Montana Riverboats Test Domain Roadkill

Stitching in stitch and glue construction

Stitching in stitch and glue construction

The basic stitching idea is simple. You can glue the edges of large panels together with epoxy putty and temporary stitching which holds the two panel edges together long enough for the resin to harden. Typically both mating surfaces are "wet out" with un-thickened epoxy resin. Then a second batch of epoxy is mixed with thickening agents to make "resin putty" with a yogurt or peanut butter consistency. The resin putty is applied to the matching surfaces and then some sort of stitching is used to hold the assembly together.

Most stitching is done with wire, which can be bailing wire, re-rod construction wire or even large diameter #9 wire. When it comes time to remove the stitching--after the resin putty has hardened, wire can be heated with a torch or soldering gun if needed, prior to cutting and pulling the wire out, perhaps with electricians line pliers.

Many builder prefer nylon snap ties.

Regardless wire or nylon snap ties a hole has to be drilled in each panel prior to stitching, so the stitching can pull the two panels tightly together at each stitching point.

In plywood or honeycomb core panel construction for dories the main role for the stitching is to pull the side panels tightly up to the bottom panel, thereby forming the chine edge. Stitching can be useful in a variety of other situations too but it's primary role is to make the chine edge of the boat where the bottom meets the sides.

Many stitch and glue manuals show how-to-do-it photos with a dozen or even eighteen or more stitches on each side of the boat, along each chine edge.

I usually stitch no more than three times on any chine edge, somewhere near the ends of the chine area on each side and again somewhere near the middle. On each side. Those six stitches insure the alignment of the bottom with the two side panels. For the rest of the chine edge (the boat is upside down at this point, so the bottom panel is the highest point of the assembly) I use boxes of nails paint cans and power tools to weight the bottom panel down, so it presses down hard onto the chine edges of the side panels.

Stitching with #9 wire


Here a honeycomb core bottom panel is glued down onto the chine edges of the side panels (over a plywood plug or form that sets the shape) without stitching, using only weight.


Here a honeycomb core bottom panel is glued down onto plywood 1/4" inch side panels with weight only