Kayak Blog

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March 9

Another group met to review the strips already cut.   We found about 50% waste because the strips were a little too thin and a few, but not many, knots.    They realized that we had to find a better way to make the strips consistently the right thickness.

Also, the group coved and beaded the strips that are usable.  First learning:   rout the bead first.   The cove produces very fragile tips on the strips.   If you rout the cove first, those tips could be damaged when routing the bead.

The second learning was in the cutting of the strips.  The only person pushing the board through the saw is the guy at the table.  The person helping support the 16’ board and the one catching the cut piece CANNOT push – only support the weight of the board.   At the end of each strip, it’s critical to hold the workpiece flush on the table – otherwise it lifts and mars the cut.

Crotches were cut and mounted on sawhorses to support the strongback during assembly.





Kick-off meeting, March 7, 2017        
Fourteen volunteers came to Dick’s shop for the kick-off meeting. Great turnout! Jim and Dick reviewed the project, timeline, and method of building the kayak.
First task is to get the forms cut out of the ¾” plywood. Two sub-teams, Allen Hazer’s and Wally Duchow’s, will cut out the forms and return by next Tuesday to be mounted on the strongback.
Simultaneously, strip cutting started on Dick’s table saw, until we overheated it halfway through the stack. We’ll let it cool down and pick it up in a couple of days.     








Lumber purchase – March 7, 2017
Thanks to the use of Ken Koepp’s mini-van (Arkansas pickup!) we acquired 4 1x8x16’s for the main body’s strips, and a 1x4x10’ soft maple board for accent treatment. Who knew 16’ of lumber could fit in a 12’ minivan?!

Preparing for project kick-off meeting
Jim Sooley, Projects Coordinator, Dick Easter, and Randy Toney started planning a kick-off meeting immediately following the club meeting. We felt that the level of interest and enthusiasm for the project warranted getting started as soon as possible. Due to travel schedules of the key participants, the kick-off meeting was scheduled on March 7 at Dick’s shop.
Dick volunteered the use of his shop as the assembly location. He borrowed the strongback that was used when he and another resident, Gary Rector, built their kayaks several years ago.
We also acquired a donated 4×8 sheet of ¾” plywood – donated by Gerold Hooker. Doug Lambert made photocopies of the plans for gluing onto the forms prior to cutout. Dick and Randy visited CJ Horner in Hot Springs to see their lumber options. Their western red cedar looked moderately clear and straight-grained. For an accent strip or two, we decided to get some soft maple and spruce.
At the project meeting, we will review the estimated timeline, and let volunteers choose which teams to participate in, even possibly all of them. There are design elements that also will be considered, such as the seat, paddle, and feature strips or inlays to be part of the final kayak.

The origin of the kayak project came from early discussions with Lee Smith about making a kayak from kit form. As details began to be fleshed out, the kit cost was deemed too high for the club to undertake. An alternative was suggested to build a strip-built kayak from plans by ??. In November, the initial idea was mentioned to the club members, but no action was proposed or taken.

In February, 2017, the WW board discussed the strip-built project at its board meeting, and decided to propose the project to the membership at the February meeting, and to gauge interest before proceeding. The estimated cost that the board reviewed was $800, and the project is estimated to take 60 man-days. Our plan is to raffle the kayak during the summer, preferably on July 4, at the Balboa Beach.

The project was presented to the membership at the February, 2017 meeting. To build interest, Dick Easter had his own strip-built kayak that he built several years ago on display. Dick narrated a slide show of construction pics, showing the various stages in building the kayak. About 15 members signed up to work on the project during this meeting.