Final Few Strips

For the last few strips they’ve narrowed to the point where a single strip will now span from one end to the other. Good and bad. The good side is no seams to fit, the bad side is that both ends have to be just right. Even a little off on the fit means more planing down and then strip will be too short to fit properly. So far I have been careful to fit one side, then fit the other side but doing so with the strip a bit too long. Once the fit is perfect I just take full length (of the angle) shavings, just one or two at a time, and test fit both ends. When the first end fits to the marks I made and the length is perfect the other end will simply drop in with the gentlest of pressure. I can then pop it out, apply glue and fit it back in followed by the usual tape clamps to keep it in place.

Looking to the last gap I can see on one side it’s a bit less than 2 strips and on the other side just over two strips. This tells me that either the center two strips installed earlier either weren’t perfectly in the center or, more likely, that the stripping of the sides and the resulting beveling resulted in a few strips being just a hair thinner than on the other side resulting in the slightly uneven gap. The reality is that this should have zero impact on the kayak operation and since it’s on the bottom the appearance will not be easily visible, especially given the minimal to no grain appearance of the basswood.

The solution to both of these issues is to install the last two strips as one. I’ve cut to size and then glued up a couple of strips. In the case of the slightly more than 2 I’ll install the next strip and the the final will be the full width and the sliver strip installed together. In the slightly less one, just the two strips will be sufficient. Hopefully the shaping will go well tomorrow and I’ll have the hull finished (from a stripping perspective) and be able to start the work required to turn the kayak over.