Building a 25' Ply on Frame Cabin Cruiser #5: Scarfing

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Blog entry by AlTriolo posted 04-30-2017 04:31 AM 1146 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: A good reason to miss a day of building... Part 5 of Building a 25' Ply on Frame Cabin Cruiser series Part 6: Scarfing Continued »

The last time I scarfed joints (for my 14’er), I used spacers on my combo miter saw to cut into 1×3s at the correct angle. It worked okay, but not great. This time I would have nine scarf joints (or 18 scarfs to cut!) and one of them for my 24’ keelson, so I figured I’d make something better.

I found some examples of scarfing rigs online and made one for my job. I used a spare piece of mdf because it was nice and flat. I cut an angle that would give me slightly more than an 8:1 ratio in some lumber and connected them to the board. Then I needed to make a guide for my router.

These pix should give you the idea. The scarfs aren’t perfect, but they will do. I’ve already resined a few of them and am quite pleased. The resin is thickened and applied to both sides of the joint. The boards are lined up and wrapped with wax paper before I clamp them (careful not to push out too much resin as it’s the strength). As a friend reminded me, the boards soak up some resin and when it hardens the wood with the resin in between becomes as one piece.

The router will simply follow the angle of the guides. I found that I would need to raise the boards in addition to changing the depth of the bit, but it worked.

As I said, the boat has taken over the house! These are for the 30’ 1×4s. They’re in the family room.

My garbage pail work horses (you’d be surprised how often those pails do this kind of work for me), were not enough for a 16’ board. Fortunately, I had help. :-)

Using the belt sander to even out the job. I didn’t use this too much on the 1×4s, but because the rig was small, I didn’t want to risk accidentally slipping at the top of the 2×8s. Also, I wasn’t too concerned about a perfect edge. Thickened epoxy will fill it in nicely.

No photo of the resined joint. Sorry.

1 comment so far

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682 posts in 2083 days

#1 posted 04-30-2017 12:16 PM

The scarf looks great, this is end grain joints so watch out for dry joints. I had a few that were too dry and the joint failed.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

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