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First stripper build: Prospector-16 Help & comments appreciated

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Well, I finally got a little break from the spring house list to work on the canoe. Building a flat, straight, square strongback on a slightly uneven garage floor took WAY longer than expected. 4 hours, after having all of the parts cut. Shimming, and adjusting every couple screws. Hoping to get the station molds at least in place this afternoon. Really want to start to see the shape of it.

Thanks again, for all of the tips & input.
 
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Well, I finally got a couple evenings, uninterrupted. Strongback done, stem ends done, stations clamped in place. Just lining up the centerline of the station molds, with the centerline of the strongback, and running a temporary string across the tops, all stations are in line within 1/16". Stems are square and plumb back to station 6 within 1/32". I was going to take everything off to use the strongback for ripping strips, but I'm still up in the air on table saw. If I use skilsaw method, I'll lay a 20' ladder on a couple saw horses, and clamp my sacrificial 2*4's to that to rip on.

Here's a question. Everyone talks about leveling the strongback. I started doing this, and it is very close. But for alignment, I'm using squares, string lines, and measuring tools, not too much level. I feel it is much more accurate. Even a 6' level, and a keen eye are only going to get you within 1/16" per 6 feet.

As you can see, my alloted build space is rather tight. I'm thinking of moving it all to the second floor of my garage. Much bigger, but then all the stairs, back and forth to all of the power tools.IMG_2009.jpgIMG_2013.jpg
 
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Great Start. An easy tip to check if your stems are vertical. Staple a couple of scrap strips to the side of the stems, and then use the Trusty Eyeball, to check for plumb.
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The ladder will make a fine saw horse to cut your strips ! It's so easy to set up a Skilsaw, you can at least give it a try !

Rig up some wheels, that you can attach to one end of your strong back, being able to move it around, or out the door for sanding is good for sanding out side.

I will fasten a strip to the top of the forms to keep them spaced properly, and vertical. Remove it once you are about half stripped up, if it gets in your way.

Glad to see you used C-clamps to hold the forms. ! Makes it easier to set up, and remove later !

Great Start !


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Looks nice kliff
Have you cut any strips yet??
I usually lay a few on the forms after I think everything is properly located, just to check the fairness of the future hull.
As far as leveling the strongback, maybe get it close, but really, who cares? As long as your strongback is straight, and the forms are positioned well, that should be all you need.
Unless you plan to use a laser level to shoot your waterline to line up your strips. Oh wait, are you gonna align your strips with the water?
Or are you one of those guys that likes the strips to follow the shear line?
 
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Looks nice kliff
Have you cut any strips yet??
I usually lay a few on the forms after I think everything is properly located, just to check the fairness of the future hull.
As far as leveling the strongback, maybe get it close, but really, who cares? As long as your strongback is straight, and the forms are positioned well, that should be all you need.
Unless you plan to use a laser level to shoot your waterline to line up your strips. Oh wait, are you gonna align your strips with the water?
Or are you one of those guys that likes the strips to follow the shear line?
I detect strong opinions are had over this detail!

😃 🍿
 
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I'm one of those follow the shear line guys.
Me too !
Most of my hulls, well all but one, don't have high stems, so following the shearline works !

High stems, you should stair step the strips

Jim
 
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I have two furniture dollies all set. I have them rigged to clamp the feet of the strongback in. It'll raise the height about 3". I wanted it off of wheels for working, but I can quickly & easily attach the dollies to roll it out the door.

I was planning the C clamps would only be temporary, until I get it aligned, and vertical, top strip attached. Then replace with a couple screws. I only have about 20 clamps that size, and figure I'll need them.
 
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Line up the strips? What are you talking about? :) Waterline implies this thing is going to see the water some day. I thought about setting up a laser, but I do want to finish it this life time. I haven't cut any strips yet. Hoping to this coming weekend, but I have a feeling the boss is going to pull me off my project for garden work. I'm planning to follow the shear line to station 5-6 (0 is center), then stairstep to the stems. I'm waiting until I get strips cut to make final decision. Made a bunch of clamping blocks yesterday, so I should be able to hold 4-6 strips in place to get a feel for fairness & look.

Making the steam box today, and hoping to bend the stems tonight.

Another question: All the stem info I find talks about epoxy laminating them. Why not a waterproof wood glue, like titebond III? This would give invisible glue joints and superior strength. If it's getting epoxy coated later????
 
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That would work I believe, like you said it gets coated in epoxy. I’ve only used epoxy because I’ve always had it in stock.
On the steaming, find a place on the box to insert a thermometer through a hole that will not interfere with the stock to be bent. You will want the box temperature to be as close as you can to 212°, don’t rely on visible steam escaping to to think the box is hot enough.
Jim
 
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Of the two I've built, only one has stems. I did not steam them - I clamped a heat gun to my bench and bent them by hand (you can feel the strips "give" when they're heated enough). I used construction lumber (SPF) cut into 1/4 strips.
 
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Why not a waterproof wood glue, like titebond III

Be aware that TB3 in particular is known to "Creep" in bent laminations. Probably would be fine with the epoxy/glass encasing it from the outside, but since it's encased anyway, regular wood glues are probably a better choice.
 
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I have two furniture dollies all set. I have them rigged to clamp the feet of the strongback in. It'll raise the height about 3". I wanted it off of wheels for working, but I can quickly & easily attach the dollies to roll it out the door.

I was planning the C clamps would only be temporary, until I get it aligned, and vertical, top strip attached. Then replace with a couple screws. I only have about 20 clamps that size, and figure I'll need them.
You won't need the C-clamps, until you take the hull off the forms anyway, I'd leave them in, unless you have something pressing !

Oh ! How much time you'd save going stemless.? How many of you, have been waiting for me to say that ? Ha. Building stems is a good learning experience.

Life gets in the way ! When I started building, it became an obsession ! Lucky for me I have an understanding Wife !!! Oh and two boys to mow the lawn, ( it was a big one) when I was hitting it hard.

Once the Wife mentioned, I was spending a lot of time in the garage, building canoes ! I said it's time I could spend in the Bar. It never came up again !

Hang in there !

Jim
 
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Once the Wife mentioned, I was spending a lot of time in the garage, building canoes ! I said it's time I could spend in the Bar. It never came up again !

Hang in there !

Jim

Ain’t that the truth. I always tell my wife I could be spending it on something stupid(er). Course, I don’t have money like Charlie Sheen!
 
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I'm also in the carpenter glue camp for stem glue up. I think the strong back doesn't need to be perfectly level and flat, just stable. I do think there are advantages to setting up station forms level, and this can easily be accomplished with a laser (if available), referencing the waterline (marked on most plans). All this from someone who's built 3/4 of one canoe!
 
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