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Laminating Wood

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The first step in making a lamination of wood is to establish the form. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will show a lamination of 4mm plywood that will be used as framing for a hardtop. The technique is basically the same for rubrails, inwhales, frames or even combing. In most cases you can laminate your part directly on the boat - the boat is the form. For this hard top, a simple jig is made using plywood and small blocks of wood.

First draw camber onto plywood, making certain the plywood is flat.....

Secure small blocks of wood along the curve at even spaces. You will use the blocks to attach clamps. More dramatic curvature will require more closely spaced blocks.

Dry fit the laminate

Coat the strips with straight epoxy

Mix epoxy glue. Mix wood flour into the epoxy until a "peanut butter" consistency is reached. Apply glue to strips by either "buttering" the strips, or use a heavy zip lock bag to put down a bead. The single bead allows for a uniform amount of glue throughout the laminate and keeps out air bubbles. TIP: For bright work, you can add a little phenolic micro balloons to your glue to get a darker brown glue which will match the color of the plywood better

Stack the strips and clamp. Be sure to use plastic sheet between the jig and the laminate! Allow the part to cure. It will take a couple days for the part to arrive at its ultimate stiffness

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