Skin-on-Frame microBootlegger Sport - Cutting Frames and Stringers


Hi, I'm Nick Schade at Guillemot Kayaks. I'm continuing with part 2 of my Skin on Frame microBootlegger Sport Build. Today, I'm cutting parts.

After arranging the parts in Vectorworks, I exported a DXF and brought it into VCarve, the CAM program for my ShopBot. Here I generated tool paths and added tabs to secure the bits in place as the parts were cut.

On the ShopBot, I start by zeroing everything. First the X and Y axes by letting the tool find its limit switches, and then with a zeroing plate on the table. The tool senses when it touches the plate.

I then load up my plywood. My ShopBot has a 24 x 48" work surface, so I cut my plywood into quarters. A few screws in each corner secure the material in place.

I use a quarter inch down-cut carbide router bit to cut the parts. The down-cut action helps press the material in place. The router takes 2 passes to cut through the 9 mm plywood.

 Cutting the tabs that hold the parts gives me something to do while the machine works.

Digging a quarter inch wide slot into plywood makes a lot of dust very quickly. In this slow motion view you can see the tool pump out the chips and fling them around. I generally keep my dust collection boot in place to contain the mess.

The short, thin tabs are easily cut to remove the parts.

The coaming lip is cut from 4mm okoume.

My plan is to mount the coaming on a sill that will serve as the coaming recess. The perimeter gets punched full of holes for sewing on the skin.

After the frames have all been cut out, I round over all the edges that won't be touching a stringer. This will make the frames smoother to touch and help protect the edges.

Last spring I rough cut a bunch of cypress. I'll be using this material for the stringers. First I clean up one face.

I haven't got a big enough shop to keep all my tools in a place where I can deal with full length strips, so I need to move the required tools in and out for each task.

The side stringers are 1-1/2" wide by 3/8" so I rip one blank to width then split it in half.

I'm making all the other stringers 3/4" wide, so I just rip the rest of the stringers in half.

All the stringers are run through my thickness plane to bring them down to the correct dimension.

The CNC machine left a 1/8" radius on the inner corners of the frame stringer slots. Rounding over the corners of the stringers lets them fit easily in the slots, and eliminates the sharp edge inside the kayak.

With the stringers and frames all cut, I should be about ready to start assembling the kayak. I'll be working on that in the next episode of the series.

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Thanks for watching and happy paddling.

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Thanks for watching and happy paddling.