Sunday, May 7, 2017

Bottoms up!

I recently got the bottom cut and fit on the Pirogue. It was quite a fun process to see the woodworking wrap up on this project. I traced the sides down to the bottom and cut it wide. Then after getting it attached I sanded everything tight and got ready for epoxy and fiberglass.

First I added the gunwales along the top

rear view with gunwales

Then added outside chines along the bottom. Those didn't glue up quite as well but did eventually sand smooth

The bottom cutout required a butt joint

My wife fell asleep back there

Initial dry fit

Bottom is attached!

All glued up and ready to sand
In my last post, the sides went up, but they didn't really attach to the stern very cleanly, so I'll have to sand that down later. I took a 1x8 white pine board and cut it up into 3/4" wide strips with angles to make the chines and gunwales next. They had to be attached first so I could get a final size for the bottom.

Tracing the bottom ended up being a two person job, I had to get one of the kids to trace it while I held down the curved bottom of the boat to the plywood. Hey, finally getting the kids involved! I traced the line a bit wide, then cut it even wider than that. Centered a 1x4 strap along the butt joint, glued and nailed it tight.

Attaching the bottom was straightforward. Glue and screws into the chine boards. I had to rack the frame a bit to make it fit the bottom exactly, hoping that won't cause any trouble in the finished product. After the final sanding on the bottom, it's time to finally bust out the epoxy! I'm only going to use fiberglass tape on the seams.

Epoxy & fiberglass marks the first part of the process that I'm really not familiar with. Curious to see how this sticky mess is going to turn out!