Petrel Play SG Build - Filleting Finesse - E11

In this segment of the Guillemot Kayaks Workshop, Nick Schade, accompanied by Bill, delves into the critical stages of filleting in the kayak-building process. The duo showcases the meticulous use of a piping bag for applying filleting mix, aiming for consistent width and thickness across various parts of the kayak. The hosts employ a hands-on approach, exploring challenges such as sparse areas in fillets and demonstrating techniques to fill gaps for a smoother and more even finish.

Nick underscores the importance of a well-defined white line on the edges of fillets, providing a visual guide for effective cleanup. The hosts tackle common issues associated with tool selection, radii preferences, application angles, and the appropriate pressure required to achieve optimal fillet shapes. Insightful discussions unfold, shedding light on pitfalls and offering solutions to overcome them.

Throughout the workshop, the hosts provide valuable insights into the intricacies of filleting, including tool selection based on surface characteristics and the art of maintaining consistency across fillet shapes. Nick encourages viewers to experiment with different building methods, emphasizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and that individual preferences and styles play a role in the process.

Hey, welcome back to the Guillemot Kayaks Workshop. I'm Nick Schade, and Bill and I are working on building the Petrel Play SG Stitch and Glue sea kayak kit from Chesapeake Light Craft. This is a kayak I designed; you may have seen my series on building the Petrel Play, which is a strip-built boat.

This is the exact same design; however, the construction method is different. In that boat, we built the boat out of strips of Western red cedar, whereas this kit is 4 millimeter plywood, and Chesapeake Light Craft pre-cuts all the panels to the specific shapes they need to be so the geometry works out and makes the shape of the boat that I designed. So far in the series, we've done an unboxing, we've assembled the hull, we've filleted and fiberglassed the inside of the hull, and we are currently working on the deck.

In the last episode, we finished up stitching up the deck, and in this episode, we'll remove the wires, then fill it, and in the next episode, we will go ahead and fiberglass the inside of the deck. So, we are filling the inside of the deck in this episode; that will be the primary task. Back in one of the early episodes—episode 4, something, I believe—we did the filling on the inside of the deck. I'm going to spend a little bit more time with Bill on sort of making good quality fillets. When we worked on the hull, I was more concentrated in just sort of getting that done. In this case, I decided to slow it down a little bit and really delve into the fillets with a little bit more detail. So, I hope you find this useful.

So again, this episode is actually the last part of one day where previously we assembled the deck, putting in the wires and stitching things up, and I think we did the spot welding in the previous episode. This day was actually at least a month ago, and I am having trouble. I could go back and look at the previous videos and figure out what we did this day. It's important to note that we're on episode 10 or 11 here, and we're only on the fourth day or so. So even though there's a lot of episodes and it looks like it's a really long, drawn out project, it's really going very quickly. If you compare it to my strip-built projects, to get this far on the strip-built project would take several weeks of actual in-the-shop work, where here, it's several days of in-the-shop work and then weeks and weeks of me editing it down into reasonable size episodes. So most of the time I've spent on this series has actually been sitting at my desk in front of the computer editing. I've spent much less time working on the boat than I have on editing the videos.

My reason for spending that time is my goal on this whole series is a deep dive into the process of building this boat. My previous videos have all been just documenting what I'm doing for somebody else. In this case, what I'm doing is for you guys to see the process and for people who want to build a stitch-and-glue boat. This will provide a really in-depth look into the whole process and really delve into each step of the process in a lot more detail than I have in my previous videos with the strip-built boats. While those videos I hope are instructional, they don't really go into the amount of detail I'm going to in this series of videos. So, enough of me talking, let's get straight to the building and get back to where we left off in the previous episode.

Let's go ahead and just pull the wires out, and that's just a matter of clipping and pulling them out. If you see a place where things pop apart because you haven't spot welded it sufficiently, take care of it now. Do remember we want to leave these top wires into the forms in place. There is a wire here in the middle of form four and form three here; we'll keep that wire in as well. The wires into the forms, we leave in place. This is a situation where I might go to a time lapse.

I've noticed that it is easy to cut the non-twisted side; trying to pull a twist through the hole is almost impossible, right? So you can see down here there's still a little bit of twist remaining in this part. This part bit should straighten right out even with the glass properly. Even with the glass, we're just going to have glass on the inside before we put the deck on, so the glass will not be out on the outside. It should be plenty flexible enough to deal with that. If not, well, we'll find out soon enough.

Okay, welcome back to The Guillemot Kayaks Workshop. We've just taken a break for lunch. The deck is all spot welded together. We did wiring and spot welding before lunch and now we are going to fill it, and we'll see if we get to glassing today. Let's see a couple of things that will happen before we fill it. We have some convex seams here with glue on the outside edge. There we're going to take and sand that back and give these corners a bit of a radius just so the glass is going to be able to get around that easily. We're going to do some more of that, then we'll dive into the filling before we do that. I got a care package from Chesapeake Light Craft, so we can do a little bit more look at what they've sent us and this is stuff that they have available for if you're doing boat building stuff. We've been using the CA glue all along. This is a CLC branded CA glue, cyanoacrylate basically it's super glue, along with the accelerant we've been using that all along. 

Filleting tools, different things that will fit into different sizes if you want a large radius fill it, use that one all the way down to a small radius. These are something if you're doing a lot of filling can really come in handy. They sell the squeegees, little plastic applicators, use this for cleaning up the fillets and spreading epoxy so if you need those they have that sort of stuff I'll try and put some links up over here someplace to these things to get them from CLC. The piping bags, that cake decorating bags that we use on the fillets, they sell this. They got admonished by CLC for using the hot dog rollers. 

They have these foam rollers that are really good. These are a little bit long for our use, so we end up cutting them in half with a band saw or whatever just to make a half length and so they have those along with the requisite roller frames. They sent a couple te-sweatshirts. If you need a sweatshirt, you got a sweatshirt. These are foam brushes so I don't use the foam brushes right away they'll be useful when we come to do varnishing. These foam brushes are really great for varnishing. The foam brushes, they're pretty cheap, you can throw them out which I know it's wasteful but the amount of turpentine it takes to clean out a good quality brush probably makes up for the amount of plastic and a foam brush. Something I use a lot of is these chip brushes for spreading epoxy, so I think that's all in the care package here. 

So, you remember the process for filling, well we mix the epoxy and use that particular method, you use with one pump, one pump, yeah, rather than doing a bunch of pumps at once and then you have to thicken it with the wood flour, wood flour that was it all right. And that was just a kind of art to that just yeah, yeah so we'll have a little bit more chance to practice that and before we get to the fillets let's sand these corners, so it's the outside corners we're trying to put. A bit of a radius, get rid of some of the glue spooge out there and make sure that these any place we had the puzzle joints put together we've got a nice smooth surface on that. So all the way around the hatch hatches combing and the puzzle joints so you can be somewhat aggressive with that if we need sharper sandpaper. We can get it, you're not trying to remove any wood though, just the glass. 

Well you can you can you can round over the wood a bit, it's yeah it's okay to round that over. So I got 60 git on there here I don't know what's on there look like 80 or something so you want a bit of a radius on these corners the glass has got to go around that so it will take a little bit of sanding into the wood, so you have a bit of a radius there, so we doing the same here. Yep he yeah so my judge of if it's sanded is do I feel any sharp edges? Oh okay just running my hand over it so like this that feels a little sharp there and there's here there's a little bit of glues there bumpiness yeah and you know so having some good cor sandpaper can help in this sanding box and want a nice round over your reaction that you don't want to over sand is very common right and and part of the reason I use a fairly coarse sandpaper is to really do some damage quickly but there's no way you're going to sand through this in any reasonable amount of time yeah. So once we finish this is just vacuum it out get rid of all that dust and we'll look for wires caught down in the seam, how about these little things we have I'm not worried about yeah. 

So there's little tabs on the inside diameter of the hatch here those are will be dealt with later on we don't need to worry about those. So I had somebody comment about how rickety this cardboard workbench is and yeah I've got better work workbenches I could work on, I've got some table rolling tables over here I could roll out that are really good hard surfaces lots of people have lots of equipment that they can use but there's a lot of people that don't have a lot, don't have a big workbench and so part of my goal here was to show you don't need sophisticated stuff here a little bit of cardboard can work as a work surface and you know yeah it's a little bit rickety but when it's all covered with epoxy it won't bother me at all. 

Okay so we've got it all the dust cleaned out let's go ahead and mix up some epoxy, mix up the fillet mix and again we want it into consistency of some sort of soft peanut butter stiff enough to stay in place but soft enough to be something we can spread and so how much did you want to mix out a time to again let's start with small batches so like a/ inch at the bottom of this mixing cup of epoxy, make sure it comes all the way up it is slow to come up with it and just to remind people the drill with epoxy is one pump to one pump and these pumps are presumably calibrated so we got a good half-inch there now all right you've matched your pump for pump yeah yep so you were starting on the red pump and finishing on the blue pump yep okay excellent so again just to remind people we want to fully mix the epoxy before adding the wood flour you said it's about a minute they recommend yeah a minute, it's a good amount of time, good vigorous stirring wipe down the sides, dig into the corners yeah good yeah it's probably good. 

Probably want some gloves on also and then we want the wood flour, wood flour again you can get this from CLC if you need it start with a couple yeah start with a couple, see how it goes and there is an art to how much you want so start conservative and mix in a little bit at a time until you get what you want you don't want to spend too much time with the mixing just because the stuff is starting to cure but you have time especially in a cold shop like this start low and go slow that's still pretty thin yeah very thin we're still not even at the honey stage almost there but not quite yeah it's getting close it still has some gloss to it and still falls off the stirring stick but it's getting close yeah I forgot what you that was one of the key things last time was the gloss going off yeah you know it still flows but it doesn't just pour off of there so that's good, we've got one of the pastry bags from Chesapeake Light Craft here 

Again I like to put it down into a cup get the edges pulled down that way you don't get smoo all over the edges of that and now transfer the Schmutz into that take it out of the cup and get it down into the bag and then you want a quarter inch tip on it and you know if you cut it small you can look at how much you're getting out of it and decide whether it's good see you know that's probably a good size right there we are going to distribute this down all the seams piping mix onto the seams around the cockpit and half matches and we want to inject it into the seam a bit and then have enough that we can make a nice fillet on it and how long do you have to work with this in your hot hand you know 10 to 15 minutes and it depends again on temperature of your shop we probably have more here today that's good feel free to run the tip right into that groove get it right in there and you seem to be wanting to glide above everything yeah just go ahead and touch it you see this white line on either side yeah I do we want that okay yeah I think it's from doing house carpentry when I do caulking.

 I have a light touch yeah so we want this light spot here just we are eventually going to come by and clean up the excess here and if you don't have that white spot you don't know where the excess is ah okay you want that nice flat spot there just like that yeah beautiful and you say you want to you like to try to do it in one continuous motion let's look at that fillet there how's that compare to like this fillet here it has much less volume yeah and so I think that is sufficient but I'd like it a little bit wider so how do you make it wider by making this thicker no no no that's just going to make that stuff thicker it's not going to the geometry of your oh okay oh I see what you saying I'm using this the diameter of this is just too small yeah so the diameter of this tool versus the diameter of this that's what's controlling how wide that fillet is there try going back there and with that same don't do anything just use that same tool and go back over the same thing again see what that looks like it's not changing it cuz it's not hitting it but it's taking some of that excess that was squeezed out the side and now continue on Down the Line 

Now it's making a better feel all right now what happens now it's too small all right so the radius of that is too small in this area and so it's not reaching down to the fillet so now try the smaller tool see how that goes there we go now we're ready ready to go back up to the big one I guess hey give it a try little too soon huh possibly but you know that's a nice looking fillet right now all right so now we're getting into this tight section again let's say you only have one tool the radius of that a affects how wide your fillet is here what can you do to change the apparent radius of the tool as you're drawing that out let's say you have a small radius you want it it to act like it was a larger radius what Would You Do by the different angles you hold it at right you can affect the radius exactly yeah so if you're holding it like this you get the true radius of the tool where if you hold it like this it's as if the radius is a lot larger so that's one way you can adjust things as you go to maintain a nice looking fillet there probably want to go back to the big one eh I'll wipe by see what happens with it and it looks like it cleaned it up nice oh this is tricky but so what what do you think about all this up there I think it's okay yeah that's good it's perfect we want to fill that in and get a nice smooth surface in there so that's ideal okay cool now what about like right in here that's all good yeah I I'm actually going to have you later on fill this in even more okay because we talked about some of the cracks under here when we were spot welding this together and on my prototype boat I have sort of a big finger notch on the side of this when it's right side up to help let the water drain out of this cavity and I make that by having a big fillet here and then sanding deeply into that fillet I see okay now I've noticed that along here we do have some Thin spots where the fillet is thin why what do you do about going back over that let's find an example all right there was one here so we have a place in here where there wasn't quite enough of the Schmutz to to create a good fillet there you could come back in with your glopped up tool and try and get some in there but this isn't a very good tool for precisely dispensing something and that cleans it up okay but I find it a lot easier to instead of trying to smear it in with a big spatula or something to just next time you have the piping bag full of material pipe in a little bit there and come back and go over it again the the thing you do want to also be aware of is this will not have nice results where you're trying to push at it we want to take and make a nice scrape over the whole thing and that'll make it nice and smooth so when we were doing the hull we came by and wiped it down with alcohol on our the finger of our glove that works but it's another step that if we can avoid that step by laying down a good fillet initially we won't need to do time saer yep all right so I'd say we could mix up another smaller batch we still have the back hatch the combing and the front hatch to deal with that won't take as much as we've used already but another small batch would be good yeah we can always mix up more epoxy but it's just a waste of it if we mix too much so you got epoxy on my floor you bastard oh no fired so Bill just added the wood flour to the unmixed hardener and resin that's you know it's a easy thing to do and you would think it's not that big a deal but there's the potential that You' got one grain of wood flour that falls in the hardener another grain of wood flour that falls in the resin and they soak up a little bit of each that means that when those two grains of wood flour meet each other they the material that they contain doesn't fully mix together so you really want to fully mix the resin and hardener before you add the wood flour so in this case we'll do what Bill just did toss that one away mix up a little bit more right after I did it I was like that's a very useful thing for me to be able to put in the video yeah cuz I can see I would be tempted to use that yeah I would be yeah and you know frankly it's probably okay right but is it worth it right why risk it yeah that's a very useful thing for me to be able to put in the video yeah because I can see I would be tempted to use that yeah I would be yeah and you know frankly it's probably okay right but is it worth it right why risk it. So about the same amount of material you want here is on the side yeah you know we're trying to create the same kind of fillet. Okay find it easy if I pull it towards me watch the bag doesn't mess up your fillets and how much is it going to take to fill that up not much yeah all right and now we still have some left in there and again, I'd like to make a nice finger hole here. I'm going to put a big amount there, both sides, both sides. Well, it doesn't have to be. This is... you don't need to do this at all, but you like it. It's a thing that you can do and then shape that into, see maybe with... I don't want so much in there that it just weighs a lot, but I would like enough in there that I can sand right down into it. How big a hole are you making? What would you say about the size of your finger? Yeah, you know, it might be sort of the size of the end of the stick in diameter, something like that. So make that nice smooth shape there and likewise on the other side. And, you know, it helps that drain out of there. You might work on that a little bit more, but yeah, let it stiffen up a little bit. So we've got the beads of material we just laid down that we want to shape. So probably on here it's a nice flat one, so we want the large... probably large, yeah, it... yeah, it's not going to leave much, so such a shallow angle. Beautiful. So, I started this with the big one, but it is apparently too big. Yeah, that's a pretty big fillet in there. Try, try the smaller one. That's beautiful looking. So if the fillet's like the quarter inch to a half inch wide, I think that's going to be pretty good for most kayaks, other boats, bigger boats, you want a bigger fillet, but lightweight Bol like this, that's probably plenty. All right, that looks nice.

Here we have a little bit of a spot where it's a little sparse. I'm going to just take and pipe in a little bit there and the bill goes through with that larger radius tool there, thing of beauty. So, there's a spot right by Bill's finger that's a little sparse. It doesn't look bad, that would probably be fine, but we can just put a little bit in.

Touching up Missed Spots: There and you see how he lifts up the tool, W's moving to make a nice smooth edge to it. And the last one we have to do is this same back here, transition doesn't look so great. Why takes a little practice? So now we want to take this squeeze out, so again, if we have a nice bright spot between the fillet and the excess, we can run the edge of our squeegee right down along that line. And so we angle the squeegee so it's lifting up like a plow, taking the stuff away from the fillet and running the corner right down in that light spot. And now we have a nice clean fillet there. So, you see, we're getting rid of all that excess stuff. And by having that light spot in between, we've got a wide place in order to run the corner of the squeegee. We don't need to come anywhere near the good fillet itself as we're taking out that excess. Beautiful. So some of this is pretty clean already, actually. Yeah, and you can get with experience, you get calibrated in how much you need to lay down into the seam with the Piping Bag so you don't end up with any squeeze out when you're done. Yeah, I can see how you could get accustomed to how much you need. It's just a matter of the angle, where the angles come together.

So you see what was going on in that section there? I dug into the fillet. Why was it hard to not dig into? There was no white space, right? You, so the pressure as you went by there was not enough to really press the filling tool down against both surfaces, so you didn't leave that light stripe that you want. And you'll fix that with alcohol on your finger. Well, we could just, it's pliable enough, yeah. We could just come by here, make a second pass and see what that does. Simple. So here we have that situation where that bright line on the side of the fillet sort of disappears because there wasn't enough pressure on the tool, so we'll come back and run it again. Oh, yeah, about the pressure. Yeah. And so now nice smooth continuous curve there and we have that bright line to clean up. You can just go right around it. Beautiful. Nice. Nice. Look at that thing of beauty. It is, you know, if you do need to come back and put some more in someplace, it's permitted.

Oops for tight spots, a little plastic tool like this or a tongue depressor with square end can get into some of those tighter spots where it's a little harder to reach in with the spatula. So the reason we want this so smooth on the edges is so the fiberglass will lay down nice and flat, right? Yeah, and I think today we'll call it a day before we put the fiberglass on. It's just getting late and we're going to be tired. Let's do the fiberglassing while we're fresh. If we went ahead right now with the fiberglass, the fillet's still soft. Why and so we could lay that down and the fillet would conform to the fiberglass and the fiberglass would conform to the fillet and it would be nice and smooth fairly easily. We would need to be careful that we don't damage the fillet with a squeegee as we're scraping off excess, but if we let it Harden now, any little ripple in the fillet here, the fiberglass has to conform over, okay? So we'd like to make it so it's as smooth as possible, right? Otherwise, we might have to sand away at that to make it smoother. Why we're going to have to sand anyways, just to take some of the gloss off and get a little bit of a mechanical bond with the epoxy to the existing fillet. I think it's worth going through that process so people see what that's like as opposed to what we did in the hull where we just laid it directly in. We'll do a final cleanup and I think we'll do a little bit with the denatured alcohol just if there's any lumps that are hard to get rid of with the squeegee, we can come in with the alcohol on the tip of our finger. And again, if we pull the glove tight, any sort of lumpy stuff we can blend in nicely with that wet finger. So in some of the tricky places to clean everything out, we'll get it all nice and smooth with the finger. Alright, so here we have some roughness in here. We could probably finesse that with the squeegee a little bit, but with a little alcohol on the finger, let's see what that looks like.

So that smooths it right out. You don't want too much pressure otherwise you'll just scrape all the stuff out of there and make other lumps. Yeah, you got to be kind of gentle with it. Yeah, we're just sort of smoothing it. We're not trying to drastically shape it. So that's the idea. Alright, so we want sort of a pile right here right about where that black mark is. Yeah, right at the widest point there

. We go. Yeah, and your finger needs to be a little bit wet in order for it to really do the thing. Yeah, that's starting to pull it out of there. Let's see. So make a pile there. So not doing a lot of pressure, just enough to sort of build it up, pile it up in there. Alright. And get rid of some of the goobers. Alright. So like goobers down in here, those were hard to get with the squeegee, so just wipe them out. That looks good. Yeah, yeah. And imagine the fiberglass laying on that, is there going to be pockets where it can't reach into or there be sort of lumps that it's going to have to bridge over? Yeah, that looks good. Alright. So then we'll just sort of do an inspection and any little thing that sticks up can be wiped down. There's some little gaps in these puzzle joints. I'm just going to put a little bit in there to F those.

So, today, we finished the stitching spot welded recap with the super glue and then came in with the fillets. I was thinking we might get to the fiberglassing today, but it's probably just as well we put that off to a separate day, let ourselves come in do that when we're a bit refreshed. Freshed and show you guys the difference between laying the glass in a wet fillet versus laying the glass on a dry fillet. It's not like it's a huge difference. You do have to do a little bit of sanding. Anything from today that struck you, Bill? Well, once again, with the wires putting a little kink in them to draw them close with the fillets, the whole process, I made the mistake with the putting the flour in before I mix the yeah, it's an easy mistake to make. You sort of get on auto mode and you know not, you know, you think okay, I got to get fillet, you got to get the wood flow in there and then you just do it before it's ready. And then with this, you know, using the different tools, last time we just had a spoon, this time we use the different radius tools and how you would use the larger ones for the flatter surface and the smaller ones for the more acute surfaces, you know, and then the angle of the blade can affect the radius of the and how much pressure you're putting down on the tool right. At first, I was being very soft touch and it wasn't laying it wasn't giving us the white stripes on either side because I was just laying it right down in the bead. But when you put that pressure on it spreads it and gives you the white stripes so you can remove it. And you know and that's sort of a to me the white stripes are actually kind of a side effect. We're trying to get it pressed into that gap right. And so by putting the pressure on to get it pushed into that gap, we're also ending up with the tool hard down against the material on either side so we're getting sort of it's hitting the tangent on that curve of the tool and then it happens to be the excess gets pushed farther out to the side and leaves that gap too. That makes it easier to clean up the mess. I didn't talk too much today about the technique of bending the tool to fit in there that it we could have done that. But you do need to be careful with that that you don't push pull out too much of the filling mix. So I think we're in a good place to do glassing in the next episode. One thing I'd like to remind people of right now we're building the Petrel Play SG. These techniques that we're using work for any Stitch and glue kayak or larger boat. You can use them if you're building a Dory or whatever as far as my designs go. The kits we have the Petrel Play I have a large Petrel Play that CLC makes a kit for and then there's the standard Petrel the 17t version. Those kits are all very much the same steps. They have the recess hatches and my instructions for this boat would be almost identical for those other boats and any other of my designs would have a lot of the same processes in them. My brother's designs the Shearwaters and the wood ducks from CLC, his process is a little bit different. They come out great. So just because I do it this way and my brother Eric does it a different way doesn't mean that mine's better which being the younger brother my way is always better but whatever. Work. CLC has a nice series on building one of their Chesapeake, I believe it is, um, one of their other designs with John Harris and he has his way of doing things and it's worthwhile to look at how different people do it and find you know what works for you and your style of work. I have my ways and other people do it differently. Don't think that because I said this is the way to do it that it's the only way to do it because there's lots of ways to do it. So again, we will be glassing in the next episode. If you're interested in seeing that hit notifications, you know, turn on the notifications, subscribe so you see all these videos. I've put together a playlist of this whole series you can see that hit like that helps the visibility of my videos which the more visibility they get more people that watch them better the return I get on my effort for making these videos. And if you want to directly support the production of these videos, my patreon site goes towards equipment and so forth for making these videos and all that stuff helps a lot. I do these to help you guys see the process and I hope it interests some of you in building a boat and if you want to build yourself a boat, CLC has the kits for this and a bunch of other designs. I have plans for this and a bunch of other designs and that's a great way to support me is by a set of plans or by a kit. So once again thanks for watching and happy paddling.