Tools and materials for building "Stitch and Glue" kayak or a kit.
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It is convenient that Stitch and Glue construction doesn't require a lot of specialized tools and in fact the majority of you will likely have some if not most tools in your workshop. Whether you are building a plywood kayak or a strip kayak, about 98% of all the tools and consumable supplies with be the SAME! As you can surmise from the list below, no "full" kayak kit out there will supply but a small fraction of the items (and quantities) actually needed to finish the whole project, which is why I leave the consumables and tools to the hardware stores. You will be shopping there no matter what. The total cost of plywood kayak construction ranges from about $750 to $1100. Just for interst, here is a cost estimate for strip kayaks which takes the Cape Ann Double as an example. The total cost of any kayak depends on a many factors such as whether you already posses some supplies and tools and variables like quality of materials, supplier cost, shipping costs, skipping or adding options, gear etc...

So here is the list:

 Strongback: The plywood kayak stations (cradles) rest on solid foundation. For this you need two planks about 12" (30cm) wide by 12 feet (3,65m) long and 2" (5cm) thick. You can alternately make the strongback from layers of plywood in which case you need one 5/8"x4'x 8' sheet. One piece of 1.5" x 1.5 x 8' (4x4x365cm) wood will serve as attachment blocks for the cradles to the strongback. See the strongback setup in the Kayak Shop.

 Plywood : Not needed for KIT. See Materials section at the bottom of the specs pages to see the number of sheets it takes to build the Cirrus or the Cirrus LT.

 Particleboard : For kayak forms (stations) Not needed for KIT

  • One 5/8" x 4' x 8' sheet - local building centers or lumber yard

 Scarfing jig : Not needed for KIT. See scarf jig construction. Kits are pre-scarfed.

 Tools: See photos of most of the tools listed below.

  • Circular saw or a hand saw - to cut strongback, attachment blocks or plywood scarfs.
  • Jig saw - for cutting plates out of plywood or for templates.
  • Electric or cordless drill - to attach blocks and cradles to strongback or for drilling additional wire holes (1/16" or 1.5mm drill).
  • Random Orbital Sander (4" or 5" diameter) - mostly for dry fiberglass sanding with 60 grit paper or with 100 grit disks for outside fillets, scarf smoothing etc..
  • Finish sander (1/2 or 1/4 sheet) - sanding of epoxy after fiberglassing.
  • Rubber squeegee -optional but great for wet sanding.
  • Sponge and bucket for washing surface after sanding
  • Hot glue gun - for temporary "stitching" of plates
  • Pliers - for tightening stitch wires
  • Wire cutters
  • Utility knife - trimming of glass
  • 3" wide paint scraper - very useful for shaving epoxy transitions or fillets
  • 24" level - to align cradles and kayak shells for fiberglassing
  • Caulking gun - for inside fillets and bonding of shells.
  • 6" block plane- for epoxy bevels on kayak plates or optional stem bands.
  • Fairing board - smoothing of fillets or stem bands
  • Square, measuring tape and a string - to setup/center blocks and cradles on strongback

 General consumable supplies : Much of this will be available in your local hardware store or building center.

  • 20 gauge mild steel wire (200 feet) or 18 gauge copper wire for stitching plates. Optional with KIT
  • 2 x 3 foot piece of plywood or particle board for cockpit template.
  • Yellow carpenter glue like Titebond II for scarfs (smallest bottle)
  • Sandpaper - 5 sheets of 180 grit for wet sanding, 5 sheets 220 grit wet, 3 sheets 360 grit wet, 2 sheets 120 grit dry, 5 sheets 40 or 50 grit dry. The amounts may vary with your style but this is a good selection of grits.
  • Hook and loop sanding disks 60 grit for orbital sander (10pc.)
  • 2 tubes of best clear Silicone (or marine silicone)- for bulkheads
  • Latex gloves (20 pair)
  • 2" Chip brushes (10pc.) - for epoxy work
  • Mixing sticks or tongue depressors (15pc) - make your own from wood scrap
  • Lacquer thinner (1quart or liter) - epoxy cleanup (for brushes, syringes, squeegee etc..)
  • Wood putty - to fill wire holes. Use commercial mix or make your own with Durham putty.
  • Tack cloth - sanding dust removal during glassing and varnishing.
  • 3" Foam brushes (20pc) - varnishing
  • cardboard frozen juice can (1 to 2) - cleaning of squeegee during glassing
  • 6 feet of 1" nylon webbing (optional) - depends on style of backrest you choose

 Epoxy consumables : Most of these items will be available from composite supply companies that will also have epoxy and fiberglass. See list of suppliers in the Resources page.

  • Epoxy, fiberglass - quantities will depend on the kayak model. See the Material section at the bottom of the specs pages such as the Cirrus or the Cirrus LT.
  • 2 yards (meters) of carbon fiber cloth (5.7oz. x 50" wide) - optional for carbon coaming, reinforcement, backrest, hardware, rudder, hatches etc...
  • Colloidal silica (Cabosil) 1quart - epoxy thickener (West System 406) or generic brand
  • Phenolic Microballoons 1 quart - lightweight filler for fillets (West System 410) or generic
  • Wood dust - optional thickener, putty colorant- make your own
  • Squeegee (2pc.) - for fiberglassing
  • Caulking tube to dispense epoxy putty for fillets or silicone for bulkheads. Make your own from used tube or get it from places like Jamestown Distributors or hardware store. See Resources page.
  • Epoxy dispensing pumps - optional. I do not use them. Sold with epoxy packages.
  • Small plastic mixing (15pc) and epoxy measuring cups (30pc) - local supermarket
  • Varnish or Polyurethane (1quart) and appropriate thinners - see varnishing

 Kayak accessories:

  • Footbraces and foam for seat are optional items in the kits. See the Web Store for costs and options.
  • Deck rigging - bungees, webbing, hatch latches, carry loops - determine what you want on your kayak.