Thursday, December 31, 2009


Thursday 31 December 2009: Layed out the pieces of the strongback and marked them off for drilling.

Started piece-by-piece to drill out 30 - 3/8 inch holes for carriage bolts that will hold everything together. Left to attend New Year's Eve dinner before my work was done.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

cleaning up the frames

Wednesday 30 December 2009: Took off work because it is threatening to be wet and difficult weather coming up. Drilled starter holes in the frame interiors. Then I took them out on the patio and cut them out with a saber saw. Spent the rest of the day cleaning them up with a sanding drum on the drill press and various wood rasps to clean out the insets for the keelson and deck stringers.

The frames should be more or less done, with the exception of sealing and finishing. Time to get the strongback put together and the gunwales, keelson and chines scarfed so that this thing can begin to look a bit more like a kayak.

Monday, December 28, 2009

cutting the frames

Sunday 27 January 2009:  Saturday I begin to elaborate on the poster board frames. I puzzled over frame 4 a little, finally posting a question to the Kayak Building Forum just to be sure I wasn't missing something. Frame 4 is the frame just in front of the cockpit and the legs go through there. It is very small and claustrophobical in appearance. I had to check it four or five times. I redrew it with a rounded over upper span. It is still tight looking but I'll go with that. Yes this is indeed a tight fitting boat.

I placed the frames all within a 2 foot long section of an 8 foot sheet of 12 mm okuome. I could make three more boats from this one sheet at this rate.

I rough cut the frames from the big sheet with a sabre saw out on the saw dusty old patio. Lost a lot of snow from the backyard during the long rain Saturday and over 50 degree F temperatures today.  It's almost hard to remember what it looked like just last weekend. I brought the frames inside and finished the outline cuts on the bandsaw.

The pile of frames matched up with their poster board partners.

Outlines of all frames are now cut out. The next step is to drill starter holes and cut out the frame interiors. I also cut the lumber up for the strongback so that it is ready to be drilled and assembled. I'm still pondering frame 4. On the advice of Brian Scarborough, Bill Hamm and others on the KBB, I may try to build or replace the upper span of frame 4 to form a true masik. I have time to think about it -- I will use the lower part of the form regardless of  what I decide to do.

Monday, December 21, 2009

strongback materials, offsets, forms, ...

Sunday night -- Monday 21 December 2009: Winter solstice. DC closed down by storm. Took the offsets for the Yost sea Rider and started to layout the section outlines on posterboard. It is not necessary to lay them out separately like this, they can be done on one sheet. But I wanted to play with them and be able to lay them all out on the plywood sheet to be able to get the least amount of waste.

The first problem is that the offsets for  sea rider are given in factions of a foot. Kind of inconvenient? So I put the offsets into an Open Office spreadsheet and wrote a conversion to centimeters. Took me a few hours to lay these out, check the measurements twice, and carve them out. They are ready to layout on the plywood so that the rough outlines can be cut out with a saber saw.

Also stopped at the local Home Despot to pick up some more rough lumber to build the strongback.

The Greenland paddle blank I roughed out last weekend is still waiting to be carved. Drew center lines on a clear spruce 2 x 4 last night that should make a nice short, wind paddle.

Having been trapped in my home by the Blizzard of 2009 the last two days, like the Donner party, I can say that it was a close shave that I was able to get out today for provisions. The cats and I had been circling one another warily. But we made it through by the skin of our teeth, and it was not necessary to resort to cannibalism to survive the Great Blizzard of 0ught-Nine.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

gunwales, chines, keelson and deck stringers

20 December 2009: Finally stopped snowing sometime late last night. After digging out, I ripped the necessary lengths of western red cedar to make a Tom Yost Sea Rider. The sawdust should help improve traction on the icy, north face, patio.

Work is closed to tomorrow so perhaps I can get the forms cut and strongback built.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

western red cedar

13 December 2009: Picked up enough beautiful, clear, straight-grained WRC Friday afternoon to build at least one sea rider. I also picked up a perfect WRC 2x4 7 feet long to make a Greenland paddle. Cleaned up a big mess in the shop and set up a new drill press. Then I marked up the 2x4 and cut out the rough shape on the bandsaw. It looks roughly paddle-shaped, ready for planing and sanding.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Annapolis Rock, Appalachian Trail, Maryland

2009 11 29: katinka the diesel golf gets a new battery today and wants to go for a drive. So we drive out route 40 past Frederick to where the AT crosses over 70 West and under 40 west. While katinka takes a nap, dreaming electrons, I walk, in very thin shoes, up to Annapolis Rock and back. It is a pleasantly warm day for late November. I am never in any real danger of starvation due to eating a sandwich, and a plentiful supply of plump, corn-fed hikers on the trail. I did get one or two hunger pangs walking back from the rock. But managed to almost completely avoid any need to engage in acts of survival cannibalism on the return voyage.