A Big Oops

I ran into what I believe is my first big mistake but thankfully caught it early enough and was able to fix it.

To start with I (Robo-)beveled that walnut strip, then added a basswood strip. Since I already have strips on the kayak, I no longer need to assemble long strips on the bench but instead can assemble them right in place cutting the scarf joint and gluing everything up.

The next strip is a 1/4″ x 1/4″ piece of Spanish cedar. Before I can place it I need to ensure the previous strip is smooth and beveled to the correct angle. While working on it I noticed a substantial bump. It seemed surprisingly large so I got down to eye level with it to further investigate. To my dismay, the strip at the joint hand risen up about an eight of an inch. I could clearly see light through the gap.

How to fix it?

  • Leave it as is, fill it in later with wood flour filler – but this would show as a discolored line.
  • Leave it as is and just let the epoxy fill it in – should work but to me this is very sloppy work then.
  • Clear the gap and plane down a very thin wedge piece of wood to fit in there – should work but seems like a lot of effort.
  • Clear out the beveled surface, re-cut the joint and see if I can push it back in place – if this works it’ll be like the mistake never happened
  • Cut out the bad area and splice in a new piece – again a lot of work and high chance of grain and/or color mis-match making the patch ultimately visible

I went with the attempt to re-cut the joint and thankfully that worked well. Although to be sure I used a much stronger clamp to hold it until the glue dried.

After the mistake was fixed I added in a cedar accent strip, then let that dry and then added another basswood strip. From here on the rest of the hull will be all basswood. I find it’s taking about 30-45 minutes to attach one strip to each side and then a good 2 hours for the glue to setup. With a bit of clock watching there is potential to do at least 5 strips per day. I don’t want to rush and make mistakes but I certainly hope to get more than the few per day that I’ve been doing so far. Then again this is still early on and I’m still learning this as I do it.

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