complete with the build and I can pack it up and take it on a solo paddle for several days up in the BWCA in northern MN.  The Guillemot L has what I am looking for and will work nicely (or so I hope) for my intended use.  Here is a picture of one which I will use for my design.

To get started, I purchased plans from Chesapeak Light Craft.  These arrived just the other day so I am really excited to get started building.  The full size plans were $108. with shipping and include the full size patterns for all of the forms.  These, along with the book, should be what I need to get started.

The other items which I have recently purchased include a thin rip table saw guide.  If you don't know what this is, google it or look on  Since I have decided to mill my own strips, this will help to ensure that when I am ripping the strips, they will be equal thickness.  I haven't yet fully decided on the wood to use but I am leaning towards western red cedar, redwood and for a lighter color either yellow pine or eastern white cedar.  I recently bought a couple of boards from Hiawatha lumber company in Minneapolis for trial cuts and to play around with.  Here is a picture of some strips which I cut to 1/4" on my saw and layed them out to see what they look like.

In the picture, the redwood strips are obviously the red ones.  I like the look of the cedar next to the redwood.  Throwing in some white cedar should add some nice light accents.  I found a place to buy some boards in Duluth, MN so one of these days I will either order it or just drive up there and buy a couple boards.

The reason for the trial strips was to try out how the cutting will go.  I have a cheap thin kerf blade for my table saw but it leaves some undesireable blade marks on the wood.  In order to avoid sanding these later I want to find a blade which will cut these yet not leave any marks.  I guess it is off to the Rockler store I go, or ebay.

The other item I need is a bead and cove router bit.  I've got my eye on a couple and just need to order it.  I will get this shortly and set up my router and try my cove milling skills.

Hopefully all goes well with the cutting and milling.  I've got a couple of items to buy and then next time I will post I will hopefully have some answers to my questions.  And of course I need to get a sheet of plywood or two to make the forms, probably this weekend. 

Lastly, I have decided that I will try to use as many 3M products either directly or indirectly for the construction of my kayak.  Why 3M one might ask?  Well, I work for 3M and what a better way to learn about more of products than to actually use them.  So far I have used the Peltor brand hearing protection, the Sandblaster sanding sheets and others.  I am also looking at using some acoustic dampening film on the inside of the hull and other quick set adhesives and Scotch brand wood glues.  I am open to suggestions for other 3M products so send some comments my way and let me know how I could incorporate their use into this project.  I have a list of multiple different 3M products which I intend to use and so far the list is about 14 items long.  As I use them, I will keep the list growing and post about how the product is used and maybe even a review or two about it.