To see even more handy tricks, check out the rest of the saga at
Handy Tricks 8: Island Handy Tricks
and Handy Tricks 7: Bike Mods and Projects
and Handy Tricks Six!
and Australian Handy Tricks
and Guatemalan Handy Tricks
and Yet More Handy Tricks
and 40 More Handy Tricks
and Fifty Handy Tricks.
For a bunch of things that didn't work, check out How Not To.
First collection of tricks:
Damon checks out the riggers for his new rowing shell.
0. The boat is carved from pink styrofoam insulation and covered with fiberglass.
1. The boat is up on plywood boat stands made by Vincent Bachet.
2. They are padded with carpet scraps.
3. Damon made the riggers from chunks of aluminum tubing fiberglassed together.
4. The oarlock pins are stainless tube, lashed on with kevlar roving that's then soaked with epoxy.
4a. After some use they slipped. He drilled holes through kevlar and aluminum, sunk screws to pin them in place.
5. The handles of serious oars are not varnished or painted. They are left as bare wood. Apparently that is easier to grip and causes fewer blisters.
Step 1: Check Cloth for water-proof-ness
If no air goes through, there's no porosity and the coating is continuous. It's waterproof.
An Ojibway Indian showed me the same method to find leaks in a birchbark canoe.