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Laminating Spearguns - How to Laminate a Speargun

Laminating Spearguns - How to Laminate a Speargun

The Laminating of Spearguns - How to Laminate a Speargun

"Laminating" spearguns means to make a gun with planks of wood cut and epoxied back together so that the grain of each plank is in opposition of the grain of the plank next to it.  The idea is that if one board warps, the other laminated boards will warp the same amount in the opposite direction, thereby negating any warping that occurs in any of the laminated boards.  This concept is frequently used across many aspects of woodworking, for projects that are used both above and below water. 

Humidity and water increase the risk of wood warping, and the concept of laminating wood for spearguns has been implemented as a response to the fact that spearguns tend to see more water than most other wooden implements, and are essentially useless when warped. 


Cost Benefit Analysis

While most brands of epoxy used when laminating spearguns are actually stronger than the wood itself, the risk of delamination can still be present, especially if water gets between laminated layers. 

If you're nervous about the complication of laminating, you can treat your speargun with teak oil regularly. Teak has been used for marine purposes for thousands of years because it has natural resistance to water damage.  

If you don't choose to laminate your speargun, there are some things to keep in mind. 


The Process of Aging Wood

The way to age teak properly is to simply keep it is a cool (room temperature), dry place. Allow it to sit for an extended period of time and dry thoroughly.  This can take anywhere from a month to a year depending on how much humidity you can keep out of the room. The goal of aging the wood is to allow the wood to warp before working on it.  Once the wood is properly dry and warped, a woodworker is able to use proper tools to get a straight edge and build whatever project they are working on with the wood pre-warped. If the wood has already warped through aging, it is unlikely to warp further. 


Straightening Warped Wood

Shaping the wood is dependent on the woodworker's skill level.  Tool used also have a large impact on the woodworkers capabilities. A planer (hand or machine) will put a straight, flat edge on the wood, and either are great tools for making the blank straight. But, if you're using just a planer you have to have a straightedge to reference, and it can be tedious. Either way, if all you have is a planer, you will need to hand plane the first edge straight before putting it into a machine to ensure the sides of your blank are square. The planing process can be done on all four sides of the wood to give you a square or rectangular board. 

A a joiner can also straighten warped wood into a blank. The purpose of this tool is to create a flat edge to join wood into large fixtures.  This is how tables and most other wooden furniture are made. The joiner puts one straight edge on, and once you have an edge that you know is straight, you can use other tools, like a table saw or planer, to create straight edges on all sides. This enables you to find true centers of the wood and accurately build a well-balanced speargun.  

Previous article Types of Wood Used for Building Spearguns

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