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Archive for the 'General' Category

Adventures of Corbin: Japan, Starring Lexi


Late last year, Lexi told me that she wanted to go to Japan. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and I figured this would be an awesome opportunity for me to go check out the country. I imagined I would eventually go with a my friends Nathan and Grace, who have a strong connection to the country and would love to do some type of cycling adventure (particularly, uni!). But that hasn’t panned out, and this was a great time to go. Lexi had images of skiing in super light powder in Hokkaido, and that was her primary goal. She asked me what I wanted to do there, and my response was “I want to see the snow monkeys that sit in the hot springs”. Lexi did all the planning for the trip, and figured out that the snow monkeys are near Nozawa Onsen. Luckily there was some skiing in that town, and we spent a few days there. I think that town was one of my favorite part of the trip. Originally our plan was to just “play it by ear” and book things a few days in advance, but we were going to be there during New Years, and that is a primary travel time in Japan since New Years is a big deal. So we had to pre-book places to stay, or we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. I’m super grateful for her doing so much planning and work. I created a short video highlighting our favorite parts of the trip.


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: It hits the water


In October 2016 I got a wooden kayak kit. In February 2017 it finally hit the water! It took a little longer than I expected, but I’m happy with the result!

Here I am taking it in the water for the first time. I worked from home this day and quickly left for the Santa Cruz harbor as soon as I was done. It was a dark and stormy day, but I still wanted to try paddling in it. Lexi gave me a hand getting it in the water, and I took off. The kayak handles awesome. This is the first time I’ve ever sat inside a kayak; all other times I’ve been on cheap plastic kayaks that are a sit on top style. This machine moves fast, and cuts through small waves without any effort. The storm was brewing a little too strong for me to leave the harbor, and I can’t wait to take it out again.

 


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 14 – Finished.


Happy days are here! Actually, most all my days are happy days, but the kayak is done!

I installed the seat and hatch straps. The seat is just some foam glued in, and in the picture below you can see a brick holding it down while it dries:

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Later I added some elastic tie downs; I left things a little long so I can later tweak it a bit. The next problem I had was where to keep it. I fabricated some quick brackets out of old 2x4s and screwed them to my wall. I then topped it with an old towel to protect the finish a bit:

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And I just got home after doing a quick paddle around the Santa Cruz harbor. It is fast, and awesome! But a storm is approaching, and it started dumping some rain just minutes after I pulled it out of the water. I need to wait for some better weather to take it out to the ocean. I also could use a proper kayak skirt. 

I’ll soon post a video of the maiden voyage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 13: Wet sanding


I did some wet sanding on the kayak after the first coat. The directions say to use 400 grit, but I wet sanded the first two coats with 320, and then switched to 400 for the next two coats.

I grabbed my Go Pro Hero 5 Black and set it up to do a time lapse while I sanded.

I edited the footage using my 27″ iMac using Final Cut Pro X. It chugged a bit, as there were a TON of pictures to process, but it wasn’t too hard to create a short little video.

Griffin Hammond has created a great tutorial on how to do the editing: How to Edit a Time Lapse (in Final Cut Pro X)


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak Part 12: Starting the finishing process


I was gone for a few weeks in Japan, so progress on the kayak has been slow. I’m back to doing some work on it. First I had to sand it a ton. 80 grit, 100, 120, 150, 220. I touched up some thin areas with a little more epoxy and then sanded some more.

My plan was to spray it with my HVLP instead of brushing on the finish. I wanted to do it all in one shot, so I suspended it in the air:

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I just attached the webbing to the ceiling with a few screws and washers to distribute the load:

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This allowed me to spray the bottom and top at the same time, and worked pretty well:

 

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After this, I waited about a day and wet sanded it with 320 grit. I’ll up it to 400 grit after the second coat. I want to have a nice level surface, so I’m still sanding it with a sanding block to get it smooth. Note that I also mop the floor to get rid of all the dust.

 


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:

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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.

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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:

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This was done with a squeegee, and just enough was put in to fill the weave of the fabric. I’ll go over with a second and third coat once it has finished drying to the touch (probably 5 hours).

 


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!

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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!

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Flip it upside down so the glue drips into the gaps, and fill in the edge gaps (there were quite a few…): 

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 The next day it was dry. I flipped it right side up and trimmed the edge off with my jigsaw before planning it level and adding a bevel:

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(c) 2008-2015 Corbin Dunn

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