Kayak Construction, doing the other side

Ok, evidently I lied about it not getting warm enough to do any gluing today. I went to work and did all I can despite the VOB being broken, and when I came home the thermometer in the car said it was just over 70 degrees. Hey, that’s gluing temperatures, I thought to myself. So as soon as I got home I finished trimming and sanding the top side of the left side panels, and then flipped them over.

That’s when I discovered that I hadn’t been very careful about putting the plastic wrap under the panels when I glued them. Not only was the glue that had flowed through to the backside very rough, but in places the panels were glued to the table and had to be carefully pried off. It took a lot of work with a cabinet scraper and sanding block to get them smoothed off, especially the bits where a bit of particle board from the table was stuck to it.

With that done, I put down more plastic wrap underneath (making sure it covered better and smoother than I had before), and cut fiberglas strips for the bottom sides. I’d been stingy with the epoxy before, so this time I mixed up twice as much as before (two squirts of the pumps). I went around to each seam, and painted a good thick coat on the wood, laid the fiberglas strip in it, pushed the glas into it with my fingers, and then painted a very healthy thick coating of epoxy on top, dabbing at first to get it really wetted into it, and then smoothing it with brushing motions.

After I’d done all the seams that way, I went back to the first seam and make sure it had enough epoxy on it, adding more if needed, and then applied the mylar on top. The mylar is a bit ratty from the first use, and I’m shuddering to think what it’s going to be like on the fourth use. I wish they’d included more of it. With the mylar on top, I squeegeed the hell out of it so the epoxy ran out the ends and sometimes the sides as well. Then I weighted it with my newly cleaned bricks.

I went out a few minutes ago to have a look, and I think this round is going to be much better than the previous one. Now I understand why the instructions tell you that if you want, you can flip it all around so that what they label the left outside can become the right inside and such – so that after you’ve screwed up your first one the way I did, you can say “I can hide the bad bits inside the boat where nobody will see them”. I’m not sure if what I did requires anything so drastic though.

If I were Pygmy Boats, I think I would market a “newbie kit” that included a couple of small bits of the wood and some fiberglas and epoxy with instructions so you can practice all the basic skills, such as joining two parts, wiring two parts together, epoxying seams, and applying the cloth. Maybe they could make it so when you’re done you have a toy kayak or something decorative, but mostly you’d buy it to learn on something that won’t cost you nearly a thousand bucks if you screw it up.

2 thoughts on “Kayak Construction, doing the other side”

  1. Does it have to be that mylar, or would heavy-duty aluminum foil work? If it has to be mylar, you might be able to pick up a few extra pieces online.

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