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Planking with hot iron

The idea behind gluing with hot iron is that when dry PVA glue is heated up it melts and as soon as you stop applying heat it solidifies very quickly (~ 5 - 10 seconds). The benefit of this is that this can be repeated multiple times if the position of the plank needs to be changed or shifted slightly. In some cases I was even able to remove a plank completley and then reglue it.

Here is how I do it:

  1. I dryfit the plank, make sure that it fits nicely where it supposed to go,
  2. Then I apply PVA glue (I'm using Weldbond white PVA glue) on the back side of plank and spread it with a toothpick so it covers the whole plank consistently
  3. I usually wait until the glue is tacky and then begin to put the plank on the hull. Some people wait until the glue is completely dry. I start from the bow and put the plank as close as possible to the stem and to the previous strake. I just lay it out along the hull trying fit it properly (its ok if it is not a perfect fit) 
  4. Then I apply the tip of the hot iron to the plank where it touches the bow. I move it back and forth a little and press it slightly. Really like ironing linens. The goal here is to get the plank glued to the bow section so there is a starting point.
  5. After a few seconds (depends on how hot the iron is) the glue will melt and I start pressing the plank with my fingers. I try to get it as close as possible to the stem and to the previous strake. There will about 5 seconds to do that. If glue dries before I'm finished I simply apply heat again.
  6. Once I'm happy with how fore section turned out, I continue to work in ~ 2" sections: heat up, press the plank towards the previous strake and wait till it's dry
  7. Once the plank has been glued, I check the whole strake for gaps. If I see any, I apply the tip of hot iron and press the plank again trying to close the gap.

And that's it! This technique is very easy and works perfectly on thin veneer that is used by Master Korabel in their kits.


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