Preview: Building the Oonagh Rowing/Sailing Dinghy, Part 5 – Scarfing Planks Together

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To make planking joints are secure and fair, they should be carefully sanded to achieve a precise dry fit before the epoxy goes on.

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13 Responses So Far to “Building the Oonagh Rowing/Sailing Dinghy, Part 5 – Scarfing Planks Together

  • Avatar

    THOMAS HATCH says:

    Thanks for parts 5 and 6. They caused me to put in some more time on the keel and remake the bow and stern blocks. Fortunately, I hadn’t yet glued them in place. Question: what’s the best filler to use to thicken the epoxy? I’m using West System 105 with hardener 207. Keep these videos coming!

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    Maura Mulcahy says:

    Just a shout out to Kit – thank you! I’m moving along slowly but I’m moving.

    Surely the info I need is all over this website but man it would be helpful to dumb it down with links in sequential order for dummies like me who don’t have the a ton of time to scour data after work.

    The day job will pay for the Cruising Ketch replacement (sold post Covid) that’ll be in FRONT of Oonagh.

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast…

    • Avatar

      Glenn Holland says:

      I can’t hear or spell. Appologies to Kat.

  • Avatar

    Glenn Holland says:

    Thanks Kit, good stuff. I looked up, “Wonky”, in my old book of boatbuilding terms. Can’t find it…but they didn’t have CNC’s back then. Appreciate your skills.

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    Eric J Nelson says:

    great video, ok, so call me a nerd, what is the spar in the background? Looks traditional with possible topmast irons at the top…?

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    David Heal says:

    Would there be any significant advantage to applying thin mylar-type tape along both sides of the joint to prevent the epoxy squeeze-out from adhering to the plywood? The tape would then be removed leaving a clean surface. This might reduce the need to scrape/sand off the squeeze-out epoxy.

  • Charlie Nichols

    Charlie Nichols says:

    For me, doing full width scarfs isn’t hard, BUT the size of the sheet (and working alone) makes it kind of difficult. I will just lay out the planking (just overlap a couple sheets temporarily) and get a ROUGH idea of where the planks will land. Then, just rip the sheets down to manageable size that will fit the planks you’ll be getting out of them. Ripping a 4′ down to a 2′ really helps ease the handling. I’ll still cut the bevel and glue up the scarfs at the same time. It may take a little longer, but making the handling that much easier is worth the small amount of time (at least it is a good trade-off for me). I think scarfing plywood is much easier than it looks, and much, much easier than it is to describe it! (haha)….and of course if you mess it up, you can always remove it and start over as long as you have adequate length! Oh….don’t forget which half sheet goes with which….mark the mating ends on both sides when you rip it! (don’t ask how I know this!).

    • Avatar

      Crispin Miller says:

      Yes, the plywood-lapstrake how-to books by both John Brooks and Iain Oughtred show the scarfing of plywood stock done with ripped half-sheets, 2′ wide. For the dinghy my son and i are working on, our cutting layout looks like we’ll want to do the rip as 18″-30″, but same idea.

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    Peter Brackenbury says:

    If working from plans only, would it be safe to assume that you scarf two sheets then lay out your planks and cut them from the scarfed sheets? Does that waste material? I assume the scarfing table is only for the kit since it isn’t in my plans.

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      There are several ways to do most of the steps in building a boat, so you could certainly do that Peter. And yes, it might well create more waste, but you can sketch out the two different methods and that’ll inform which way to go. Some might like that convenience, and some might prefer doing multiple scarfs and saving material and working with smaller bits in tight spaces.


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