This article is Lesson 1 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.
Sparks is a science project. A professional builder working for a client has the responsibility of delivering the boat on time and budget with no surprises so we generally stick to what worked last time. But as a science project, questioning the way things are usually done, pushing the limits of the materials and then taking the responsibility becomes the objective. Because failure is anticipated with any experiment, testing is an important part of the project and has been a whole lot of fun with few surprises, mostly pleasant.
Bob, my brother-in-law, has a beautiful yard that he has set in a nautical theme. He had been looking at lighthouse plans and asked if I was interested in helping build one with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. All the plans that he looked at were for flat paneled six or eight-sided lighthouses built with plywood. I was interested in a project that was a bit more challenging and unique, so I suggested we build a stripped plank version. That way the tower could be round and tapered like many of the popular lighthouses around the world and it would differ from the flat-sided variety often seen in people’s yards. Bob liked the idea, so he went online and found photos of lighthouses that he liked. In the end, we based our design on Marblehead lighthouse located on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie. Continue reading →
Editor’s note: to learn more about building the strip plank mailbox, paddle or clipboard in the featured image (above), see Start off Simple.
Cover Photo: Strip construction is detailed throughout Epoxyworks #10.
We feature strip construction in this edition of Epoxyworks because of the wide range of projects we have seen over the years and the many we support on a daily basis. In most peoples minds, the beautiful, well-built stripper canoe almost defines the technique. But, we’ve also seen strip mailboxes and ships, cars and cradles, airplanes and artwork. The versatility of strip construction is well matched to the versatility of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
If you build enough strip plank projects, at some time or another you will need to bend strips around a curve sharp enough to break the wood strip. Here’s how to make bending the strips possible. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →