Nicks F1, Emsworth, UK.

  1. Green oak and Cedar.

First go with WordPress, so here goes.

I built three SOF last year, all fuselage frame construction.

Two Gentry KidYaks, and a 1931 Disko Bay, which I took the museum lines plan and lofted it full size. The kayaks have all worked well, but I want to build a proper steam bent framed one! I want thus one to be as light as possible,  around 15kg.

The local timber yard builds fence posts and other stuff. This generates a lot of oak offcuts, all fresh. I collected a few pieces for the coaming and timbers.

The other timber yard is more modern, and they have a good pile of Western Red Cedar. I think I bought too much!

Building this kayak will be done at the end of the day, on the way out of the workshop. Not the best way, but free time is limited!

Last week I made a coaming jig, and this evening I steamed a few coamings. I then came home and watched Brians videos, on coamings.

Now I have watched the (excellent!) videos I can go and do it again, but better!
As you can see I put the scarph in the wrong place! Sorry Brian!

This evening a change of timber to a different piece, and following Brians instructions exactly yeilded a good coaming and a good lip.
Within the ones in the picture there is one good lip and one good coaming.


Machining the Cedar

Ripping up the cedar


Laminating deck beam

Laminated three cedar deck beams this afternoon.


Back on the case a few weeks later…

I had hoped to achieve great progress over the Christmas Holiday,  but van maintenence got in the way, along with Christmas itself!

This afternoon I fastened the lip to the coaming.  Leaving it this long meant the oak had really hardened up, and took some persuading to bring the two halves together. Plenty of cramps and some glue and it looks presentable enough.

Later the gunwales were sanded, paired up and mortises for the frames and beams marked out. I also made the two formers. This time I could refer to Brians video,  run downstairs, do the next section,  then return upstairs for the next bit!

Hopefully tomorrow evening I can cut the mortises.


Well another week or so has past!

I shall name this kayak ‘stolen moments ‘!

Yesterday evening I cut the mortises for the frames.  We are lucky enough to have a mortice machine in the workshop, and I think this is the first time it’s been used! Once set up it munched effortlessly through the cedar.   Doing the angled mortices for the aft deck beams was a little tricky.  In retrospect I should have just made the jig and not used the morticer.

Next evening,  finally put the gunwales together and put the forms in! It’s starting to look like a kayak at last. Kerfed the ends and did the lashings with artificial sinew. This stuff is so flat, and much better than the round stuff I used on my previous kayaks .



The hole for the lashing was 6mm lower than suggested by Brian, but there was a screw hole there from when the two gunwales were together as a matched pair.


Brrrrrr! 4 deg in here.

This evening I finally had enough of imperial measurements !! I’m OK with feet and inches,  halves,  quarters, and even eighths.   However sixteenths just fry my head, and I am frantically converting everything to metric.  So my Special Stick is 7.93mm!

Anyway , engaged brain and fitted the forward three deck beams, then went home.


A small celebration this eve as the last three deck beams popped into place. The two behind the cockpit were both spruce because I had a section of an old bowsprit which needed using up.

I had one little issue yesterday,  and that was when the forward deck beams were in, the forward form was 6mm slack.  Went home and emailed Brian who replied that morning with possible causes. Thanks for the rapid support Brian 👍. A slight massage of one shoulder on the beam and she is on the marks!

Off to buy some dowel tomorrow so I can peg the ends etc.


Assembled the gunwales for the last time. I still hadn’t bought any dowel to peg them, and rather than drive the forty minute round trip to buy some, I made up my own. I’m not really keen on shop bought dowel, I don’t know what wood it is, and it seems a little soft to me. For the larger dowels I used oak, which you simply hammer through a piece of steel plate. Drill the hole for the finished size, and leave the burrs on. It actually very quick, and quite satisfying !

The smaller holes are for smaller dowels…

Drilling off the holes for the deck beam dowels seemed a little drastic, but once in the structure is really stiff and strong.


Machined the timbers this evening.

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