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Boat building table

3rdcoastkayak

Active Member
Mar 8, 2020
25
0
45
Abbeville, Louisiana
New guy question, but, I am about to embark on my first build, a Sabalo 12 SOT. I am not keen on the idea of building this thing on the floor. I have scrap ply and 2 x 4's, may have to pick up some screws/nails. What are some general heights, widths, and lengths do you guys like for a build platform? Are there any additions other than a table top, that you guys like to include on your tables? Or, do you just recommend I go at it on sawhorses? Thanks for the input.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,793
135
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Here’s what I did. One sheet of cheap plywood, ripped down the middle into two sheets 2’X8’. Mine is 3/8” thick, with a 6’ stiffener screwed, centered, along the bottom. The stiffeners are two, 6’ pieces of wooden banister. They have one side flattened, and are thick and strong.

I use 4ea wooden strips, 2” wide, 1” thick, and about 12” long as connectors. As I recall, they had been used in the garden, at ends of rows, with seed envelopes stuck on them, in a previous life. Don’t use wood screws. Use little machine screws with countersunk heads. Use them as little bolts, with washers and nuts on the underside of the plywood. Countersunk heads in from the topside, so your work surface is smooth.

When I wanted a large work surface, I connected the two pieces along their 8’ side, using all 4 slats underneath. When I wanted a long, narrow surface, I connected them at the 2’ ends.

Use 6-8 saw horses underneath as support. They have to be all the same height. At first, I tried to make my own sawhorses with 2X4s, and those steel attachment jaws. Never worked worth a tinkers’s dam. I bought the folding ones, and never looked back.

Other builders have different approaches that work well too.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,256
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
I did basically the same as Jack described but with a few differences.
I used 6 saw horses and two sheets of 4 x 8 , 1/2 inch thick plywood. I put 2x2's along the sides and then set the plywood on the horses with a 1 x 4 sheet of ply attached under the center junction of the 2 sheets.
What ever you do make sure the working surface is smooth.

Then I marked a line down the center( A chalk line does a good job ) of the plywood and then the center of each side of that line so the plywood was into quarter sections. This gave me a reference points on the plywood. ( The lines are good reference points if you have to have the ends of a panel at a distance above the center of the panel a certain distance below the ends ).

Next I covered the plywood with a clear , heavy duty , sheet of plastic. The plastic sheet was to stop any epoxy from coming into contact with the plywood since I did not want any parts of the boat to accidentally become a part of my work area.

Chuck.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
398
12
77
Central Kansas and Central Texas
Simple is better. I also bought the folding steel saw horses from lowes. They are uniform height and store easily if you need to take your table apart. I use three sawhorses with 4 10 foot 2x4s on edge, covered with plywood. Width depending on shop space. I have tables... one in Tx, one in Ks, one in La. The one in La at my daughter's stays in assembled against the shop wall made come apart.there is a pic here.

Looking forward to your pics.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
398
12
77
Central Kansas and Central Texas
I did basically the same as Jack described but with a few differences.
I used 6 saw horses and two sheets of 4 x 8 , 1/2 inch thick plywood. I put 2x2's along the sides and then set the plywood on the horses with a 1 x 4 sheet of ply attached under the center junction of the 2 sheets.
What ever you do make sure the working surface is smooth.

Then I marked a line down the center( A chalk line does a good job ) of the plywood and then the center of each side of that line so the plywood was into quarter sections. This gave me a reference points on the plywood. ( The lines are good reference points if you have to have the ends of a panel at a distance above the center of the panel a certain distance below the ends ).

Next I covered the plywood with a clear , heavy duty , sheet of plastic. The plastic sheet was to stop any epoxy from coming into contact with the plywood since I did not want any parts of the boat to accidentally become a part of my work area.

Chuck.
The plastic sheet is probably the most important advice of these table post. I have learned to even cut a few 2ft 3ft pieces to keep for small projects. I managed to epoxy a roller to my table once. Blamed it on old age....may have been the " works done" beer.
Y
 

3rdcoastkayak

Active Member
Mar 8, 2020
25
0
45
Abbeville, Louisiana
Thanks guys, sounds easy enough. I already have two of the folding horses mentioned so I may just pick up a couple more so it can be disassembled and stored. It will have a smooth top, a sturdy re-inforced underside, and definitely will be wrapped in plastic.
 

jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,167
19
South Louisiana
Another handy tip. Keep any supports back from the edge a couple of inches. Makes it much easier to clamp loose pieces to the table for laying out and cutting.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,793
135
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Our table designs sound very similar, but different. Kind of like the bow and arrow, that was invented in many places. The mathematical physics were the same, but the specific applications were different.
 

3rdcoastkayak

Active Member
Mar 8, 2020
25
0
45
Abbeville, Louisiana
Well it isn't much to look at but the table is built. Ended up leaving about 2 inches of plywood over hang of the 2 x 4 frame. Countersunk all the screws on top to keep it smooth. Ended up being a smidge over 11 feet since I had used a piece off of the sheet I had. Wrapped the whole thing with 2 mil plastic sheeting. MAY start laying the plans out tonight.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,793
135
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
OK, 3C, now you’re ready to start to work. BTW, a piece of waxed paper will serve to preventgluing your blat to your workbench in smaller areas.

i see your round, metal washtubs alongside the bench.That’s what I took a bath in as a kid.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,256
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Now that you are ready to start I like to tell everyone this little secret.

Don't get in a hurry , as you progress and it starts looking like a boat the tendency is to hurry up and get it on the water...Don't Hurry the process.
One other thing , if you study the pans about 3 steps ahead , after you know the 1st and 2nd you will understand the process a lot better. Sort of like the fingers are attached to the wrist bone , the wrist bone is attached to the elbow bone and so on. ;)
 

3rdcoastkayak

Active Member
Mar 8, 2020
25
0
45
Abbeville, Louisiana
I know the tubs you speak of, but those are actually galvanized trashcans only one of which is used for trash unless you ask my wife. She thinks they are both trash. The other holds small scraps of wood until I deem they are no longer usable. Most of what is visible in there is old cypress off of a torn down house. I used it to make rustic looking barn style closet doors, a bed, and night stands. Just can't part with those pieces yet since some would look great on the deck of this kayak! SS&G style, because why not make my first build harder?! Build thread to follow soon.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,793
135
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Well, I never took a bath in a trash can, even in Nam. And, I admire your love of the wood.
As Chuck advised, read the plans (not pans). I read them all the way through. Then read 3-4 steps ahead. It helps understanding.