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  1. Thanks Floating Finn. I am currently building a Ravenswood (very slowly) and don't intend to put hatches on that as it is going to be used a day boat. However am very interested in them for future builds.
  2. That translucent effect on the skin is very nice. How are you finding the paddling?
  3. Very nice. I rather like the soft light winter brings. We are heading into summer and solid water will be the least of our concerns ;-) Do you find the rear hatch is a help and worth the extra effort? (I Suppose it depends on how much you plan to carry and how often.)
  4. LOL Jeff, that's cheating. Although you are probably right.
  5. They look great together. I wonder what the record is for the most Kudzu Craft together at once?
  6. Hi Teasea I ordered the plywood from Boatcraft Pacific http://boatcraft.com.au/ . They have a number of distributors around the place. Have a look on their website and see if there is one near you. Being in Canberra, I needed to get it shipped here. They were great to deal with, answered all my questions and processed the order without delay. Be aware though, it’s not cheap stuff! Very nice to work with though and was able to get all frames from half a sheet, so that makes the price per kayak more reasonable.. As you are in Sydney, you might be able to have a look at the birch ply from DMK Forest Products http://dmkforestproducts.com.au/wisa-birch/ mentioned earlier in this thread and see if it’s like the stuff Jeff recommends. Looking at the spec’s for both Birch and Hoop Pine on the Wood database http://www.wood-database.com/ , it’s evident that both timbers are classed as having poor rot resistance so oiling the frames is a must (see the results from my over-winter test earlier in this thread). Amazing the difference this makes. The Hoop Pine is rated as lighter than the birch, but also correspondingly weaker so when I cut the frames I increased the thickness of the frames by 10-12 mm to compensate. So if Jeff has made a frame 20mm thick, I increased it around 30mm. Easy enough to do and there shouldn’t be any weight penalty due to the lighter timber. The resultant frames certainly feel quite strong. Only a few frames to go and I'll get into the stringers and gunwales. (Thank goodness for a friend with a table saw). A good timber yard fairly close, so these will be Western Red Cedar. Also need to start the coaming and laminated beam. There are a few Aussie timbers that are meant to be quite good for bending so I will be investigating those.
  7. As someone who is working basically with just hand tools, I find it interesting to see how this fully machined method of building is working. Certainly seems suited to this style of construction and gives a very nice finish. Also seems a fair bit faster, not that I'm jealous or anything ;-)
  8. Thanks Benhardt57, I looked at them early on in my selection process and might trial the ply at a later date. Problem was, I couldn't be sure the Baltic Birch they sold was the same as Jeff recommended. Heard lots of good things about the Hoop Pine so ended up going with that. So far it seems to be really nice to work with and the glue is definitely waterproof. Andy00, I promise I won't hang the kayak from my back fence. Having said that, it's amazing how much protection the tung oil gives the wood. The test sample really does look like new, with none of the dirty weathered appearance timber gets when left outside raw. Thanks for the inspiration picture. There's not much I can do about the current slow progress and it's nice to see completed craft. Gives me something to aim for. The building is fun in itself as well so whilst it will be nice to see a finished kayak, I am thoroughly enjoying the journey along the way.
  9. Earlier this year I put up a few posts regarding sourcing suitable plywood in Australia. I ended up going with Hoop Pine Marine ply and am currently cutting the frames for a Ravenswood. (Very slow progress I know, but that’s another story). At the time I thought some simple testing of the plywood might be in order, so I took 2 off-cuts and hung them on the back fence over winter. One was left raw, the other coated with 2 coats of pure tung oil. Winter here tends to have a lot of heavy fogs that hang around all morning and lots of nights below freezing. Once things get damp they can take ages to dry. After a full winter the tung oiled sample is like new. The raw sample has numerous small mould spots all over it as a result of staying damp for extended periods. Neither sample looks remotely like delaminating so the glue seems fine. The raw sample also has fine cracking along the grain on all exposed surfaces. My guess is this is a result of the water that soaked into the plies freezing and expanding during the night and so cracking the timber, much the same way it gets into fine cracks in rocks and eventually splits them apart. That’s just a thought bubble though and if people have other theories or better explanations I’d be happy to hear. The samples are back on the fence now. I want to see how they cope with our hot, dry summers. In particular I want to see how the tung oil stands up to our rather ferocious UV levels. In the meantime, back to the Ravenswood. Thank goodness it isn’t a race.
  10. Thanks Jeff. That sums up the information from different parts of your website very well. Will definitely help with my choice when I get to that point.
  11. Thanks Ben. For what it's worth, I have made up a couple of test samples of the Hoop Pine ply which I have hung on the back fence. One is just left raw, the other has been given a few coats of pure Tung oil. Thought the results in 6 months or a year or two might be of interest to those who have trouble getting the good Baltic Birch and are looking for an alternative. I'll do the first update in around 6 months.
  12. Looking at the offcuts, the void appears to close up again. In the only other frame affected the void is down to about 1 mm wide, so not an issue, although I will fill that with epoxy as well just the same. All other pieces look fine so onwards to the sanding. Thank you for the input. Lets see how many months it will take me before I can supply the mandatory FROG shot. Benhardt57, what's your ply? The Baltic Birch?
  13. You are right, a picture would help. Here is a shot of the end of the bow piece. It is the one that contains the larger void. As you can see, the void is right towards the pointy end. As such I don’t think there is much load on the ply at that point. Pity I couldn’t see it until the piece was cut or I would simply have moved the pattern along a small amount. Should be easy enough to epoxy fill. This is the plywood straight off the jig saw. No sanding has been done. As you can see, it cuts quite well
  14. Well it took more than the 2 weeks I had intended, however I was finally able to start cutting out the frames on the weekend. For those that are interested, the Hoop Pine ply cuts quite well with almost no splintering. I have found 2 internal voids, 1 about 1 mm wide (say, 1/32”) and the other about 6-7mm (say about 1/4”) wide. They are each near the end of a frame and should be easy to completely fill with a syringe filled with thickened epoxy so I don’t think I will need to cut new pieces. Of course if anybody thinks differently, this newbie would be very happy to hear. I also gave the plywood a highly scientific strength test by bouncing up and down on a 50mm (2") wide offcut supported on 2 blocks. I am around 87kg (say 185lb) and it seemed to hold up just fine. At this rate it looks like it may take a while to get the Ravenswood done, however that’s not too bad as I am really enjoying the process.
  15. Nice. Is that a straight oil finish on the frame?
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