View Full Version : Strip building

Pernicious Atavist
01-24-2004, 09:59 AM
Okay, guys....here's another..,okay--YET--another oddball question from yours truly:

can store-bought firring strips be used to build a decent boat in the 10-16-foot range? i'm thinking kayak/canoe/skiff type boat. no stinker, a paddle/poler/sailer. seems like it would beat all hell out of cutting strips on the table saw.... figure i'd epoxy it over.

bring it on!


Dave Hadfield
01-24-2004, 10:03 AM
What's a firring strip?

Don Maurer
01-24-2004, 10:44 AM
I would think a firring strip (1 x 2 common softwood lumber is what I call a firring strip) would be too heavy for a boat that small. The other problem is finding strips clear and straight enough to make it worthwhile. It would also be flat sawn which would be a disadvantage. For a boat that size you would typically use 1/4" x 3/4" strips fiberglassed both sides. If it wasn't fiberglassed you could probably get by with 3/8 or 1/2" wide if the strips were tongue and groove. It would be tough to nail strips that thin without them splitting. I don't recall ever seeing plans call for stripping without fiberglassing with scantlings under 3/4"

Pernicious Atavist
01-24-2004, 11:02 AM
don, (dave, too) these are 1/4" x 1 3/4", maybe 2" softwood, probably white cedar, and are sanded, unlike the rough variety. price wise they're worth the minor added expense when time, waste, etc is figured in. would need sheathing of course.

Todd Bradshaw
01-24-2004, 11:55 AM
If you're going to buy strips, you would do better to buy real ones with the grain oriented properly, bead and cove edges if you want them and better quality wood. You would also need to split many of your store-bought strips into narrower widths to work well on radiused areas.

Pernicious Atavist
01-24-2004, 12:02 PM
bead and cove edges? where do i find those? haven't seen them. i expect to have to do SOME woodwork; i'm not THAT lazy! well...a little....anyway, i was that lazy, i'd BUY a johnboat, electric start and all!

01-24-2004, 12:25 PM
The best cove and bead strips can be ordered from Newfoud Woodwork in Bristol New Hampshire.White or red cedar beatiful stuff.
Phone # 603-744-6872 on the net at www.newfound.com (http://www.newfound.com)

Pernicious Atavist
01-24-2004, 12:30 PM
i'll chk em out! thanks!

01-24-2004, 12:45 PM
The firring strips sold around here are 3/4" x 2- 1/4" spf, and are usually none too straight, full of knots and slab grain to boot. Probably nothing wrong with using spruce for stips but firring might not be the best stock available.

If you have rudimentary milling equipment - say a tablesaw- then starting with slab sawn stock is ok. You can rip 3/4" thick planks into 1/4" (or whatever")x 3/4" strips with more or less vertical grain. Beading and coving requires a shaper or router table and a set of cutters, but really milling strips is no big deal and if the gear was available I would prefer to make my own just so I could high grade the planking stock and smell the sawdust.

Pernicious Atavist
01-24-2004, 12:45 PM
50c a linear foot for b&c stripping? geez! it may be worth it, but.....

Pernicious Atavist
01-24-2004, 12:50 PM
yeah, pj, that sounds like a plan, just so i get good pieces. the fellow who built my canoe did just that using regular construction-grade cedar (in maine) and it worked just great until the effect of salt water, heat, and the 'glass on the ouside/varnish on the inside combo started the wood rotting. (it's not dead, but the wood can't be replaced, only epoxy-filled.) this boat will be glassed in and out to minimize that problem.

George Roberts
01-24-2004, 04:24 PM
ed maurer ---

You can make a reasonable set of wood strips for a boat in the range you want in about day using a table saw and table mounted router.

If you want bead and cove, the cutters should cost about $20-$30.

If you have a shop, you can make wood strips cheaper than you can buy them.

N. Scheuer
01-24-2004, 05:51 PM
A friend and I once built a pair of cedar strip canoes. We sawed our own strips from 3/4"x 6" or 8' boards. It took too long to aculumate the necessary pile of strips. Board feet are lost due to unevern thickness (faulty ripping) as well as imperfections such as knots.

Having seen the ready-made cove and bead strips someone mentioned above, I'd definately go that route if building another.

Moby Nick

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-24-2004, 10:23 PM
You can build a stripper out of anything but what you end up with might not be worth the effort and the money.
Canoes, kayaks and small dingies built of strips are really fiber**** hulls with a wooden core. The wood is your mold then it becomes a wooden core that stiffens the fiber*** layup. Light,straight grained wood is used because it bends nicely over the forms and because it can be worked easily into a nice round shape. It takes a lot of planing/sanding/scraping to smooth one of these babies so choice of wood makes a big difference if you have chronic back pain.
When done properly the boats are light, strong and pretty.
Pre-milled B&C strips of first class western red cedar are not cheap. Noahs in Toronto gets about $US425 for a bundle of 55 strips long enough for a 17 foot canoe.
Some of the optional wood choices I've seen are cypress and Port Oxford cedar(pretty), tulip poplar and basswood(bland)but a lot of woods will work if your not fussy about weight,looks and how much muscle you have to put behind the ol' block plane.
Cuyahoga Chuck
"Low tech is the best tech".

01-25-2004, 01:18 AM
Another consideration about 'store-bought' canoe strips is color. Those I've seen, while very precisely machined, were not at all uniform in color. The result was a 'blotchy' boat.

When milling canoe strips, I try to select boards of uniform color.

Pernicious Atavist
01-25-2004, 10:42 AM
man, i just love posting stuff on this site. talk about a flow of info! awesome, dude! :cool:

no, i may have confused the issue by discussing the refurb of my wood/**** "e.m. white" canoe. that's a seperate project, and a more frustrating one, to boot.

the strip question regards building a boat, not a canoe, using the strip method. it will not have the tight, twisty curves of a canoe, but will probably be more shooting punt/skiff-like. (See "Small Sailing Craft," pg 134)

the real project is not the easiest way to build a boat, or the cheapest; nor is it the most traditional, etc. the real project is, as for many of us, the project that occurs betwixt and between our ears. this is a mental health project disguised as a boat. (aren't they all?) so, experimentation, etc. is key.

of course, it would nice if the damn thing floated.....

On Vacation
01-25-2004, 10:52 AM
I won't bore you with a lot of hoopla, but I like strip plank. I also find it offensive to match color, as to be boring. ;) :D Just kidding.


Pernicious Atavist
01-25-2004, 12:49 PM
whoa, oyster, that's nice! what is it?

On Vacation
01-26-2004, 09:55 AM
Thats the old way of building, Ed, on the banks. Its just a sportfishing boat, traditionally built and then glassed. Many are cold moulded now with diagonal plywood laminates. But a few fellows are still building this way. This is juniper planked, nailed edge ways, with either epoxy or 5200 now, and covered with glass. The ones that gets glass gets coated with a layer of epoxy in the building mode, to stabilize the hull until finishing construction and glass work. It also will check for fairness in the hull before doing a lot of sanding and fairing of the glasswork.

Syd MacDonald
01-27-2004, 10:01 PM
Hi Mr.Oyster- is your Juniper the same as Hackmatak and tamarack found in other locations? And, do you use bead and cove and, is the 5200 applied to one surface or both when planking up?

On Vacation
01-27-2004, 10:16 PM
Well, most know it as white cedar, but the proper name escapes me. we use flat sawn, no bead and cove on these size strips, and will sometimes shape an edge on it, in some of the severe turns, if needed. We use 5200, epoxy, or a caulking named Bostic, one side, which is less than half price a tube. Each situation is different, depending if glass is used.


[ 01-27-2004, 10:16 PM: Message edited by: Oyster ]

01-27-2004, 10:35 PM

This is Speed Stripô, a patented product of Joseph Thompson & Co., Ltd. of Sunderland, England. It is available in the US, under license from Maritime Wood Products (http://www.maritimewoodproducts.com/hull.asp) of Stuart, Florida.

How big do you want to build? ;)

It is the recommended product for the Golant Gaffer I'm going to build and I really believe it's superior to, and easier to build with, than bead and cove. I was quoted $1,300 for 2,100 linear feet of 18x30mm (3/4"x1-1/4") Atlantic White Ceder. That seemed like a fair price to me.

01-27-2004, 10:58 PM
....Harkers Island Oyster?.......The Lewis Brothers maybe?......... Looks like cypress to me...........

[ 01-27-2004, 11:00 PM: Message edited by: DutchRub ]

01-28-2004, 05:08 PM
...bump...well Oyster?.......

01-28-2004, 05:38 PM
I have never understood the point o speed strip vs b&c. It looks like flooring, not much good on a curve.

The short answer to the straping question is that you can use any wood of adequate quality, in whatever form you find it. You have to decide whether quality, price, and needed machining make the project worthwhile.

On Vacation
01-28-2004, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by Tomcat:
I have never understood the point o speed strip vs b&c. It looks like flooring, not much good on a curve.

The short answer to the straping question is that you can use any wood of adequate quality, in whatever form you find it. You have to decide whether quality, price, and needed machining make the project worthwhile.Another advantage, you can use some short lengths, some splintered cut offs, do the job almost by yourself, stop when you want to and come back the next day and add just a few or a lot, without pestering your wife to hold the plank , wrestling with a screw gun and aligning the heads with the bits and holding in place, expensive fasteners are not really needed, and you can build bulk or thickness in one layer, in many tortured designs.

01-28-2004, 09:47 PM
For what it's worth I bought a very high quality re-saw blade and used it to re-saw the teak for my deck. The advantage is .040" kerf versus 1/8". Perhaps not such a big deal but when I was sawing 3/16" thick strips for my deck it was a huge savings in wood (verus watching about half of it run up the dust collector). I built a simple guide post and was able to get good enough so a few swipes of 40 grit would get it fairly flat. A guy I worked with did the same thing for his strip canoe and then took the whole lot over to his local woodworking store where they ran it through their table sander for a modest fee. The reason I bring this up is that you might save enough using this method to justify buying a nicer grade of wood. It took an afternoons' worth of work but I was pleased with the results. Oh, and the blade was about $38. I still use it a fair amount.

01-30-2004, 03:53 PM
...still looking like Lewis Brothers planking a hull in cypress over cypress frames- cheaper than juniper and more readily available...........