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  • Writer's pictureMike

Strongback and Forms

The first order of business was making the strongback and forms that dictate the shape of the kayak. The strongback was made of 3/4" and 1/2" plywood. It was glued and nailed together and the edges were rounded over so that I didn't have to square off the holes cut in the forms.

The forms were cut from 1/2" plywood using a bandsaw and finished on a belt sander. Having better equipment on this build compared to the first build really sped up the process and produced much more accurate parts.

I made a router jig from scrap materials to cut the rectangular hole in each form. A handheld router with a pattern bit made quick work of these. It took a bit more time to set up the jig initially but the results were worth it.

Although it was an afterthought, I later added a channel on the backside of each form so that the strips could be clamped on. It was done using a router table with fence. This should help with the planned stapleless construction.

The forms are attached to the strongback using "U" shaped spacers as described on the plans. Once the end forms are screwed to the strongback, wedges in the center spacer are used to tighten up the whole assembly.

Next up for the strongback/form assembly is alignment. I'm going to pick up a laser level today to make this easier...

Below is my first attempt at a stop-motion video. I promise the next one will be better...

Here is a short video of the assembly process of the strongback and forms:

Next task: Ripping strips

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After building my first kayak years ago, I felt that it was a good learning experience and I wanted to apply that experience in building a second boat. The first boat came out nicely but there were a

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