Post-build questions (forms & strongback)

Submitted byPaul Harker onTue, 04/17/2018 - 09:47

Now that my kayak is complete and out of the workshop it looks a lot smaller. On the other hand, the workshop has never seemed bigger!

I've tried -- to no avail -- to convince my wife to that with a few coasters and doilies the boat would look great in the middle of the living room.

As I wrap up the build I have a couple questions regarding strongback and forms. At this point i don't know if, when, or what will be my next build. bu most people re-use forms if making a 2nd of the same boat or make new? And as for the internal strongback: if a longer boat is built is it reasonable to lengthen a strongback or better to make new? (Mine is box construction from 3/4 ply.


I spray glue the form pattern to particle board before cutting the patterns out. I am probably a little more sloppy than most builders but when the boat is removed from the forms the paper pattern is pretty much shot. If I planned on building another boat I would transfer the indicator marks from the paper directly to the particle board using carbon paper then a coat or two of varnish. If you are a careful builder your forms may still be in good enough shape to use again.

I also use the internal 3/4" ply strong back. I have used it multiple times to build progressively shorter boats but haven't tried going longer yet. If I were to do that I would make a tight insert that just fit inside the strong back maybe 8"-10" with that much sticking out and just add a short section of strong back on each end. When I make strong backs I make 4 at a time using identical saw and fence settings so they are all identical.

Changing the length or width of a design has been discussed here several times. The only thing I have learned so far is that you don't change one paremeter of a boat without having to make adjustments to other parameters so you might want to look up some old threads.

If per chance you decide to build another boat of the same model using the same forms it is a good idea to send a check to the designer. Selling prints is a large segment of their business. They don't make money, they quit - we don't get any new plans :(


Paul Harker

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:31

Nick has an option in his webstore to purchase additional licences, and I would indeed do so.

Regarding forms: I went overboard and made CNC drawings from the plans then cut them on the CNC.  An accurately made set would not be an issue. 

If I were to make them again I'd probably put access holes in a few strategic locations as well as small alignment holes  to help initial alignment on the strongback.

My biggest concern (other than storage) is if a twice used form will hold staples firmly enough.