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wire/plastic and spacers

Tor

Well-Known Member
I'm about to embark on my next project and this one is serious... :roll:

stitching

plastic - big holes
copper - little holes won't matter if you miss one - pricey?
galv wire - little holes - need to make sure you remove all of them

spacers

allow space for the epoxy to go prevents wood on wood contact (something for powerboats?)

I used plastic and spacers on my last(first) build, I'm going to use galv wire but I don't know whether to used spacers again, I'd like a smaller "gap" as this one's going to be finished clear and I want to minimise the visibility of the join. What difficulties am I going to encounter without using spacers or if using spacers whats the thinnest material anyone has used?

I'm building a Jemcraft South Wind and hope to start next week.

Thanks,

Tor
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
I don't use spacers , this way my boards are touching each other. This makes for a tight seam or junction between the boards which I like to have.
I would suggest using the copper wire for the stitching if you go that route , the copper is a lot easier to twist and there is a lot of twisting in stitching a boat together , plus there is just as much stitch removal but that goes fast with some wire cutters. By the way the copper wire (since it is softer ) will conform to the boat and not try to bite threw ( like a piece of wire threw a block of cheese) the wood like the other wire will.

I found one trick to make a really tight junction..... Take a stick (flat one ) and glue a piece of sandpaper to one side of it , when the boards are touching each other lightly sand ( only take one or two passes with the sandpaper) an angle on each boards edge so they meet up nice and flat together. It is angling one side to match the other.
Plus to glue the seams together all you need to do it to paint them with some epoxy or run a dental syringe along with a bead of epoxy over the seam.

As far as the 1/16 th inch holes for the 18 ga copper wire , they fill up when you do the epoxy saturation and especially when you glass the boat . I have never filled a hole with the intent of just filling holes.

Chuck.
 

JEM

Well-Known Member
The spacers are completely optional. Some builders like the control it gives you over the ply. But it does add some weight to the hull. The seam line is more noticeable as well. But sometimes a dark seam line looks good against a light wood.

I found them to be most useful when using wood that isn't the best quality. But you in the place of the spacers, you could use more stitches.

It's a trade-off.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,976
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I favor using stove pipe wire (steel wire without galvanizing), and no spacers. Copper wire is softer, and maybe kinder to the wood. But, sometimes I use the wire twist to bring the wood into shape. Copper has a lower tensile strength than steel and will pull apart easier. (Read here, that I'm ham fisted and need the stronger wire.)
 

gbinga

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2008
736
2
Hoschton, GA
You mentioned price on copper wire. I can't imagine it being significant. There just isn't that much wire involved in the job.

I actually used fishing line one time. Had some advantages, but all in all it was more trouble than it was worth.

GBinGA
 

Jimmy W

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2006
611
1
north georgia, USA
My first build, I used galvanized wire and spacers. Second boat, I didn't use the spacers and used stainless steel aircraft safety wire. The safety wire works good if you happen to have it on hand. :) I'm with Chuck, I don't worry about filling the little holes they just take care of themselves when you do the saturating and glassing.

Which South Wind are you building?

Jimmy
 

Tor

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys,

I'm building the 15 foot South wind, should be a lot of fun.

Chuck, I like that idea of the sandpaper, how do you get the epoxy in the gap if it's a tight fit?

Other than boat building suppliers where the hell do ya get copper wire from (I don't fancy stripping cable) - might need an Aussie to answer that?! I'd like to avoid cutting into the wood so the copper wire seems like a good idea.

Tor
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,976
168
84
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Tor, Epoxy is a natural gap filler by itself. It will run into a gap, and soak into the wood. You'd have to have very solid connection that was probably 1/4" or wider to prevent epoxy from seeping and soaking the entire joint.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,417
109
78
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
I get the copper wire at the local hardware store , they have pre packaged and measured coils ( 25 feet) of it. 18 ga works really good and I cut them into 3 to 4 inch pieces to do the stitching with , normally it takes about 3 rolls to do a boat. I stitch the panels at about 6 inches apart on each stitch.
Unless I get a section that does not want to cooperate with me and then they are closer together.

As Jack said , the epoxy runs into the joints and soaks into the wood. :D

Chuck.
 

gbinga

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2008
736
2
Hoschton, GA
Tor said:
Other than boat building suppliers where the hell do ya get copper wire from (I don't fancy stripping cable) - might need an Aussie to answer that?! I'd like to avoid cutting into the wood so the copper wire seems like a good idea.

Tor
Arts and craft stores, hardware stores... here in the states electricians use quite a bit of bare copper wire for grounding purposes when wiring houses and such - I always see pieces laying around the floor when they are working - so a really big electrical supply house would probably have it.

Armature wire would be another option. People who rebuild moters and generators have to have a source.

Where we live you can get the little plastic spools at hardware stores and home centers like Chuck was talking about. That's what I've always done also.

GBinGA