Wood Strip Kayak - Post 03 - Ripping

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I thought I would go into the building process as prepared as I could to make the entire experience more enjoyable. I took note of a few great ideas on the forum and decided to borrow them. I cut out a series of 'U' channels and 'L' brackets' to assist me in laying up the strips. I also readied all of my Titebond wood glue.

Clamps! Yea, I may need more but I started with 36 of em. Harbor Freight had some good deals on various sizes of clamps. They ranged from $0.70-$1.50 each. They will no doubt be very very handy in the coming weeks. I also have a collection of C-clamps and quick grip clamps.

I ordered some 16' clear pine from a local supplier and it was delivered free of charge! Roethle is a great source of find lumber and I do recommend using them if you are in the Northern Indiana area. Now I am faced with another challenge. How do I take a bunch of 1x4's and rip them down to 3/16"x3/4" by myself. Remember, these boards are 16 feet long! The solution was once again in the forums. A few individuals were working on improving a jig that was formerly introduced on the site.

The idea is to modify your table saw. Step one is to
lengthen your rail to help guide the longer pieces. I used my cut off strongback scrap for this. Then I increased the table top by adding a long piece of plywood. Once the plywood is on I then raised the blade up through the plywood to get a zero clearance between the blade and plywood. This will prevent the thin strips from falling into any misc slots. The next step is to bolt a length of 2x4 parallel and opposite the rail. Then cut a few more 2x's that act as pivoting arms. Then I created a 'feather board' before and over the blade to keep the board tight to the table top below. Finally you bungee cord the arms back to the back of the table saw. What you get is two helper arms that help receive the board and keep them snug to the fence... even when you are 14-15 feet back from the saw blade! It's hard to describe but hopefully the picture helps. I would feed the wood in from the far side and push toward the camera.

I got 12 strips out of a 1x4x16 board. The first board took me 50 minutes to cut the 12 strips. The second board took me 40 minutes... then I figured it out. The next board took me 20 minutes! JACKPOT!!! I began cutting the near endless quantities of strips. The first board created a few strips that were less than ideal. After running a few threw I kept checking their thickness to make sure the setup was secure and I didnt have a fence that drifted on me. Sure enough it moved a fraction of an inch on me. I put it back in place and tightened it down better than before.

Oh the humanity!!! $20 a board and 40% of it turns to sawdust. I could have invested in a thinner kerf blade for my table saw but since I was using a more economical pine board I figured it would be cheaper to just make some saw dust, and did I ever! This pic is the collected dust from just 2 boards! This is an important lesson in calculating the amount of boards needed to make your strips. I wasted about 1/8" of board for every 3/16" strip cut.

After I cut every single plank that I would need for the kayak, I cut some more. Then when I ran out of lumber i set a very similar jig up for my router table. I found some good deals on some 'bead and cove' bits that allowed me to route concave and convex curves into the ends of the board. This will help me stack the boards onto the forms, help hold the wood glue and help keep daylight from making it through the cracks when its all said and done. One downside is that it takes the 3/4" height of the plank and brings it closer to 5/8" high. Again, take this into consideration when ordering your lumber. I wasn't looking forward to the routing process since I had to route two sides of the strips for about 1100lf but when I became comfortable with the process I could pull a strip through the router as fast as I could walk.

Cove side up to protect the thin edges. And yes they have sharp edges with some tiny traces of my blood. (step one of putting blood sweat and tears into your work?)

Now to prepare the forms for stripping!

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1 comment:

  1. Clamps!!!!!! More clamps!!!!!

    Also: I still cannot believe the jigs you set up. You are amazing!