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Fitting a Cockpit Recesss


 There are a variety of ways to install a recess around a cockpit. Some people like to install the recess first and then fit the strips to the existing shape. I have found it is more efficient and the results are better if I strip the deck first and then cut a hole to accept the recess.

In this video I have already cut the hole. I did this by transferring the recess pattern from the plans to the deck of the kayak. Note that the microBootlegger does not normally have a recess so this pattern is not included in the plans. In this case I chose to include a recess at each and to the cockpit. I carefully traced the outline, cut it with a jigsaw and then cleaned up the edge with a plane and or sandpaper. In this case I then edged this hole with some thin strips of wood for accents. 

I then glued up a flat panel of strips a bit oversized for the space I needed to fill. When the glue was dry I placed this panel over the hole and scribed the shape on to the underside of the panel with a sharp pencil.

I trimmed close to this line with the bandsaw. Then comes the exercize of trimming the edge to a tight fit with the hole. You can use a sharp plane, sandpaper or a wood rasp. I prefer the plane because it produces a precise edge where sanding tends to round over the corners a bit. The plan needs to be good and sharp. If you haven't sharpened it today, take the time to do so.

Work efficiently and deliberately. The goal is to make a tight joint all the way around. This is accomplished by removing the high spots. Look for places where the fit is tighter than the surrounding seam. This is a task of increments. Remove a bit of material, check the fit, remove a little more. Look for the largest bumps and remove them first, then slowly work your way around the whole perimeter.

Note that the recess tapers from the sides to the ends. To get the seam tight at the ends you will need to remove a material from the sides. If you remove too much from the end somewhere, you can slide the whole piece in closer by removing from the sides.