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8. Stem construction

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A different way of stripping the stems. Unlike the alternating method in the previous chapters, this is a bit more challenging initially but the filling of the main body of the kayak will be that much faster.

This was done by gluing a bundle of 6ft pieces of bead & cove pine (3/8"wide strips) together in the middle. Only about a 6" length was glued. The next day this bundle was cut in half and shaped to fit the sheer line.
The 3 inches or so at the very end are fused together with glue. The strips can be bent individually, yet they are 'clamped' together where the bending forces are largest.
The first strip establishes the desired curve and the other strips are glued on afterwards one by one. Here, the coves point downward, so the glue application will be messy.

There will be some cutting where they intersect at the stems. (On the sharp keel).
Finished stem setting up. Fiberglass reinforced packing tape is a better clamp in this case than staples. You can start filling in the kayak until you get to the tape. By then, everything will be bonded firmly together.
Filling in. The reward for this type of stem construction is the ease of filling in the rest of the kayak body. A simple knife cut and some rounding of the edges with a sandblock is all it takes to engage the strip into the cove of the stem strip.
The coves of the stem strips point down in this case.
Note: If you cut your own strips, you can make the first strip 'double coved' so that the rest of the stem strips can be oriented coves up. Plain square strips also work well (1/4"x1/4")
Wiping glue drips inside and out after every strip is the best thing you can do to make things easy when it comes time to plane and sand.
A stem band lamination joins the halves together. Use a plane and the fairing board to prepare a flat bonding surface.
The easiest way to attach the band is to start on the bottom keel line and proceed along the stem toward the tips. The curvature at the tips may require some form of clamping before the glue sets.


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