How to make a minicell foam seat

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Dan_Millsip, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Nick Shade at Guillemot Kayaks just posted a video on YouTube showing how he makes minicell foam kayak seats:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b6x5M6Z-QM[/youtube]
     
  2. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Paddler

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    Nice video - thanks for posting it.
     
  3. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    You know what I really like about that video is that it demystifies the whole thing about building a foam seat and in effect speaks to the ease of working with foam, in general, to outfit a kayak. Yeah, he uses that band saw and fancy hand saw but they are totally not necessary. Having made nearly a dozen seats now I don’t think twice about it.

    I would like to own one of those nice hand saws, though.
     
  4. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    The saw is called a dozuki -- it's a Japanese saw that cuts on the pull, not the push as western saws do. There are many different versions of the dozuki -- some with cutting edges on both sides, some are heavy duty with a reinforced back and some are wafer thin so that you can make really flush cuts. I have three or four of them.
     
  5. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Paddler

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    Pull saws are just the bees knees. Never owned one until I started building boats several years ago. Now I use them for nearly everything around the house and yard. Stick one handle first into a long piece of PVC or conduit pipe, give 'er a couple wraps o' the duct tape and you have an excellent tree limb cutter. Keep one in the kitchen to saw partially thawed meats, hard squash and other such vittles.

    Beware.... their are many very cool variations of pull saws and one can easily acquire a ridiculous collection :)

    Back to foam seat building - one can make many kinds of neat little sanding blocks/rolls for finish work from foam scraps and sandpaper scraps - very handy.

    If one wants a slicker, less 'furry' surface on their finished mini-cell item, simply take a heat gun and melt the fuzzies and such away. Experiment firstly on a piece of scrap to get a feel for the level of heat and distance of gun to foam. Keep the heat gun in motion.
     
  6. sludge

    sludge Paddler

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    he didn't place a drain hole at the low point so no water would collect under the paddler's rear
     
  7. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Paddler

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    I made a similar oversight on my first mini-cell seat. Of course, it was only after I had glued it to my cedar-strip boat that I realised my ooops :)

    Another beneficial mod I learned was a drain channel along the bottom of the seat, fore to aft and parallel to the keel thus allowing water to quickly run from behind the seat to facilitate pump-outs and such. I use a Dremel tool with an appropriate size burr tip to carve this channel.

    I made a new seat for the Night Heron and now incorporate drain channels addressing both aspects in all my foam creations.
     
  8. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    Agree with sludge and Holmes375 on both counts.
     
  9. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Has anybody tried to slightly reshape a plastic seat with a heatgun?
     
  10. M2G

    M2G Paddler

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  11. scott_f

    scott_f Paddler

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    I "carve" my foam seat by ordering the blank from redfishkayak. It comes with the butt shape carved out (which seems too tedious to me). I just have to carve the bottom to fit the hull shape and make minor adjustments. I don't have a good eye for curves and combined with my OCD about symmetry, it's just best someone else does that part for me :D