Franz building a F1 in southeastern Bavaria


I’m a half century old software developer (actually a physicist) and got the kayak bug a year ago. I live in the very southeast of Bavaria/Germany close to Rosenheim. Now I’m embarking on building a F1.


16th March 2019

I’m currently still preparing things. This is already getting a bit lengthy, since I could not get good wood and ended up cutting 30x50mm roof battens (I hope that’s the correct term) on the bandsaw and laminating them for gunwales.



For the ribs I could get some fresh pieces of ash trunks and cut them up on the bandsaw. Planing both down with my Makita hand planer proofed to get a little tricky so I ordered a thickness planer with is currently still to come.



18th March 2019

The thickness planer (a Triton TPT 125) arrived today. After setting it up and hooking it to my dyi dust collection I planed the rib stock to size.

I addition to this I found out that planing a good 30 ribs from roughly 10mm down to 6.5mm generates way more than a bucket of shavings and will fill up the shop vac, too…. completely.

Plans for tomorrow:

– Plane the gunwales and if the ordered router bits have arrived by then route them, too.

– Take some more photographs


19th March 2019

Went home from work early and found the routers I ordered from Wealden Tools in England in the letterbox. Royal Snail Mail seems to have gained speed considerably since last time 🙂 .

I ran the gunwales through the planer until they where 18mm thick screwed them together, marked them and then routed the rib mortises. I decided to I either dowel or screw the deckbeams in since I still lack some appropriate wood for the coaming and thus can’t determine the precise placement of deckbeam 3 in the moment.

Added form boards, capture forms and straps (wrong position in the foto). Checking the symmetry didn’t reveal any oddities, so I kerfed the ends and lashed them together.

Then I ran out of daylight and although winter is already on the retreat here it got pretty cold outside so I called it a day.


20th March 2019

Today I started with pegging the gunwales together

Then marking, cutting and putting the deckbeams in. Since I found a packet of 5x60mm stainless steel woodscrews in the workshop I went the easy route and just screwed them in. Probably not the prettiest way to do that, but fast and easy.

Still having no coaming I could not put in deckbeam 3, but I realised, that it was to short anyway. So I cut up some spruce only to realize that this particular one would not want to be bent at all. I had some hazel lying around, so I tried my luck with that. It steambent like butter.

I currently can’t get proper ash or oak for the coaming, but since I need it to go on with the build I decided that it was time to solve this. I took the saw and went to my wood behind the house to get some more hazel to make a coaming from that. If I get more ash in time I simply will build a second one. I cut the hazel on the bandsaw and ran it through the planer.

My coaming bending form. I admit it looks a bit rustic but I think it will do.

My steambox is too short for a coaming but I figured out I could bend it in 2 steps.

First the middle:

Then back to the box

then bend and glue the ends


21st March 2019

I fetched some more 30x50mm roof battens from the hardware store since I still needed to make the keel, both side stringers and the foredeck stringer.

Back home I decided to bend another coaming because yesterdays was quite thin (6mm) and I had some more hazel left. Seems I just took an image after planing and forgot to do so while bending. Anyway it didn’t look different than yesterday except that this was 9mm thick.

I cut the new battens in half on the bandsaw and ran them through the planer. The stringers are fine, but the keel had one big knot in it I could not avoid. So I cut it out and joined it back together.

I cut and planed the new deckbeam 3 I had bent and glued up from hazel yesterday and it turned out quite nice even though it looks a little skinny besides the oversized ones I made from spruce. I put the coaming on and screwed the beam in place.

Then on to sorting, marking and cutting ribs. I rounded the edges and then stacked them up in the right order, only to find out that I had cut rib nr 3 to short. Make a new one,  tidy up and call it a day.


22nd March 2019

Today I’d just planned to make some bending experiments and to thin the ends of the rips to fit properly into the mortises. But the bending tests with some rib cutoffs went unexpectely well,

so I thinned the rip ends while the additional water warmed up and began bending ribs.

Taking 5 minute intervals proofed a good choice for me. My deepest respect to those who can do it in 1 minute like Brian.

I lost 5 ribs due to questionable grain and pin knots.

I used a simple centering gauge to make sure the center mark of each rib ended up where it should.

Bending ribs freehand like Brian seemed a bit scary to me, so I fixed 2 round pieces of wood to my sawhorse for the initial bends. One with 65mm daimeter, the other with 255mm (for those who prefer medieval measuring systems 😉 : 2 1/2″ and 10″ ) . They proofed very handy to me.

Having added a little door to the steambox was pretty good, too. This way you can save valuable seconds.

I had no more time to fit keel and stringers so I just clamped on the keel. The ribs kept their form quite well, so I’m pretty confident that the whole thing won’t run away until tomorrow.


24th March 2019

I just lashed on the keel, today.

25th March 2019

Not much progress today, since I could not leave too early from work and dropped by my local paint dealer to ask about PU coatings. It looks like they have something decent for a very fair price.

I cut both stems to fit and started lashing the bow stem just when the sun went to sleep. When I was finished it had begun to rain and  temperature was just about freezing so I stopped for today. The old greenlanders would probably have called something like this a warm summer night 😉 (ignoring the fact, that they don’t have nights in summer….).


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