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Tire Reading

Do you know what these 4 numbers mean on a tire? (Hint: They tell you the tire's age - first two numbers are the week of manufacture, last two numbers are the year. 52nd week of 2002 - a 13-year-old tire.) Something to check when you look over a trailer!


Router Base

I made an auxiliary 12.5 degrees base for my Bosch router in order to trim the edges of the side decks plumb with the inwales, worked great. I used tight-grained Cherry.


Mast Sanding

Make sure you wear leather gloves!


Scarfing Sled

Many thanks to whomever came up with this cool scarfing sled. It saved me a ton of time this weekend. I have laid the first stringer on the pathfinder Idle Hands. The full weekends write up is on:


Electric Outboard Setup

Some smart work from Tasmania...


Low-Angle Block Plane

A low-angle block plane is a great tool for building plywood boats. I have several that I keep sharp. Here is another use for one: paring down the inwale cap flush with the deck. I prefer to skew the plane so that the blade is held only over the area that I want to cut and avoid knicking the plywood deck.



In the past few years I have become a Ductworks Addict. Boats and the boating community are truly special. Thank you for follow your dream and making this site possible. My wife said I am obsessed with "Boat Porn". True enough.

I have a few items which may be of interest to the Duck Heads out there.

Big Box Store Epoxy

I found Loctite 5 Minute Epoxy in the paint section at the box store. No big deal except this came in a box with two 4oz bottles. I'm sure we can all think of a number of times that 8oz of fast setting epoxy would have come in handy. The bottles have no graduations on them but a sharpie and a ruler will give you even marks on both bottles. There is a small window down the sides of the bottles to eye-ball the amount. Keep in mind that the quick epoxy's are not as strong or water resistant as the real thing but are far better than nothing.

Tightbond 3 and the Canvas Roof

Back in the 80's the gay girls at the Columbia Island Marina in Washington DC bought or were given a big old hull called Sindbad. This thing was leaking more from the top than from below the waterline. About a month later the sizable cabin roof had been recovered with canvas. It looked great and I asked them about it. They had removed many layers of whatever to get to good wood and let it dry out. They then faired the area. The roof was planked as was most if not all the boat. They then applied one coat of oil based paint to the roof and one to what would be the under side of a large canvas tarp and joined the two while still wet. They rolled out the canvas with dry paint rollers and then tacked the edges. After the paint dried they trimmed the excess and applied two coats of paint. No more leaks from above! I asked how they came upon the idea and was told that this is how it was done in the old days. They said deck houses would be covered with tar or pitch, and canvas was applied, and then more tar or paint. I believe the original Linoleum flooring was little more than Linseed oil baked onto a large canvas with a printed pattern. Durable stuff. Now the TB3 part. I needed to replace a roof on my Boat Box. It is a 4 x 4 x 8 plywood box loaded with boating junk and has shallow pitch on the roof. It was originally shingled about 20 years ago but the shallow pitch was causing leaking. I remembered what the girls did to Sindbad and wanted to try it. I replaced the bad plywood top with new and then rolled out some slightly thinned TB3 on it and covered it with a cheap, un-treated "canvas painters tarp" and applied more thinned TB3. I made sure to roll out any air pockets. After a few days of drying time I painted it with a good Exterior Latex paint. I am amazed at how well the roof is holding up. In five or ten years it may need another coat of paint but that's about it. Low maintenance and inexpensive. Branches have fallen on it and I just pull them off and no damage at all. Shingles would have suffered.

Thanks again to all you "Duckworks'ers".

Andrew Ness

Lead Anode Spline Weights

I use lead anodes as spline weights. Not cheap but very heavy. I should paint mine as touching lead a lot is not good for you. The clamp is on the other protruding part under the steel angle.

From Facebook where you can see my build progress. The design is by Andrew Walters. Paul Austin (long term writer (and a professional) for duckworks) and I are doing the prototype and book manual.

Mike John


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