Furbish of two old Kleppers

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Abbesnabb
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Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

It's been a few months since I introduced myself and the two Klepper kayaks I intend to make sea seaworthy again after many years on land. They are both old, one Aerius I from early 1980:s and one Arius 20 from 1976 (or so). Not only are they old but they have also been stored assembled outside for many years exposed to cold, humidity and pressure from the weight of snow. A result is that some parts have deformed or broken. Not only that but also wasps had build a nest on the Aerius 20 and used the cotton for material.

So I started with the Aerius I which still have a deck and hull in fair condition.

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Some of the ribs had been deformed and had to be replaced.

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Klepper has its own fittings in even its own copper aluminum alloy and some of them are available online and some are harder to find. There were some on this rib that I couldn't find but I learned that aluminum can be soldered rather easily. It turns out that aluminum melts at 660 °C while zinc has a melting point of 420 °C which means you can melt zinc and not melt the aluminum part. I used a heat gun (should reach about 500 °C) an a cheap butane gas burner to melt the zinc (gas burner should be able to reach temperatures around 1000 °C).

It turns out that zinc is available to buy at marine store as a galvanic anode at a reasonable price. I don't know the strength of this seam but it will have to do for now. I suspect salt water won't be the best for the zinc.

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The fittings are of course riveted to the ribs and the rivets had to be drilled out.

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After stripping the ribs of fittings they could be used as templates for new ribs. Since they are bilateral, one good side was enough. I put the rib in warm water and let it soak before I put it under pressure to make it flat enough to serve as a template.

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Turns out the dimensions of last century's German plywood is not the same as this year's Swedish ones. Also birch plywood has to be ordered and in the process I learned that B is the best surface quality while XX is so so and BB is somewhere in between. Managed to buy B/BB which means one good side and one ok side. To get close to the original just above 13 mm thickness of the original I glued two 7 mm pieces together with polyurethane glue. It foams so the boards had to be pressed together tight.

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Then finally I was able to cut the new ribs from my birch plywood.

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I mounted the fittings on my new rib to make sure they were put in the right place for the rest of the frame. I know the fittings originally are riveted but I have no riveting experience and I also had a hard time finding rivets at the right dimension. It's probably not right but 4 mm stainless steel bolts and nuts had to do.

Reached a maximum length for one post. To be continued.
Last edited by Abbesnabb on Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Abbesnabb
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Part two: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

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The original Klepper parts are immersed three times in varnish. I didn't immerse but I applied varnish with a brush three times.

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I have heard that the original cotton thread can become brittle with time and that had happened to the Aerius I, the deck had become loose from the hull. After ordering a sewing awl online with some thinner (1mm) synthetic threadand thinner nails for the sewing awl I was all set. I did not want to pierce any new, larger holes to I aimed for the old ones in the hypalon hull. After breaking three needles I learned that it was important to approach the fabric at a straight 90 degree angle.

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The sewing awl can sew through thick fabric and rubber.

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Make sure you know where you put your fingers (yes that is blood on the fabric).

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An ok seam for a first try if I may say so.

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Two weeks ago I was able to assemble the Aerius I.

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New part blends in nicely.

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And the 35 year old beauty (or even older) sits nicely in the water. No major leakage.

Now on to the Aerius 20.

Part one found here: http://www.foldingkayaks.org/phpBB/view ... 215#p42223

Larger images can be found here: https://skrymta.se/2019/07/06/klepper-aerius-i/

mje
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by mje »

Great post. You can also buy a low-temperature solder used for air conditioning repair.
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Abbesnabb
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

I got some rods that were meant for aluminum soldering but I didn't get it to work. Found it easier to work with zinc (not to say that was easy either). I don't think I had the right temperature for the rods to melt.

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gbellware
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by gbellware »

Thanks for that post, all good stuff! Great work on the sewing. I imagine that the bolts will work just fine on the fittings but don't be afraid of rivets. If you get the right size of aluminum you can get them to fit up just right. A hardened bolt, with a concave end (not the bolt end, but the thread end) serves well as the round surface you can use to peen the rivet. The way I have found easiest is to locate the rivet in your hole, put the concave bolt against the head of the rivet, put an aluminum washer over the end of the rivet, and then hammer the end so that it captures the washer against the wood.
g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

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Abbesnabb
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

I thought I documented the soldering but it turns out I have no pictures of that process. However here's a picture of the result. I know, not pretty but it works (for now).

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Larger image here.

mje
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by mje »

Abbesnabb wrote:I got some rods that were meant for aluminum soldering but I didn't get it to work. Found it easier to work with zinc (not to say that was easy either). I don't think I had the right temperature for the rods to melt.
Part of the technique I’ve seen demonstrated involves brushing the aluminum with a stainless steel brush to get through the oxide layer and get the solder to wet the surface.

https://youtu.be/bFf3zO2Ys64
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kdwalmsley
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by kdwalmsley »

What a great project! Thank you for posting your techniques, what you learned, and the pictures. Very appreciated and sure to help many others. Please consider using epoxy when laminating plywood for marine applications and the low temperature aluminum rod for the repairs. You put so much time and effort into your project, the better materials will reward you for years to come. Let me know if you need any info on marine plywood use or aluminum brazing. I picked up a few good techniques at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building and I have a family member that worked at Chesapeake Light Craft. That guy has laminated a LOT of plywood. Thanks again for your great post!
Cheers,

Kevin


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Abbesnabb
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

Thanks for the replies. Vacation time so the project continues though I'm procrastinating the larger sewing task for the two-seater. Today I decided to put number on the ribs that I made, not that I need it but to see if I could.

I was using a technique called decoupage which is basically transparent glue that lifts off the top layer of paper and capsules it. I used a local variation but you'll probably use something called "mod podge".

Use a laser printer, print what you want to transfer but remember to mirror it first. It's important that you use a laser printer since the color sits on the paper and not in the paper as with an ink-jet printer.

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Spread it to the surface, I find it working better if the wood is already varnished. Also spread the decoupage glue evenly on the printed paper. Let it dry according to instructions on the bottle or even better overnight to make sure it's set well.

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Carefully, using plenty of water, dissolve the paper. There is a balance here where you want the paper gone but not the color so you have to be careful not to peel off (too much of) the print.

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The final result, a bit rugged appearance but I think that blends in well with the other old parts. There is a balance between scrubbing off too much of the color and leaving too much paper but some paper is ok if you cover the print in a layer of varnish.

The logotype is not really the Klepper logo but rather my interpretation of it (more on that subject later).

Larger pictures here: https://skrymta.se/2019/07/08/decoupage-tryck-pa-tra/

idc
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by idc »

Fantastic post! Thank you very much for documenting your experiences for the rest of us to learn from!
:-)

Abbesnabb
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

How come Klepper put a joint on their ribs for the Aerius 20? Is it to make the ribs stronger? Is it to save some material in the manufacturing process? Not very Klepper-ish.

My new rib on top, an original Klepper rib at the bottom.

Image

RainerM
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by RainerM »

@Abbesnabb

Aerius I :?
No, your single-seater is a 1960s Klepper T9 ... better than the Aerius I, which is lame and heavy :P

R.

RainerM
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by RainerM »

[quote="Abbesnabb"]How come Klepper put a joint on their ribs for the Aerius 20? Is it to make the ribs stronger? Is it to save some material in the manufacturing process? Not very Klepper-ish.

Of cource: Very Klepper-typical, most of the double-seaters (Aerius II, T7, T8, Blauwal4, TS2 etc.) and also the single-seaters T6, T9, T65, T66, T67 etc., mostly at the open ribs.

R.
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Abbesnabb
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

But is there a point to it other than saving material in the manufacturing process? The plywood should be practically equally strong in all directions, shouldn't it?

Abbesnabb
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Re: Furbish of two old Kleppers

Post by Abbesnabb »

My decoupage escapades in my previous post were just procrastination exercises to avoid starting on the larger job on the Aerius 20.

I am not sure of the condition of the hull so I will follow the advice from this excellent postand paint it will gummipaint. A side-effect of that will unfortunately be that I'll lose the original Klepper logo and model at the side of the hull.

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One solution would be to get vinyl stickers printed and put them on the sides over the paint. However it turned out that there were no high resolution Klepper logotypes out there to find. So I decided to have a try at digitalizing it myself. One problem however is that rubber stretches so I did not have a good logotype to use.

My father have brought me some Klepper things he found at home in turns. One is a can of Klepper-rubber-glue, unfortunately all dried out but the can looks cool. I thought I could perhaps use the logo on the can.

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Unfortunately it turned out that the printing quality didn't measure up.

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I could use it to guide me to the relationship between the letters.

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This is not the Klepper logotype, it is my interpretation of the Klepper logotype.

THE QUEST FOR THE KLEPPER FONTS

And for the other fonts, both the "Aerius I" and the "Aerius 20" appears to be printed in Helvetica Neue Bold.

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So far so good, next step which led me to the previous post was to find the font on the ribs of the Aerius I.

I went to the can of glue and thought I saw a "Futura" at the "KLEPPER WERKE ROSENHEIM". It made sense since Futura is a classic German font released in 1927 and could have been used by Klepper in the 1900:s. However, when looking closer to the figures it turns out it wasn't Futura on the ribs.

I looked at Akzidens and Kabel but finally settled for Gill Sans which is British but released at the same time as Futura (1928).

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Larger images at: https://skrymta.se/2019/07/15/klepper-logotypen/

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