Monthly Archives: July 2014

How Tough are They?

By Captain James R. Watson

Once I went over a small falls in my stripper kayak. At the bottom was broken concrete with rebar in it. I clenched my teeth as the little kayak ground over it—hoping I’d built it tough enough. Fortunately, when I pulled to the bank to inspect the damage, there were only superficial scrapes. Continue reading

Planking Basics

By the Gougeon Technical Staff

Strip planking, strip plank laminating, and strip composite may be different methods of construction but they have in common the process of installing strips over frames that define the structure’s shape. These are general guidelines describing the process. Continue reading

Edge Gluing Fixtures

By Brian Knight

Rectangular or square edge strips tend to get out of alignment between mold stations, especially where the bend is tight and the planks have to be forced into position. You can build intermediate mold stations in these areas to support the planks in more places. Continue reading

Holding Strip Planks in Place

By Tom Pawlak

There are many ways to hold strip planks in place while the adhesive between them cures. The best method for your project depends on how you plan to finish it, what fastener equipment you have on hand, and how much holding power you need to keep the strip planks in place. Continue reading

Edge fastening

Edge Fastening

By Brian Knight

Rectangular or square edge strips tend to get out of alignment between mold stations, especially where the bend is tight and the planks have to be forced into position. You can build intermediate mold stations in these areas to support the planks in more places. Continue reading

Panel Warping

By Tom Pawlak

CAUTION: Strip planked projects can warp to the point of being unusable if one side of the wood core is fiberglassed and the other side is left unsealed. Changes in wood moisture content on the unsealed side will cause the project to change shape. The potential for warping is greatest on thin wood-strip projects like canoes and kayaks. The thinner the planking, the greater the risk. Continue reading

Building a Ladder to the Heavens

By Captain James R. Watson

We have all looked to the night sky and been taken aback by the view. Telescopes are tools that allow us to get a closer, more detailed view. My dad used to call them “a ladder to the heavens.” There are a number of reasons why you might want to build your own telescope: Custom design, aesthetics and quality come to mind. There is always the element of satisfaction in creating your own. Continue reading

How to Make a Solar Filter

By Captain James R. Watson

The sun is magnificent to view through a telescope—but only with a filter. Building a solar filter for a telescope is pretty straight forward.

To build one for my telescope, I sawed two 1″-wide rings from 1/4″-thick plywood. The inside diameter of the rings matches the outside diameter of my telescope’s optical tube (10 3/4″). I bonded the two larger rings together with an identically-sized ring of foam between them. The laminated ring slides over the tube. Continue reading

varnish over epoxy

Getting the Clearest Fiberglass Finish

By Jim Derck

If you are using the strip planking method to build a canoe, kayak or even a telescope, you already appreciate the beauty of wood. The following tips will help you achieve the clearest possible fiberglass coating to protect and reinforce the wood and show off your handiwork. Continue reading