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8b. Building a kayak forefoot faster

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Virtually no time was spent messing with mitering the strip ends on this Cape Ann Storm bow.. Make sure that the converging strips on both sides of the hull are at the same level as you go from the sheerline towards the keel. When the glue sets, leave only a few staples to keep things from pulling away from the form.
The entire hull takes a only couple days to build.
Clamp the bundle stem strips or any flexible spline to the tip and scribe a line on the bow using the natural curvature of the strip (it is harder than it looks to keep the clamp from slipping). Make sure the wood that you put on afterward IS ABLE to follow the curvature of the cut. If you can get help to keep the clamp from slipping off, all the better.
Use a knife to slice along the curve nice and perpendicular (90°) to the strips. Chisel the wood out as you go. The cedar is very soft. Since the overall speed of construction is quite fast, it is worth spending extra time on precision cuts like this.
Close-up of the same.
Finished cut. Sanding block helps to knock down irregularities on the cut edge. Think ahead how you want to bond the stem strips to the sheer strip. Note that the first strip must be flat (no bead or cove) where it bonds to the hull.
The mitered end (~3") of the bundle is pre-glued so that it bonds to the sheer strip in one piece. It is inefficient and messy to do it one strip at a time. Just make sure only the very end is glued so that the strips can bend! The pre-gluing is just a clamp to hold the bundle together.

One side is done first until the glue sets. It must be then shaved off so you can bond, bend and overlap the strips from the other side.
It is impossible to glue on both bundles at the same time because they get in the way of each other.
Note how the bead and cove strips lock and hold together without sliding around. When the glue dries, the whole overhang is hacked off with a sharp knife. The stem is then sanded and faired almost all the way to the kayak mold. A stem band is then laminated on top to bond the left and right half-shells together.

Shaping the stem to the knife edge of the bow station is important so that the finished forefoot is of the desired shape. It is OK (inevitable) that the tip at the sheerline is longer than the mold but a sharp protruding forefoot can cause trouble, the worst of which may be the handling characteristics of the kayak. The stern is never a problem but the Bow is critical.


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Last page update: 11 January 2020