Two days ago, I went to my sister’s house in Salem, Ohio. My brother-in-law Russ, whose workshop I’ve used many times already, was gracious enough to allow me to use his tools once again. My main project was to create tie-down points for the deck. I found some designs on the internet that were close to what I wanted, but not quite, so I drew up a quick sketch (see photos.) The idea is to have no protrusions from the deck, so all the tie-down points are flush mounted. Basically, the “mushrooms” provide a recess that will allow you to pass a cord or strap behind the brass rod and still keep your kayak waterproof. I had decided that I needed 26 of them.

Using the lathe, I turned a 1.5×1.5×36″ (cut in half) piece of oak into two 1.5″ dia rods. I then drilled 3/16″ holes at one inch intervals through the center (this is where the brass rod will eventually go.) The oak has a tendency to pull the drill, so I was careful to make sure it went as close through the center as possible. With the holes drilled, I marked about a one inch line at each hole center so that I would better be able to see the hole’s location while the piece was turning. I put the piece back in the lathe and created 1/4″ recesses at each hole center with a dia of 1 1/4″ (this will be the size hole I will drill through the deck for mounting.) With that done, I then used a 1/2″ thick piece of wood as a gauge to make mushroom cap 1/2″ thick. I then rounded over the corners.

I used the bandsaw to cut off each mushroom. I then held each one in a drill press vise and drilled a 1″ hole with a forstner bit. I had set my stop carefully to make sure I didn’t drill too deep. I also took great care to keep the hole centered. I ended up with a few that weren’t so great, so I was glad to have made extras. I decided I would finish the mushrooms at home (see the next post.)

While I had access to the bandsaw, I used it to cut out foam bulkheads that go in front of and behind the cockpit area. I used 3″ closed-cell foam and the bandsaw cut it with ease. I cut it at a 5 degree angle to allow for the tapering of the kayak.

I also cut out the paddle shaft. I had drawn up the shape earlier and printed out full size drawings which I transferred to some 1 1/4″ thick paulownia. It is a bent shaft design to help alleviate the wrist pain that I normally get after a long day’s paddle. Once the shaft halves were cut out, I clamped them together at the appropriate distance to get a feel for the shape and weight. If all goes well, I think I will end up with a very light and comfortable paddle.

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