Barracuda Build

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Figured I might as well start a thread. Maybe that will help keep me motivated.

Plans have arrived. Found a source for the cedar lumber. Trying to get the shop cleaned up and some other projects moved out to make room. Built the strongback last night. Maybe this weekend I'll start cutting out forms. But I'm also working on a shed roof and siding outside the shop so I've got other stuff to do as well. Not to mention a trip in 2 weeks that I haven't started getting ready for yet.

On my 1st build I printed out full size patterns and glued them to the plywood before cutting out. But then I had access to an E sized printer....now I don't. Greenval has it set up so that I only need to print off 2 or 3 pages and cutting around one section at a time I can use the paper as a template to draw them on the plywood and then cutout. Anyone done it this way? It would certainly save money at the printer and doesn't sound too tough.

Alan
 
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That's exactly how I did the forms for the raven…just cut off the top layer each time for the new form.
 
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With my Bear Mountain plans they just give one sheet with half of each needed station, so I did tracings onto new paper, cut it out to my line and traced it onto the plywood, taped along the center line then folded it over and traced again. Sounds like a lot of work but I generally have hordes of spare time and it was much less expensive than taking it somewhere to have photo copies made.
 
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Busy day with other stuff to do but I managed to get station printouts made and got them all transferred to the plywood. Ran out of "scraps" and had to use part of a nice piece with Alder veneer. Sure was nice to draw on though. I'll cut them out tomorrow. I used the stacked printouts as per Greenval and it went just fine. Not as easy as just glueing them down but no big deal.

Alan
 
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Woke up to rain so that took care of one of my projects for the day, which involved digging in the dirt. The sun was out by mid-morning but it was still too soggy. So I spent some more time cleaning up the shop and working on my forms, among other things.

Don't have parts in yet to get the band saw running so I thought I'd try cutting out the forms on the old scroll saw I picked up at an auction. The only blades in town were super narrow but I tried anyway. After getting things loosened up it seemed to work fine but cutting was slow and I broke a blade at the end of the first form so I had to use the jigsaw after all. It went fine though and didn't take long. I had to double check the form measurements when I was done as they look really tiny!

I wasn't looking forward to sanding the forms after roughly cutting them out with the jigsaw. On my first build I had troubles keeping the belt sander square to the form edge and it was a dusty mess. Then I remembered a friend had given me an oscillating spindle sander for helping him out at his shop. I put on the biggest size (3") and gave it a go. It worked pretty good but you need a gentle touch as you approached the line otherwise you end up with a divot. Better than a belt sander anyway and the best part was being able to use the dust collector with it. Sanded down all the forms and there was virtually no sawdust on the floor (and none on me!). I only had to use the belt sander to clean up in the corners where the round spindle couldn't reach.

My other thought was to install a sanding disc in the table saw (I think you can buy them) but I couldn't find anything locally.

As you can see the form material was a bit of a mish-mash. Some are particle board, some are plain MDF, and others are expensive alder veneer MDF. I was using up scraps of what I had on hand. Hopefully the staples will hold good enough in all of them.


Barracuda Forms by Alan Gage, on Flickr

Finally cleaned up enough to get a permanent spot for the strongback as well. Feet will be anchored to the floor so it can't move around during the build. It's pretty basic but should work fine. I didn't knock myself out making sure the strongback was perfectly square, plumb, and level like most instructions say. I just snapped a straight line down the center and set up the form blocks 90 degrees to that. As long as the forms are adjusted properly during installation and the strongback doesn't shift (which is why it will be bolted down) it should be fine. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a chance to mount the forms.


Strongback by Alan Gage, on Flickr

Also on the agenda tomorrow is to get the cedar for the strips ordered and get my fiberglass supplies coming.

Alan

PS, you can ignore the link below. Long story but it made me put something in.
 
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Alan,

That's an impressive work space you've got there!! Quick work on the forms too!
I had a scroll saw that looked a lot like that one...it was a hand me down from my wife's grandfather. I rarely used it, some dude bought it for $250 to use in a commune type workshop-go figure!

Yeah, that boat does look skinny and fast. Looking forward to see how your build goes. Thanks for running a build thread, I love to watch, even if it is virtually...
 
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Finally found the one pic I have of the barracuda. Please excuse the animal tail paddle and the weird grip, I think I was hit and switching with it, and it was the only paddle I had at that moment.
 
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Alan,

That's an impressive work space you've got there!!

It would be even more impressive if I'd get my butt in gear and finish it. I started building the shop late last summer and got it to the point where it was insulated, heated, and lined on the inside before winter. I'm finishing up the outside steel this year. I had plans for lots of winter projects to keep me busy but, just like every winter, I can't keep motivated so not many of them got done. You'll see a large stack of baltic birch stacked next to the forms. That's material for about 35 drawers I've had cut out since February that I haven't put together yet. They'll fill the empty spaces you see below the forms and in the background of the strongback pictures.

I built it with the intention of someday starting a small cabinet business, which may or may not ever happen, so there is some nice, though limited, equipment in there. The big dust collector came from a cabinet maker friend who up upgraded his. It's fantastic! He's a great source for tools. Don't be too impressed though. The pictures show the cleanest spots in the shop to make way for the canoe build. If you turn around you'll see junk cluttered all over the place because I haven't built much storage yet.

Memaquay: Thanks for posting the pic, it's good to see one in the flesh. Good looking boat, can't wait to see one in person! Maybe it's just the angle of the photo but it doesn't look like there's much room between the front and rear thwarts.

Alan
 
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Cedar, fiberglass and epoxy (Raka) are all ordered. Cedar will hopefully be here in a couple days and then I can start ripping strips!

Alan
 
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Yes, I thought that too when I looked at the pic. It is a long boat though, 17 feet, and that pic makes me look like the jolly green giant in it, so I suppose the perspective must be somewhat off.
 
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A few years ago I built myself a house and when I was trying to figure out how to lay out the foundation and check elevations I thought a laser level would be a handy thing to have. So I did a lot of research, agonized over what to get and how much to spend, and finally got a decent one made by PLS that's mainly for indoors but also has a detector for outside use, though it can be a bit iffy. If I'd known at the time how much use I'd get out of that darn thing I wouldn't have thought twice to spend a lot more money on it. It seems no matter what I'm doing the laser can make it easier.

Which brings me to tonight when I started attaching the forms to the strongback. I'd been wondering if I could just use the laser so I thought I'd give it a try.

First I jiggered around with the laser and tripod until it was perfectly centered along the chalk line from bow to stern:


20140630_001 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

Then I clamped the final stern form into place so that that the vertical center line matched up perfectly with the laser and then screwed it into place:


20140630_002 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

Once it was screwed down I lowered the laser until the horizontal laser line matched up with the horizontal line on the form. I should note that the drawings for the forms didn't have the water line, or any other horizontal line, marked on them. So before I cut everything out I measured down 15" from the top of the form (the end that sits on the strongback) and drew in a horizontal line on the paper patterns with pencil. I chose 15" because it was a nice even number and it seemed to hit all the forms about right.


20140630_003 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

So now I had a vertical and horizontal baseline for the rest of the forms. Note the small gap between the form and strongback. I did this to allow a little adjustment up and down of the rest of the forms in case one was cut a little taller or shorter than the others.

All I should have to do now is set each one in place, line up the crosshairs, and screw it into place. But I figured before I went any farther I should clamp the forward most form into place and make sure their was enough room for adjustment at the other end:


20140630_004 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

And as you can see there isn't. The floor is sloping upwards towards the laser and I can't lower the form any farther. There's 5/8" between the horizontal form line and the laser. The easy solution was to shim the stern of the strongback up 5/8":


20140630_005 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

This of course threw the rear form out of whack but after resetting the laser everything is looking good, as you can see in the picture. From then on it really was just a matter of setting the form in place, lining up the crosshairs, clamping, and then screwing. No oversized holes, bolts, and washers to mess with. Hurray!

Second to last form ready to be screwed:


20140630_006 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

And finally the last one. There it is, my new canoe!


20140630_007 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

When I was done I raised the laser up so that it hit the top of every form. You can't tell from the picture but it hit the pencil line on every form, bow to stern.


20140630_009 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

I never thought setting forms could be so much fun. I couldn't stop giggling. Tomorrow I'll mount the stems and then I just wait until my cedar shows up.

Alan
 
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After all the time, effort and joy you had with getting the forms on perfectly, are you sure you want to shoot staples through all the expensive cedar you are going to rip up?

Love the shop space. It definitely helps to have the time, space and tools. I built my stripper in the basement of a rented house, actually, restored two w/c canoe there too, should have seen the rig I made to stretch canvas down there. The landlord wasn't too keen either when I was glassing the stripper or varnishing the w/c next to the gas furnace.
 
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After all the time, effort and joy you had with getting the forms on perfectly, are you sure you want to shoot staples through all the expensive cedar you are going to rip up?

Absolutely! It seems too practical for me to not do it. :)

Love the shop space. It definitely helps to have the time, space and tools. I built my stripper in the basement of a rented house, actually, restored two w/c canoe there too, should have seen the rig I made to stretch canvas down there. The landlord wasn't too keen either when I was glassing the stripper or varnishing the w/c next to the gas furnace.

When I built my first one I was crammed into a corner of my dad's shop with poor lighting and fighting all his junk for space. It was better than what a lot of people have but no comparison to what I've got now. It's a pleasure working in this shop.

Alan
 
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No cedar showed up today but the rest of the parts to get my bandsaw going did. So I did that and got the stems mounted on the strongback. Screwed up the stern and had to recut it, thankfully it's the easiest one. Got to use the bandsaw this time. It was much nicer than doing it with the jigsaw.

Did some quick test cuts to measure blade kerf to help decide how to cut out my strips. The two on the left are standard 10" blades. The next is a 7 1/4" blade mounted in the table saw. And the far right is the band saw. The bandsaw cut measured just under 1/16 and the 7 1/4" blade was just under 3/32", so only about 1/32" difference. I'm more familiar with the table saw and it will be a lot easier for me to set up infeed and outfeed tables for it so I think that's the way I'll be going.


20140702_001 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

The first and last forms are now square vertically to the strongback and locked solid. The plan is to run a strip along the top of the forms before I start stripping and staple it to each form after ensuring it's vertically square to the strongback. The first and last forms being locked in solid with the stems should hold everything in place.


20140702_003 by Alan Gage, on Flickr


20140702_004 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

When I was attaching the front stem I leaned pretty hard on the strongback and was surprised to feel it shift. Turns out there's not enough surface area where the 2x6 legs attach to the uprights and the screws holding them together can't keep that joint from rocking back and forth a little when the strongback is pushed on from the side. Using something wider than a 2x6 would have taken care of that problem or gluing the joint, but it's a little late for that now. Instead I laid some scrap pieces of MDF on top of the 2x6 and screwed them to the uprights as well, accomplishing the same thing as wider legs from the get-go. No more rocking.


20140702_005 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

Thankfully the laser was still set up at the time so it just took a few seconds to pull the strongback back in shape and line up all the marks. I'm glad it happened now rather than later.

How much time and effort do you guys put into fairing the forms at this point? All the books say to do it and while I remember laying some strips down the forms to check when I built my Kite I don't remember really having to do any work with them. I don't know if that's because I'm perfect or just because I didn't have the eye to notice any imperfections. More likely the latter but the boat turned out great. Just wondering how normal it is to NOT have to do much fairing.

Alan
 
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Nice thread, I like your bright shop and level smooth floor. When I built my barn after retirement, I bought a lazer level which has come in handy in other projects since. Like your Dad's shop, mine is poorly lite and somewhat cramped, but I hope to improve the lighting before winter and make some space with the sale of too many canoes.

Your detailing the process of setting up the stations is really informative and will no doubt help new builders down the road. Another excellent stripper build thread, Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures and explain everything in nice detail. You guys make it look easy.
 
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Alan,

I only skimmed the edges of the 1st and last forms on my kite, #'s 1 and 14, if you're into numbers... and of course I beveled the edges of the stem piece.
I see your saw kerf comparison, only 1/32 difference between a this circular blade and the band saw cut, but that's 25% of a strip!! And that 3/32 or so kerf is 50% of a strip...for every 2 strips cut you have waste equal to another strip. Clearly, I am biased towards the band saw. I guess you do have those nice infeed and outfeed tables, that will surely make your cuts easier.

I'm really getting jealous looking at your shop!!
And that Barracuda is a skinny thing, isn't it!!
Where's mem, he built that same hull. I wonder if it was an "active" or "busy" hull?
 
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The way I have it figured is that for every inch width of board I'll get 3 strips and waste one with the circular saw if I make them just under 3/16". But I'm hoping that they'll be good to go right out of the saw with no planing necessary. I'm worried that if I tried to get perfect thickness right out of the bandsaw saw I'd get inconsistent thickness (probably form user error) and then those strips would be wasted. Or I'd cut them over sized on the bandsaw and then plane them to the correct thickness, which would likely be a net loss compared to the table saw....assuming those come out ok that is.

Plus I might try stacking two blades in my table saw so that I can cut two strips at once. We'll see how that goes tonight on a test piece.

I've got a scrap piece of pine 1x4 16' long so that would make good practice for the bandsaw. Any tips on a good setup for the bandsaw?

I just checked with lumberyard and my cedar showed up today so I'll have something to do over the weekend. Not that I don't have plenty of other things to do, but this is the one that I actually want to do.

Alan
 
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I cut mine with a thin kerf blade on the table saw and did not need to plane them, you sand off any slight irregularities anyway.

I did shape the forms as need to get the strips to lay correctly on them, not riding on an edge that could have changed the shape or left an indent in the inside of the boat.
 
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Taking a food break. Two boards down and one to go. It's taking about 1/2 hour per board on the table saw. The first a little longer and the second a little shorter. I'm getting 21 or 22 strips per 5 1/2" board at a little over 5/32" each, which is one or two less than I'd hoped but should give me enough. The first cut wasn't perfect and I cut 4 or 5 strips from the same edge before I realized it so those might get pieced together. They're a little wavy in spots. After that I paid more attention and it seems to be going well. The boards are 18' long.

Can't decide if the shop smells good or bad. It's a little overpowering.

Alan
 
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