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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Laying Out and Cutting Out the Bottom

I glued my sheets of Plascore together yesterday, the epoxy is set up so the next step is to layout the bottom. use a flexible batten to draw the curves and then cut the bottom out.

Easy enough, Right?

I've purchased plans for the Kingfisher from Cajune Boats, Along with the plans came a handy layout for the bottom. It goes something like.

  • First draw a center-line down the length of the two Plascore sheets. I set a string line the whole length and then transferred marks onto the Plascore sheets and then used a straight edge to draw a pencil line down the center.
  • Once the center line was established I marked the sheets every 12 inches from one end to the other end. approximately 14'. I placed marks on both edges and used a straight edge to draw reference lines across the sheets perpendicular to the center line. 
  • Once these lines were drawn they were marked a,b,c,d, and so on.
  • The lines marked perpendicular to the center line will be the offset lines. A table was provided with the plans with the offset distances. These offsets are measured both ways from the center line.
  • I used a metal ruler to measure the offsets.
  • Once they were marked I placed finish nails through the Plascore and into the plywood table underneath. These will be the reference marks to draw the outline of the bottom.
  • I next selected a piece of straight grained 1x vertical grain Douglas Fir and ripped a batten that was approximately 1/4" thick. I used this to bend around the finish nails to draw the shape of the drift boat bottom.
  • The coordinates provided were close but needed to be fine tuned to get a fair curve.
  • Once one side was adjusted and laid out and the outside line was drawn, I transferred the adjusted offsets to the other side so each side was the same.
  • Once both sides were laid out all I had to do was cut it. 
  • I used a Skilsaw with a sharp carbide blade. I set the bevel of the saw to 25 degrees. I cut the line in a direction so the cut was the "Short Point" of the bevel on the top of the sheet.
  • I placed spacers under the Plascore to lift it off the table about 3/4". The depth of the blade was set about at about 7/8" deep.
  • How did it cut? I was hoping that the saw blade would not heat up the Plascore and make a melted mess. It didn't melt or burn in fact it cut like butter.

Construction Photos

This photo shows the 1/4" thick batten used to layout the curve at the rear of the bottom. 

This shows the finish nail on the reference mark with the batten lightly clamped in position. In the photo above you can see the clamps on at each coordinate of the layout.

Here is the bow section laid out

Next Up - Laying Down the Kevlar and Fiberglass on the bottom.

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.