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Stripping the deck of the Night Heron kayak using Cove and Bead cedar strips


Sheer Strips

Like the hull, I used strips taped to the bottom of a bench plane to make consistent width strips with the bead removed. These strips were then beveled to create a tight joint with the sheer strips on the hull. At the ends the sheer strips need to be tapered to meet each other at a nice point.

Center Line

I want an accent line down the center line of the boat. I cut a 1/16" wide strip of Alaskan yellow cedar. This thin strip can be hard to handle on the forms so I pre-glued the accent to the side of one of the center strips. There are two center strips, one for each side of the center line. I pre-beveled these strips before installing the accent and then just chose one side to attach the accent to.

I applied a little glue on the accent strip and then pressed it to the wider western red cedar strip. The tackiness of the glue is often enough to hold the accent in place without clamps, but I added some tape as insurance.

When the glue had dried I tapered the ends of the strips to fit into the ends with the sheer strips. I slightly tapered the backside of the accent so it would center itself between the sheer strips.

The Cockpit Area

If it weren't for the change in height from front to back of the cockpit, stripping the deck would just be a matter of fitting more and more strips. The change in elevation creates a lot of twist along the sides. Making the strips stay in place and tight can be tricky. The twist tries to peel the bead out of the cove. By introducing some twist into the strip prior to installing them makes life easier.

I heat the strip with a hot clothes iron, but a heat gun works also. A little water on the wood promotes heat transfer to speed up the heating of the wood. The wood will bend because it is hot, it does not need to be wet. I twist while heating.

I am using a "side herringbone" pattern on the deck, where on strip gets installed next to the sheer, the next parallel to the centerline, followed by parallel to the sheer, etc... The strips parallel to the centerline are easy because only one end needs to be fitted, the other end gets cut off in the cockpit area.

The strips parallel to the sheer need to be fitted at both ends. Like the hull, I'm doing it the easy way. I fit the ends of two separate strips and then cut them to length somewhere between the ends.

I only need to add strips parallel to the sheer until the edge of the cockpit area has been acheived. From there on its just fitting the ends and cutting them to cover as far as the cockpit area.