Wooden tractor style seat

�I have seen a number of pictures of kayaks where the builder made a �tractor� style contoured wooden seat. Does anyone have appropriate dimensions of those contours? Any suggested method of construction?

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RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   You could check with http://www.watersdancing.com/Waters_Dancing_Innovations.shtml  scroll down and look at their stitch & glue seat. Maybe they can help.

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

If you're talking about something like this:

I just tried one for the first time last week and my butt was bruised and sore for 3 days afterwards. It needs padding.



RE: Wooden tractor style seat

  Somewhare on Nick Schade's website I remember a video or pictures of a seat he made. Check it out or maybe Nick or someone will chime in with a location. SEEYA Jack 

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   Maybe email the guy who built this boat.  http://www.outdoorplace.org/paddling/CirrusLT/Cirrus_cockpit-GVL.jpg

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   Thanks guys.  This was what I was thinking of: http://clearstreamwood.com/WordPress/projects/200709gmm_nereida/nereida-njord-the-wooden-seat

I have contacted the builder and he has provided some info.  I will let you know how it turns out.


RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   Here is my progress:

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

Gorgeous! More pictures of the process would be great!

In the link you referenced I see the underside is finished with two ridges/rails- presumably to save weight and maybe to lift it slightly of the surface (for drainage?) but I'd be concerned about creating those pressure points on the hull.
Do you have any insight on the rationale for the underside design- did you do the same with yours?



RE: Wooden tractor style seat

Thanks Patrick,

I can post a few in-process pictures when I get home tonight, but I don't have much more detail than Dan had on his website.  I tend not to be very good at photo-documenting things.  I get caught up in what I am doing and miss the opportunity to capture intermediate steps. 

I have two similar "feet" on the bottom, but mine are the width of one lamination (3/4"), which I think are a bit wider than his finished feet.  My understanding is that he was trying to minimize weight but still provide a stable mounting surface. 

I left the underside of my seat much more rough than he did, at least so far.  I may go back and carve out some more material off the underside, but I am paranoid about accidentally breaking through.  Perhaps I will wait to see how the overall weight of the boat comes out to decide if I should remove any more material.

I haven't settled on just how I am mounting the seat yet.  I am thinking about possibly mounting it to a foam block, in which case the feet would be unnecessary. 

The other possibility I am considering is fabricating some sort of bracket that I can pin the feet to such that the seat can be adjusted forward and aft.  I haven't checked yet to see if I would actually have enough hand access underneath to do this

I am concerned about permanently mounting the seat and later deciding it needs to be shifted.  I am limited by the fact that I am totally inexperienced at kayaking, so what looks right or feels ok now, I may later realize is not well placed.

Regarding Lazlo's concern, only time will tell whether this thing is too hard on my butt.  I can always throw a cushion over it when in use.



RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   Per Patrick's request, here are some additional photos and descriptions of the build process.  I started with 3/4" thick x 3" deep x 16" long laminations; 2 maple, 2 mahogany and 16 western red cedar.  Using information kindly provided by Dan of Clear Stream Custom Watercraft, I cut a 2D profile into each lamination.  Here you see the rough profiled laminations clamped together:

Next I traced the profile of each lower lamination onto the side of the the taller lamination adjacent to it:


Then I separated the laminations and beveled each one across its width to match the lines.  I also cut away much of the underside, leaving a minimum of 1/2" material and leaving enough full depth material so each lamination would stand upright.  Here are the beveled pieces clamped back together:

Next, I epoxied the laminations together. The underside looked like this

From there I shaped the inside contour with an angle grinder and a rounded edge grinding disc, followed by my random orbit sander:

Then I trimmed off the excess material in the corners, sides and front, and rough carved the underside, leaving two mounting feet:

Finally, lots of hand sanding and a coat of epoxy later, I had this:

Now I need to come up with a back rest.

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

Looks great, thanks for the extra pictures. I imagine having the contours saved a lot of time experimenting.

The similar style seat on Nick Schade's site seems to utilize an attached back rest- like a chair- but I wondered how sturdy that approach would be. (Perhaps he intends the back rest to butt up to the coaming for support.) I'll be curious to see how the wooden "back band" integrates.

I look forward to additional pix after installation and would like to hear how well you like it. Nicely contoured I don't see why it wouldn't be plenty comfortable.

This has just been added to my list of winter projects!



RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   Yeah, the only tricky part about the contours is that I actually used different spacing than the given contours were based on.  The contours were based on Dan's design where the center lamination was thinner and the rest were thicker than the 3/4" stock I used.  I actually added another lamination to each side after I first assembled them and realized the overall width was less than I expected and a little bit of a tight fit for my posterior.  I wondered why my math didn't work until found that my WRC stock was actually just a shade under 3/4" thickness (what passes as "1x" stock from the lumberyard seems to keep getting thinner...kind of like the "pound" of coffee that is now 13 oz).  It required a little fudging of the contours on my part, but I needed a place to start and I am grateful that Dan was willing to provide it.

For the backrest, my current plan is to have it hinged to the base and use adjustable webbing straps to attach it to the coaming to control the angle.  Most of the load should end up going through the webbing and not the hinge.  It is kind of a hybrid between a rigid chair back and the typical suspended back band.  We will see how that works out

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   Looks really great, but it might be not that convenient to sit on for a long time. Nevertheless, I really like the way it was done, great tutorial!
Cassy from buyessayshere

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

So here is the completion of my seat build:

First the backrest, made from ¼” x ¾” edge glued strips and glassed front and back.  I used an old chair back as a template and building form to set the curvature and outer profile.

This picture shows the backrest support being laminated on a fixture into a curved shape:

Here are all the backrest parts ready for assembly (backrest, backrest support, clevis and hinge pin)

Finally, the seat assembled in the kayak (temporarily)

The seat is currently attached using double face mounting tape, because I want to get some paddling in before I commit to its permanent position.  The backrest is supported by the coaming.  I will put a small rubber pad on the back of the backrest so it doesn’t dent the coaming.

After spending some time sitting in the kayak, I am optimistic the seat bottom will not need any padding.  I can’t say the same for the backrest.  I will probably need to add a cushion to it.  I didn’t get the angle of the backrest quite right, it contacts my back mostly on the top edge instead of over the whole surface.  The hinge allows me to choose the angle of incline, but can’t change the angle of contact with my back.  I could cut off the backrest support and redo it, but a cushion may take care of it and may be necessary anyway.  I will have to do some experimenting.

Btw, I am a little uncomfortable with Cassy’s use of the word “tutorial”.  I don’t claim to know what I am doing and certainly don’t feel qualified to tutor anyone.  I am just muddling through my first kayak build and sharing this seat experiment with all of you for better or worse.

RE: Wooden tractor style seat

   That's the most beautiful wooden seat I have seen. Well done. I see in your posts you contacted Dan about the plans/profile, are these available?


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