Friday, May 16, 2008

I've got a fever...

...and the only prescription is: more clamps!

Today I glued the coaming and coaming spacers to the kayak cockpit. Sounds easy, of course. And it was, for the most part, straight forward. Here's the play by play. First I stained the coaming to match the deck, but that was simple and took about 2 minutes for the stain to dry because it's 95° in my back yard today. 

After marking the centerline of the boat, I knew where the coaming spacers had to go. These are the unstained pieces of wood in the photo and are used to raised the coaming above the deck so a spray skirt can be stretch over it. I coated each of these spacers with thickened epoxy and then nailed down the tips of the spacers along the centerline fore and aft. On top of the first spacer I glued and nailed a second. On top of the second spacer I glued the coaming. 

This is when the clamps come out. To bend the coaming to the contours of the deck, it's imperative to use as many clamps as possible, and c-clamps are better than spring clamps because of the added pressure they can apply. A good supply of both were in my shop.... I thought.

As I worked my way around the coaming, clamping every few inches, I began to realize that the c-clamps I have were too small in a few critical places. Basically, the depth that the clamp could slide laterally was too short because the excess deck in several places obstructed the clamp from reaching all the way to the coaming. OH CRAP. So, here I have wet epoxy that curing fast on a hot afternoon and I need bigger clamps. I have never driven to the hardware store so fast. 

I sped home with deeper clamps and tightened them into place, epoxy satisfyingly oozed out of the joints, as it should. Saved the day!

Here is the coaming and the spacers getting ready to be brushed with 
thickened epoxy.

This is the final clamping job. You can see spring clamps and c-clamps. 
Notice on the near side where the grey c-clamps are how much deck area the
clamp had to span to make a grip. The smaller blue clamps worked great in other
areas, but not here. After the epoxy is dry the next step is to cut away the excess 
deck on the inside area of the coaming.

1 comment:

Katie said...

That's quite some clamp party! I had no idea there were so many different kinds. Bummer you had to rush to the hardware store on an already hot day for more clamps. The stained deck is stunningly beautiful -- like a beautiful piece of furniture you'd see in a museum!