This post is about a very specific boat building tool that is of interest to but a smattering of individuals worldwide. But first a little background.

Building boats in wood has been around probably since the first man decided that something that floated provided a great way to get out on the water. Of course a log is anything but a stable platform. However, the wood sawn from the log (or bark peeled from the tree) can be used as framing or planking that creates the shape envisioned by the designer. Experimenting with shape allowed man to create boats with different properties – some designs more hydro-dynamically efficient, and more stable, than others.

As knowledge about stability and hydrodynamics grew, man sought a way to apply the theoretical to the practical and validate theory. Twentieth century man discovered that strip built boats made a great way to build quickly and test out new shapes in watercraft. That’s wood stripping of kayaks and canoes of course. Today, with computer programs to assist with designs, calculate stability, and even create form templates, almost anyone can design their own kayak and canoe and use striping techniques to build it. The Blue Heron Web-Site and Forums are a great place to learn about how others design and build Kayaks worldwide today, and get sage advice from experienced builders worldwide.

Wood stripping traditionally – and I use that term loosely as the practice has been around in its current form for many decades – has been done by stapling the strips onto forms while the adhesives cured. This probably derived from the practice of stapling layers of veneer – another common boatbuilding technique typically used in larger craft especially sailboats (with which I’m familiar). Or maybe it just derived because it makes sense as an easy and fast way to attach strips to a form. I don’t know the origins. But the fact is, staples used for attaching strips have benefits, but also serious drawbacks. The key objection is that staples are a pain to adjust if a strip goes in improperly, they are a pain to remove, and once removed, create an aesthetic problem by leaving small holes in the wood.

There are several alternatives to staples. Some strippers use fast setting glues, some use clamps that can be attached to the forms. A relatively novel approach I viewed recently on the Blue Heron Forums is using clips and rubber bands. The advantages include fast attachment, easy adjustment, and speedy removal. The big benefits are aesthetic (no holes) and reusability – a big factor for those of us trying to live as green as we can (and still strip boats).

The following design was made known to me by a fellow from Australia named Rick Went who published the use in the Blue Heron Kayak Forums. Rick has generously made his design available to strippers, and even better, made the completed product available at cost. Se also how the use originated here and here . Silverio from Portugal supplied the original threads and they show images of building both a kayak and a surfboard. One couldn’t hope for a finer aesthetic execution than performed by Silverio.

Photo of doodad clip in use

Still, there were several reasons I felt a need to create a design for my own purposes. Australia uses metric sizes and the strips are typically milled to a fractionally smaller size than those in the United States. Plus I just enjoy designing three dimensional objects, and this was an opportunity to leverage Google Sketchup’s ability to out put to a CNC type file (dwg, stl, etc).

Sketchup output of doodad

Finally, here are the dimensions of the acrylic clip derived by using an illustration program in my initial mockup.
doodad dimensions

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