How to Build a Kevlar Canoe - Solo

“Installing foam strips"

Here's the setup for ripping the 1" polystyrene. The blade is set at 8º.  The sheet has to be flipped every cut so you end up with a trapezoid shape.  I used a very coarse ripping blade (18T) and an extended fence with a clamp to keep the sheet down.  I didn't like the smell while cutting, so I donned a mask.

 

 

And, here's the "spaghetti" result. 

 

 

I started placing foam strips from the gunwale up.  The gunwale strip is only beveled on the keel side (the first and last strip cut from the sheet).  They are glued to the stations using a hotglue gun.  You'll need to hold the strip in place for 30 seconds or so.  Gloves are recommended, as the glue is very hot and will burn you if you get in on yourself.

 

 

 

When you need to make a joint, do it on the stations.

 

Here's a detail of the bow after 5 strips (left).  Alternate every two strips.  A tight fit is not critical, as it gets covered anyway. 

And, the whole form at 5 strips (right).

 

 

 

I cheated, trying to save strips by joining them when they didn't meet on the station.  I just pushed a couple of finishing nails into the ends and pushed them together.  This turned out to be a fruitless attempt, as the joint could not maintain a twist when required.  Also, I ended up getting another sheet anyway!

 

 

Here's how far I got on this day.  I finished up filling in the "football" the next day (right).

                                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a random orbital sander with #50 disk. You can REALLY remove material fast with this, so be careful. I did not use a mask, but took advantage of the big south wind through the shed (and a strategically placed fan). I had to empty the sander reservoir every 3-4 minutes. Finished product on right.

 

I also went back and injected glue between the loose strips (between the stations) and the "nail joints". I'll go over it once more tomorrow, then start laying drywall compound down.

 

I received the s-glass, epoxy and Kevlar Thursday/Friday; all I need is the shrink wrap (which has been shipped).  Hope to be doing the layup later next week.  I'm anticipating about 35 lbs when finished.

 

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