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DIY drift boat and dory buildingDIY boat building happens here using any combination of plywood fiberglass and aluminum.
Honky Dory -- Grand Canyon
Ten year old Dayak at Joe-hutch--May 2018
Styrofoam skillsWill I live long enough to build everything? I doubt it. But still. I might be able to work the wider, trolling-motorized SUP board in.
This is a guy making a surf board but the skills and the tools would be much the same.
Two days laterI'll probably have to carve into at least one of those bulkheads when making room for passenger's feet. I'll keep those foot wells a good 12" inches off the floor, so they'll be easier to drain.
Deck DonutThe deck donut--now bottom side up, getting a bit of fiberglass reinforcement. The rest of the deck will hinge up and down onto this perimeter, over the seat wells and over a 2" inch thick foam gasket.
Bill fishThat's my buddy Bill yesterday, catching a small cutthroat on a home made bamboo fly rod. Bill gets $2500 each for his rods and his orders are a year out right now. This one's 5wt. Damn nice rod. It almost casts itself, and you can reach out to 60' feet if you want. No problem.
In late summer when the fishing is slow many resort to beetles and tiny hoppers. I like big hoppers, even in late summer. For streamers on the other hand, at least when it's bright and hot I like small. This one is tied on a #14 wet fly hook.
Homemade ScarferCut a piece of particle board 24" inches by 16" inches. Glue a 2x4 to one 24" inch edge. Now angle the edge so a 7-1/4" inch saw bolted onto that angled edge almost but not quite cuts all the way through 1/2" plywood. For an 8-1/4" saw you can set to cut all the way through.
Here's the not obvious part: You have to be super careful and precise when mounting the saw. You want the saw absolutely dead parallel or you might even want to mount the saw ever so slightly not parallel so the front, leading edge of the blade is dead flush to the particle board edge while the rear tailing edge of the blade perhaps 1/5th the width of the blade away from the particle board.
If the saw ends up mounted not parallel to the particle board, so the leading edge of the blade is not dead flush the saw will gradually migrate downward as you cut, and eventually it will bind.
To scarf two four foot plywood edges together--to make a longer panel--put the plywood down on a firm flat surface a few feet up from the floor. Clamp a straight edge approximately 16" inches back (trial and error will give the exact measurment, which you can then remember) from the edge you want to cut. Now run the saw with the particle board foot pressed tightly against the straight edge. The massive weight of all that particle board keeps the saw from shaking. With a freshly sharpened blade you'll get a baby smooth cut.
This is a 7-1/4" inch saw, which are the most common. An 8-1/4" saw is a bit better suited. I recently hacked an old 8-1/4" inch saw so it takes a 10" blade. The longer the blade the longer the scarf. And the longer the scarf the stronger the scarf.
Belt SanderBelt sander finally got useful. I need to rebuild the frame so I can sand curved parts with the front end of the sander. Today was a tool building day. Scarfer comes next.
Cardboard deck rimThe cardboard might not be strong enough.
I might have to replace it with plywood and fiberglass. We'll see. This (the cardboard pattern) is the outer rim of a two or maybe three part deck. The inner deck section(s) will bolt down onto the perimeter rim over a 1" inch thick foam gasket, so wave crashing can't swamp the boat and sink it.
The whole inner section(s) will hinge up and down (in one or maybe two parts) so you can store coolers and camping gear below, without having to fight with a rabbit warren of hatch covers that are never big enough. Most of the visible cross braces shown here are only temporary. Progress happens. Slowly.