Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double (WDD) #7: Gluing the Puzzle Joints

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 06-05-2020 08:11 PM 439 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Surveying the Kit Part 7 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double (WDD) series Part 8: Beveling the Panel Edges »

CNC Routed Joints Rock!
I built two kayaks from plans in the mid-nineties. I scarf-jointed the panels and lofted the curves from offset measurements. It was neat to know I did it all myself, but it’s even neater to get on with it and crank out a kit boat in a short amount of time…getting it on the water.

Here’s a panel with the puzzle joints dry fitted. These joints are amazingly tight, but not too tight. Their design provides a lot of glue surface.

The back side of each joint has router fuzz. I sand this with 100 grit by hand. It comes off easily.

This is the same joint after sanding. The inside edges of these joints get painted with a thickened coat of epoxy prior to assembly. Then they’re fiberglassed.

The joint after fiberglassing. Notice there is a little chip missing on one of the ears. This is on the inside of the boat, plus I’m painting the entire boat flat hunter green…no need for the normal level of “fussiness” on this utility build. The fiberglass tape holds the two pieces together during hull and deck assembly. The whole panel will receive a layer of fiberglass during construction. What a time-saving process that allows the average hobbyist to build a beautiful, high-performance kayak.

Fixing a Mistake

I broke one joint on the coaming ring while sanding it. Super glue is your friend at times like this. I used gel glue to assemble the joint and then filled it further with medium. I shot accelerant on it to speed up the cure.

Here’s the joint after repair.

This is the same broken joint after fiberglassing. The coaming ring is fiberglassed and this broken joint won’t affect the final strength. Tonight, I’ll trim the excess fiberglass off with a razor blade. This is much easier before the epoxy reaches full cure. The panels will be cured enough for the next step in 24 hours.

Beveling the panel edges.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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