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4. Preparation of mold assembly for striping

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The kayak mold is constructed the same way airplane builders used to build wings - a box-beam spar supports ribs that are then covered with skin.
This method eliminates the need for a separate deck mold. Speed, accuracy and material savings are the hallmark of this method.

A plywood beam (spine) is built to size for the specific kayak model.
After the stations are threaded onto the spine, it must be clamped to the horses and supported in the middle to prevent sagging, vibration, and bending. You will see noticable increase in stiffness in the whole assembly.

This photo illustrates important support areas.
Detail of the attachment. Make certain to mount the kayak mold so that its top is somewhere around chest height. Two or three months of deep bending over your work is not fun.

Since the spine is attached only at these points, it is critical that the notch in the plywood 'mounts' is square and level (horizontal) so there is no twist in the spine. Use thin wedges and clamp to immobilize the spine in the mount.
Horizontal and vertical lines are drawn on all stations so that the entire assembly can be aligned visually.

If you notice an unfair bump in the mold even after putting on few strips, don't worry. Unscrew the offending station (but leave it attached to the strips) and readjust it visually again. Attach it when you are satisfied.
A different view of a double prepared for stripping.


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