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Thread: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

  1. #1
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    Default Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    I have wanted to build a wooden boat for some time. Nothing fancy, just a simple row boat. So I searched for plans and building techniques and was struck by the stitch and glue method. Searching this forum I stumbled on to posts by Flo-Mo and found his Big Guide Design. So I printed out his plan and made a cardboard model of Big Guide and thought I would take it to the next level. I lofted the plans onto plywood, joined panels with the Payson Butt Joint method and started to stitch panels together. The bottom and first two side panels went together amazingly well, but when I went to join the next panels, I could not get them to stitch together. I thought there has to be something I am doing wrong so I am seeking a little help from the experts on here. This will be hard to explain in a forum but I will try. I apologize in advance because I do not know the correct terms for the parts of the boat.

    The boat is assemble with one center mold and as mentioned above the first three panels (bottom and two sides) were attached to the mold and went together well. When I tried to attach the next panel (shear panel, I think) it was impossible to bend it to stitch it along the joint. First I tried to attach it to the center mold then stitch along its length to the bow and stern. When trying to force the panel to butt against the lower panel, the stitches all broke at the center mold. So I removed the panel and decided to start stitching at the bow and stern and work my way back to the center mold. I got it stitched about halfway between the center and the bow/stern but I could not force the panel down tight even when I applied a lot of body weight to force it into place. The pics show the gap I am left with after trying to stitch it together starting at the bow/stern and working towards the center. I did not take pics when I attached the panel to the center mold and stitched towards the bow/stern.


    Gap at center mold viewed from inside:
    1gPJPlh.jpg

    Gap at center mold viewed from the end:
    J4MoXVQ.jpg

    Gap at center mold viewed from outside:
    69GViVY.jpg
    At that point I gave up not wanting to damage anything. I removed the panel completely and thought I would seek some help from some stitch and glue experts.

    My latest thought is to cut the Payson butt joint and stitch in half a panel at a time to see if that might allow the panels to align, but I believe if I do that, the panels will no longer join at the center mold, or will join at an angle.

    Your thoughts would be much appreciated if you would help a Newb out.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    First question, is the ply you're using what was recommended in the design?
    -Dave

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    First question, is the ply you're using what was recommended in the design?
    Well that is a good question. I had to go back to the thread on this design to make sure but the designer suggested 6 mm plywood and I am using 1/4" Douglas Fir. 1/4" is about 6.35 mm and I wouldn't think that the additional thickness would make things that much more stiffer. Maybe it does because it will take a lot of force to get these panels together.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    is that side plank on upside down ?
    keep modeling, make the models a bigger scale

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Are you sure about that mold? Looks like a harsh kink in the lower panel on the one shot. Can you fudge the panels together without the mold?

    Either that, or maybe the panels are flipped?

    Don't ask me how I know those things can happen on a stitch and glue boat...

    Peace,
    Robert
    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    is that side plank on upside down ?
    keep modeling, make the models a bigger scale
    Yes, try the panel the other way up. That hard kink at the mould is not the mould so much as trying to close a gap that cannot be closed.
    Turn it over and temporary screw or tie it to the top of the mould and see how the ends hang.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Looks to me as though the sheer panel is laying in place nice and fair as it should be but the one below it has that pronounced kink because the form is cut wrong.

    I would consider cutting the form so that the knuckle is at the sheer and not so far below it thereby allowing the next plank below to lie fair and against the lower edge of the sheer plank.

    Looking at it some more and comparing to a model online the problem with my suggestion is that once you modify the mold the lower (garboard) plank will not fit against the bottom correctly. That leaves you needing to re-shape the sheer plank to fit against the garboard.

    The first thing to do though is see if you have it upside down as others have suggested.

    Looking at it even more I see that the sheer plank is narrower at it's mid length whereas in the model it appears that it should be widest there. I think that you joined the wrong ends when you butt jointed it. Yeah, that's it, according to me.

    I'm gonna stop looking at it now for a while.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 07-31-2019 at 10:50 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Hard to tell much of anything from the pics. can you take a few, like above and straight down the center line? or broadsides? hard to tell, but the stern post looks like it's not aliened to the bow. I'm no expert but think both sides should be bent around the station and mate with the for/aft posts at the same time and double checked before zip ties are added. or progressing on to the next lift. (also internal braces/props added to keep the intended shape if needed ) and once happy with the position, add zipties and/or braces... few SMALL epoxy/thickener patches to hold it, in place so that the next lift doesn't push the earlier strake out of shape ( no need to get carried away here, just to lock in the shape in to what you intend, and small enough so that it doesn't interfere with seam filling later on) doing any of this looks really hard to do on a rolling cart and right side up, but I understand.. a lad's gotta do what it takes to get the job done

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    oh yea ! the mold is messed up. kink in the bottom!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    I believe this is the plan, and the top strake is clearly widest at the center. I think Gib has it right, that top panel wasn't assembled correctly. That kink may only be the result of trying too hard to force the panels together,

    Last edited by Woxbox; 07-31-2019 at 11:25 AM.
    -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    I'm wondering if that kink is the result of the butt joint not holding up. Could be that once the sheer plank is in place it will pull the kink out.

    The trouble with all of this is that once you change any thing all of the other things have to change as well.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    That sheer plank looks totally wrong, should be wider in the middle?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Thanks so much to all of you for your help. I believe WoxBox has it correct in that according to the plans the shear panel is wider at the center than it is at the ends. I did not pick up on that when I read the plans, but it does explain something to me. When looking at the layup so far I thought there was not much free board at the center of the boat. It seemed to be a very shallow boat the way I had it laid out. If I cut those panels apart and join the opposite ends together I believe things will fit much better so I am going to try that. I am so glad I posted about this because I would have been scratching my head for a long time. Another clue I should have seen was the center mold itself. It is much taller than the shear plank as I have it laid out. If I reverse the two pieces in this panel, the mold will match the height of the panels in the middle of the boat. Boy do I feel stupid! But at least happy that I found the mistake. Here is a pic of the panels as they were cut out of the two sheets of plywood. I assumed they would all be joined in the middle exactly as they are laid out. I think that assumption is wrong and they need to be reversed.

    efDAhPf.jpg

    I had hoped to post a thread about my build right from the beginning, but this little error has made me jump into the middle. Oh well, maybe I should go back to the beginning and bring you all up to speed. Maybe after I correct this little mistake.

    Thanks so much.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    My apologies to Gib and Oldad. I see you both spotted it as well. Again thanks so much. What a relief.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    OK, now go and fix it and post some happy pics of the boat all stitched together.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    OK, now go and fix it and post some happy pics of the boat all stitched together.
    Will do but maybe a couple weeks before I get back to it. Have a few other projects occupying my time right now.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    before you take a break fro it, cut those ties that are holding the side all kinked around that for. If you leave it like that for a couple of weeks it will not resume a fair curve when you return. Cut those ties....

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    before you take a break fro it, cut those ties that are holding the side all kinked around that for. If you leave it like that for a couple of weeks it will not resume a fair curve when you return. Cut those ties....
    Thanks for pointing that out. The panel was removed shortly after the photos were taken because I did not want to leave it in that ugly position. I knew something was wrong and felt that I would damage it if left in that position.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Glad you thought of it. Don't give up, we all want to see that boat the way it should be. Keep us posted when you can.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Last week I fixed the panels that I had joined at the wrong ends. I cut the panels apart along the butt joint and sanded off the cloth and most of the resin. Then I did the new butt joints on the appropriate ends of the panels and they worked well. This weekend I got the panels stitched in place and things are looking real good now. Panels lined up quite nicely, but had to be forced into place near the middle of the boat. I had to change from using zip ties to stitch the panels together to using rebar tie wire. The zip ties would not take the strain of forcing the panels into the correct position. Using the tie wire, a little force and a lot of patience I got the last two panels stitched in.

    I had a few photos to show the results and to add to the update, but it seems that somewhere between the forum and flickr I have a communication problem. Strange because I am doing exactly as I had done a couple weeks ago to get the photos uploaded, but now it won't work. I'll keep trying and will add the photos when I get a chance.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Some cheap zip ties are nasty brittle things, some are well moulded and strong, you might see a brand name on reasonably priced packages and think they'd be okay, but then end up with what seem exactly the same as the cheapy cheap ones, then you look at the expensive ones to try and be sure of getting the good stuff, and think screw this, the being cheap is half the point. So yes, if you can't be sure of good ones, substitute whatever you get locally that makes sense. Many people use copper wire however, since if any gets stuck in there permanently, it doesn't do anything super nasty to cutting/grinding/sanding tools, or make nasty rust stains.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Think I figured out the picture thing.
    Panel butt joint redone after cutting butt joints apart and rejoining the correct ends on the panels.
    Day7PanelsCutandRejoinedComp.jpg

    Another view of panels being joined. I squeeze the panels between two panes of glass and add weight to flatten out the butt joint.
    Day7PanelsCutandRejoined2Comp.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    After waiting a week I found some time to stitch the panels onto the others that had already been stitched together. The results are:
    Day8PanelsAdded1 (1)Comp.jpg

    I am pretty pleased with the progress so far. Well, at least since you guys got me back on the straight and narrow. I cut all of my panels out of the plywood using a jig saw. This may have created a little wider kerf than Flo-Mo had anticipated, but for the most part it worked very well. Most of the panels have stitched together quite well but there are a few spots where the saw "wandered" and it is reflected in some of the joints. I hope that thickened epoxy can handle the gaps. I think you can see what I mean in the photo below.
    Day8PanelsAdded1 (3)Comp.jpg

    That also raises another question. Some of the places where the panels join are almost vertical and with no space between the panels. I wonder how I will make a fillet in these locations that will allow me to remove the stitches and cover the joint with cloth. I've seen other builds where a lot of the fillets are used to join panels that are perpendicular to each other. There are no perpendicular panels in this build except the bow and stern. I almost wish I could flip the boat over and fillet from the outside as there might be a slight "V" that would accept the thickened epoxy. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    That gap will work to your advantage. Prime it with un-thickened, wait until it soaks in, then fill the gap from both sides with thickened. That should hold it in place well enough to remove the wires and fill the rest of the gap before taping.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Plyboy View Post
    Some cheap zip ties are nasty brittle things, some are well moulded and strong, you might see a brand name on reasonably priced packages and think they'd be okay, but then end up with what seem exactly the same as the cheapy cheap ones, then you look at the expensive ones to try and be sure of getting the good stuff, and think screw this, the being cheap is half the point. So yes, if you can't be sure of good ones, substitute whatever you get locally that makes sense. Many people use copper wire however, since if any gets stuck in there permanently, it doesn't do anything super nasty to cutting/grinding/sanding tools, or make nasty rust stains.
    Your right and I did cheap out on the zip ties too. Picked them up at the dollar store. Another lesson learned.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    That gap will work to your advantage. Prime it with un-thickened, wait until it soaks in, then fill the gap from both sides with thickened. That should hold it in place well enough to remove the wires and fill the rest of the gap before taping.
    I was hoping that would be the case with the gap. Most of the panels fit so tight there is no gap at all to push any thickened epoxy into the joint. I don't feel confident that filleting between the stitches will provide enough strength to remove all the stitches and have the panels remain joined together. That is the construction method and we will see how it works out as I go along.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Berniebac View Post
    I don't feel confident that filleting between the stitches will provide enough strength to remove all the stitches and have the panels remain joined together.
    It will. Fully cured epoxy is incredibly strong.

  27. #27
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    Late to the party...

    By jove, you got it!

    I don't like butt joints and fir plywood, but then I don't like my own butt either 😱

    Don't rush to epoxy everything up, make sure everything is aligned, fuss & fudge. Use levels straight edges and tight string lines to make sure everything is aligned. Nothing is worse than twist in a hull after it's too late to fix.

    Used thickened epoxy to make "spot welds" then remove all the wire ties.

    Use masking tape on either side, of the seams, as mentioned, this type this construction is incredibly strong.

    If you're thickened epoxy is too thin it will drip if it's too thick it will be lumpy and hard to get a nice joint. Peanut butter consistency seems to work best.

    But try to remember "less is more" because it's harder to remove than it is to add,

    On my CLC pram thread, the boat was given to me partially assembled, everything was cattywampus so it took me awhile to get it realigned.



    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFalcon View Post
    It will. Fully cured epoxy is incredibly strong.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I will take my time and maybe make a couple custom squeegees to get it applied at the right angle.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    [QUOTE=DeniseO30;5959212]Late to the party...

    By jove, you got it!

    I don't like butt joints and fir plywood, but then I don't like my own butt either 

    Don't rush to epoxy everything up, make sure everything is aligned, fuss & fudge. Use levels straight edges and tight string lines to make sure everything is aligned. Nothing is worse than twist in a hull after it's too late to fix.

    Used thickened epoxy to make "spot welds" then remove all the wire ties.

    Use masking tape on either side, of the seams, as mentioned, this type this construction is incredibly strong.

    If you're thickened epoxy is too thin it will drip if it's too thick it will be lumpy and hard to get a nice joint. Peanut butter consistency seems to work best.

    But try to remember "less is more" because it's harder to remove than it is to add,

    On my CLC pram thread, the boat was given to me partially assembled, everything was cattywampus so it took me awhile to get it realigned.


    Hi Denise I was following along on your build of the CLC pram. It was a good thread.

    Thanks for the tips. Its all new to me so it will be a learning experience.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    I think I am going to back up a bit and return to the beginning of the build. I wish I could edit the title of this thread to Building Flo-Mo's Big Guide but I don't see any way to do that. If you know how I can please advise.

    I have long wanted to build a wooden boat but never seemed to find the time. Too many projects kept me from getting started but I finally decided to take the plunge. All I wanted was a boat that I could row, so I started searching for plans. I found lots of plans and I liked a lot of the boats that I saw. Somewhere along the way I stumbled onto the Adirondack Guide Boat and thought it would fit in with my outdoor activities of fishing and hunting. So I narrowed my search to guide boat plans and found Flo-Mo's design on the Wooden Boat Forum. The construction technique seemed simpler and easier than building the stripper version of the boat. I thought for my first attempt at building a boat it better suit my level of skill and knowledge. However, I noted I would be building a design that was, as yet, unproven. I could not find any information where someone had built this boat.

    For that reason, as well as conversations I had with John Gardner of British Columbia I thought I would build it with Douglas Fir plywood as it would be cheaper. I believe a sheet of 4 x 8 Okume to be priced at around $148 at my local supplier. I thought if I am going to fail at this I wasn't going to waste the money on plywood. With my plywood, epoxy materials, and incidentals I am still under $400 for the build so far. I also thought that if this build actually floats I might build another with the real pretty materials. So off to the big box store I go and get two sheets of fir plywood and bring them home and start cutting.
    Last edited by Berniebac; 08-13-2019 at 05:04 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Stitch and Glue Help Needed

    I began by lofting the plans on the full size sheets of plywood. Since the boat is symmetrical fore and aft and side to side I thought I could lay one sheet on top of the other and accomplish two cuts with one, so that is exactly what I did. I laid out the plans on the top sheet and cut through the two sheets to make each of the panels for the boat. I did screw the panels together so that the bottom sheet remained directly under the top sheet while cutting.
    Day1LoftingonPlywoodComp.jpg

    Lofting the bow was a little challenging. Flo-Mo provided a scaled plan for the bow but it had to be enlarged to full scale for lofting. I drew it up on some squared paper, taped it in place and used a push pin to transfer the points onto the plywood. I could then trace the curve and cut the bow to shape.
    Day1LoftingBowPatternComp.jpg
    A french curve came in handy for drawing the bow pattern.
    Day1DrawingBowCurveComp.jpg
    In an above post you can see the panels laid out on the lawn as they came out of the sheets of plywood. In the photo below you can see the wastage I had from the two sheets of plywood. Flo-Mo was right, this is a two sheet boat!
    Day1WastageComp.jpg
    That's all I have for now. I'll go on to the boring part of joining the panels with butt joints and if you read the posts above you know how boring got exciting real quick.

  32. #32
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    You are actually doing a great job! I used to loft all all my canoes just for the fun, even though I had full size drawings,
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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