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Thread: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

  1. #1
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    Default SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Hi guys, I'm back. Finally have the money to get this project going again! I just graduated from high school too, so I have time to do things. I'm not sure what happened to the old thread, but oh well.

    Anyway, I left off with the frames. I have all of them cut out and tonight I sanded them neatly and made them pretty. Hopefully tomorrow I can purchase some wood for the stringers. I just bought the 8oz polyester fabric as well, it should be shipping out tomorrow.

    One question though - would white oak be suitable for stringers? I literally cannot find any good softwood around here. I live in the middle of hardwood country, and the local Home Depots and Lowes only seem to carry hideous Douglas Fir and crazy-expensive Radiata. However, there's a hardwood store nearby that sells wood in dimensions suitable for my project.

    Doing some research, it seems Douglas Fir is ~0.5g/cc, while WRC is ~0.35g/cc. White oak is ~0.7g/cc.

    By the wood list, I estimate the total volume of my stringers to be approximately 23,000ccs. So my estimates for weight are as follows:
    DF: 0.5g/cc * 23000cc = 11,500g = ~25 lbs
    WRC: 0.35g/cc * 23000cc = 8,050g = ~18 lbs
    WO: 0.7g/cc * 23000cc = 16,100g = ~35 lbs

    Man, some big weight differences there. The book recommends WRC, it seems. Will 17 more pounds affect anything? I'm really not sure if I trust the DF and WRC we have here - full of knots and bad grain. This wood store also carries Sassafras, though. I'm also worried about pricing - I would like to keep my stringer wood under $50.

    Maybe I'm overthinking this...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    White oak will work - but, as you say, there's a big weight penalty. You can offset that - a bit - by using smaller stringers, as the WO is far stronger than cedar, but they'd still weigh more. Note that white oak is not compatible with epoxy, so you will be relegated to lashing and/or screwing everything together.

    Sassafras would definitely be my choice over WO, in any case.

    You might look around at local millwork mills or suppliers - they often have or can get good lumber of most sorts. Cypress, spruces, some pines - even poplar - will work.
    Good luck!
    Dave

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Quote Originally Posted by beef View Post
    Hi guys, I'm back. Finally have the money to get this project going again! I just graduated from high school too, so I have time to do things. I'm not sure what happened to the old thread, but oh well.

    Anyway, I left off with the frames. I have all of them cut out and tonight I sanded them neatly and made them pretty. Hopefully tomorrow I can purchase some wood for the stringers. I just bought the 8oz polyester fabric as well, it should be shipping out tomorrow.

    One question though - would white oak be suitable for stringers? I literally cannot find any good softwood around here. I live in the middle of hardwood country, and the local Home Depots and Lowes only seem to carry hideous Douglas Fir and crazy-expensive Radiata. However, there's a hardwood store nearby that sells wood in dimensions suitable for my project.

    Doing some research, it seems Douglas Fir is ~0.5g/cc, while WRC is ~0.35g/cc. White oak is ~0.7g/cc.

    By the wood list, I estimate the total volume of my stringers to be approximately 23,000ccs. So my estimates for weight are as follows:
    DF: 0.5g/cc * 23000cc = 11,500g = ~25 lbs
    WRC: 0.35g/cc * 23000cc = 8,050g = ~18 lbs
    WO: 0.7g/cc * 23000cc = 16,100g = ~35 lbs

    Man, some big weight differences there. The book recommends WRC, it seems. Will 17 more pounds affect anything? I'm really not sure if I trust the DF and WRC we have here - full of knots and bad grain. This wood store also carries Sassafras, though. I'm also worried about pricing - I would like to keep my stringer wood under $50.

    Maybe I'm overthinking this...
    Do consider that 17 "more pounds" was basically half of the weight of a C15 built with WRC - The finished boat was 35 pounds.
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
    - Bill Mason


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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    The first thing is you're really going to have a hard time finding the lumber you need at the big box stores. They just don't have it. The second thing is every single pound counts, even if the overall boat is lighter than any other built by different methods, there is a psychological hurdle with every pound where the harder it is to get the boat to the water, the less you'll use it. For me, the lightest boat goes out, the heavier goes out once in a while, and the motor boat goes out almost never because it's just too much trouble. I swore that wouldn't be the case, but it is. The boats about which I find myself most often fantasizing are ultralight canoes, kayaks, and rowboats, so I can quickly, easily, single-handidly go out for a quick paddle or a two hour fishing trip.
    "A man builds the best of himself into a boat- builds many of the memories of his ancestors." -Steinbeck

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Thanks Dave, just the reply I was looking for. I was planning on using Titebond III for glue anyway, it seems to be well-liked for boat building from what I can tell, and it's certainly durable enough for my application.

    @Canoez and potomac: Yeah, I definitely considered that. On second thought, white oak might not be the best choice. Some quick research tells that poplar averages 0.4g/cc, so that comes out to 20 lbs - so a 3 lb increase over cedar. That margin is probably useless because I estimated the amount of wood too roughly anyway, so poplar is a good choice when it comes to weight.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Quote Originally Posted by beef View Post
    Thanks Dave, just the reply I was looking for. I was planning on using Titebond III for glue anyway, it seems to be well-liked for boat building from what I can tell, and it's certainly durable enough for my application.

    @Canoez and potomac: Yeah, I definitely considered that. On second thought, white oak might not be the best choice. Some quick research tells that poplar averages 0.4g/cc, so that comes out to 20 lbs - so a 3 lb increase over cedar. That margin is probably useless because I estimated the amount of wood too roughly anyway, so poplar is a good choice when it comes to weight.
    Most good lumberyards do carry CVG Western Red Cedar for various applications - It's not cheap, but won't break the bank either.
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
    - Bill Mason


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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    (and you can see all the threads you've started by viewing your profile/click on your username and selecting "Find latest and started threads")

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/search.php?searchid=3350139

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Alright, I got my wood. I ended up picking through the pile at the local Home Depot until I found enough pieces of decent WRC. Surprisingly, the really small cuts (3/4" x 2" x 8') seem to be the best. Very few knots, straight grain. I bought 14 pieces and a 2x4 to use a strongback. I know I'll be going back, but this should get me through for now. With the Titebond III, it came to around $60. I can deal with that, I suppose.

    I'm using butt joints to make 16' pieces. I'm not confident enough to try scarfs :P

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Noooo. Scarf them puppies or you'll have a world of trouble ahead.
    Everybody has a right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I'm not so sure. I'm using screws and glue in the buttjoints, and I'm getting more surface area this way than a scarf. I'm using a block on the inside, and it's pretty long.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    But will you get fair curves?
    Everybody has a right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Yep, I'm sticking to butt joints. Also, I have a newfound respect for the Japanese pull saw. I'm done for tonight...

    I don't really have anything better to make scarf joints with, sadly. I think I made it all the way to the bone. :P

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Quote Originally Posted by beef View Post
    Yep, I'm sticking to butt joints. Also, I have a newfound respect for the Japanese pull saw. I'm done for tonight...

    I don't really have anything better to make scarf joints with, sadly. I think I made it all the way to the bone. :P
    You will NOT be happy with butt joints. As Wox points out, the strips will not be fair at the butt blocks. Scarf joints are very easy to make with your Japanese pull saw - put one stringer behind the other with the ends to be scarfed overlapped by about 3-4 inches and make a diagonal kerf through both pieces. You'll get nice scarf joints easily.
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
    - Bill Mason


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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I'll have to figure out some better setup then. I wish I had a nice place to work. :P

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    He's probably following Tom Yost's building guide which uses joints like:





    I'm sure he'll be fine.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Quote Originally Posted by gnack View Post
    He's probably following Tom Yost's building guide which uses joints like:

    I'm sure he'll be fine.
    Yeah, that's actually exactly where I saw that first. Also, the butt joints are centered, which should help the curve problem. If anything, I'll end up with flat bits just behind frame 4.

    Anyway, here's the first picture. Please ignore the rather horrible setup and hideous oil stain on the driveway...



    This is from when I first marked out the positions of each frame piece. When I picked up today, I had the bow attached to the keel and frames 1 and 6 attached to the mounting brackets. I was just working on gluing up my gunwales when I stopped. More to come tomorrow! I'm excited, I started this project last year.
    Last edited by beef; 06-24-2013 at 10:21 PM.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    The fabric came today! It's exciting having all the pieces in place. Now I just need to figure out a setup to reliably scarf some pieces together.

    My main fear is that I'll come up short. I'm gluing up perfectly 8' pieces, so I'll lose 3 or 4 inches to the joints. Is this something to worry about, or can I just shorten my boat if needed?

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Umm... yes it's something to worry about. Boats can be shortened or lengthened some, BUT it really can have a big effect on the boat's aesthetics and function/ performance. I would scarf twice if the length required it before I even considered shortening the design. Shoot Dave an email in any case, but I'm guessing he'll suggest you scarf three pieces together to achieve the proper length.

    What are you using for the scarfs? Epoxy? If so, the epoxy gurus like wizbang13 will tell you that a perfect joint isn't really helpful and can even hurt (within reason) when doing epoxied joints because the glue is stronger than the wood and has gap-filling ability so don't sweat it too much.
    "A man builds the best of himself into a boat- builds many of the memories of his ancestors." -Steinbeck

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    That's what I thought. I guess I'll just glue up longer and longer pieces, then. It's no big deal now that I've found cheap, usable lumber. But no, I'm not using epoxy, I'm using Titebond III. I've seen good things on it on this forum, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's not meant to be a super long lasting boat anyway, just a toy for a couple years with good maintenance.

    Update: I got a scarf joint to work. Seems to be holding.
    Last edited by beef; 06-26-2013 at 09:23 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Sorry for the lack of updates or apparent progress. I've finally found the motivation to work again lately, and I've moved along well since. I made a jig to make 8:1 scarf joints in 3/4" wood using a table-saw, so I've been churning those out. So far, I've completed my gunwales and keel and trimmed them to length. Right now, the gunwales are propped up on either end in my backyard with a bucket full of broken up concrete pulling them down in the middle. I soaked them for a day, now I'm letting them sit.

    I finally got a job too, so now I can fund my projects. I'm thinking of buying some Danish Oil, I've worked with it before and I like it. The little bench I made in my school woodshop class is still pretty good looking after being outside for 2 years, so I think it'll hold up - I'm not going to keep it wet or anything, and it is cedar after all.

    I've also done several tests with the scarf joints. I've varied between 6:1 up to 10:1, making them rough vs mirror-finish, and I think I've settled on 8:1 and just gluing them as they come off my jig. Titebond III seems to fill gaps to an extent, and the joints I've made seem to be really strong. I'd recommend it if you're not using epoxy - it's insanely cheap in comparison. I'm glad I chose to do scarf joints, they've turned out to be even easier than the butt-block joints I was trying to do earlier.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I have scarfed plenty of wood with it, but Titebond is not a gap filling glue - it needs good mating surfaces and good clamping pressure.

    Looking forward to seeing your progress!
    Dave

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    No? Huh, maybe it's down to my unrefined technique then. I've had more luck with my slightly rougher, looser joints. My really smooth ones seem to just end up having everything squeezed out because it's so runny. The glue when hardened is really solid, and it does seem to fill gaps provided you have enough of it jammed in there.

    http://woodgears.ca/joint_strength/glue.html

    Matthias's findings seem to fit what I've noticed, though. The glue is really strong, but it's prone to squeeze-out and subsequently starvation. The more scientific part of my mind wants to do some rigorous testing...

    EDIT: Adding some pictures to this post showing my horrible bending rig. Sorry about the image quality, I don't really own a decent camera yet.





    I've raised both ends a couple inches more since I took these pictures, but it was getting dark so I couldn't take any more. I also braced them more so the whole thing can't roll. Hopefully I'm bending them enough.
    Last edited by beef; 08-05-2013 at 11:04 PM.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Bending:
    I see a fence in the back. You could clamp the gunnels to the posts on each end and push them upward in the middle with a board or a block scrwed to the post in the middle. Just wetting it and letting it sit will do but you could wrap it in towels and pour cocking water over it several times. Then use a heat gun to dry it before taking it off the jig.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I actually had one of my joints break overnight. I'm guessing because of the intense thunderstorm and the fact that it overflowed the bucket. It's just a minor setback, I suppose. I might try that, thanks for the suggestion. The only problem I see is that the posts are all leaning; my dad has been talking about replacing the entire fence soon.

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-t...604_172626.jpg


    You could even use the outside of the fence if you can screw something to it. Like a vertical heling. The good thing is that you can controle everything that way and nothing will move in any direction. In my current built I bend all the chines before I install them.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...h-Mirage-drive

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Potomac,

    I have made 6 kayaks from big box cedar. You just have to look at every board in the store to find a couple "acceptable". You also have to be willing to scarf to get more useful material out of the good but not great boards.
    When I went to a high dollar wood store I realized that scarfing and allowing more waste than I liked was much more affordable that "clear" long lengths.
    Havent had a failure yet.
    Still lots cheaper than my alternatives.
    Yes it is hard work, but if you want a boat you'll find enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by potomac View Post
    The first thing is you're really going to have a hard time finding the lumber you need at the big box stores. They just don't have it. The second thing is every single pound counts, even if the overall boat is lighter than any other built by different methods, there is a psychological hurdle with every pound where the harder it is to get the boat to the water, the less you'll use it. For me, the lightest boat goes out, the heavier goes out once in a while, and the motor boat goes out almost never because it's just too much trouble. I swore that wouldn't be the case, but it is. The boats about which I find myself most often fantasizing are ultralight canoes, kayaks, and rowboats, so I can quickly, easily, single-handidly go out for a quick paddle or a two hour fishing trip.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I actually found really good pieces at my local Home Depot. I had to settle for the small 3/4"x1"x8' pieces. It took me quite a while to find all the good ones, but the ones I did find turned out to be very nice. Clear, vertical grain with a nice ring count. I'm going to have to go back and get more, since I thought maybe two 8' pieces would be sufficient for each stringer - they're not. On the bright side, I only spent about $60 the first time and will probably not spend more than $20 more.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I'm bad at logging my progress! I started skinning my kayak last night.

    Here's a photo I took before I put the cockpit carlins on. I'll post another when I finish the skin.



    I'm surprised at how well it turned out considering how impatiently I put it together. I at least made sure the frames were all on straight and level, and there's hardly any twist in the hull or anything. It's a very sturdy design, but it's huge! I'm not sure what I was expecting, really, but it's bigger than I originally thought. I like it.

    Since there's no need to register a paddle-powered boat in the state of Missouri, I'm going to try to launch this weekend.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Looks like it should, so far - congrats! It's been a while since I've built one - I forget how much I like the frames on these. Keep up the good work!

    Dave

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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    Thanks Dave! I appreciate the feedback. I got the top of the skin on tonight, now I just need to finish heat-shrinking it all and then I can paint. Considering the time it takes oil-based paint to dry, I might not get to launch this weekend after all. Oh well.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: SOF Kayak project - Dave Gentry's Chuckanut 15

    I can usually get 3 coats a day with the cheap paint - Rustoleum and their generic hardware store clones. That's in warm weather, of course. I've found that other oil based paints take far longer to dry. {Which has not also always meant that they worked better once dry.}

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