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7b. Cape Ann Expedition- creating advanced deck inlays

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The deck of the Cape Ann Expedition ready for inlay.

The most important part of the job here is to strip the entire deck first to achieve correct shape of the surface (it took two days to do the entire deck with the plain red cedar strips) . After a few days, when the glue in the joints dries, you can start drawing your decorative pattern and begin cutting.
The large band in the middle that goes from end to end was drawn with splines stapled to the surface. For the small 'arrows', I had to hold 1/4" (6,3mm) spline in my hands and draw the line with a pencil held between my teeth. An extra hand is really helpful in a situation like this.

When the deck is cut later, the wood core maintains the right shape, even though some of the 'arrow' tips are not supported by the stations. Cutting into a completely pre-stripped deck is the only way to maintain fairness and continuity of the surface curvature.
A piece of redwood fills the sides of the cockpit. Note the particleboard template on the floor. I use it every few courses to verify the edges of the cockpit. This cockpit cutout shape (plus one or two other sizes) comes with the kayak plans.
The end of the redwood fill. The middle band will be filled with very dark red cedar.
The thin splines are made of Bubinga and white pine. First, everything is dry fit and then the pieces are glued and stapled through the side. By the time you are done with the last piece, the glue is already strong enough so that you can pull out the staples and continue with the rest of the filling.
Note the wood wedges clamping the splines in places difficult to access with a staplegun.

The next page shows continuation of this deck inlay.


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Last page update: 9 May 2024