Bead and Cove

I've now built 3 hollow wood strip SUPs and my ne strip canoe. Each time, however, I haven't used bead and cove strips. Just plain old strips that I add a rolling bevel to when going around corners. I am thinking of trying out bead and cove next time though but I was wondering about the following:

What happens when a strip I cut, like a cheater strip, butts up against a beaded/coved strip? This may be a super small issue or even a non issue but I wanted to see peoples thoughts before my next build. 

5 replies:

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RE: Bead and Cove

Hi Bret, 

great question.  just by way of background, i have built several strip built kayaks.  the first two bead and cove.....and then the last two with just plain old strips and rolling bevels.

so the answer is, in short, you have to plan your bead and cove so you never end up in the situation you describe.  there are two general principles involved in cove and bead build....

1) you try to work as much as possible cove to cove - in other words, if i start the hull with a shear strip and a center strip...the cove of the shear strip faces down towards the bottom of the boat and the cove of the center strip faces up to the the situation you are referring to.... might not happen.

2) even on a cove and bead build, you will have to make a few strips where you cut the bead off and it is going to be bevel to bevel.   a good example, is the shear strip.....if the cove is facing down, you typically take the bead off of the deck side of shear strip (and the first strip of the deck that mates into it with a bevel so that the cove faces towards the center of the deck.

if you have built without cove and will easily master you have the basic skills to handle the strips for situation 2 above.

i hope my explanation was helpful.


RE: Bead and Cove

   Super helpful,

Thanks so much. Now I just need to get someone to take one of my old boards so I have room for a new one built with bead and cove construction.

RE: Bead and Cove

Hi Bret, 

fwiw, having made the transition to being skilled and comfortable enough with a block plane to build without cove/bead, i am not going back.  

i don't think, at this point, that it would save me time.  the other thing i find is i enjoy the fun of wielding my block plane with the skill of a musician who is good at their instrument.  the other thing you can find with cove and bead, is you can easily get gaps that become exposed in sanding where you did not push the bead into the cove to get rid of 'openings' that are not immediately obvious.

finally, you have more selection with straight strips (e.g., build with 3/16 inch thick vs 1/4 inch unless you have the tools to manufacture your own cove/bead strips.

at this point, due to the gapping issue i desribed above - i actually find my later boats with rolling bevels are tighter than my old cove and bead.

there is also a tool that some of us use for rolling bevels that makes quick work of long runs (does not work well when very curvy....but then...neither does bead and cove)

i really view cove and bead as kind of a 'starter' approach to strip build...but you have already gotten past that point....why go back?

picture below....Not Bead and Cove :)

Not Cove and Bead


RE: Bead and Cove

Sheza-am!  Howard, you are a veritable fount of wisdom and knowledge!

Y'all be sure to watch the video on that.

I never imagined that I'd ever want to build a strip boat, but that tool could be a game changer some day.


RE: Bead and Cove

   Thank You!

I can't believe that tool existed and I didnt know about it. I have wanted something exactly like that for th elast two builds. Thanks also for the heads up about sticking with the rolling bevel. 

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