diy kayak strips

I am building a kayak and notice that people are using much narrower strips than I planned. Are thes plain sawn or riff (aka quarter sawn)?

If plain sawn wouldn't they warp even encase in FG?

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RE: diy kayak strips

  We have two WD hybrids and we cut our own strips from white oak, cedar and mahogany with no cupping or winding issues. We used both flat and quarter sawn. The quarter sawn material can give you some beautiful grain.


  My thinking is once ripped to 3/16" there isn't enough grain strength to force the wood out of shape. I was going to say the epoxy, cloth and glue would seem like more than enough to hold the wood stable then realized all the cut strips I have stacked in the shop are still stable and straight without them. Some are over two years old and in a tropical climate. Even the knotty pieces are flat and straight.

RE: diy kayak strips


How wide are the strips.

Do the flat sawn bend easier?

Maybe I am confused. Flat sawn is usually the way wood comes from the box store/ While quarter saen the rings are vertical and the grain will be fairly straight?

RE: diy kayak strips

  Our first duck is built with material ripped from standard stock - 3/4". The second one we went with rough faced lumber from various sources Craigslist, woodworking shop and a local mill. We didn't use bead and cove and planing the peices to fit took the rough off the edges. First duck was 10' and the 3/4 reveal looks good but I wanted a wider strip on the second boat, a 12'er. and the rough lumber dressed out around 1 1/4 - 1 1/8".

  The benefit we found with ripped quarter sawn is the grain is exposed as a 'face' more than a line. Hard to describe, the rip exposes wood paralell to the growth rings as compared to ripping flat sawn lumber for a perpendicular or diagonal exposure of grain. Our quarter sawn material was a light mahogany and when ripped exposed wide grain with little 'flecks' of sparkles. Very pretty but hard to describe well. You may have to copy/paste this link, click on the photo to enlarge it. The top three strips are 1 1/8 ripped quarter sawn mahogany. You can compare it to the light and dark cedar strips next to it which are ripped from flat sawn lumber.


  No difference in bending shaping the different cuts or material, ezpz. The white oak is a different story though, it was a chore.

  Hope that helps, Bob

RE: diy kayak strips

Got it! Thr grain does look great!

Where was the picture taken? Was it Ichetucknee Springs in Florida. Well I guess it could be any spring system in Florida. Maidened my first home built kayak there( Ichetucknee Springs s ) 35 years ago.

RE: diy kayak strips

Once you begin working with strips you will quickly realize that most of the strength and stiffness of your boat comes from the two layers of resin-saturated fiberglass separated by the wood. Wood gives our boats shape and color, but is only part of the whole structure.  -Wes

RE: diy kayak strips

 TLAR, sorry I forgot to answer your question. The pic was taken at Alexander Springs, sort or east central area of FL. Here's a link to the trip: Alexander Springs  Warning though - if it's been 35 years for you this may tug on the heartstrings a bit...

RE: diy kayak strips

I grew up in Ocala and Alexander Springs was my favorite. Did a lot of snorkling there. Taught my wife to snorkle there also. Thanks for the memory trip. Too many of my "great places" have been ruined by developement. My bucket list contains a trip to all of my great places such as Alexander which is why I am building my Yak.

RE: diy kayak strips

Narrow stips - say 5/8" - will strip around a tight radius better. Some builders prefer narrow strips. Mine are usually a tad less than 3/4" wide since I buy lumberyard (#2) WRC, surface plane boards, rip strips, and bead & cove them. Lumberyard WRC is smooth (sort of) one side, rough on the other, so surface planing reduces thickness.Also with narrow strips there is less of a "hump" when strips meet while rounding a curved surface = less wood scraped & planed off 

You can go to 3/16" thick stips for a kayak, less weight. For my latest kyak deck (hybrid - S&G hull, WRC strip deck) I used 5mm thick strips.

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