Ken's Kayak Pages


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These photos show construction of the forms necessary to build Rob Macks' Georgian Bay Kayak. This page shows the strongback, the stands, and the supporting hardware.  In addition, in-process construction of the stations and their supports are shown.  It is a good opportunity to refresh your woodworking skills, if necessary (as it was for me).

forms00.jpg (44260 bytes) After creating full size templates for the 10 stations and 2 stems, I managed to squeeze them onto a single 4x4 foot piece of 1/2" BC plywood, and then contact cemented them as shown here.
forms01.jpg (52168 bytes) The stations and stems were then rough-cut into sizes manageable on the small bandsaw.
forms02.jpg (52572 bytes) All cuts were made outside the lines, awaiting the disk sander to trim all stations and stems to the proper shape.  This assured a fair degree of accuracy without a lot of finesse at the bandsaw.  (No "Norms" here . . .)
forms03.jpg (62819 bytes) Here the pieces are trimmed to final shape using a small disk sander.  It is easy to follow the lines when cutting proceeds at a very controlled pace.
forms04.jpg (53229 bytes) Ten stations cut to their final dimensions, with the centerline and sheer lines marked on the forms.  The bow of the kayak starts at the rear stackup of stations.
forms05.jpg (68476 bytes) This construction is approx. 1/3 of the strongback, the 17' long guaranteed straight building adjunct that the rest of the project will revolve around. We build two 6"x7"x8' boxbeams, and tie them together with a smaller boxbeam that will seat inside and allow for overall length adjustments for the entire strongback assembly. 
forms06.jpg (69092 bytes) One means for attaching the strongback to the legs is shown here - I have built a horizontal member that will contain the cross-section of the strongback and attach to the leg assembly, yet to be created.  Two of these are necessary, as are two sets of legs.
forms07.jpg (52074 bytes) Both 6" x 7" x 8' box beams are complete, resting on the new leg sets.  I don't think I'll use staples in the kayak, all of these forms have been done without fasteners, except where it must be a removable assembly.
forms08.jpg (61469 bytes) Here I'm making the last 5" x 6" x 4' boxbeam to tie the two larger beams together and allow for some length adjustment.   This shows the internal forms that keep the box beams from turning into parallelograms.
forms09.jpg (61608 bytes) A small clamp farm is handy to have if you want to work without the use of fasteners.  I used carpenter's wood glue for these fixtures, and a clamp time of 30 mins.   Time to cut & prepare the pieces for the next task.
forms10.jpg (66267 bytes) Finally a completed strongback.  I temporarily need the box beams to help build a long guide board setup for ripping the cedar strips.  That means I can't mount the stations to the strongback until I rip the strips.

Station Assembly

stations01.jpg (55906 bytes) Strips are ripped, the strongbacks can now be used for their intended purpose.  Here is an aft view of the stations positioned and final mounting complete.  Note the reference strings plumb above and below the stations.  I used freezer paper to construct the templates for the stations - - Never again.  The plastic coating keeps them from contact cementing properly.
stations02.jpg (70279 bytes) Front view showing the bow stem.  I had to reinforce it with the ribs shown because it started to warp.  The beveled mating edge on the stem for the strips was done on a disk sander, creating wierd patterns in the plywood.  Rob's design calls for stations every 18 inches, except the last two which are at 21" and 15" respectively.
stations03.jpg (62690 bytes) Low front view showing the essentials of the hull shape.  The top string is used for top alignment of the stations as well as setting the rocker fore and aft.  The stations turned out to be fairly sturdy, more so than I had imagined.  Once all the screws are in and the clamps removed, I feel very comfortable with form stability.  A few strips should make it exceptionally rigid!
stations04.jpg (66806 bytes) A closer view of the strongback and aft stations. 

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