Moisture and wood strips


I am building my second kayak, but this time it is in an unheated, uninsultated garage. (I am in Montana, with about 10 inches of wet snow on the ground) A friend of mine is storing my wood in his garage, which is heated. We were going to cut it, plane it and rout in his garage, as he has ample room to cut 20 ft strips.  He has built a lot of kayaks and canoes, but never in my kind of conditions. He is reluctant to cut the strips yet because transporting them from his warm garage to my cold one, he feels will cause a lot of problems. While I agree that epoxy would be a bad idea, I don't know what kind of problems I will find with wood. 

Can any of you add some information to this? I really want to start building now, and not sometime in the next 3 months before it decides to get warm once again. BTW, I think I need to go on a groundhog hunt.

Thanks for your input!


4 replies:

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RE: Moisture and wood strips


You currently have the advantage of dry stable lumber. If at all possible, see if your buddy will let you start your boat in his garage. Challenge will be later moving the strong back. Don't underestimate the effect moisture and temperature[creates condensation=moisture] has on wood. It will change- expand quite a bit particuarly parallel to the grain as the fibers swell. Later when it shrinks back down bad things also might happen- seams or cracks open up. Any moisture still in the wood when you glass will cause ghosting. Or, figure out a way to keep your garage/wood warm & dry. Better yet, build it in the house. Let me know how that goes!



RE: Moisture and wood strips

I built a Petrel last year on my back porch. Had most of the stripping done by Christmas, but was unable to work on it until March due to the cold weather. The cedar cracked in a number of places. Some of them where 3 feet long.   It was really fun trying to pull the cracked pieces back together instead of just filling with wood/epoxy mixture. That was really upsetting. I did manage to glue the cracks together & its hard to tell looking at it, but I know where they are.

RE: Moisture and wood strips

lol. build in the house. thats a good one. it is a very small house, with only one area long enough to build a 17 foot Great Auk, which is the hallway to the bedroom and the bathroom. The kayak would have about 3 inches on either side to try to get by.  I did find an old cast iron wood stove, cheap. Now to get it in and try not to burn the garage down.

 Thanks guys, for your feedback. It really did help


RE: Moisture and wood strips


I did my strip build in a unheated building. I did have a woodstove to heat things up when working and edge glueing my strips. I believe that because I live in Colorado were the humidity level is typically low that I avoided the problems of cracking as stated in some of the other postings. I did my glass [M.A.S. system] in the same environment and had no fires or explosions and it all worked well.

I have a feeling that you will be recieving replies from those who had no choice but to build in their home. I have seen pictures of these builds with plastic covering floor to ceiling in homes and rentals and have read of the challenges of sanding and using finishes in these less than ideal situations. Were their is a will their is a way--be thankful that you have an out building and happy building..CZ

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