Pygmy Pinguino 145 using the "taping method"

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Steve Deligan, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Hi everyone,

    Building my fifth Pygmy, this time a Pinguino 145 for a friend of ours. I'm using the "taping method" instead of stitch and glue with wires and dozens of holes. I've taped every boat except the first Coho, and I've really enjoyed the cleaner look. In my opinion the taping method is easier, quicker, and results in a much better looking boat.

    If interested in seeing the progress, please see my blog at https://pygmykayakbuildblog.blogspot.com/

    The hull is currently all epoxied together and I've just added the keel tape (I add the keel tape before glassing the entire hull). Next step is to glass the hull! IMG_0083.jpg IMG_0085.JPG IMG_0101.JPG IMG_0138.JPG

    I'll add a few attachments here too.

    Happy paddling!

    Steve
     
  2. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Looks good!
     
  3. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I see you use quite a mixture of tapes - any hot tips on most useful for specific situations?
    Are you practiced enough not to have to re-adjust? any thoughts on that?
    I'm almost not seeing a progression from 2 panels to 4 to . . . I presume you're overtaping as you add panels? do you round the panel edges first to increase friction?

    Anyway, nice clean work. For me, I feel I need the control that wire gives, but the downside is time and the holes.
     
  4. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Hi Mick,

    I generally use strapping tape because it doesn't stretch and holds well. I'll use Gorilla Tape when I really need to pull on a panel though. It's more expensive which is why I don't use it for the whole boat. Gorilla Tape also doesn't seem to stick as well at times, so make sure that you wrap it up underneath to the inside of the hull to give it something to grab onto.

    Yes, I start with the two #1 panels and tape them pretty well across the keel. At times I may need to wrap the tape underneath those panels, but usually just over the top works well. When I start to add the #2 and #3 panels, then yes, I often wrap underneath and sometimes all the way around and back up. That is why it looks like the tape suddenly disappears. After you epoxy the panels though, the tape will come out. You sometimes have to cut it short and really pull on it, but it will come out. You then just add epoxy to the open seam where the tape was.

    If you keep your butt seams aligned well while you tape, you shouldn't have to readjust too much. It's really not any different than using wires. In fact, I'd argue that it's much easier to adjust and muuuuch more forgiving to use tape than to use wires. The only argument that I can still see for using wires is that they will hold for days or weeks if you need to wait that long. But tape holds well for a few days, especially if you wrap all the way around and back onto itself. On this boat I took four evenings to tinker away at the taping and actually didn't end up using as much as previous boats. The tape held perfectly the entire four days.

    Honestly, I can't tell you why Pygmy hasn't shifted their manuals to use the taping method. They use tape in their classes, except on the stems, so why won't they make the change in their manuals? I tape the entire boat, including the stems, and I think they turn out well. And the boats look so much cleaner too without all those holes.

    For more information and pictures, please see my blog at https://pygmykayakbuildblog.blogspot.com/. I don't remember to come to this forum too often. :p

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    That's very interesting to know.
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Done three, one their double, using wire. Leery of tape because wires are easy to tweak and never slip. However, as Steve says, tape is the dominant method for on site builds, including here in the old train station. The holes do not bother me.
     
  7. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    The tape has always been easy to tweak for me. Wires are a quite a commitment too... if you're off by too much, more than a couple millimeters, it's tough to get the panels back where you need them to be. Tape, in my opinion, is much more tweakable and forgiving. If you really ever needed to, you could just disassemble the entire thing and start over, and you'd still have no holes. But in a worst case scenario with wires, you can't un-drill the holes and often have to add additional holes. But in the end, it's all for fun, so do whatever you like. :p

    Another tweak I've done on this boat is to use red phenolic powder on the stems instead of wood flour. At first I thought it looked like Bondo, but now it's a much darker, richer red color and I really like it. I'll probably do all the deck seams with it instead of wood flour.

    IMG_0170.jpeg
     
  8. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I like what you've done, it's interesting.

    For me, I've always thought one of the aesthetic strengths of S&G to be the ability of the panels to simply express the long sinuous lines of the vessel . . . and therefore [using that possibility] emphasizing the jointing is helpful in achieving that expression.

    One of the ways to express that jointing that I unsuccesfully used in one boat was to purposefully move the panels out of line so that one could definitively see [ I hoped ] the panel differences. I stained the wood dark, so the whole effect was obscured anyway . . . so not great. ie maybe stupid!

    On another boat I chamfered each joint wide open so that one could definitively see the difference between the adjacent panels, but as I didn't do much more that epoxy the panels together, when glassed looooooooong, looooooong, holes were left under the glass between the panels that I then had to syringe epoxy latterly into in order to 'fill' the vacancies. [ It was unbelievably rewarding seeing 12" long ribbons of air disappearing during this unbelievably repetitive process] and again, real stupid! In that same boat I also used [emphasized] panel lapping elsewhere to continue the panel separation effect.

    Another simple approach [in the emphasis] was using contrasting epoxy filler and widening the joints.

    And another approach that I'll try out sometime for one of the play boats, is to make each panel slightly smaller and stitch in the seam gap between each panel, a long thin [say 1/8" to 1/4" wide] batten of contrasting wood to also emphasize the difference - I think that might be cool and not too much work in a 6' boat.

    So for me, [ie just for me, not a critique] the panel joints in the above photo would be opened up and also epoxy fillered so that the whole joint from end to end is easily noticed. Again, not a critique.
     
  9. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    I really admire your creativity and willingness to try things! I've often considered staining or dying the panels, but have never been brave enough.

    It would be very cool to do some Northwest Coast Native American/First Nations artwork on the boats, but I'm not talented or brave enough.

    I was at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival a few weeks ago, and there was a drop-dead-gorgeous strip wood canoe that had to have been over 30' long. It was beautifully painted. Someday I would love to try something like this one a Pygmy. See below.

    IMG_0014.JPG IMG_0015.JPG IMG_0017.JPG
     
  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Unless you are a 'First Nations' person, probably not a good idea. What once would have been considered a tribute or compliment is now an offensive act of 'cultural appropriation', apparently.
     
  11. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Steve:
    What are the push pins used for?
    Roy
     
  12. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Hi Roy,

    The push pins are really essential, although from the pictures they don't look like they're doing anything.

    You use them to bring two panels together in places where they don't meet as well as you'd like. For example; You'll often have a section along a seam where one panel is sitting proud of the one next to it... you'd stick a pin into the lower seam to both bring that seam up and to simultaneously hold the neighboring seam down. A short distance away perhaps, you might have the panels doing just the opposite, so you'd put a pin in there too. You'll run your fingers and eyes down every seam and use the pins wherever needed to perfectly line up all the panels.

    It's one of those things where it takes longer to explain how they're used than actually using them. Once you start taping (or wire sewing if you are following the manual) your hull together you'll quickly notice that the panels rarely ever line up perfectly. The pins help remedy that. I know that they don't look like they're doing much in the pictures, but if you could see one of them pulled out, you'd see one panel rise out from the other.

    The only caution here is that Pygmy usually only includes ten pins or so. I always buy many (30 or so) extra pins and usually end up using them all.

    Epoxy doesn't stick to the pins, so once you've got the panels perfectly taped and pinned, then you can run epoxy down the seams and let it cure. Once cured, you can then easily remove the pins.
     
  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Early days, prior to the arrival of taping, we used a utility knife blade inserted at a seam to bring a contact back into alignment and retightened the nearby wires a bit. On removal, the seam was realigned and stable. Those pushpins sure look handy, in lieu!
     
  14. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Hull sanded, turned over and the spacers removed. Now to start on the deck.
    IMG_0188.JPG

    The top two deck panels are butt-seamed with a small panel that sits on the seam to form a ledge on the aft edge for the recessed panel that will be added later on. When properly lined up, the bow ends of the two deck panels will cross over each other.

    IMG_0186.JPG IMG_0187.JPG
     
  15. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Got the deck panels taped on and the seams epoxied.

    Here's how it looked after just an hour of taping:

    IMG_0191.JPG IMG_0194.JPG IMG_0195.JPG

    Here's how it looked when the seams had the first run of epoxy:
    IMG_0203.JPG IMG_0204.JPG IMG_0207.JPG IMG_0208.JPG

    The trick to getting the aft recessed panel to fit is to HEAVILY bevel the aft underside. Don't sand so much that you change the top profile shape, but do make a pretty sharp edge. You won't be compromising any strength because you will later add layers of epoxy and fiberglass cloth to the underside.

    IMG_0196.JPG
     
  16. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    The underside of the deck is almost finished. Yesterday I fiberglass taped the underside. Today I scraped and sanded it, and then added a saturation coat. See my blog at https://pygmykayakbuildblog.blogspot.com/ for lots more information and pics.

    So far it's all going well, touch wood. But the trickiest step is coming up next weekend... fiberglassing the inside of the hull. Gulp.

    IMG_0225.JPG IMG_0226.JPG IMG_0228.JPG IMG_0238.JPG IMG_0239.JPG
     
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  17. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    It's lookin' good!

    For me, glassing the inside of the hull presents 3 possible problems:
    Leaving a puddle of resin in the bottom, which is solved by careful use of the squeegie/Bondo spreader, and/or by being careful not to put too much resin in any one area.
    Pulling extra cloth down into the hull when using the 'squeegie' (Bondo spreader)
    Pulling extra cloth up and out of the hull when using the 'squeegie' (Bondo spreader), leaving a void or floating cloth in the bottom.


    I take quite a bit of time to smooth the cloth in place, and clipping the cloth to the hull, before applying epoxy. I use (latex) gloves on my hands and a dry chip/paint brush to smooth and 'massage' the cloth. It's sometimes easier to use smaller separate (bias cut) pieces in the very ends to cover the inside of the stems, then overlap the cut edge of the hull pieces on that. I usually manage to have offcuts from the outside hull glassing to use on the inside ends. For the mid-section inside, I usually use glass cloth 'running side-to-side' so the selvage leaves a neat seam on the inside. That's easier than the alternative of overlapping cloth and then cutting through both layers while the epoxy is still tacky, removing the excess and pressing the cloth back down.

    If you know where your heels will land, it's worth doubling up the glass in that area.

    I have a good collection of small plastic spring clamps; if you don't you can use metal binder clips to hold the edge of the glass cloth in place along the hull edge.

    Judging from the quality of your work so far, you won't have any problems doing the inside of the hull.
     
  18. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John's list of tips includes a lot of tricks new to me. Appreciate his list, and filing it away for future projects, although I've not had much trouble recently with glassing the insides. I think use of a 4 inch roller (not a 7 inch one) to lay on resin, rolling across the hull and not end to end for each section may be partially responsible, taking care to avoid application of excess resin, shading to too dry, in lieu.

    This is the sequence I use: With the roller in contact with the hull to form a valley, I pour a little resin into that valley and slowly work the roller up and down, shifting to open areas as needed to disperse the resin. This inevitably leaves some excess resin in patches, and some sections of the glass over the hull seams "pulled up" from the wood. I then work the wetted glass slowly with a squeegee flat edge, moving toward the seam areas of pullup, and lifting the squeegee off the glass at the seam. Excess resin sticks to the squeegee, and I remove it with a quick wipe onto a clean paper towel, and move to a fresh area. Some areas refuse to lay down, and require stipling with a "dry" bristle brush. Stipling is a real PITA, however.

    This sequence avoids pullup, and eventually reduces excess resin to a minimum. If the roller accumulates too much excess or becomes aerated, I run the roller "dry" on a piece of scrap wood, or a very dry area of wetted glass.

    First couple boats, I just rolled on resin end to end and tried to squeegee it from the mid seam to the sheers, removing excess by scraping the engorged squeegee off using the edge of a plastic tub. Many areas of pullup in the seams, demanding added resin at the green stage. Those boats were sound, but pretty damned unattractive!

    I like to work with fast hardener. If you try this sequence using fast hardener, you will need a reliable helper to mix smaller batches, as you are ready for them, so you can get the resin spread out. Otherwise, you will lose the tail ends of some batches to exotherms or premature congealing ... and vigorous cursing!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  19. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Here's how the underside of the deck looks now... just scraped and added a second light coat of epoxy.

    IMG_0245.JPG IMG_0246.JPG

    Now I'll put it aside and let it fully cure, and turn my attention back to the hull.

    Thanks for all your input and great ideas! I'll use as many as I can.

    First, I buy an extra length of cloth from Pygmy the length of the boat. It's so worth the extra few bucks and allows me to not have to worry about making triangular cuts and such.

    I like the idea of the clips for the cloth. It's worked well in the past and I'll do it again this time.

    Regarding the rollers... In my experience, I have never had luck using the rollers. I find that they pull up the cloth as much wet it out.

    So instead I'm a "Two squeegee" guy! Once I have the cloth positioned just right and smoothed out, I start in the middle and pour epoxy over a section. Then I use a squeegee to spread it out as best I can. Then, to get it perfectly wet out, I hold down the cloth with a squeegee in one hand that is right on the keel seam, and with another squeegee in the other hand I start to work the epoxy up the sides. Then I move the first squeegee to the chine seams and with the other one work it up from there, and then move to the next chine seam. It takes some work but it will eventually work well and leaves very little to puddle in the keel.

    I'm using the medium hardener in garage. I'm running a 220 heater but it still doesn't get it too warm. I'll have plenty of time to work the cloth though!

    Fingers crossed it will work this time!
     
  20. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Steve, that two squeegee approach is very interesting. I'll have to try it. I think the rollers work well on surfaces which have few angles and no inside seams. But, I agree the rollers are cumbersome working a concave form.

    What resin system are you using? I fell in with System Three long ago and have never really experimented with other brands. I shifted from their General Purpose resin to their SilverTip variant about ten years ago when it came out, but their SilverTip "slow" hardener seems more like a "medium" hardener. I work at 60 F / 16 C quite a bit, necessitating the SilverTip Fast hardener.