Pack Weight

wheel-2-largeI follow a bunch of woods lore that Dave Canterbury posts on Youtube. While I don’t agree with everything he posts/teaches, Sometimes he posts a real gem. This is a real gem.

The first most important tool you take with you to the woods is a functional brain. Most folks are handicapped right off. They was born with no brain at all. I’m over 50, so many of my choices reflect that simple fact. Another fact is that I tend to live outdoors more than indoors. So, I try to have a few comforts with me. I’m lazy so I got a list of “5” things to remember to survive. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, And Spirit. In Native American traditions, it forms the basic pattern of the MEDICINE WHEEL. North, East, South, West, and You.

Don’t worry none If you can’t get it. Most white folks can’t. You never get lost, because no matter where you go, there you are.

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Learning From Mistakes

Kudos to Dead Eye who got the lesson of the no sweat fire lay. That being little or no smoke from the fire. He asked why I posted the vid, mistakes and all. So I replied, That I needed to be reminded that I make simple mistakes all the time. One being to removed my glasses when striking the fero-rod, better to judge where the sparks are actually going. The second being to rotate the spine of the knife to 90 degree forward before striking. He’s a smart kid. He asked a second question about why I’m making such a blunt bow section on my kayak, To which I replied with linking him a few vid’s of the plastic boats on the river and asked him what they would think of a pointy knife sharp bow section bearing down on them. I know well that answer, The play boats congregate in the eddies right after a feature rapid, and they get awful nervous when a wood boat gets pointed their direction. The play boats got an elitist attitude, acting like the river belongs to them. I got rid of the sharp edges on the bow and it’s gonna be more of a battering ram now. His last question was about the length of the boat. I had to try to explain the trade off one has to make if he wants to use his or her boat on the whole river. At my age, The white water isn’t as exciting as it once was. If you keep your bow pointed downstream and you’re not likely to roll. It’s more important to me to have enough space to bring along some comforts for several nights camping. I’m outa time for now, Later.

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Splices and Stuff

Made progress this afternoon on the keel splice. Next I’ll work on the chine log splices. Making a 12 foot boat out of 8 foot stock is taxing. Not as taxing as doing wood strip work. Well, with the keel done, that establishes the rocker and I’m a happy camper there. I keep coming up with ideas every time I do a walk around. As I look around on the web at this model boats others have built, I’m struck at how high she rides in the water. Also how wide it looks. But you can’t get a good idea until you trim the load and put it in the water yourself. This one is strong enough to take the turn at rivers end at high water. The one I built last year better portage around such hazards. I know I’m being overly fussy, but this is the foundation on which the rest of the boat is built on and around. A 32nd of and inch here translates to an inch or better over there. The first boat I built last year was proof of that. Adding a few other flaws to the frame had me burning the frame and starting over from scratch. The fatal flaw for that boat was too much reliance on laminated products throughout the entire frame. It just had to much flex to be safe. I can see me building another of the hulls again, though I would lose the top third of the boat and finish it more like a traditional kayak. I think I need a more permanent strong back.

Another thing here, I should post about, I’m using just the basic tools here. No joiners, planers, table saws or chop saws. I’ll have to get a picture of that for a later post.

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Kayak Progress

kayak13 kayak14 kayak16

Don’t look like much yet. All dry fitted. I just had some time between rain threats and household chores. I have the bow stem where I want it now and will start next time on the stern stem. I worked out how I was going to laminate the chine log, shear clamp and keelson. Also you’ll notice only the keelson is cut into the frame. The rest of the framing is surface mounted, to be filled in before skinning the hull. I’m going  with a blunted bow and a wider stern section with a 22 1/2 degree pitch. Bobbing the stern section will allow for a rudder or a trolling motor attachment point. The bow stem (45 degree pitch) was made from 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ section of maple. Most everything else is made from 3/4″ pine stock so far. I’m projecting a tentative launch date for 7/18/14. The Yough river is calling my name. The call of the river cannot be ignored.

This is what I’m talking about:

Don’t get caught up the crick without a paddle, Later, I’m out of here.

Posted in Homebrew, Improvisation, Kayak | 1 Comment

Design Changes

I had the frame tacked up in the stock configuration and did the walk around.  Some of the changes I made were due to the available materials. The stock bow stem is great until you factor in rocks. So I had figured to  add on a changeable nose section there. Also, on the original design there is no distinction between bow and stern, You could just swing the seat around and the stern became the bow. It limited what I could mount on the stern section to use as a rudder. After all I’m going to mount a small sail eventually. What I came up with, is to make two stern stems and figure out which suits the boat overall best. Lastly I UN-tacked the two frame sections for replacement. The new sections will be 1-1/2 inch narrower than before and be cut out of a larger piece of one by. Better to get clear sections of better grain wood. I think the changes will help make a stronger boat and a quicker assembly. I still haven’t found a rudder that’s says “pick me” I’m perfect for this application. I think the extra fuss now is worth it, rather than me be sitting on the water bitching about things later. An ounce of prevention now, is worth a pound of cure later.

In other things, the choice of Titebond 3 seems to be the right choice of glue. After an over night cure I can’t disassemble my test pieces glued with it. They will break away but not on the bond line. I must say I’m very satisfied with this product.

Lastly, I have run afoul of  something called “Giant Hogweed”. Something new after 50+ years on the planet. Nasty stuff. Poison ivy pales by comparison to this shit. Now I need a remedy that works.

Safety precautions to follow when controlling giant hogweed plants:

  • Do not touch the plant with bare skin
  • Do not touch your bare skin with sap covered gloves
  • Prevent UV sunlight from reaching skin by:
  • wearing long waterproof gloves, long sleeves, pants, boots, and eye protection; synthetic water-resistant materials are best since cotton and linen fibers can soak up the plant sap and be penetrated by plant hairs
  • If controlling plants with multiple people, keep a good distance from one another as the sap can splash three to four feet
  • Apply sun block before beginning to work
  • Launder clothes that may have contacted plants
  • Wash equipment with water immediately after use
  • Limit exposure to sunlight after control OR work around giant hogweed plants after sunset
  • DO NOT use a “weed-whacker” or brush cutter – sap may splatter as stems are cut
  • Keep water, soap, and eye-wash near work area in case of exposure

What should you do if you are exposed to giant hogweed sap?

  • Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and COLD water as soon as possible
  • Keep exposed area away from sunlight for 48 hours
  • If a reaction occurs, topical steroids applied early can reduce the severity of the reaction and ease discomfort
  • If sap goes in eyes, rinse them with water and wear sunglasses
  • If a reaction has occurred, the area of skin may be sensitive to sunlight for a few years and you may want to apply sun block or keep the affected area covered from the sun when possible
  • See a physician if you have a reaction or any questions
Posted in Boats, Design, Giant Hogweed, Homebrew | 2 Comments

The Boat Is Started

I had a window of cool air without rain for a bit yesterday afternoon. So I knocked up a minimal strong back and started making the frames out of 3/4 pine.

strong_2014-06-17 frame_2014-06-17

After knocking up the frame I worked on truing them, lest small errors seep in. Next, the frames will be mounted on the strong back jig.


It will take me some time because I have to cut bow and stern stems from some select wood. To get the grain patterns I want, I’m cutting these 2×4 sections out of a 2×10. Also I’ll be changing the stern from the design. I’m squaring the stern, while keeping the volume, Better to mount a minimal rudder. Another fun part of this project is using minimal tooling for the job. I cut my frames out with a folding camp saw. It worked well. I dressed them out with a 4 inch grinder with an 80 grit wheel, after screw clamping them back to back and adding some spacers. Everything on this project is measure three times and think about it before cutting, gluing, or screwing. The builder would be best off making a jig to insure the frames are identical. Another Change to the design is, I’m adding a blunt section forward of the bow stem and making it changeable. Better to bump into things with. We’ll see how that turns out.

Links:  The Boat.

Boat building books (free).

They have many interesting things over there. Check them out.

that’s all the time I have for today. Later, Dragon out.



Posted in Boats, Freedom Machines, Homebrew, Kayak, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wow Home Depot

Home depot called me and apologized. Wow, They informed me that the material is now on a shelf and clearly marked. What can I say, Except the squeaky wheel gets the grease. They even  asked me why 16 oz wood glue containers are to small for my projects. So I told them quart containers is better for a 12 foot boat project than many small containers of glue. If they can’t stock it in the store than Amazon gets the business, because I can get it from there online, faster, with free shipping. The only problem I have now is I scored almost all the projects wood needs from private sources, excepting the ply. Needless to say, I’m surprised that my complaint was acted on in such a timely manner. Blowes hasn’t got back to me yet, not that I expect them to.

Thanks Home Depot, I take back all the mean things I said about your store.   Later, Dragon out.

Posted in Home Depot | 4 Comments

Boat projects on hold….Again.

Fuck home depot, Fuck Blowes…. There has to be a supply company who actually sells what they advertise. Where are the half gallon sized containers of glue? Where is the 7/32 tri-ply on aisle 18? 144 pieces of invisible products. Don’t get me started about your brain dead knuckle dragging employees. You would be better off hiring the “Special Needs” guys and gals. I bet they would be able to help costumers find things in your stores. I need glues in the half gallon and gallon sizes, Not F’ing pints.

By the way neither of you franken stores stock boat nails. You guys do stock wood, right? Both of you stores just let a 200 dollar sale walk out the store. This was the 18th time I walked out of your store(s) with my hundred dollar bills still safe in my wallet…. Do let this worry you none, just go back to hand jobbing the home decorator women with their cuckold husbands in tow. You piss me off ya F’ing Jagoffs.

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Live Long And Prosper

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Bait and Switch

I went out to pick up the plywood for the boat and it magically had doubled in price. I hate box stores. I was so pissed off, That I left the cart in the middle of the aisle and walked out. They blew the whole sale, I’ll go to the other store this weekend and spend the money there. Even on line the prices change daily. Had I ordered the epoxy the other day, I would have paid ten dollars more for the purchase and another 7 bucks on shipping. Now I’m getting it cheaper with free shipping. Go figure. I made a side trip over to a discount outlet and picked up a few incidentals reasonably priced.

I made some head way on the layouts for the boat, between the rain showers. I got then plan firmly set in my  mind and don’t have to keep going back to the plans for verification of measurements. If this rain will slack off for a few days I could get started in earnest. I’m building the kayak under a shade tree. I also got a few odd jobs to finish off to keep money flowing. Cash flow will make a difference if/when I get to fiber-glassing the hull. I still need a supplier for 3 yards of 6 oz x 50 inch glass cloth. The local stores only carry a small amount of glass cloth for body work. We shall see what the universe provides.

Posted in Homebrew, Kayak | 1 Comment