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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 12:25 pm 
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Building on another post (Deck Plates for Evergreen Starburst), I'm looking for ideas for materials that can be used as simple deck plates.

I'm touching up a Bell Magic and need new deck plates. However, replacement deck plates from the manufacturer (now Northstar Canoes) may or may not fit Bells exactly, and are $US 20+ each, plus shipping, so too much cost and hassle for me. I'm just looking around the yard and lane for stuff I could use!

Thought of molding them out of fiberglass, but also too much hassle.

Thought of getting some good hardwood, but I'm not woodworker guy with lots of fancy tools.

For the moment I'll be going with some thin plywood with a hardwood veneer that I'll waterproof. I don't expect it will last too long, but hoping at least they'll look nice with the wood grain. Replacing them wont be a huge deal anyway as I plan on just fastening them on top of the aluminum gunwales, so the plywood may be fine. It's what I had lying around.

I'll leave these as wood grain to "match" (not quite) the handles and thwarts, but am also tempted to paint them the same colour as the hull (over contrasting gunwales - red hull, black gunwales, red deck plates).

My most likely alternative would be some plastic from a busted recycling bin or garbage can or something like that.

Anyone have any bright ideas or successes they'd like to share?

Cheers, Pat.

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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 1:14 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
Building on another post (Deck Plates for Evergreen Starburst), I'm looking for ideas for materials that can be used as simple deck plates.

I'm touching up a Bell Magic and need new deck plates. However, replacement deck plates from the manufacturer (now Northstar Canoes) may or may not fit Bells exactly, and are $US 20+ each, plus shipping, so too much cost and hassle for me. I'm just looking around the yard and lane for stuff I could use!

Thought of molding them out of fiberglass, but also too much hassle.

Thought of getting some good hardwood, but I'm not woodworker guy with lots of fancy tools.


Pat, stop, wait on melting plastic trashcan lids as deck caps. The answer is heat-molded Kydex.

I said “Kydex” to Doug for several years. Another friend had made Kydex deck caps years ago, but Doug remained resistant to trying.

Kydex sheets are inexpensive, and can be molded over a stem plug with nothing but a heat gun.

https://www.canoetripping.net/forums/fo ... eck-plates

Google “Making a Kydex holster”, or “Making a Kydex knife sheath” or etc. Doug’s principal problem in heat molding that Kydex was in retaining the “carbon fiber” crosshatched appearance, making matching “carbon” caps for a unicorn; an elegant wood ribbed carbon Prospector.

Regular Kydex, basic black (or choice of colors) would not present that issue.

I have one word for you, just one word. Kydex.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dug-G9xVdVs


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 2:13 pm 
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You had me at easy & cheap! A moldable plastic is a great idea. I have a heat gun. And it looks like there's a local plastic company where I could find some in carbon or red.

I'm going to give it a go with my plywood end plates for now, but Kydex is a definite contender for next time! This is why we ask.

Thanks, Pat.

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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 2:32 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
I'm going to give it a go with my plywood end plates for now


Pat, I’ve tried hardware store plywoods a couple times in canoe applications, even the better (birch ply?) laminates. Despite being heavily resin coated and multi-layered varnished it was, uh, unsatisfactory at best over time.

A solid hardwood deck plate or cap, even cut and routed to an outwale-sized /\ and screwed on top, was better than shitty plywood.

I know there are better “marine” plywoods, like the Okoume stuff used on stitch-and-glue boats, but damn most of it is mighty damn “bend-able” thin.

Kydex is cheap, durable and easy to work with.


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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 3:10 pm 
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True, but the plywood is already cut and in my back yard, whereas the Kydex would require an errand and some expense! Hard to trump that. Plus, I'm interested in the look of the wood to match the handles, thwarts, seat.

On the brightside, if the crappy plywood doesn't last long, all the quicker for me to track down and try some Kydex! All in due time.

P.

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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 3:14 pm 
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Myccr comes through again.

Mike, that linked link is incredible
http://scooter-bangortoportland.blogspo ... kydex.html

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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 4:30 pm 
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Why cut a form to shape the Kydex around. Why not just shape it directly on the boat?

Plastics are complicated to me - lots of fancy names with similar properties. How is Kydex different from an ABS sheet of similar thickness?

Yes, thanks Mike, looking forward to trying it.

Brian, any relations at Johnston Industrial Plastics? :)

P.

edit: To answer my own question: Kydex is tougher and more flexible than ABS (among other things). However, people use the name "Kydex" loosely (sometimes on purpose), and when searching for Kydex, you may come across similar ABS or other products.

"Concealex" (or Boltaron plastic) is a similar thermoplastic that some people prefer over Kydex.

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PostPosted: April 6th, 2021, 5:01 pm 
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I still think getting an $8 storage bin from Canadian Tire and cutting that plastic up into deck plates is a decent Plan C.

If Boltaron or Kydex isn't easy to source or is too pricey, I'd still go storage bin.

P.

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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 1:17 pm 
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I’ve purchased plastic from Johnston Industrial Plastics, but no family connections.

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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 2:09 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
I still think getting an $8 storage bin from Canadian Tire and cutting that plastic up into deck plates is a decent Plan C.

If Boltaron or Kydex isn't easy to source or is too pricey, I'd still go storage bin.


A two pack of 8" x 12" .093 thick plain black Kydex can be had for a whopping $3.60 USD. Doug used thinner .080 with a “carbon fiber” appearance.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/2-Pack-BLACK ... /498796220

Other vendors or on-line may be even less expensive.

Doug is a great friend and fellow boat tinkerer; I paddle and work in the shop with him whenever we get the chance. That was his first time experimenting with Kydex, and he’s sold for applications like heat molding custom deck caps.


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 4:01 pm 
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Interesting. The prices I saw on Amazon tended to be in the range of $45-75!? And my Walmart search only gave a single and different result for Kydex, for $66.25, with no options for others sizes/packs. Perhaps the difference between the ".ca" and ".com" sites??

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/Racers-Edg ... V3CNJCJWH3

Looks like Walmart might be limited to black. From where did your friend order his Kydex that has the carbon fiber "colour"?

Anyway, I'd probably check with a local plastic shops and go pick it up.

P.

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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 5:33 pm 
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As it happens Doug and I send each other outfitting and boat work materials, and I received two 10” x 12” pieces of that carbon-fiber looking .08 Kydex yesterday. Caliper reads a hair over 1/16” thick, and it has a label from Index Thermoplastics.

FWIW .093 is about as thick as a US penny.

Amazon lists 12x12 sheets of .08 Kydex in a variety of colors for $15

https://www.amazon.com/HolsterSmith-Col ... B082S81CT1


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2021, 8:53 pm 
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I'm sold that Kydex (or Boltaron or Holstex) thermoform plastic sheets are a great idea for the job. But some of those Amazon links are "currently unavailable". Best price I saw available was about $US 40 with shipping, so about the same as ordering new decks from the manufacturer. (Check that - just saw a 8x12" 2-pack for $US 22. But I'd go for something other than black, and the decks are ideally longer than 12".)

I won't chase the materials any further (e.g. call a local supplier) until the plywood wears out.

My new lazy-man ideas are cutting boards, minicell foam, old paddle blades, old wooden crates...

My preferences for size, style (e.g. wrap-around or flat) and colour may change once I get the boat painted, so I'll leave this for now and the new deck plates will be the final touch.

P.

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PostPosted: April 8th, 2021, 3:54 pm 
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I have found there’s a big difference in pricing at Walmart.com and Walmart.ca

The last couple of items I looked up were ten times or 1000% more at the later website.

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PostPosted: April 10th, 2021, 8:18 am 
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Paddle Power wrote:
I have found there’s a big difference in pricing at Walmart.com and Walmart.ca

The last couple of items I looked up were ten times or 1000% more at the later website.


I realize there is an exchange rate, but that’s nuts.

I was surprised that some things are simply unavailable in Canada at any price. In discussions about using Dynel fabric for abrasion resistant skid plates there were zero Canadian suppliers; there are at least a half dozen in the US.

Back to deck plates. I think wood deck plates look best on wood gunwaled canoes. If, like me, you lack the skills to make an inset wood deck plate, even a simple /\ of some hardwood, stained and varnished and top mounted looks decent, and is easier to take off or replace than an inset deck.

ImagePB150016 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The advantage of something like Kydex is that a top mounted deck cap can be heat molded around the sides of the outwales. With aluminum or vinyl gunwales the raw ends are kinda ugly if left exposed, and with aluminum maybe a little sharps dangerous.


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