After several false starts and experiments I finally started stripping the stern piece of my cedar strip Aleut kayak, the Shooting Star. The stern piece is the most difficult part of the entire building process for this particular design, because of the sharp compound curves involved. I ended up throwing out the designer's recommendations and making up a different method on my own. There were a lot of options I needed to choose from: wide strips or narrow; cove and bead or rolling bevel; steam bending, boiling, or using the heat gun; staples or hot glue; stripping one side at a time or both sides at once. There are several ways of achieving the same result. Any particular method should give good results as long as it follows a few rules: The strips must lie tightly against the forms. The strips must be glued tightly against each other without gaps. One must be able to remove the forms from the strips easily afterwards without stressing the exterior layer of fiberglass and epoxy.
In the end I decided to use narrow cove and bead strips, bent using the heat gun, using a stapleless technique that uses hot glue, bungees and clamps. With the heat gun I bent the each strip carefully so that I didn't need to force the strip to follow the forms. Unlike steam bending or bending with boiling water, bending with the heat gun does not result in any "springback" so that the strip will maintain its shape once it is bent. Also, the strip can be immediately glued without waiting for it to dry. I decided to strip both sides at the same time, because that would also take care of joining the halves. That meant building the stern form like a miniature boat oriented upside down on a little "strongback". My thinking was that with this method even if the halves didn't perfectly follow the forms, the errors would most likely be symmetrical.