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Questions Re A Laughing Loon Wee Two And Strippers In General

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by Pantry3cow, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Pantry3cow

    Pantry3cow Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I've ordered the plans for this canoe but have some questions that I'm sure some of you will have opinions on.
    The manufacturer suggests 3/16th thick strips vrs. 1/4" ? Should I add stems bow and stern? If I use staples will they be visible after glassing? Has anybody built one and what are your comments or feelings about it. My plan is for it to be a solo paddler, being paddled like a kayak. Being a few biscuits under 300 should I add a foot to this boat? Can I add a strip or two to increase the depth? the boat plans show it to be 12'6"x 30" 10"
    I'd like to hear the opinions and comments
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Regarding your design questions, I would contact Rob Macks at Laughing Loon and ask him directly.

    Regarding staple construction, You remove the staples prior to glassing, so you won't see them. You will see the little holes the staple legs make. Some folks don't care - they aren't all that obvious. Otherwise, search for staple-less construction techniques.
  3. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    3/16" strips always worked just fine for us, as did stem-less construction. Stapling is usually done at the forms with one leg of the staple in one strip and the other leg in the next strip, straddling the joint. Yes, they show, but it's not a big deal. In the spaces between the forms it is also common to run a line of short-legged staples to keep the strips aligned to each other. These don't go all the way through, but just keep the strips tightly together. If you can find one, some staple gun manufacturers make a small stapler at the bottom of their product line. which shoots staples with skinny round legs, similar to office staples. The one I have is an old Bostich T-11 "Tackler" model. For staple lines between forms, these tiny staples make holes which almost disappear during glassing.

    When stapling between the forms you back up the strips with your hand. For this reason, it is important to be sure you have the short staple gun in your hand, not the long staple gun (don't ask me how I know this).
  4. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    If you look carefully you can see the vertical lines of staple holes on this boat. It was a drift boat with flat sides, so it also got some small stiffening ribs on the inside. These were nailed in with ring nails before the outside was glassed, so it also has the rows of nail heads, which you wouldn't have on a canoe. It was also somewhat heavier fiberglass than a canoe has and in the bright sunlight you can see some faint shadows from the fiberglass yarns in a weave pattern.

  5. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Sounds like you should get/read 1 or 2 of the books written on how to build a stripper.
    Just having the plans doesn't show/tell you how.

  6. OP

    Pantry3cow Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the info. I feel the more I can ask the more I will learn. I've bought all the books and have read most of them. I've watched endless videos. I'm almost to the point of info overload. I will have the books and the computer in the garage as I go and can't wait.
  7. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    The below are all design decisions that you as the builder need to make, ideally before you do anything.
    Reading the books should give examples and guidance for your decisions.
    Also recognize that building method/technique is somewhat regional. (east coast is B&C and w/stems, midwest is often square cut/beveled and no stems.)


    Do I use Bead&Cove strips or square cut and a rolling bevel?
    Do I use blushing resin or non-blushing resin
    What glass schedule should I use? ie, weight and weave type of glass, how many layers of glass and where are they?
    3/16th thick strips vs. 1/4?
    Should I add (include) stems bow and stern?
    Do I use staples (or go stapleless) will they be visible after glassing?
    I add a foot to this boat?
    Can I add a strip or two to increase the depth?
  8. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I'm always curious about the so called "rolling bevel" part, and how much experience with it the folks mentioning it actually have. Back when I started stripping kayaks and canoes nobody had developed the bead and cove method yet. In fact, much of the other strip prep stuff wasn't usually done either - like thickness sanding or planning strips before using them. Perhaps much of this is due to the fact that most of the folks building strippers back then were doing it for money, where today most are built by home builders who can take years to produce a canoe if they want to.

    In any case it will depend a bit on which stripping pattern you use, but it is entirely possible to build a canoe with a fairly complex shape using square edged strips and to only need to bevel a couple of strips on the boat. Total beveling time on most of the strippers we built was maybe half an our or less, tops. It's really not difficult and the end result will still have tight joints without any gaps.

    This is a regular, but fairly heavy-duty strip canoe under the paint job (1/4" thick side strips, 5/16" bottom strips, all square-edged and 10 oz. fiberglass inside and out. On this entire canoe there are only two strips which were beveled, and they were only beveled toward the ends. The idea that some people have that either they have to use bead and cove strips, or they'll have to sit there beveling the edges of most of the strips by hand, one by one, in order to get a tight hull simply isn't reality.


  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I can't speak for others but I did it because that's how it was taught here in MN. I've only built 3 strippers and used it on all three.
    (I didn't have the patience to wait to B&C the strips.)
    How many and where to bevel depends on the shape of the hull and the stripping pattern. In my case, very few were NOT beveled at least a little bit.
    Most got just a very light bevel to account for a curve of the hull, and when they went over the chine, they got a heavy bevel.
    It didn't take much and was easy. I had/have a strip holder that I added a groove to that the strip would sit in. And I would make pencil marks on the mating surface to tell/judge much I was taking off. And then I could "sneak up" on the right bevel.
    I will say that my 1st was tighter and as number 2 and 3 progressed, I got less fussy about the bevel, so on the 2ed there are a couple places light shows through.

    I will say I used full length strips and stapleless, with inner and outer stems, so on a good night I could put on 4 strips max, most nights it was 2 strips, 1 per side.
    My construction was kind of a mix of midwest and east coast styles.

    Also note that back then, IIRC the only building books out there was Gilpatrick and MCA Building book, neither of which promoted a highly finished boat.
    Also note the MCA folks started building strippers in the late 50's and were not interested in aesthetics, they were just trying to build fast racing canoes.
    The story goes that when Gene Jenson, Ketter and the others built their 1 st, they only glassed the outside. Made for a very delicate canoe. :)

  10. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Lots of beveling on this one........ four strips. :)


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