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Issues with double corded stitch


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I have not had experience skinning a SOF kayak and ordered the 11.6 oz fabric for my short shot not realizing how much hand strength is required for this fabric with the double corded stitch. I developed carpal tunnel at 70 and had a release last year which has significantly reduced the strength in my right hand. I have made several unsuccessful attempts  to get the stitch tight enough to feel good about the skin consistency and tightness. I understand the 11.6 does not shrink well with heat so I am looking for a possible option as to how to get a tight skin with another method. Does anyone one have a successful experience with this fabric using a different method of stitching or fastening the skin to the frame. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

 

Thanks

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I do use a dowel to pull the stitches together (was able to make good lashings). The rolling of the fabric around the cord and getting them in position to sew is the main issue as I do not have complete feelings in my thumb and weakness. I tried stitching one of the cords separately then rolling the other and then sewing but still did not get what I felt was satisfactory. I feel I could handle the running and whip stitch but in testing the fabric with an iron I agree, shrinkage seems to be very little and probably not satisfactory results but if this has been done it might be my solution. I do not want to continue with putting holes in the fabric on something that does not seem to work especially if I can find an alternative someone has used with good results.

 

Thanks for any help.

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Here's my plan for you:

Pretend you need an extra set of hands to hold the cord and fabric while you stitch through. Enlist somebody to help with the pulling and rolling, then you do the stabbing and tugging.

You can always use the excuse you are teaching your helper, if getting help offends your sensibilities.

The other solution I have is lighter cloth. The 8oz stuff on my freeb felt almost too light, too soft, and it has a nice easy hand, not a stiff, stiff fabric. Might be easier to roll and hold lighter cloth. Has held up well to abuse and neglect, too.

Post says you developed CTS at 70?

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Thanks for the reply. Yes I have been looking for a helper rather than my wife. Did you use the running and whip stitch on the 8 oz? I have the investment in the 11.6 and need to try to make it work if I can, if not to the 8 to finish the kayak. I had mild  CT all along  but it hit the severe on my rt. hand and moderate on my left as I had more time for  more physical work (cutting and splitting wood, clearing brush,  etc.) after I retired. It reached the stage where rest did not help and surgery was necessary.

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DISCLAIMERS:  I have only built one SOF kayak and have never done the two cord stitch.

 

I ran across the following web site.  The author is stitching cotton duck onto the frame and uses an interesting method to tighten and hold the skin before stitching.  It involves some cord/string and short pieces of small dowel to tighten the skin.  Perhaps you could experiment with this method to take some of the strain off your hand.  Here's the address: 

http://www.pdxtex.com/canoe/kayak3.htm .

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Thanks for the information. Looks like it will be a help and I will certainly look into it. I went back and tried a curved needle which helped me a great deal in hooking the corded fabric together to pull them tight. I am still not satisfied with the look and consistency of the stitch. I may be trying to get the stitch too tight which exaggerates small errors and perhaps I am also expecting too nice of a finish on 11.6 with this stitch. From what I see on some of the post the 11.6 (except for Jeff's) do not finish as smooth as the 8 oz. which I would guess is the result of the stretch and shrink factor. As I have invested in this fabric I want to see what I can accomplish. I will try the pre-tension when I get to the bow section.

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You don't need dowels. watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VznUjj7fcs4.  I used this method it works great, forget the cord just sew as in the video.

 

He is using nylon and that that is quite different than sewing polyester. I didn't watch it but I have a pretty good idea of  how Brian skins his boats. Some of the methods he typically uses will not work well with polyester,

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Using those methods to help fit the skin looks like it might be useful. I did something similar when I was using Vinyl Coated Polyester. But, with uncoated polyester I would be sure to start from the cockpit and work towards the ends rather than the way it is shown in the video with nylon where the ends are sewn and fitted first. 

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After a number of different attempts, I finally arrived on this method which gives me a good tight skin with a nice finish on the 11.6. It is similar to Jeff's earlier application in that I ran a running stitch along each cord encasing the fabric on the sides of the deck beam.  I used my curved needle and stitched the two corded sides together with the whip stitch pulling the sides together as I made each stitch. It requires a lot more time than the double corded stitch but requires a lot less hand- finger strength in rolling the fabric around the cords and holding them in position while sewing. It is an alternative which seems to give good results.  Thanks for the replies on this post.

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