Fine Wood Water Craft Designer, Boat Builder Canoes and Kayaks

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About Eskimo Tom Artist, Designer, Boat Builder Canoes and Kayaks
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Wood Strip Construction

The term comes from the process of joining long, slender strips glued lengthwise edge to edge over forms located at each station, typically built on a strong back with forms (stations) located lengthwise.

Strips are cut typically from light, clear, straight grain woods such as white and western red cedars, spruce, pine and the like. These woods are most often selected primarily for their light weight for canoes and kayaks.

Strip construction has a long history. It is used to build boats of all sizes. One difficult aspect of this method is collecting sufficient quantities of straight grain wood in the first place.

Next is accepting the idea that 30 to 50 percent of your wood will end up on the floor in the form of saw dust. I use a special thin kerf "planing" blade which is supposed to reduce the saw dust pile.

Once strips are all glued in place, staples are removed. Remaining seams and holes are filled and the hull is carefully sanded in preparation of fiber glassing and final finishing.

After the glass is applied, the boat is finished in a traditional manner with trim, gunwales, thwarts, seats shear clamps, bulkheads, deck, coaming, hatches, etc. It is a well established boat building method for the do it yourself builder and is also used by some commercial concerns to create significantly larger craft.

The skin of the craft becomes a load bearing structure similar in construction of an airplaneā€™s monocoque fuselage. Monocoque construction means the outer skin carries all or a major part of the stresses. This results in a lighter, stiffer boat. It is an ideal technique for other small wood watercraft including yacht tenders, prams, pulling boats, sailing dinghies, etc.