Loose Puzzle Joints - how to align panels?

Just starting the build on my Wood Duck 12 and I'm working on the 2 side panels.  I've done a dry assembly and noticed that I can move one end of each side a good inch because of play in the joint.  I did this by clamping the bow piece to the table and can then move the stern piece by about an inch.

How do I ensure that both panels are correctly aligned?  Seems if the port side is assembled with the play up and the port side with the play down, this thing will never assemble!

I was wondering if I should assemble them one atop the other - then I could be assured of them being symetrical.

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RE: Loose Puzzle Joints - how to align panels?

you definitely want them symetrical and you should build them on top of one another to ensure that.  if there is play in the arrangement, the plans typically have a reference line and an offset measurement that you can use for final placement that can be used to ensure they are built per plans. 

RE: Loose Puzzle Joints - how to align panels?

   Thanks for the info.  Where can I find the data on the reference line and offset measurements?  I'm not seeing it in the build manual that came with my kit.

RE: Loose Puzzle Joints - how to align panels?

Call CLC when they've opened today. You ought to get what you need to know from them.

Plans can be pretty simple, basically patterns for cutting parts, or more complex if the design merits having the details. Assembling panel sections with port/starboard paired in stacks is recommended but having some idea of what the true, designed shape ought to be before one starts is important for confidence as well as success!

RE: Loose Puzzle Joints - how to align panels?

Definitely follow spclarks advice if it is not part of the plans/manual. 

prior to puzzle joints (yes, these kits did not always have puzzle joints), there were scarf joints and you needed that reference line/offset to have any chance of doing it right.

it's possible that with puzzle joints, clc no longer provides that information as they don't view that there is enough play in the joint to worry about getting it right....but symmetry is still important :)



RE: Loose Puzzle Joints - how to align panels?

   When laying them on top of each other I recommend putting some wax paper between the areas glued. 

It will save you quite a bit of pain.

I found one of my joints on my Skerry to have some play and one other had no play whatsoever. I used the one without much play as a guide for the other.

Another thing that might be an issue is a cold shop. While I do not know much about this particular plywood in cold vs hot shop things do tend to shrink in cold temps and this might be the small difference that is bigger. Plus you want to warm the shop for the epoxy as well.

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