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6. Striping basics 2 - filling large areas

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The alternating style from the previous chapter is well suited for stems. Larger areas on the other hand need more efficient method. If you are not into shaping hundred or more strip ends, you may want to try this.

The two mahogany keel strips (center) were laid down first. The filler strips were then put in as usual, but no attempt was made to glue or make a tight fit to the keel strips. As long as the gap is narrower than the width of the pine spline (white), it will be OK.
When all is filled, a square edge pine spline is temporarily stapled flush to the edge of the keel strips and a trim line is drawn. The pine strip will actually fit in the slot that is to be cut next.
Forty minutes with the razor saw saves a few days worth of tedious work. It is preferable to cut on the inside of the line with a slight angle to form a small taper.

It is always easier to plane the pine spline to make it fit the slot than to fill a wide gaps later. Proceed to plane and dry-fit the spline from one end until it slips into place snugly along the entire length. Glue and staple as usual. Cutting it into two pieces makes the job easier still.
This photo only illustrates the perfect application of the technique described above. The sharper the angle-cut at the end of the strip, such as in the middle of the kayak bottom, the longer it takes to create precisely fitting joints.

The pull saw method makes all joints look equally professional.


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