Welcome to The Folk School of Fairbanks

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October 15, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Folk School
2861 Beverly Lane
Fairbanks, AK 99709
$88 (members), $136 (non-members) (plus cost of kit)
Bruce Campbell

Build Your Own Pack Raft from a Kit (two session workshop)

Instructor: Bruce Campbell

Build your own lightweight Pack Raft that you order from a DIY Pack Raft Kit. (Or, finish a raft you have started!)

Pack rafting has become very popular. Light, easy to use, they allow one to get out on rivers and lakes not normally accessed. The expense of a pack raft is largely the cost of labor to hand assemble the craft. Fortunately, if you can use an iron, you can order a kit and assemble your own from material just like the best pack raft.

Pack rafts are made out of modern lightweight polyurethane coated nylon fabric. The coating on one side is heat activated, meaning a household iron can melt the coating and bond two pieces of fabric together. A household iron is too big for the narrow seams in a pack raft, so to build your raft you must also order a Clover Heat Sealing iron through Amazon.com for about $25. Add to this a kit for $129 to $195, plus a zipper for $55, seam sealant, and other accessories you might choose, add about 30 hours of assembly by yourself, and you have an affordable pack raft.

This two session workshop will get you off and started on your pack raft. You will make your own tube froming tool from a piece of scrap 2” x 10” board about 14” long. We will reinforce your Clover iron before you use it. Then we will practice on scrap fabric until you are confident judging the heat and pressure needed with your iron. Instructor will demonstrate the simple flat seam, and the more complicated curved seams forming the raft tubes. You will lay out your raft parts, attach one half to the floor and join tubes on one side. The goal is to complete enough of the raft that you are comfortable taking it home and finishing it on your own.

Some have expressed an interest in further help finishing their raft. They are also welcome to sign up and come with their raft to continue where we last left off before Summer crashed around us. The class is an excellent way to get specific help closing the tubes. Reminder: When joining tubes please remember to leave 8” to 10” unsealed on the top portion of the tubes at each end. Or simply do not join the ends (1 to 1 and 5 to 5). We have time in the class. Students just starting will greatly benefit from watching others close the joined tube sections.

Materials needed: Participants order their own raft kit from: http://www.diypackraft.com/

Recommendations: Standard weight raft is better for rivers and general use. Add a double floor and a zipper. Order seam sealer, aquaseal, and any other parts you need. A seat is a great first practice task before class starts. The easiest colors to use are 1) Yellow, 2) Red, and 2 Solid Green (new), and then Blue. Black is OK for seams. Cammo is the hardest to see the seam as it forms.

Order your own Clover mini Iron adapter through Amazon.com.

Review the DIY website videos illustrating how to build the raft. Print out the pfd of the instructions your instructor will send you before class.

Please order your raft and iron well before the class (the rafts are shipping from Canada and can take several weeks).

Note: Classes may be delayed due to back-ordered kits from the manufacturer. Rescheduling is in progress. Prospective students are welcome to suggest times and days that best fit their schedule. The instructor will propose new classes for January and March and input would be appreciated. Students may also move to a later class if their kits are back-ordered.

Participants bring to the workshop: your raft kit, your Clover seam sealing iron, scrap 2”x10” board about 14 inches long, parchment paper, roll of tape, flashlight, and a home iron if you ordered a double floor.

Instructor will provide wooden ironing surfaces, extra scrap fabric, his finished and new partially finished raft to watch and learn from.

(Note: Spray skirts and thigh braces are beyond the time available in this introductory workshop. Discuss them with Fairbanks Paddlers, including John Schauer, at the Hamme Pool paddling sessions. See Luc Mel’s outfitting descriptions: www.thingstolucat.com / pimp my packraft; and Google: Mark Oates, The packraft liberation front.)

Dates of the class: Sundays, October 15 & 29, 2017

Time of the class: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm each session

Maximum number of students: 8

Minimum number of students: 5

Age range: 18 and up

Prerequisites:  none

Location: The Folk School

Cost: $88 (members); $136 (non-members)

Materials cost: Participants must order their own raft kit from: www.diypackraft.com (along with seam sealer – aquaseal – and any other parts you need), as well as a Clover seam sealing iron from Amazon.com.

To Register: Please fill out the Class Registration Form below and click on the “Submit” button. This will take you to the Payment page, where you can complete your registration through PayPal (or you may send a check by mail).

Are you interested in this class, but can’t take it? Tell us why!


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