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PostPosted: August 18th, 2007, 7:52 pm 
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Location: Grand Marais, MN
I'm pretty sure that the next boat I build is going to be the one I posted here: A Modern Take on the Modern Malecite Canoe.

I'm most likely going to paint the outside, either British Racing Green, or some type of nice yellow. So, I don't have to make it pretty. I'd like to make this build fast, and I'd like to get it down to about 40 hours.

Anyone have any techniques to help make the cedar strip process a bit faster?


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PostPosted: August 19th, 2007, 8:39 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Eliminating the bead and cove from the strips and using a glue with good gap-filling properties would speed things up. Since the outside would be painted, the filled gaps wouldn't be visible there and in theory, the strips should be tightly-spaced enough on the interior surfaces when stapled down..

This may have been the way Rolf Kraiker built a number of strippers quickly... IIRC, he described building them fast, and with a minimum of fuss. His email might still be found here:

http://www.blazingpaddles.on.ca/

Rapt wrote about a quick way of building and used foam strips for a test hull. I'm interested in this method, since I could build up layers of glass and kevlar on the outside, then tear out the foam strips, sand down to glass, and add stiffening ribs for a lighter weight canoe than from a traditional cedar hull... so Rapt, if you are reading this, maybe you could comment on how that build went?

Bryan, what, you're not building the Freedom Solo next? Maybe I'll be doing the first report on it (still haven't seen any).

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PostPosted: August 19th, 2007, 9:06 am 
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After building about a dozen strippers, I have a few time saving processes, but nothing earth shattering. I wouldn't ditch the bead and cove. I've done it without, and ended up going back to it. You end up hand planeing a lot of strips to try to get some contact in tight turn areas....it only takes me about two hours to bead and cove enough strips for one canoe. The main areas where you can save time are in planking and sanding. If you have a friend help you plank, and use an electric staple gun, you can plank the whole hull in one day. Plane the hull down with a small block plane before you start sanding. Find the best possible orbital sander you can get, use 60 grit, don't worry about scarring. Give it a quick sanding afterwards with 120 and the hull will be ready. No shortcuts for fiberglassing, but once again, when you sand, just use 60 grit and then 120.
There are not very many shortcuts for sanding the inside of the hull....I've tried many and it always ends up just being a journey into hell. It is most helpful if you have a dust collector hooked up to your sander, it will save your eyes.
Only put the wet out coat on the interior. Install all of your trim except for the seats and varnish the entire canoe at the same time, start with the inside, flip it over and do the outside. Oh ya, you are painting...you could do the same. Anyway, be interested to hear what other people are doing, I'm hoping to build three more this year.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2007, 11:12 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2005, 1:41 pm
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I'm thinking about just slapping square cut strips up on the strongback and after they're on, coating them with epoxy and maybe mirco-balloons to fill gaps on the outside. Sound like it would be any faster?


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2007, 1:11 pm 
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Maybe faster, but what about weight? Would the microballoons bring the epoxy weight down enough, or would the amount of filler still be a fairly insignificant amount of weight?

Since it took me about 20 months (with some gaps) to finish my guillemot kayak, I really don't think I'm qualified to comment on speed! However, maybe shoot an e-mail to Martin over at Kisseynew Canoe Co. I know he's a couple of orders of magnitude faster than I am.

Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: August 20th, 2007, 1:22 pm 
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I don't think that would be any faster...unless I am misunderstanding you... you will still have to sand the sqaure cut strips, or whatever you put on. You would still have to glass over top of your hull once you use the microballoon stuff, so you would end up with twice the sanding. If you were just counting on expoxying without the glass, your hull wouldn't have much integrity....perhaps yu culd clarify a bit more......if you really want to do it fast, maybe look at making a stich and glue project....in my opinion, there aren't a lot of short cuts if you want to build a stripper that is going to be trip worthy.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2007, 2:26 pm 
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It'll still get glass, otherwise, it'd probably just fall apart. :)

I was trying to avoid bead and cove, which I've done on a couple of boats. I'm also trying to avoid planing the edges on square strips, which I've done on a couple of boats.

The process is described here: http://www.thomassondesign.com/slide.aspx?id=227


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2007, 7:47 pm 
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Location: Vermont
Keep an eye on how your time is actually spent. I find that getting set up to work efficiently pays off. When ripping or coving and beading, I set up feather boards or similar devices to hold the stock in place as I feed it. Then I can feed continuously with both hands feeding. It saves a fourth to a third of the time.

I hang twelve-foot lengths of 6" diameter schedule 20 PVC drain pipe from the ceiling joists with a few shingle nails and some 1/4" rope. I keep the strips in them, positioned for convenience for the task at hand. Strips come out of one pipe, through the shaper (or router table) and directly into another pipe. Time between the end of one strip and the beginning of the next is about four seconds.

Nearly all the strips for a canoe can fit in one pipe, hung in line with the strongback and as far off one end as space allows. Given my work space I only need to pull a strip about four feet beyond where it will go to get it out of the pipe and it practically falls into place.

Don't hurry the placement and fastening of the strips. Small errors take more time to fix than would have been spent getting them right in the first place.

If the strips in some parts of the hull require a lot of edge-set and perhaps twist as well and are therefore time consuming to keep in place, I rip a strip into two halves and glue them back together in place on the boat without benefit of bead and cove. It's faster than fighting with an obstreperous strip and probably cuts down on breakage as well.

Clamps are worth their weight in gold but unfortunately cost their weight in gold. Get three or four dozen large size spring binder clips from an office supply place. They only cost a buck or two a dozen and are quite strong enough for winning an argument with a strip.

In short, pay attention to where your time is being wasted and be imaginative in plugging the leaks.

bob

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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2007, 9:11 am 
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Bob, great tips. I really like the one about splitting a strip to help with twists. I'd thought of that in the past, but never tried it. That's great that it works. Also, the pipes make great sense! Much better than my pile in the corner method.


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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2007, 10:35 am 
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Ahhh, one other tip I forgot. Stems are time consuming to build. I no longer use wooden stems at all. Instead, I.....
1. Strip straight to the stem mold
2. Saw off the excess at a bevel in line with where the next strip on the opposite side will lie
3. Install the next strip on the opposite side, gluing it to the bevel just cut on the last strip
4. Install another strip on top of it and saw it off as in #2
5. Carry on, alternating the direction of the overlaps
6. Sand, smooth, and fair
7. Reinforce the stem with a narrow strip of 'glass and epoxy, then glass the hull as usual
8. After inverting the hull and sanding the inside, mix up epoxy and microballoons to the consistency of stiff peanut butter and apply as a fillet on the inside of the stems. Finish the fillet with a convex tool with a radius of about a half inch so the surface of the fillet is about an inch wide and sweeps fairly into the curve of the hull on both sides. The fillet adds strength and also makes it much easier to overlap the 'glass on the two sides, creating a good, strong stem without having to carefully bevel and bend a wood stem.

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