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Thread: Skin on Frame in the UK?

  1. #1
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    Default Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Hi folks,

    For some time now I've had a hankering to design and build a solo canoe for fuselage style Skin on Frame construction.

    For a while I was considering building one of Flo-mo's beautiful single sheet designs but I've decided that they will be just a bit too small for me (80kg) plus I would like a little more capacity for the odd overnight camping trip. So the design will be something like 12-13' long, 28-30" beam with a displacement of about 120kg. I can see some kind of simple sail being added down the line.

    I've been been researching skin on frame materials available in the UK and I'm slowly overcoming some of the obstacles but the time has come to ask for some advice. The main idea of this build is to go as cheap as practical, it's my first design and build and I don't want to invest too much before I have some experience. The idea is to have a light-ish but reasonably tough boat for use on my local river, the Nene, which is a navigable flat water river with lots of locks. The boat will be built under a simple tarp shelter and live outside under a cover.

    So far my material options seem to be:

    Timber
    I've recently inherited a table saw which was a step in the right direction. I've also made contact with the sawmill of a local estate who can supply me with Oak, Douglas Fir and pine/larch offcuts up to 12' long. I'm thinking of using Douglas Fir for ripping and scarfing stringers and gunwales. I think the timber available is green, definitely not kiln dried anyway. The other options would be 1.) To buy premium Western Red Cedar/Alaskan Yellow Cedar from a retailer such as Sykes or Robbins but I think I'd rather save that for boat number two. Or 2.) Go to the DIY stores and find a clear bit of kiln dried 'white wood' pine and be prepared to do a lot of scarfing.

    Plywood
    For the frames I have quite a bit of 9mm hardwood exterior ply kicking around. The majority of SOF boats specify 12mm however. Is 9mm a potential option in a small boat? Especially if I reinforce floors, or possibly design in more frames. Or should I get a 12mm half sheet? Also the ply will need end grain sealing - any ideas on a cheap option for this? And for painting/varnishing the frame?

    Skin
    This is the big problem over here in the UK! I can probably get nylon but I'm not a fan of wrinkly boats. I would love to use polyester but the only reliable sources from the US ie Dyson/Kudzu charge $50-60 shipping plus possible import duty (boat #2 maybe!) so I am thinking of going old school and using canvas. I've read a lot about the pros and cons but I can source nice 18oz canvas locally from a customer of mine at a very good price. The hope is that this will shrink ok and take an exterior grade household paint.

    Adhesives
    I'm thinking Titebond 3 or Gorilla glue for scarfing and woodwork - I could go the epoxy route if necessary but the simpler and cheaper the better?

    Painting
    I'm looking at exterior wood paints like Rustoleum, Dulus Weathershield etc.


    I've obviously done quite a bit of thinking but I would appreciate any pitfalls pointing out to me or further suggestions I understand that cheap materials and outside storage mean less longevity but I will have to accept this for a prototype boat.


    I'd like to say thank you for all the great info that has previously been posted on forums like these!

    Thanks in advance for your input!


    Jon

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    B & Q sell longer lengths, as do your average timber merchant, but they do have a low ring count.
    Glue two layer of 9mm ply together, what is a little extra weigh in a home designed one off?
    You can get the wrinkles out of nylon with a hair dryer I believe. I have bought end of rolls or flawed sailcloth from suppliers and sail lofts.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Use epoxy for the scarfs, and make them 8/1. Virtually all the strength is in the frame, don't skimp out. Be sure the wood is dry before gluing.

    Nylon shrinks with water. Wet it and stitch it while wet. It will shrink when dry. Coat inside and out with paint to TRY and keep it stretched when in the water.

    Good luck with the skin. Never had any contact with canvas - but it will be heavy.

    Exterior paint - check.

    On the frames - don't use 9mm for the frames in front of and behind the cockpit. I tried thinner ply here and the frame bowed under the pressure of the polyester skin being heat shrunk. I had to remove the skin and double the frames in that area, then re skin.
    I believe you could get by with 9mm for the rest. BUT, check to see if the plywood chips when you cut it. I had some "marine" fir (3 ply) which chipped so bad that in some places I only had one ply left. I had to (or chose to) fill the chips, and glass both sides to be sure it wouldn't fall apart.
    I believe a good waterproof ply would have been better than the poor marine. If you can get 5 ply that is much better.

    Personally I would fill the edges of the ply with epoxy. End grain is the worst possible place for rot to start, and your ply frames will just be one big end grain feature.
    If you can't then do the best you can with multiple coats of paint.

    Go bigger on the length of the canoe if you have any choice.

    Have you seen Dave Gentry's website: gentrycustomboats.com? He has a method of protecting the skin over the frames which works well. I just don't know if you can get the exact material in the UK. He uses the same material to seal the skin, but I haven't use it that way.

    Last 2 pence. Build someone else's design first. You will have enough problems getting started as it is.

    Have fun.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    I built the Short Shot Kayak from Kudzucraft. WRC, 8 oz Dacron and house paint from Lowe’s the homecenter. The top grade WRC is expensive but it’s not like your using all that much. Haven’t seen any references to stitching on the nylon wet but I’ll defer to greater knowledge on that. Haven’t seen reference to painting inside and out either. Three coats of the Same paint I used on the house. It’s bombproof. You hit the Dacron with an iron or CAREFULLY WITH A HEAT GUN and it does tighten up. Weighs 37 pounds. I’m 70 and have a Honda CRV. next car...lower lift over.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Dacron is a version of polyester. Of course it heat shrinks - if you don't buy it already shrunk, like sailcloth.

    Nylon is not polyester.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    I built one of Tom Yost's kayaks using:
    Good quality 12mm WBP ply for the ring frames sealed edges with epoxy then PU varnished them
    Oak for the keel. Possibly overkill in weight terms but has been very durable in use
    Southern yellow pine for the stringers available in long clear lengths with no grain runout
    (Both the above from a local timber merchant used by builders)
    Covered with canvas from a theatrical set supplier. Only place I could find that sold it in a width that would cover the hull in a onerous with no seams
    Canvas painted with cheap as chips 'yacht ' varnish from a pound store. 3 coats inside and 7 outside the hull.

    Now in its 7th year of use and abuse and standing up well.
    Nick

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Looked at this in the past month myself
    Sawmill I found did Ash, Ash also cheaper here in the U.K. from Robbins. Think WRC specified because very available in USA, but ash is stronger / stiffer but heavier. Oak doesn’t glue as well

    Wickes CLS timber available in longer lengths and good for high street timber, and you can be selected the best which is not so easy at trade places

    Profabrics do ballistic nylon but the stretching when wet put me off that

    https://www.profabrics.co.uk/product...ant=8297894915


    I liked the idea of a removable PVC skin (very easy to get and cheap) and have lashings to tension the skin at each frame, I further thought the skin would go over the gunwale and have a sleeve in the edge with an alloy rod in it which what tensioned - curtain sided lorries use this system and some beach cats for the trampoline.


    Yostwerks has lots of information on PVC skin but not the tension system I had thought of as they are yaks and not canoes

    http://www.yostwerks.org/MainMenu.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Thanks for the replies Guys. Just to clarify: this will be an open pack canoe design, not decked.

    Regarding weight, I'd like a light boat but a reasonable cost/practicallity. The main motivation being that I have to carry about 100 yards from my garden to the car. I do this regularly with my 23kg pl*st*c Sea Kayak but it is a faff and adds time and effort to every paddle. The sea kayak is great for covering the miles but there are a lot of locks on the Nene and in spite of being young(ish) and fit I would like a boat that's lighter and simpler for those evenings when I can grab an hour on the river.

    The other reason is that portaging a loaded sea kayak is not practical alone - we've done it two to a boat but alone I would need to unpack the kayak so an open solo canoe and a big dry bag makes more sense. My target is 10-15kg if possible so not in the Geodesic Aerolite weight range. My hope is that fuselage frame with 'ok' rather than 'the best' materials will get me thereabouts.

    Using the 9mm would just be an economy measure as I have a half sheet sat here already. I would consider adding battens across the floors to help with compression as well as decent thwarts/yoke. Maybe it would be better not to experiment and go with the proven 12mm though...


    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Have you seen Dave Gentry's website: gentrycustomboats.com?
    Yes, Dave Gentry's stuff has been a major inspiration for me


    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Last 2 pence. Build someone else's design first. You will have enough problems getting started as it is.
    I can totally see the wisdom of this but for me the design is part of the interest of the project. I use CAD and have a background in aeromodelling design so I plan to build some balsa and tissue models and do all the leg work before committing to the project. I've been doodling boats and reading books on design and boatbuilding most of my life but I have no practical experience so I am the typical forum pain in the bum I'm afraid! But for me learning to design and prototyping a boat is one of my specific goals


    Regarding covering - I've never heard of skinning with wet nylon. I've nothing against the fabric other than the fear of wrinkles. I can get light 3.7oz aircraft Dacron (Ceconite) here in the UK for about £10/metre but I think that would be too light for my usage - maybe ok for a GA style boat though. I would like to go for Polyester really but I'd be looking at two or three times the cost of canvas with shipping from the US.

    I have some samples on the way from https://www.wolfintextiles.co.uk/pro...ge/cotton-duck so a lighter canvas might be an option. I have the George Putz book and one of Percy Blandford's but I'm interested to hear more from anyone who's used canvas. I must admit the PVC stuff doesn't appeal personally.

    Regarding timber - you can get UK grown Western Red Cedar apparently but it's generally knotty and fast grown stuff for cladding. I was looking at the premium stuff imported from the US. Using the locally grown Douglas Fir will be heavier but I like the idea of locally grown wood and also I can get it much cheaper. I'm planning to laminate the gunwales something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c96ps6IxuU&t= to avoid the keel hogging. One of my goals is to get a nice curvy sheer, rather than the flatter sheer seen on a lot of SOF designs.


    Cheers,
    Jon

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    Default

    Your logic for a ‘stealth’ open canoe is spot on. I designed and built a 12’ x 30” (ply 15kg with seat and buoyancy bags, I am also about 80kg) and it gets a lot of use on a local river as you describe. I’m frequently on the water by 9am home by 12 and the family don’t seam to notice me gone. Those
    little stolen moments are priceless.

    You research about the fabric is also spot on for the UK. A member PMed me about getting stuff from George Dyson - very expensive for customs and postage. You could buy 3 sheets of ply for what he had to pay). Nylon is a good tough material the issue is it stretches when wet and goes a bit baggy.

    My personal opinion is that with the available materials in the UK especially if you want to eventually put a sail on it ply is a better solution. See below for mine sailing, the stuff for is sailing removable in a moment to use as a pure canoe. I have designed to a quite detailed level two SOF boats and always concluded in the UK they are hard to justify, I repeat in the UK with easily available materials. Timber is less of an issue if you can find a saw mill but then you ideally need table saw and planner thicknesser. The fabric is the main issue in the UK and on this point I would love to be proved wrong.

    I have a simple trolley which fits in the boat for portage





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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Hi tink, thanks for your comments - I came across your little 12 footer in my recent research she's very nice!

    I have seriously considered stitch and glue plywood for my little boat but ended up here with SOF.

    I have for a number of years drooled over Flo-mo's designs, especially the Little Guide. The main attraction (other than looks) being the single sheet and hence low cost. I've really struggled to find acceptable thin cheap ply so I believe it's worth going for 3-4mm Okoume (about £45-50 a sheet) but delivery is expensive from the obvious places like Robbins. I have found two potential sources near enough for me to collect on the roof rack but that is also quite involved. The first is https://one-stop-diy.co.uk/departmen...epartmentID=22 and the other is Stanley Small Craft, a reasonably local canoe builder who can sell me a sheet or two: www.stanleysmallcraft.co/

    The problem is that for the one sheet boats like Little Guide I am right on the upper weight margin. While I have the confidence to paddle a small tippy boat it's probably going to see less use than one with just a bit more capacity and sailing becomes even less viable. Add to that that I do enjoy an overnight trip now and then so realistically I'd be better going slightly larger. So that takes us to two sheet designs and double the cost for ply - moving away from the low cost goal.

    The other factor is that I would very much like to design the boat and fuselage frame comes much more naturally to me as an aircraft model designer than developing panel shapes for SnG. I have DelftShip downloaded but will need to spend much more time on the learning curve. I've looked at a number of ply plans around 12-13' but struggled to find just the right thing for me.

    The other thing that appeals for SOF is the light weight and relatively short build time.

    A longer term goal for me is to design a proper 50-50 sailing canoe. I've been interested in the early cruising canoes for years and I got quite excited when the Chautauqua came out I'd like to design a smaller boat along the same lines at some point so a foray into SOF will help me towards that I hope. This solo canoe is partly intended as a trial of materials.

    The recently inherited (yet to be used!) table saw changed my mindset a little since now I can buy bigger boards and rip stringers - financially it's become more accessible to me. I don't have a planer/thicknesser just a hand power plane (more questions to follow on that I'm sure.)

    The real bear for us in the UK is the covering I would really be interested in finding a better source of polyester here and perhaps do some experiments with various fabrics. I think SOF construction over here would be much more popular if that problem could be solved.
    Last edited by Little_Rascal; 07-19-2018 at 06:48 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Little Rascal,

    You need to take my comments with the understanding that I was talking about kayaks.
    Sorry I missed the point, and added info not to your needs.

    Marc

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Little Rascal,

    You need to take my comments with the understanding that I was talking about kayaks.
    Sorry I missed the point, and added info not to your needs.

    Marc
    No problem - I could have been clearer

    May I ask what kayak did you build with the 9mm?

    Cheers,
    Jon

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    I've seen clear lengths of softwood to five point four metres in Jewsons, but you'd need to pick through the stash.

    Heat shrinkable polyester is available in three point odd ounce as ceconite, used as an aircraft covering - same stuff as used by the geodesic airlite people.... Has been used for kayaks in the UK.
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 07-19-2018 at 08:42 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Rascal View Post
    Hi tink, thanks for your comments - I came across your little 12 footer in my recent research she's very nice!

    I have seriously considered stitch and glue plywood for my little boat but ended up here with SOF.

    I have for a number of years drooled over Flo-mo's designs, especially the Little Guide. The main attraction (other than looks) being the single sheet and hence low cost. I've really struggled to find acceptable thin cheap ply so I believe it's worth going for 3-4mm Okoume (about £45-50 a sheet) but delivery is expensive from the obvious places like Robbins. I have found two potential sources near enough for me to collect on the roof rack but that is also quite involved. The first is https://one-stop-diy.co.uk/departmen...epartmentID=22 and the other is Stanley Small Craft, a reasonably local canoe builder who can sell me a sheet or two: www.stanleysmallcraft.co/

    The problem is that for the one sheet boats like Little Guide I am right on the upper weight margin. While I have the confidence to paddle a small tippy boat it's probably going to see less use than one with just a bit more capacity and sailing becomes even less viable. Add to that that I do enjoy an overnight trip now and then so realistically I'd be better going slightly larger. So that takes us to two sheet designs and double the cost for ply - moving away from the low cost goal.

    The other factor is that I would very much like to design the boat and fuselage frame comes much more naturally to me as an aircraft model designer than developing panel shapes for SnG. I have DelftShip downloaded but will need to spend much more time on the learning curve. I've looked at a number of ply plans around 12-13' but struggled to find just the right thing for me.

    The other thing that appeals for SOF is the light weight and relatively short build time.

    A longer term goal for me is to design a proper 50-50 sailing canoe. I've been interested in the early cruising canoes for years and I got quite excited when the Chautauqua came out I'd like to design a smaller boat along the same lines at some point so a foray into SOF will help me towards that I hope. This solo canoe is partly intended as a trial of materials.

    The recently inherited (yet to be used!) table saw changed my mindset a little since now I can buy bigger boards and rip stringers - financially it's become more accessible to me. I don't have a planer/thicknesser just a hand power plane (more questions to follow on that I'm sure.)

    The real bear for us in the UK is the covering I would really be interested in finding a better source of polyester here and perhaps do some experiments with various fabrics. I think SOF construction over here would be much more popular if that problem could be solved.
    agree with you about little guide size, if you think you might put a sail on it then you will. My 12’ - 30” is lovely to sail on a lake but on a river is nerve racking hence out riggers. I never intended to sail it but......

    As as you say the issue is the fabric, I looked at the ceconite stuff but it sounds very light.

    The thing that puzzles me is what they use uncoated heavy polyester for in the USA that means they have it. If we knew industrially what it is used for I am sure it would be easier to find a supplier.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Little Rascal: My experience of SOF open boats is Dave Gentry's rowing boat Ruth and my own SOF version of John Winters' Osprey single canoe. http://www.greenval.com/osprey.html. The frames of an open canoe are not supported, as the are a C-shape, not a ring. The factors affecting strength are not only the thickness, but the kind of wood and the number of plies, the width of the frame, especially where the longitudinals are notched in to hold them, and the stiffness of the gunwales. For example, Baltic birch ply is about 25% heavier and stiffer than occume (gaboon). You could cover both sides of the 9mm frames with glass and also seal the edges with the epoxy. For my current kayak build, I am using 5mm birch ply with is what I had lying around), covered on both sides with 4oz glass cloth. I have not paddled it yet.

    I second Mark Upchurch's opinion to not complicate the project by designing a canoe. It is complex. Read John Winters' book "The Shape of the Canoe". http://www.greenval.com/Shape_of_the_Canoe.html. For his Osprey, I bought the strip build plans and selected suitable sections for the frames and fitted the 4 stringers on each side by eye onto the frames.

    Ordinary Scots pine is a good wood to use for the longitudinals. I really recommend laminating the gunwales from 3 square sections to avoid the keel from hogging (experience when building the canoe). I have had good results by gluing the laminations using the stabilised frames on a strongback to hold the shape. The three strips are held to the frames with cable ties while the epoxy glue cures. Wipe off as much excess epoxy as you can! Then remove the gunwales and sand off the remaining excess epoxy. You need to drill holes in the frame to hold the cable ties.

    Re covering. Aircraft dacron in 2.97oz/ sq yard can be bought from https://www.aircraftspruce.eu/covering-supplies.html in the UK. The Geodesic Aerolite boats use this thickness. http://www.geodesicairoliteboats.com/boats/. May be too thin for you, but has the advantage of being light weight, both itself and in the relatively small amount of paint or epoxy needed to seal and smooth it. If you think it is too fragile, heat shrink it, seal it with epoxy, let it harden, sand smooth and then treat the drum tight surface as if if were plywood and add a layer of fibreglass (Bill Hamm's method for covering kayaks, described on the old Kayak building forum.) Use an iron for control of the heat applied. Do not use a hot air gun, you have no control other than distance and you risk melting the cloth or even making holes in it and getting uneven and too much shrinking. Read up on shrinking aircraft dacron for the temperatures to use. Start slowly with low heat, make one pass and then another at higher heat. I am trying 2.7 oz dacron under 4 oz fibreglass on a kayak I am now building. The thin dacron makes a smooth surface that uses little epoxy. A disadvantage of using a relatively stiff sealing material like epoxy is that it makes the cloth susceptible to tearing if you hit a rock very hard. It first resists, then with a vey hard blow, cracks and tears. But Bill Hamm, an experienced building and paddler, is happy with the method. Tears can be temporarily fixed to get home using Tesa Extreme Tape. To avoid this, and get a flexible cloth, I used George Dyson's 12 oz nylon on my SOF version of the Bufflehead sailing canoe, and it soaked up 5 coats of expensive flexible Coelan before it got smooth. That means heavy. Although it was drum tight after covering (wet cloth), whenever the weather gets humid or the boat is in the water, the covering gets loose and wavy. An expensive disaster for me. I am trying other sealing materials and comparing them on a sample of stretched and shrunk cloth on a test frame. It seems that cheap waterbased Casco wallpaper and cloth glue is both flexible and dries smooth. "Casco Aqua Våtrumslim is intended for vinyl wall-materials with or without polyester, glass fibre, mineral or textile backings on walls in wet spaces." It needs many coats which dry quickly to a smooth surface. I am now testing adhesion of marine undercoat and enamel to it.
    Good luck, and let us know what you decide. Peter Lord

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    I just tried to make some dacron tighter with a paint stripper and it did not work as I expected. Dacron is pre-shrunk in the proces of making sailcloth out of it. Tried Contender, they sell sailcloth, but they could not help, but directed me to another firm. I think Dave Gentry mentions another source of polyester fabric that is used for water filters. And in Germany there is a kayakbuilding supplier who ships cloth, and probably cheaper then from the USA. They are partner with CLC.

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Ron,

    I'm not quite sure anymore which had the 9mm ply.
    I've built Yostwerks boats for SOF.

    1 - 13' Sea Bee
    3- 15' Sea Tour EXP (one of these probably used the 9mm).
    1 - 17' Sea Tour EXP ( but narrowed from 24" to 21")
    1 - 19' Sea Tour Double EXP

    All of these boats are generically similar. For the most part they are just the same shape extended out. The double was wider.
    I don't stitch the skins though.

    I've also built a few strip planked boats - which I prefer.

    You might contact George Dyson about the other uses of polyester cloth. It wouldn't be in his best interest to tell you , but you never can tell.

    Marc

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Thanks for that Peter, the Bill Hamm method is something I had thought about without knowing about it something someone had tried. I had taken my thoughts a stage further, build a fuselage, cover with pallet wrap the glass over. Remove the glasss and then remove pallet wrap and bond the glass back to the frame.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    Thanks for that Peter, the Bill Hamm method is something I had thought about without knowing about it something someone had tried. I had taken my thoughts a stage further, build a fuselage, cover with pallet wrap the glass over. Remove the glasss and then remove pallet wrap and bond the glass back to the frame.
    Interesting way to do it. I would think that the unsupported glass skin would be pretty wobbly and fragile. Maybe it would need to be in a cradle right side up and the frame lifted out.

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lord View Post
    Interesting way to do it. I would think that the unsupported glass skin would be pretty wobbly and fragile. Maybe it would need to be in a cradle right side up and the frame lifted out.
    Yes I like that, once it was bonded back to the frame everything would be in tension like a SOF. The transition point is the difficulty part.

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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    [QUOTE=Little_Rascal;5627003]I've really struggled to find acceptable thin cheap ply so I believe it's worth going for 3-4mm Okoume (about £45-50 a sheet) but delivery is expensive from the obvious places like Robbins. I have found two potential sources near enough for me to collect on the roof rack but that is also quite involved. The first is https://one-stop-diy.co.uk/departmen...epartmentID=22 and the other is Stanley Small Craft, a reasonably local canoe builder who can sell me a sheet or two: www.stanleysmallcraft.co/

    Rascal

    I've just bought 4 sheets of 4mm from Fyne Boat Kits http://www.fyneboatkits.co.uk/suppli...plywood-sheet/ for£40 a sheet plus VAT plus some epoxy and lenghts of Douglas Fir. Shipping some 35kg from Cumbria to Bournemouth was £43 via TNT. BTW, the plywood was well packaged so no damage on delivery and no compliants on quality either.

    Just my 2p worth.

    Nick

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Some good advice here.

    My two cents:
    Doug fir will be fine. Stiff and heavy. You can go smaller than if you used cedar.
    Whitewood pine or SPF will work fine. Stiff. It won't pay to go smaller than the cedar.
    Most any softwood will work for the stringers, actually. You just want the grain to be straight and the piece to be clear of knots.
    A scarfing jig for the table saw is not hard to make.

    Canvas will work fine. Hundreds or thousands of Percy Blandford boats were skinned with canvas, and I've skinned a number of boats with it, as well. Quite abrasive and your hands will suffer. Oil based paints, including Rustoleum, work fine. Canvas, like polyester or nylon, can be undercoated with polyurethane construction adhesive for greater strength. Over here I recommend Loctite's "PL Premium 3x construction adhesive." Comes in a tube for use with a caulking gun. Thin it for best results. Canvas will tend to shrink over time with the wet/dry cycles of use, but will not really heat shrink.

    Hit or miss with nylon wrinkling when wet. Some of my boats skinned with nylon did loosen up (some) on the water, but a couple never really relaxed at all and looked good all the time. Performance was not noticeably compromised, in any case. Thousands of kayaks have used it, and it is tougher than polyester or canvas, ounce for ounce.

    Fiberglass SOF:
    DSC06734.jpg
    Meh.

    Aircraft weight polyester/Dacron (a trade name) will work fine, though it is delicate. Mr Monfort ended up advocating two layers for greater strength.

    One can get all the (ply)wood needed for my PH-13 solo canoe from a 3' x 3' piece of plywood. She's about the size you are considering.
    PH13i.jpg

    9mm ply would work, but I wouldn't do it myself.
    Marine plywood - or even exterior ply - won't need to be coated. These boats get used for a while, then stored for long periods out of the weather -where they (should) dry out completely. I've never coated any of my boat frames, except for aesthetic reasons. These days I use a single coat of spar varnish for that, rather than teak oil or the like (I do put more varnish on seats and such, of course).

    Titebond 3 will work for scarfs, if that's all you have . . . and follow the directions. I do not recommend Gorilla Glue, or any similar product, for boat building. Neither TB3 or GG should be used for the rest of the wood work, generally speaking, as they are not gap filling. A single tube of West Six-10 epoxy adhesive runs about $22USD and should be enough for a 13' canoe. It is dispensed with a caulking gun, too, and there are several competing products from various brands.

    Enough pontificating. Hope this helps!
    Dave
    Last edited by DGentry; 07-19-2018 at 06:02 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    There is SOF kayak builders group on face book and asking about materials this was one comment


    “Stay away from polyester it doesn’t breath. Everyone now a-days is using poly because it heat shrinks well but those people also need to re-skin their boats all the time. Use canvas #10. That’s not 10oz that’s #10. Or nylon. Do a good job tensioning the skin before you sew it up and when your boat is wet the wood will expand a bit and fill any small Slack, so make sure it’s dry when you skin it.”


    a little bit bit of digging- “Numbered Ducks are Double Filled or "Plied Yarn" which creates a tighter weave construction smoother texture than single fill cotton ducks, making them stiffer & more durable.”


    • No. 10 (14.75 ounces per square yard or 500 grams per square metre): artist canvas, murals, shower curtains, painted floor cloths, hammocks, clothes”

    Haven’t found 500gram that is uncoated these people do 378gram

    https://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/...uck-pk44-white

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Breathing polyester?????

    What does this mean?
    Personally I wouldn't want to have a water proofing skin "breath".

    Without more explanation I'd call this the dumbest criteria I ever heard of. FAKE SCIENCE is what I say.

    I'm interested in the statement that canvas gives more strength. Any more information?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    That one had me perplexed, will ask and report in

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Nobody’s reskinning Dacron clad kayaks. Must be from some Russian bot.....whatever a bit is. Seriously, I’d disregard that. My Kudzucraft Shortshot Is three years old with some mileage and is like new. The Dacron tightens up with the iron as I’ve said.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Wetting and stretching balistic Nylon:

    Ballistic Nylon swells quickly when wet. We drape the Nylon over the framework and sew one end. We mark the other end and take it off the framework. when it is off the boat, we sew it about 4 inches short for a 16-17 foot canoe. Then we dunk it in cold tap water. When you wet the nylon it should be rolled loosely and not bunched up anywhere because tight wrinkled spots leave a permanent mark. Purely cosmetic, but doesn't look so good. Soaking time is not important. As soon as the fabric is wet, we stretch it over the frame and lace it up tightly across the inside with nylon twine. It looks a bit like a shoelace with a thread every 4-8 inches. There is a lot of extra cloth that gets trimmed. After it dries it is stapled to [whatever that strip on the outside of the ribs at the shear is called] before the lacing and excess cloth are trimmed.

    I am sadly not amazed at all of the people here who will rail against the cheapskate who dares to use exterior plywood and at the same time advocate all sorts of cheap paints for SOF. The 2 part PU is better. House paint seems to have worked. The argument is in the realm of religion and politics. Endless entertainment, but there is no interest in a resolution. It's your boat. Dacron and Nylon are not that far behind.

    I have not used polyester, but have nothing against it. It handles differently. Other than that, it is a matter of personal preference and availability. Either material will stay tight if applied correctly.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Actually if I was to do another Yost kayak, I'd try to work out how to laminate multi-ply frames from cedar strips.
    Ply doesn't really generate the strength you can get with laminated frames, because it's all short plys. The laminated frame should be lighter, stronger, and provide more room in the boat.
    It also would be a lot more complication so not for everyone.

    Sorry again, I'm thinking about kayaks rather than canoes, but I do think the same arguement applies to both

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    and a young guy from the UK experience with a few SOF canoes , nicely done . http://www.jonsbushcraft.com/sof-ski...me-canoe-3.htm
    If growth is good then how much is enough

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I managed to pop in to Jewsons and have a look. Some of the stuff labelled as PSE Red Softwood was reasonable and some of their thin batten lengths were reasonable. A few of these 16mmx38mm (finished to 12x33mm) costing £1.65/m, were more or less knot free. More expensive than ripping a larger board but the wider stuff was quite knotty. I’m now wondering if I can get two stringers out of one ie ½” by 5/8” but from looking at other designs that’s a bit on the small side? Or is that big enough for a for a 3 or 4 chine pack canoe? https://www.jewson.co.uk/timber/mach...ery-16-x-38mm/

    They also do a Poplar WBP Exterior ply which is not wavy and has a nice outer veneer. https://www.jewson.co.uk/timber/shee...1200-x-2440mm/ This appears to me to be better than the Far Eastern Hardwood ply we have here. I’ve used Far Eastern for washboards on my Hunter Europa but after a few winters outside it gets pretty scrappy and delaminated. I might try the Poplar and epoxy seal the end grain.

    LR_small.jpg


    I've managed to find some Ash locally that a wood turner has had in stick for 6 months and is at 20% moisture content. 1 1/2" Boards from a log of about 8-10 foot apparently. I'm also planning to go to my tame sawmill and see if they have douglas fir yet. If they do I think it will be green so will I need to season it or can I use it as is on a skin boat?


    Quote Originally Posted by DGentry View Post
    Canvas will work fine. Hundreds or thousands of Percy Blandford boats were skinned with canvas, and I've skinned a number of boats with it, as well. Quite abrasive and your hands will suffer. Oil based paints, including Rustoleum, work fine. Canvas, like polyester or nylon, can be undercoated with polyurethane construction adhesive for greater strength. Over here I recommend Loctite's "PL Premium 3x construction adhesive." Comes in a tube for use with a caulking gun. Thin it for best results. Canvas will tend to shrink over time with the wet/dry cycles of use, but will not really heat shrink.
    Thanks Dave that’s encouraging. It’s not that I want to to use canvas – I’d much rather use the right polyester if we could source it here. I would think it would make good business sense to open up the European market with a better covering – there would be more plans sold I’m sure Perhaps we should persuade Fyne Boats to stock it.

    But in the absence of good polyester I will give canvas a try. I will definitely test the PU adhesive idea too, maybe it will save some weight if it kills the weave and stops me using tons of paint. Can I ask how it affects the colour inside? Does it prevent bleed through ie keep original fabric colour inside?

    My canvas sample from Wolfin arrived today but they seem much stiffer and less stretchy than the ‘18oz’ stuff I previously sourced. This was from a customer of mine who is an interior designer/upholsterer. I’m not sure what it is sold as – I arrived at the 18oz figure from weighing it and doing the sums.

    Thanks for the Jon’s Bushcraft link. I had seen it and was surprised he’s using only 9.5oz canvas. Percy Blandford recommends 15oz.
    Last edited by Little_Rascal; 07-20-2018 at 05:34 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/van/...632282675.html

    Here's a 15' frame only for sale. You have to pickup.
    Bring some skin over, finish it here and paddle back.

    There are probably better ways.
    basil

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    It’s amazing what some people will ask $200.00 for.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    Green fir would bend and steam nicely. I've done a canvas SOF, put it on as tight as you can, than start tossing on buckets of very hot to boiling water and watch it shrink. When dry paint, oil or what you have. Use your boat till it looks like dirt than re skin, repeat.

  34. #34
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    Jun 2017
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    I've just managed to acquire some decent chunks of what looks like mahogany - a quality salvaged door frame from a nice lady in a local village. I know it's relatively heavy but could I consider using it for rub rails if not full on chine stringers? If not it will go into the Hunter for internal joinery and deck fittings etc.

    Jon

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Skin on Frame in the UK?

    One of the best things about SOF is the light weight.

    Since the stringers are so small, relatively, the most important thing is having straight grain.
    I.E., no runout of the grain, where the stringer would crack easier if bent.

    Mahogany is not so heavy when you compare it to oak, etc. Also not especially strong.

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