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Re: wider strips
By:Paul Jacobson
Date: 9/24/1998, 12:53 am
In Response To: wider strips (Jerry)

> Has anyone ever used wider than 3/4" strips? How did it turn out?
> (looks/weight/handling/time saved) I'm thinkin of using 1 1/2" or
> 2" strips to save time/wieght. Any input welcome.

I used 1 inch strips ripped from 5/4 decking material for my canoe. There are two styles for stripping sides and ends of canoes. One method uses the strips parallel to the water line and builds up the ends of the canoe with short pieces. My plans called for using strips bent to follow the upper edge of the boat in a contiuous curve. I should have used the other method. Bending the 1 inch strips near the bow and stern was a chore. Had I used them in straight lines ( Plan A) it would have been much faster to assemble that area. For kayaks you almost have to use the strips parallel to the water line so that you can easily fit the deck. ( And as soon as I say this I am sure I'll see exceptions!)

The bottom of the boat can be fitted in two ways also. One method is to lay parallel strips bow to stern, and let the excess strip length hang over the forms for a while. Oonce the glue has hardened the bottom is trimmed to a football shape with a circular or jig saw. One quick cut around the perimeter and touch up that edge with a plane or sander. Then add your strips for the sides. The alternate method is to complete the sides and then trim individual strips to fit into the narrowing opening. With wider strips there is more trimming, (and more to trim) and fitting takes a bit longer. David Hazen's book suggests the parallel laid strips and trimming the football shaped floor. Gil Gilpatrick's book suggests the other way.

I used Gilpatrick's style, and it might have been better with narrower strips. with wider strips I should have used Hazen's style. Both books have lot of pictures; you should check them if you can't follow my descriptions.

In his section on kayaks Hazen suggests fitting individual floor strips -- opposite style compared with his suggestion for canoe bottoms. This I can't fathom. Perhaps, because the kayak bottoms are longer and slimmer than the canoe bottoms, he feels this is a better way.

Personally, I think I can get away with the fewest custom fitted strips by stripping in the following manner. Sides are done with straight strips parallel to the water line, and tapered at the ends as needed. The bottom is also stripped with parallel strips. (Should be able to do this in one day. Fitting the strips individually took a week of part-time effort.)

After the bottom is glued I'll trim it so that I only need 1 or 2 additional custom fitted strips between the sides and the bottom. I expect I'll have to fill out portions of the ends with short pieces that are custom trimmed and fitted, but tailoring the ends is much easier than doing an opening in the middle of the boat. You only have to match one taper, and length is not important. Excess length hangs over the end of the boat and is cut off when the ends are finished.

In general, I'd guess that the more I had to custom fit strips the slower it is to work with wide ones. If I could do a lot of work with full width strips, 1 inch, or even 1 1/2 strips might be faster to assemble.

Wider strips need more time for sanding if you want a smooth curve. If you like the so called multichined look then don't worry, but if you want a rounded hull you must sand off those edges. the more you sand the edges the thinner that point of the strip gets. When you sand the exterior, this part of the strip is the glue joint area, of course. When you try to sand the interior you'll have to do a bit more work to hollow out those wider, flatter areas in the middle of the strips. To fit curves the best you want thinner strips. maybe 1/2 inch or even 3/8. Working with strips which are that small is an adventure in gluing. Very narrow strips like this are used for accent and look like inlaid pinstripes. Very snazzy.

I have seen pictures of early cedar strip canoes that were made with 2 inch wide strips. These were held together with copper nails driven through the strips into interior ribs. The edges of the strips were tapered and jointed with the precision of a fine piece of furniture. Obviously, the wider the strips the fewer the joints.

2 inch and wider strips were also used for lapstrake ( or clinker) construction. In this method the strips overlapped, (giving the look of household enterior wood siding) and were essentially riveted to each other with copper nails driven through and clinched.

How about strips that are 4 or more inches wide? You can cut them from plywood to any practical width. The thickness is very consistent 1/4 plywood gives 1/4 strips, 1/8 ply gives nice 1/8 strips, 4 mm gives 4mm strips. You get the idea. Of course, the obvious extreme here is when you get strips so wide that they take up the entire side, or half the bottom of the hull. At this point your design has entered the realm usually occuppied by stitch and glue designs. Plenty of opportunity for varied styles and varied widths at those points in between these extremes.

Hope this is of some use to you

Paul Jacobson

Messages In This Thread

wider strips
Jerry -- 9/20/1998, 6:10 pm
Re: wider strips
Paul Jacobson -- 9/24/1998, 12:53 am
Re: wider strips
Nolan Penney -- 9/21/1998, 6:32 am
Re: wider strips
Don Beale -- 9/21/1998, 12:50 pm
Re: wider strips
Nick Schade -- 9/20/1998, 6:32 pm