Well I'm building a 17 54 baker drift boat. So far I've got a pallet of expensive ply wood and one scarf cut

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So I know that you want the scarfs to be perfect but I guess the question is how perfect?

Those actually look pretty good for your first try. The far edge is a bit over feathered. It looks like you are using a plane. I would suggest stopping just shy of getting the edge feathered and finishing it either with a belt sander (not as scary as it sounds) or a random orbit sander with paper that doesn't have holes (the holes can catch the edge of the scarf and tear it). Draw a line 3" from the edge of the scarf and try to just eliminate that line at the same time as you get a nice feathered edge and keeping the lamination parallel.



Belt sander for sure, using that flat plate, keeping it steady. Something that worked good for me was was using the line like Mike said, and clamping a metal strip under the thin edge(like a 4ft drywall square, which also makes the edge square with the sheet of plywood, I used a 6` flooring straight edge) and using the belt sander to go down too but not into the metal. Made for a nice straight fine edge while just touching that 3" marked line. Those lines in the plys will get nice and straight.

You can always cut the end off (like a 1/2") square, draw a new 3" line and try it again

Thanks Yall, I did one practice scarf before this and got cocky.  Live and Learn.  Ill try the belt sander and thin sheet tonight.

Mike T: thanks for the 1/2 inch tip! I was thinking id have to lose the whole 3" but you're right.

Another question, Would it benefit much to move the batten to the 3 inch mark while sanding? Im thinking this will prevent going past the line at all.


Having the batten on the mark will probably not allow you to sand to the mark. Some painters tape on the line will give you some margin for error. Mike T is right on on the metal thing. I use weldable steel sheets 6"X 24" I get them at Ace Hardware. They can be used later to protect the sides of the boat when you are sanding the bottom flush with the sides.



Thanks for the tip Mike. I still nicked the feather edge a hair with the metal under it and ended up keeping an eye on the line and just barely hitting it with the sander
Was able to redo the scarf tonight, I think I'm there. Going to knock the other 3 out tomorrow and hopefully have the side panels glued up

Looks good. Probably obvi. but be sure to sand that stamp off. once it has epoxy over it it will be permanent.



Good to know, I assume that's the b side because of the stamp so I was planning to paint over it. Thanks

hey that looks alot better. You can also make a nice sanding block with a pc of flat particle board cut to the right length, the then end corners rounded, and a belt sanding belt fitted on it and hand sand a little. Gives about a 10" flat surface. I use these all the time for all sorts of stuff.

the wood is 3/4x 10-7/8x 3   fits a 3x21 belt

Great idea Mike.


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