Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Outrigger Gluefest

Yesterday we walked into the warehouse and admired the results of our hard work. Two canoe hulls without tops or bottoms laid in front of us, well on their way to completion. So did a pile of unfinished outriggers (amas) that still needed a ton of work before we could even begin the final shaping. Since we only had a few hours to spare (this was the day after Christmas, mind you,) we decided to try and laminate the last set of foam sheets onto the outriggers and call it a day. By carefully cutting up the last of the scrap 3" foam remaining from the previous outrigger work, we managed to add enough foam to create the desired contour - without using any of the 1" foam we had already purchased. This stuff is expensive - the 3" foam costs about $43 a sheet, while 1" costs about $17.

To get the desired 1" of foam we needed on either side of the existing foam-over-plywood outriggers, we ripped the scrap foam on the table saw. This was fast and effective, leaving us with straight 'planks' of foam that we could easily glue in place. The only downside to this kind of cutting is the ultrafine, static-generating pink dust that can easily make a room filling cloud. It sticks in your body hair and eyelashes. We taped cardboard around the legs of our saw and rigged a shop-vac as a dust collector. Otherwise, the dust that coated the table saw controls would have coated the room...

With more polyurethane (off brand Gorilla) glue, we adhered these last sections. Each side of the outriggers got another 4 foam segments. With plenty of masking tape and weight, we laid up one side and went to lunch. After consuming about a pound and a half of tuna, a jar of pickle relish, a small box of alfalfa sprouts, and four fresh sandwich rolls ($9), we flipped them over and glued the other side. Here's one last shot of the drying amas...

With luck we'll begin shaping before the week is out! Thanks for watching us!

Matt Hazard

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