Information on workshop and tools
Unit converter | tools
Small boats can be and have been built in basements, attics, garages, balconys, terraces, studys, in livingrooms and in a party tent in the garden.
An adequate workshop must have a few qualities. It must be large enough to permit you to move around the hull with tools and materials. The door or windows must be big enough and placed so you can get the completed kayak out. Measure – more than one builder can rant about embarrassing mistakes. There must be adequate light and power outlets for the machines you plan to use. It must be reasonably dry – stripping is best done with dry wood.
In wintertime some kind of heating is necessary. Epoxy does not cure in cold conditions. Down to some 10° C it is workable, if the epoxy and wooden surface is heated to 20° C or more prior to application. But below 15° C epoxy does not cure overnight, and may delay the continued work. At low temperature the epoxy tends to get rubbery and does not penetrate the wood surface. Furthermore a carbonization occurs in low temps (the amines in the hardener reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air), leaving a viscous smear on the surface decreasing the adhesion of coming epoxy coats. This will have to be washed off with warm water and detergent.
It is possible to build in an unheated shop, but it is not very efficient and it takes some ingenuity. A light tarp over the hull and a heater may be sufficient to use epoxy in 0° C. Some 60W lightbulbs attached under the strongback is another solution. But all heating arrangements involves fire hazards.
Sometimes one is confronted with odd measurements. Here are a couple of handy converters.
(If you do not close the converter it will stay within reach in the status bar)
You do not need a lot of fancy tools, but make sure those you use are good. Bad tools leads to bad work, bad temper, blood and bruises and a waste of time.
- Hand held circular saw to rip strips (can be rented if you do not see other uses than this) - or pay a carpenter to rip your boards.
- Saber saw to cut molds stems etc
- Staple gun (handling 14 mm staples) to hold the strips to the molds
- Electric drill and a set of drill bits
- A smoothing plane – sharp!
- A couple of cabinet scrapers – underestimated tools to work on epoxy
- A chisel or two
- Knife (preferably a sloyd knife)
- As many clamps as you can afford
- A tape measure
- A square and a level
- A screwdriver
- A hammer
- A back saw
- …and some nails, staples, screws, sand paper, brushes, etc
Tools, not necessary but nice to have
- A belt sander
- A router
- A small angle grinder with a rubber pad and a coarse fiber sanding disc to remove epoxy, rough shape wooden pieces. Handy also for making paddles.
According to old tradition there should be a comfortable chair in a corner of the shop: a moaning chair where you recover from the worst mistakes. Of course it is permissible to admire your work from it as well. A little while in the chair from time to time might also avoid the most common beginners mistake: starting a task without knowing how to finish.