Sheer strips

This is my first posting. I am in process of building my first kayak, a Wood Duck 12 Hybrid. I am at the point of installing the sheer strips, and my scarf joints just don't seem to be holding. I have used thickened epoxy per instructions, but now I am trying Titebond glue. When installing, I have sprayed them with a mist of water and used a heat gun to try to twist them into shape. I also have been using 1/2" staples, but they don't seem adequate enough to grip in the mdf forms. I will try getting longer staples tomorrow. So now I am also concerned about the extra holes from the staples. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I am also thinking of applying a onlay compass rose on the foredeck, and am thinking of cutting out the wood surround so that I am left with only the points. Is this advisable, or would I have problems in getting it to adhere to the curvature of the deck? Thank you for your advise. Barry

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RE: Sheer strips

I went stapleless....But when I had to have a 'staple', I used brads.  My staples never held.  Toothpicks will fill the brad holes very well.



RE: Sheer strips

hi Barry, if it is not too late, i would use something other than MDF for the forms.  MDF is great for some applications but not to drive a nail, staple or even screw into. it simply will not hold.  MDF shapes great, hold paint great, and look good for a smooth finish.  try plywood, 3/4 plywood would be great for that.  there is also a thing called doodads to hold the strips without staples.  i have just become aware of the doodads so i am not well versed on them. i got the idea from kayakkev.  check these posts or even try  this was great info for me.  good luck and have fun.


RE: Sheer strips

i miss spoke. you said sheer strips..OOPS  disregard what i had to say.  next time i will read better, i hope!

RE: Sheer strips

I used lots of clamps. One every 6 inches or so 

RE: Sheer strips

Thanks for the help. When I said sheer strips, I meant the cedar deck strips at the sheer line. I am surprised that this kit does not utilize sheer clamps, but since this is a new experience for me, my first kayak, I believe that I will eventually realize why the kit is designed this way.  I am now using slightly longer staples, and it seems to help a bit. These cedar strips seem to really need to be tortured into shape, and I had thought that they would be more forgiving. I also meant to say particle board frames that came with the kit, and not MDF. The Titebond II worked better on the scarf joints, then the thickened epoxy that the instructions say to use. Any additional words of experience and wisdom would truly be appreciated.

Thanks, Barry

RE: Sheer strips



Ifeel your pain.  The manual is woefully lacking on instructions for this very difficult stage.  I also cracked scarf joints, split deck forms, had them shift, and had to re-do both sides towards the stern.  If it's not too late, a few suggestions:

If deck forms won't stay put, be sure you are using hot glue designed for wood, not crafts (like I originally used and had to re-glue all my forms.

Buy a 10 foot section of 1" pvc with a cap ($2.50 at Home Depot.  Pour in very hot water and insert the strip.  Let soak for an hour.  It will then bend easily.  For smaller areas, towels soaked with hot water also worked.

Position scarfs towards bow, not stern (where all mine cracked).  After epoxy gave, I used Slo Zap CA.  I also braced the scarf with thin strips of srap wood which can be sanded later.

 In the stern (the toughest bend), I glued scrap wood on the inside corners of the transom so that brads would hold.  Manual said to do this in bow, but no mention of the stern.

I hope you are already finished by now, but if not, I hope this helps.

If I knew then what discouraging experience has taught me, I'd probably have my deck finished by now!

RE: Sheer strips

The strips can be difficult to bend at the ends where they have to twist and bend at the same time.  check out the video's from Nick in the tips for builders.  You can see how he uses clamps.  I also cut some wedge shaped pieces of wood, glued sand paper to one side so they would not slip and used them between the strip and the clamps so i could use clamps at the stem and stern and not have them slide off.  I tried to make sure any splices fell in the middle areas where there was not so much tension.  I also covered some small 1/4 ply strips with packing tape and clamped each joint parallel.  I leave the clamp on as long as possible support the joint until everything has fully set. 

Also note Nicks alternatives for adding long wedge shaped filler strips so that you do not have to contort the strips across their width as much.

But really check out the videos.  I would have saved a lot of time and effort .





RE: Sheer strips

Thanks Ed and Rich,

At this point I have three sheer strips on and the King Plank, and now I am stripping the deck. The deck seems to be going relatively smooth, and am now enjoying this part of the build. I struggled with the sheer strips, and ended up having a few more staple holes in them than I would have anticipated. However, I am OK with the results. I ended up using Titebond II for the scarfs, glued and clamped them overnight, and that worked much better then the epoxy. The scarfs are located amidships and about 12" away from each other. I tried prebending the strips on a table with clamps, alternately wetting them and blow drying them, then bending them slightly more, and repeating the process. I don't feel that it helped as much as I thought it would.  I like the idea of putting the strips in pvc tubing for soaking. On the next boat I will try that. Thanks.

As for the deck, I have ten strips in and have not had to use any staples yet. I am using long clamps, many of them, and the glue seems to set quick enough for me to alternate from bow to stern. I will try to post a picture as soon as I figure out how to do so.



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