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Archive for 2016

Chesapeake Kayak: Almost done (video)

   


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 11 – Mark and Cut Holes

Okay! Progress is happening when I have spare time. I glued on the cowling around the opening, cut it to fit and sanded it smooth. The glue-up was a bit tricky…I didn’t have quite enough small clamps and had to use a bunch of big ones. I thought I took a picture, but I can’t find it! Then the hatch openings were marked and cut out:


Photography: Half Dome Side

 


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 10 – Top Coat

I used 4oz fiberglass on top, per the instructions in the kit. I was afraid I was going to run out of epoxy hardener, so I only glassed half of the boat at first. This is fine..since the glass is done in two pieces. I jumped over to West Marine in Santa Cruz and got some more of their epoxy that has a “clear” finish (i.e.: non-blushing). I got home and cut open my container to utilize the last bit, and managed to get enough out from the original MAS bottle to do the rest of my kayak’s first coat:... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 9 – Rounding the top and sanding

I’ve been busy having fun doing other things, so the kayak progress isn’t too fast. Yesterday I finished rounding off the corners of the top, and sanded through all the grits from 80 on up to 220. It is ready for some fiberglassing!


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 8 – Gluing the top on

The next big step in the kayak was to glue the top on. First you put a coat of unthickened epoxy on the bottom side of the top piece, and then use thickened (cab-o-sil) epoxy to glue it down to the top part. Using straps to secure it down in place helps form the curve while you nail it on. An action shot of me! Flip it upside down so the glue drips into the gaps, and fill in the edge gaps (there were quite a few…):     The next day it was dry. I flipped it right side up... [read more]


Photography: Half Dome from Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite, California

Half Dome from Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite, California     A grueling 9 mile hike from Yosemite Valley that is relentlessly straight up!   


Chesapeake 16 LT Kayak: Part 7: Planing the end clamps

The next step in my kayak building journey was to plane the end clamps. These need a specific radius that changes depending on where you are along the top of the boat. The kit includes two guides to assist with this. The fore deck of the boat has a 16” radius. The aft deck has….well, I’m not sure! The instructions say the 16LT should have a 60” radius, but the kit included a 49” radius. I emailed Chesapeake Light Craft and John H. got back to me quickly and said “it original was 24” in the demo boat, and then... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 6 – The bottom side glassing!

The next big step is to glass the hull bottom. I sanded down the putty with 80 grit, and then went through all the grades all over the kayak: 100/120/150/220.   You then cover it with the fiberglass and smooth it out by hand. The directions said you could smooth it out over the bow (the front — away from you in the picture below) of the boat without cutting it; I was a bit skeptical about this, but sure enough…you can pretty easily get it to smooth over the front of it.     The next part was smoothing over... [read more]


Photography: Cloud’s Rest Panoramic, Yosemite, CA

Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite, California. You hike from the Valley floor at just shy of 4,000’ up to 9,931’.       


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 5 – The bottom side

The kayak is still moving along! I’ve been a bit busy enjoying the outdoors: mountain biking (yeah on two wheels!), camping, and rock climbing.  The next part was to glass the interior middle section; there is some heavy duty fiberglass added to re-enforce the passenger area:   This area had two coats applied, just like the front and back sections. Then the boat was flipped over:   I cut off all the spikes pretty closely with wire cutters and used a dremel to grind them down a bit. They said you could just sand them down..but I figured that would... [read more]


Plug Bug: The bug is squished… I was rear ended!

It’s a sad day in electric-ville. I was driving the electric bug to work at about 6:45 am on Highway 85, trying to enjoy my morning commute by working on learning some Japanese words for an upcoming trip. Listing to to language stuff on audio is awesome, and I really enjoy learning new things. Now at this time there was already quite a bit of traffic, which I consider the plague of silicon valley, and it slowly came to a stop in the #2 lane. Yeah, that is CHP speak for the second lane from the left. Then I saw... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 4 – Leveling and Gluing Together

The kayak is starting to look like a real boat! First you have to level it, propped up on some sticks/sawhorses:   Then install the bulkheads:      And finally, start gluing it together with some epoxy/wood filler mix.    Things I’m learning as I go: I should have put the stitch holes a little closer together; this would have allowed me to use less filler; a smaller filler line (closer to ¾” wide instead of bigger than 1”) would weigh less.  Using tape to create smooth lines is pretty nice to do. The directions recommend this…but I practiced with... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 3 – Stitching

I got to the stitching part of the “stitch and glue” kayak build! It didn’t take very long….the kit was easy to work with.  I had to push my tablesaw off to the side to make some more room for things. Here are the sides; they are stitched on the ends with 18 gauge copper wire:  The bottom pieces are stitched together and then set on top to become the V bottom of the hull. I wasn’t sure which side was front…but then it became obvious (initially I had it flipped the wrong way). It only aligns up one way,... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 2 – Setup and Gluing

The kit came about a week after I ordered it. The delivery company received it in SFO, and was reluctant to deliver it to me right away — they wanted to wait an extra week or so because I was “on the edge of their delivery area”. I complained…and they rescheduled things and delivered it the next day. I didn’t want my fragile boat parts sitting in a warehouse for a week with the possibility of getting damaged. The kit arrived fine! The delivery guy almost forgot the second package. He dropped me off the big package and we started... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 1 – Choices

I’ve been wanting to build my own kayak for quite a while. Ideally I want to make a strip-style kayak; something out of locally sourced redwood would be awesome! For now, I decided to start with a stitch-and-glue style build. They are pretty easy to do, and will give me some starting experience with fiberglass. I’ve been eyeing kits on Chesapeake Light Craft for some time now. There are so many choices, so it was hard to choose exactly what would suite my needs. The first thing I had to figure out was what are my kayaking goals? The main... [read more]


Hitch Install on Tesla Model S

I needed a rack for my Tesla Model S; shoving a mountain bike along with a few unicycles in the back just wasn’t cutting it. Plus, in the winter I want to take snowboards and skis to Tahoe, and needed a good solution. I figured I would get a roof rack, but quickly discovered that the solid top Model S can’t support a rack; you have to have the panoramic roof option! So, the only thing I could do was to install a hitch. Luckily, EcoHitch makes one for the Model S: Here’s my geared 36 unicycle dangling on the... [read more]


Photography: Window in France

Window in France.


Photography: Andorra supermercat

The supermercat in Andorra. Beautiful country for people who love the outdoors.


Photography: Chai Tea in India

In the back streets of Kolkata they make delicious chai tea. 


I hate broken stuff

Exhibit one: A pot that was my parents. The plastic handle broke of years ago and I hacked on a wooden one. It wasn’t lasting….   Cross grain experiment was not strong, so I drew out one that was with the grain:            


Photography: Street Dogs Chilling by the Ganges in India

It is hot in India, and the dogs know how to relax.  


Photography: Monkey by the Taj

 The monkey, sitting on the edge of a roof top next to a striking red blanket. Near the Taj Mahal, India.


Photography: Baby Rhino

What could be more adorable than a baby rhino? This was in Kaziranga National Park, north east India in 2014.


Photography: India Street Dog near Kaziranga National Park

The street dogs of India…this one was near Kaziranga National Park in the Northeast corner of India.   


Bee hives and Northeast India

Back in February of 2012 I visited the far north east area of India in Meghalaya. There are some amazing living root bridges, and the hike to get to them led through some tiny villages. I’ve always been fascinated with bees, and it wasn’t until a few years later that I actually started keeping bees myself, but I came across some interesting local been hives. This one was made of a few logs hacked together:   The trip to get to them was sort of sketchy. Well, I wouldn’t really consider it sketchy, and it was fun crossing steel bridges... [read more]


Photography: India Monastery

Far up in east India, after a long windy road, there is this monastery. It was almost to Butan…     Taken 2/22/14, f/16 1.3s (camera was sitting on the floor). 


V36 Handlebar update – brake protector

My handlebar has been working really well, but I wanted something to protect the brake lever. So I welded on a little half moon to protect it, and threw on some black spray paint over the rust:     My cycle computer broke; they always seem to fail after a few years. This one lasted a while! 1575 miles on the ODO.  Back in August of last year when I rebuilt the geared 36 wheel the computer had 694 miles. So, I’ve put nearly a 1000 miles on the frame in the past 9 months; it took me 1.5 years... [read more]


The Corbin V36 Unicycle

Back in 2012 I decided to make a V36 unicycle. I’ve kept breaking handlebars, mainly at the point where they attach to the seat base or the main seat post tube. The “T” unicycle design isn’t strong enough, and a V is clearly the way to go. I’ve been riding the unicycle for the past 4 years, and have at least 1000 miles on it (probably a lot more). It works quite well, but has a little too much side to side flex that can probably be cured with some larger main post tubing.   Here’s a collection of the... [read more]


The 93 mile unicycle ride adventure

A few weekends ago I decided to do a long unicycle ride. Up to this point, the longest ride I did was around Lake Tahoe, which is no short ride topping in at over 70 miles with a bit of climbing and at a much higher elevation than my normal sea level riding. It was incredibly tough, and I did it before the invention of geared unicycles.  Check out the complete ride stats on Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/570160115 93.2 miles, 8:20 minutes of moving time (about 10 hours total time out), and 8,134 ft of climbing. Not too shabby! I really want to... [read more]



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