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How to build a boat – Flats River Skiff Part 2

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You can build your own boat using our plans and instructional videos!

In the 2nd video of the FRS12 how to series we cover scarfing plywood using epoxy. This method can be used for other boats and wood working projects.

Boat plans with full size patterns are available for purchase.

Plywood Scarf Setup

We are going to go over how to scarf thin plywood together.  To do this, we have a flat, concrete floor.  We set up a flat, sacrificial board that is about 8-10 inches wide and is covered with a thin plastic film.  This will keep the epoxy from our joint from sticking to our guide boards.  We have guide boards in the front and in the back, and they will carry the load of the plywood sheets as we lay them out.

Scarf with Epoxy

First we’ll position our boards and grab mixed epoxy.  We’ll use the brush to paint the boards.  We’re only going to paint the portion from our mark down, which is the part we’re going to bond.  We don’t want to get a bunch of epoxy everywhere else.

We’ll paint one side, flip the other piece over to expose the scarf, and paint it as well.  We’ll let that dry.  The reason we paint it first is because it is a lot of end grain.  The plywood will suck the epoxy into the end grain and dry out the joint if we don’t pre-paint it.

Then we’ll take fender washers and screws – we always use fender washers to keep them from ripping out a hole in the plywood – and fasten them to the board.  Use 2,3, whatever you need to hold it flat.

Using Thickened Epoxy

Then, we’ll take thickened epoxy and smear it on our joint area.  Because we have plastic down, we’re not worried if some goes over.  With the thickened epoxy smeared, we’ll take the next piece, make sure it’s oriented the correct way, and lay it over the bottom piece with the edge very close to the line.

We’ll take a tape measure, or a pre-measured guide block, and measure from the marks we placed when we cut the scarf.  These marks should be three inches apart for a three inch scarf.  The mark on both side should be three inches.  We’ll use more screws to fasten the top piece down.

Let the Epoxy Cure

Then we let everything cure and dry.  Don’t be concerned if you have a lot of epoxy to fill up a mistake or a low spot, as long as your dimensions are ok.  We’ll sand off anything we don’t need, it will peel off the plastic and we’ll clean up any run-through on the back.

Now you’re ready to build a boat!