Paul’s F1 build – Fort William, Scotland

Start up trials

Loch Ailort looking out to Ardnamurchan
This is what started the project. Quite a few Greenland paddles appeared on club outings. First I made one of spruce 1048 gm, followed by one of cedar 782 gm. Compare these with my carbon fibre split (Adventure Technology Quest) 880 gm and a conventional (Palm Drift Pro) split 1243 gm
Started by making up a coaming jig using 22mm flooring chipboard.
Made the nose of the jig by turning a circle from a bit of joist.
Copied the dimensions from my Zegul kayak, much the same as in Brian’s video.
Drain pipe for soaking coaming – used some elm
Steam bending tube lagged with building joint insulation and parcel tape.
First go at bending, nice soft elm but very twisted grain and burrs.
Getting rid of some of the twists while the wood is still damp.

The build starts

Pine gunwhales being compared for bend
Planing the gunwhales
Scarfing the Western Red Cedar keel and stringers
Bending the deck beams; I overdid it with the Gorilla glue!
Delux Steam box with insulation rescued from a skip
Steam box with insulation
Routing rib mortises with fence – too shoogly!
Routing rib mortises with jig – much easier
Cut ribs on the band saw, then through the thicknesser. All my tools are metric so even the slide rule , last used in the 70’s came out; and the callipers are graduated in “thou”!
Smoothing the edges of the ribs, the grooved jig is screwed to the bench.
Nice to see the deck taking shape.
Cutting mortises

Impossible to get dowel of this size locally so it’s a DIY job on the lathe!

Tidying up the dowel ends.


  1. Avatar
    November 29, 2020

    Well done Paul, looks like the Elm has bent nicely, was it green or had it been dried? It’ll be good to see your progress. You’re in a good place to launch and get some superb trips. Best wishes,

  2. Avatar
    Chris Terrell
    December 5, 2020

    That looks like good progress, by the way, it appears that you’ve had to saw the deck beam free from the jig. I prevented this by putting a plastic sheet, with holes for the pegs (i just cut ‘x’s in the plastic), over the board to stop glue adhering to it. It was just a sheet of thin stuff, large plastic bag really, a bin bag would do.

    How has the cockpit worked out? I have some oak left over for both the coaming and added rim that you could have if you need it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top