I finally had a meeting in Boston which allowed me to swing through Somerville on the way home for some supplies. Boulter Plywood in Somerville, MA is an amazing resource for marine plywood and lumber. Seeing all of the posts on the various kayak building forums regarding the difficulty people have finding good marine lumber really makes me feel blessed to have them so close by. I picked up a 3mm sheet of Sapele for the kayak deck and a 3/8″ sheet of Okoume for the catboat centerboard. For good measure, I picked up a 1/2″ mahogany board for the catboat transom. All told, a $286 expense. One of these days I need to at least pretend this is a real business and start tracking my expenses, but for the moment, I will remain blissfully ignorant.
When I got home, Harry was waiting at the door. “Is that my wood!?” He asked excitedly. Harry has been waiting patiently for Daddy to make the trip to the city to pick up the plywood for the
deck of his kayak. His kayak has been sitting in the basement looking more like a canoe than a kayak for the better part of a month. He was excited to get working again. We laid out the Sapele plywood and started on our routine of getting the full sized pattern onto the plywood. I hold an awl in place on the line and Harry gives it a whack with a rubber mallet to make the mark. We both know I could do this much faster just pushing the awl in along the line, but where is the fun in that. The deck portions contain some pretty dramatic curves with no straight point and this required 100’s of dots in the wood to depict the curves. Eventually, Harry whacked my arm a couple times with the mallet and I could see he was getting tired. Not wanting him to burn out too quickly, and not wanting to endure the pain of another mallet blow to the forearm, I told him to take a little break and I would continue. I ripped through the remaining curves as quickly as I could because I knew he’d be excited for the next step. Drilling!
.I have an older set of Dewalt cordless tools. They work fine. I especially love the 5 3/8″ DeWalt Circular Saw. The smaller blade allows for fantastic maneuverability when cutting curves in plywood. The only problem that I have with these tools is that the batteries are dying, expensive to replace, and need to be charged all of the time. I see the Lithium Ion tools all the time and keep telling myself that I would love to make the switch someday, but the 20V kits are pretty pricey. So I recently purchased a Dewalt DCD710S2R Drill and let me mention that I am in love. It is an 12V Lithium Ion drill. It is about half the size and weight of the large XRP drill I have and the power is incredible for such a small package. So back to Harry and the Wood Duck 10. Last time I had Harry drill something, he LOVED it, but I could see his arm shaking under the weight of the larger drill after only a couple of minutes. I handed him the shiny new Dewalt DCD710S2R Drill and his eyes lit up. “It’s so light,” he said “and it fits right in my hand.” He proceeded to drill all of the stitching holes in the panel we just marked out. When I moved in to ask him if he needed any help, he told me to go away. Perfect! I could not have asked for a better response than, “Daddy, go away. I want to do it myself.” Music to my ears.
Harry wrapped up his drilling and we packed up for the night. He was exhausted as it was well past his bed time, but his grin extended from one ear to the other. “Daddy, do we have to do any drilling on the next step,” he asked. When I replied that we would, his grin continued as he lumbered up the stairs. I think we can chalk up Kayak Building Class #2 as a booming success.
Thank you for reading.