Jukka’s F1 build, Finland

I am Jukka Olanterä from Finland. I live near Lahti and I have paddled for many years over 1000 km every year. I have paddled all over Finland on lakes and sea. But also in Sweden, Estonia and Russia.

I am starting to build F1 skin-on-frame kayak. Now I am making preparing for the project. I have almost all the nessesary tools and also the place to build.

I have faced few problems with preparing.

First of all the measures are different (U.S. Customary System). We use SI(The International System of Units). I think that I have to make metric conversion.

An other problem is with gunwales, stingers and keel. There is not Red Cedar available in Finland over 10 ft long and and Red Cedar is expencive over here. I think that I will use Siberia

The project

Now I have started the project. Finaly I foud place where to buy Red Cedar. They are importing 2” * 4” 16 ft Red Cedar from Germany, where is exported from Canada. And the price was resonable. White Oak for ribs is much easier to get.

I have made all nessesary jigs and forms. Some changes I have made with measures. Some measures I have coverted to SI – standart, for instance plunge router carbide bits are available in SI-standart, but not in inches. But with all other measures I use inches.


Finaly I managed to bend the ribs. I tried different lumber.. I started with white oak, but it was doomed operation. Most ribs were broken. I don’t know what was wrong with white oak, apparently I did not get decent white oak in Finland. I made few ribs from ash and rest from hickory. Hickory was easy to bend.


  1. Franz
    October 29, 2019

    Hi Jukka,
    you probably read my build blog. If not you find the answers to your questions there.
    Imperial measurements: Get a measuring device of you choice in inch or you go nuts converting to SI
    Red cedar: Use spruce, larch or pine instead. There is no real need for red cedar unless you want to go extremely lightweight. I used spruce and the F1 is fine.

  2. Jukka Olanterä
    October 30, 2019

    Hi Fraz,
    As you see in my last update, I did resolve measure problem. And finaly I found red cedar. My first thought was to use larch, but there was lot of problems to find enough clean larch.

  3. Ivo Garza
    November 2, 2019

    Hello Jukka
    How are things going for you? I hope they are going smoothly. I have started my build am up to deck assembly. The early snows this year means a lot of work in my cluttered garage rather than outside. The coaming bending for me has been the biggest challenge so far.
    7mm for 1/4″ 10 mm for 3/8″ and 13 mm away from the gunwales edge will preserve the strength of the tenons without adding any measurable weight. Make sure the ribs are at least 7 mm thick and you will need to change special stick 2 ever so slightly (1/2 mm).


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