Progress report

Posted by Jim L on Jan 31, 2007

Thanks to all for your feedback on this. In the interim, I have been experimenting with various remedies and have come up with some observations.

First of all, many of the lesser gaps are an unavoidable consequence of the geometry of the deck and can be eliminated with sanding alone. Imagine laying out several strips on a flat surface with the bead-to-cove joints tight. Now, bend this arrangement into an arc like the deck of the boat. Gaps will neccesarily appear. These can be sanded out without difficulty.

For larger gaps caused by the bead-to-cove joint not being tight, the remedy seems to depend on how bad the gap is. If the gap does not go all the way through the thickness of the strips, but is too wide to be sanded out, then the yellow glue approach does seem to work. I fill the gap with glue, scree it off with a razor blade, and then sand the strips adjacent to the strips to generate dust. (I use the ROS with vac turned off.) The dust "wets' into the glue naturally and the wood color of the sawdust stays more or less intact. With practice, many of these larger gaps can be made to disappear.

For gaps that go all the way through, however,(I had some of these in the "whisky plank" areas) epoxy thickened with some coloring material is needed. I've been using sanding dust generated by hand from like-colored strips. This work OK, but tends to end up considerably darker than the strips. I haven't tried using bread flour, but that does sound interesting.

Regarding the apron/butt joint concern, I can see how the approach of sawing a 1/8" gap and filling with a cedar strip could end up looking awesome. I would be afraid to try this without practicing elsewhere, however, for fear I would make matters worse. Also,I'm building this boat as a gift for my niece and time is getting tight. Careful sanding of this joint has improved the overall appearace quite a bit and I'll bet she doesn't notice, and probably no one else will either. All in all, most of my fears are turning out to be no big deal.

Jim L

In Response to: Re: Hybrid deck question by John Beck on Jan 29, 2007


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