After glueing up the thwart and floor boards it was time to finish the wooden frame. I used 3 coats of clear gloss rust-oleum spar varnish, and plan to use the same finish on the fabric skin. Applying the finish took much longer than I expect. It was tricky getting the finish around all of the sides of all the ribs and stringers. I used a small foam brush; it probably would have been easier to spray on the finish.
Criss-crossing the frame with kevlar roving was straightforward. This stuff is a bit difficult to source, I ended up getting it on ebay. The plans called for 300 feet of it but I used less than a third of that.
Putting on the skin was not as difficult as I thought. I used 8oz polyester from George Dyson. It laid on pretty well right from the start, and only needed minimal shrinking to fit. This was good because this fabric doesn’t actually shrink that much at all.
Using the heat-n-bond tape to hold the fabric in place gave me some trouble. This stuff just isn’t very strong. It’s like light duty hot glue. I’ve had to go over spots here and there around the gunwales repeatedly to keep it in place. Here’s the finger overlaps on the stem.
And lastly a bias cut double strip on the stem for extra strength and protection.
After the skin was all in place I went over it with an iron at 315º and then with a heat gun. I did test a melt test on some scrap and had to hold the heat-gun in one spot for several seconds before it started to melt.
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