Zip ties instead of copper wire for stitching a Kaholo?

So I'm FINALLY at the stage where my board starts to look like a board. I stitched my bulkheads to the sides and what I'm noticing is that it's tricky to pul them tight. Once you twist the wires you can't easily retwist them to make them tighter. I looked over at my workbench and realized I have a zillion or so small zip ties which could much easier to work with because you an put them on kind of loose while you get everything roughly into place and then you can cinch them down really snug, snuggle than wiring. Also being slightly wider (3/32") they're less likely to cut into the thin wood. Only real downside I can see is that I'd have to drill 3/32" holes though I could easily fill those with putty before glassing. Anyone else tried this? Is this a good idea or complete madness? 

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RE: Zip ties instead of copper wire for stitching a Kaholo?

I have not personally used zip ties, but I know many others who have.  I've seen some CLC boats on this site and I've also seen stitch and glue power boats built using zip ties on the Glen-L forum. 

RE: Zip ties instead of copper wire for stitching a Kaholo?

I've used zip ties before. Alright for a painted hull but I prefer wire because it allows for very fine tuning. I use steel wire as it is much cheaper than copper but a bit harder on he fingers. Stitches need to be pulled of course.

RE: Zip ties instead of copper wire for stitching a Kaholo?

Zip ties work just fine, especially if you get one of those puller tools (couple of dollars). I've used them on both CLC & non-CLC designs. I've found them more useful on the larger designs - skiffs, dinghies, etc. - that use thicker wood and don't use lapstrake, but the really small ones are also useful on kayaks.

For me, they give finer control while tightening than wire does, but they cannot be loosened at all, only cut. So they are easier to install and tighten, but impossible to gently release.

And Craig is right, you have to pull the stitches unless you want to make really fat heavy fillets. You can't just push them down with a screwdriver blade like wire. But that's OK with me since I always pull my stitches before filleting.



RE: Zip ties instead of copper wire for stitching a Kaholo?

Interesting idea.   Seems like it wouldn't allow the fine tuning like copper would where you can tighten / lossen / retighed, etc. until you get the line you are looking for.   Also seems like large holes to drill and if you want to leave it natural I would think holes of that size would be disappointing.   If you are painting I guess it doesn't really matter about the hole sizes very much other than the epoxy dripping out of them far more than the smaller holes.  

I found copper really easy to work with on the last three builds and the twisting and fine tuning was easy to do.   Guess I don't see the time savings or advantage of the zip ties.....but then I haven't tried it either.

RE: Zip ties instead of copper wire for stitching a Kaholo?

Careful placement of the stitch holes can make them irrelevant. For example, on my schooner they're covered by the bottom graphite and the rubrails so they'll be invisible in the final product.

There's no problem with epoxy drips if you use the tack & fillet method (which also makes the stitch removal easier).

In my experience, copper and ties both work, it's up to the boat to tell you which one to use. The thickness of the wood, the amount of twist, the size of the boat, the complexity of the shape, etc. all influence the choice.




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