Episode 14 – Building the TotalBoat Sport Dory


This a big moment in the TotalBoat Sport Dory build, because in this weeks episode Lou will be gluing the plastic frames into the first layer of bottom.  The frames are made of UHMW plastic, which is very strong, but still bendable. Watch Lou’s latest in Episode 14 as the Dory starts to come together and Lou walks us through the first steps of creating plastic frames, something he knows is unconventional in technique, but is forward-thinking in performance. 

In order to set things up properly, Lou needs to first tape off the frame slots in the mold.  For this he uses packing tape so the epoxy won’t stick to it and it’s very easy to remove later.  The next step is to put a frame in each slot and cut it off flush at the top of the mold.  This gives each frame the proper angle at the top, or bottom of the boat as it were, where the frames set into the bottom.  With our slots and frames ready its time to mix up some TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy and set our bottom and frames in place.  Lou takes the time to poke some small holes in both the bottom slots and the frames where they meet so they will fit tightly and give the glue more to hold onto.  Lou can then spread some epoxy in the slots and on the ends of the frames and place each one into position.  We have also added some additional stringers on the outside to help train the plastic frames in place as they dry.

Watch episodes 1-14 in the playlist we have created, so you can all binge watch, catch up, or just relive all the glory that is Lou and Tips from A Shipwright.


15 responses to “Episode 14 – Building the TotalBoat Sport Dory

  1. Great episode, gives me thought about replacing framing on my 30 year old bank dory….
    Thanks Lou again for another great episode!

  2. Great video Lou, very interesting construction with the plastic frames. Wondering why when gluing the frames to the bottom you only dimple two sides of the slot and frame….why not dimple all three contact faces of the frame and bottom?

  3. Always enjoy watching Lou at work in the shop…couldn’t help but notice the size of that rake head hanging above the window…brought me back to the good old days…keep those videos coming…

  4. When gluing the frames in their slots, why did you not thicken the epoxy/hardener mix with silica or other thickening agent?

  5. I assume that dimpling the plastic ribs with the awl is because the epoxy does not adhere well to the “milk bottle” plastic. Maybe a urethane glue would work,though it sticks to everything. The plastic will require a special primer for paint. Seems to me that because the plastic has memory (unlike steam bent ash),the planking becomes more important to keeping the beam in shape. The plastic to wood connections will need strong fasteners.
    Great project ! Clark

  6. I note that when using epoxy you do not wear any type of gloves. The products I have used all indicate that contact with the skin should be minimal until the epoxy cures.

  7. I’d like to see at least a minimal demonstration of the structural effectiveness of gluing those HDPE ribs in, even with the divots. IF the divots in the ribs and bottom line up, and IF the non-thickened epoxy doesn’t just soak into the wood or drain out the bottom, maybe there is some connection, but I’m skeptical. I’ve been gluing up a lot of stuff with epoxy, and I use polyethylene stir sticks, spreaders, glue pots, etc – and I’ve never had epoxy stick to any of them. I know the rotomolded kayak folks do repairs sometimes where they first lightly burn the surface of the poly to roughen it and get some mechanical keying to get the epoxy to stick, but these little dents are way different than that technique. I’m not sure the joints need to be strong, but going to the trouble of the divots kind of implies that Louie thinks they need to be. I hope he’s not going to be disappointed.

Leave a Reply to Tom Seerveld Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *