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6b. - Inlay techniques for quick & accurate miter joints and acute angles

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It is almost possible to build a whole wood strip kayak without making too many mitered strip ends. The fewer strips you have to deal with in this way, the faster the building time. On occasion, this situation is unavoidable as in the picture on the left. Here I am working on the Cape Ann Expedition deck.

Instead of working by trial and error, you can achieve a decent fit in very few steps by following this simple procedure.

  • Insert the square end of the strip into the gap as far as it will go and mark the location on the deck. This spot marks the location at which the inserted strip will need to start tapering.
  • Position the strip so that it is even with the very end of the gap and transfer the deck mark onto the strip. Now, you know the length of the miter cut you need to make. You can use a straight edge to draw a diagonal line and shave the strip accordingly.
  • The final fit requires only minor shaving with a plane, sanding block or beltsander. The sanding block and beltsander can be used on very thin and flexible splines. A plane is not very effective in a situation like this.
The following five pictures illustrate the same procedure as above on wider strips. Here the angled cut need not be precise because a spline will be inserted along the centerline of the deck.
A straight edge or ruler can be used to draw the line.
Final fit.


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Last page update: 9 May 2024