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Strip Planking

Tutorial: Strip Planking

Strip Widths example 1

Strip Widths example 1

Strips for your board can be installed on the framework in various widths but there is typically a “best width” depending on the width of the boards/timber you are starting with, the “look” you are trying to create and the part of the board you are working on.

Strip Widths example 2

Strip Widths example 2

Strips for your board can be installed on the framework in various widths but there is typically a “best width” depending on the width of the boards/timber you are starting with, the “look” you are trying to create and the part of the board you are working on.

Material milling sequence

Material milling sequence

When using 6” (152mm) planks and after ripping the planks into thirds, each third of a plank is then split into three strips that measure approximately ¼” (6.35mm) x 1 ¾” (44.45mm) x 96” strips.  An option for the bottom strips on any of the boards is to mill the bottom strips at a thinner dimension of 3/16” (4.76mm) for weight savings on the finished board.

Determining strip width

Determining strip width

Narrower strips will be needed for the turn of the rails. These widths can be ripped from the wider strips. The tightest radius of the rails will require strip widths of approximately 5/8” – ¾” (15mm – 19mm)

More on strip width

Installing the widest strips possible will save time. Installing narrower strips will be somewhat stronger and slightly heavier due to more glue in the structure. Pin lines can add nice details in the look of the deck. Some contrasting woods can be heavy so sticking to softwoods when possible is good if you want to minimize weight. Strips can be used in various lengths. Strips that are shorter than the board you are building can be scarfed into full length strips or the strips can be installed on the frame by butting the strips ends together with the joint centered on the frames/added glue strips.

The use of expensive materials

The use of expensive materials

Optimizing the use of expensive materials creatively can yield satisfying results.

Deck layout

Deck layout

The deck layout offers an opportunity to add personal touches.

Structural shell

Structural shell

The strips form a structural “shell”, the structure of which is semi-monocoque, the same type structure as used in aircraft construction.

Using fiberglass and resin for additional support

Using fiberglass and resin for additional support

Skin thickness can vary depending on the load. The standing area takes high loads compared to the bottom of the board and can be reinforced from underside with fiberglass. This is especially important for heavier paddlers. The wet looking spots in the photo are strips of fiberglass and resin which support the deck between the frames.

Square edged & “bead and cove” strip edges

Strip edges can be square edged or a “bead and cove” edge can be milled into the strip. “Bead and cove” edges will produce slightly more surface area and a slightly stronger glue joint but also expresses slightly more glue line.

Bevel angle

Square edge or beveled edge strips are also an option. The photo below shows the rolled bevel strips being wrapped around the rails and onto the bottom after the board has been flipped. The bevel varies from nose to tail depending on the angle between the mating surfaces. This angle is determined by the radius being wrapped.

For more video clips on the technical details of strips planking, check these out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEw7_m9eMI&t=119s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FifTxPoTn_Q&t=184s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IC9IVE0104