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Cutting and planing the strips - Pictures

Here are three samples (left to right): timbo (of the dark lot), timbo (of the lighter boards) and kiri (another local wood - even though not as resistant, it's even cheaper. Maybe I'll include some kiri on the deck for and 'artistic' touch)

Another view. Note that it's important to apply a coat of varnish, as the color changes markedly. Without the varnish, the timbo colors are very similar. Also check the color under different light angles.

The strips, cut from the original boards... I bought raw 1" thick boards, because the planed boards I saw in the store was of worse quality, and I didn't like the idea of having lost the extra thickness and still having to plane it down (and the extra cost). Maybe it wasn't my happiest decision.
I cut the boards into strips at home, as I couldn't live with the 4 mm wide disk saws at the shop either. I used a 1.2 mm wide 7 1/4" disk and was able to obtain at least 25% more strips from each board.

While cutting, I realized I bought boards of two distinct colors. If you want a nice and even surface, be sure to select baords more critically! As it is, I separated the lighter ones, which I'll use on the deck. They seem to have a finer texture too.

If the amount of strips necessary in the above images didn't impress you... Here are only the 80 dark strips (about 3/4 of the total of 100+ strips necessary for the kayak)

To keep fingers away from the bit, but still press the strips to the guides, I added these feather guides, made from scrap MDF wood.

Another view. I decided to plane down the width of the strips till most had a nice side finish. Those which still needed more planing, I separated to make a narrower batch for more severe curves of the hull.
That way, I obtained a large batch of 21 mm wide strips, another gain of 1.5 mm compared to shop-planed boards. (Hey, that's 10 %!)

After just 10-15 strips, a lot of wood piles up! It's necessary to clean up regularly, else these particles will push the strips away from the guide and make them narrower, or even block the passage.

... more. Some strips tend to chip easily (the larger particles) and even split up. Those, I'll add them to the 'narrow strips' pile.
If you didn't scare from the above, do consider buying a quality bit for the router. A 'high-speed steel' bit didn't survive just one pass of the 300m of timbo strips!

Continue with cutting the 'cove and bead'.


(c) John Coppens ON6JC/LW3HAZ mail