Showing posts from November 17, 2013

Daggerboard slot

I almost forgot to do this -- cut the daggerboard slot in the keelson.  It seems unnatural to cut a hole in the bottom of a boat before you even plank it.  Or at all, for that.  Much easier now, though, when you can use a drill press to hog the waste and then trim it up on the bench.  It worked nicely.

There are few creative pleasures to match paring a buttery wood like Alaskan yellow cedar with a really sharp chisel.  Amazing, though, how easily one pares one's fingers given a careless moment of opportunity.  I've signed most every woodworking project I've undertaken with my own blood on these occasions.  Today was the day for my Auklet.  The signature will be safely sandwiched between the two laminations of the keelson.

About an hour and a half, including the signing.

Proving the building frame (part 2)

I finished (I think) proving the mold today.  I measured each facet of each station mold to the nearest millimeter and adjusted with a block plane any that were more than 2 millimeters off so as to make the molds as symmetrical as I could manage.  Having used battens to simulate plank landings, and sighted the result from as many perspectives as the shop configuration allow, my confidence in a fair mold is growing.

I purchased the 4 mm Joubert Okume plywood, as well as some additional Alaskan yellow cedar (for thwarts and floor boards) and some sappele for gunnels.  I think I have pretty much all the wood I'll need at this point, with the possible exception of knees and breasthook.

Before I start the planking I'll glue up the keelson laminations,  cut the dagger board lumen,  mount the transom on the building frame, and glue the keelson to it so that the backbone of the entire boat is in place, stem to stern.  I'll finish beveling the stem, bevel the entire length of the…

Building-frame Proofing

Stepping away to think, inspecting plans, and spending time in the 'moaning chair' tends to reboot the building process.  Or at least it seems to have done in this case.   Yesterday's confusion was resolved by the process of proving the building frame with battens and in so doing, developing a stronger belief in the lines of the boat.

I'm not entirely finished with this process, but it has helped find the correct position of the transom and improved my understanding of where things will come together (the plank landings, especially at the stem, and also at the transom.  A lot of beveling to do at both places.

I think this would be a good time to varnish the transom in preparation to actually attach it to the building frame for planking.

I also glued the stem to the keelson today.

about 3 hours.

The missing wood stretcher

Today was a fiddly day, working on shaping the apron, refining of the shape of the transom, positioning the transom on the transom braces, beginning the process of establishing a fair line for the sheer-strake, and working the keelson into correct position.

This later activity required adjusting the depth of the station mold notches. The keelson is laminated from two pieces, previously milled and dimensioned.  The pieces were a a couple feet longer than need be, so i clamped them in place and rough cut them to a more suitable length, estimating the position that the transom would be in.  Except that I missed.  By about an inch.  Short.

I looked everywhere for the wood stretcher, but my brother hid it.  There was no alternative to milling another full piece, and scarfing the two too-short pieces into one long one, and sorting that bit out tomorrow.

I scarfed the two pieces (8:1 ratio), and glued them up, leaving them to cure, and went on with the shaping of the apron with a spokeshave…

transom and stems

I cleaned up the transom blank with my random orbit sander and traced the outline from the full sized pattern onto the blank.  The outline is delicate and more than casually important to the overall lines of the boat, so I decided to get a new Japanese saw for the job (the one I decided on has a stiffened back, analagous to a dovetail saw, and is called a dozuki saw.  The blank will require further fiddling with chisels, but I feel as though I am pretty close.

I unclamped the outer stem after a day of curing, and cleaned up the excess epoxy (nasty stuff).  The blank fits well and should work nicely.

All the pieces are now ready to attach the keelson, the transom, and the apron, or inner stem, to the building frame.  After that, the next challenge is to fair all the station molds, the keelson, stem and transom so that planking can begin.

About 3.5 hours

Transom joinery

One of the basic skills in cabinetmaking is jointing two or more boards to form a wider board.  I seem to have lost the knack.  I don't have the machine that makes the job easy and reliable, but a skilled craftsman will be able to achieve a good result with a hand plane.  I have only two boards to join, so it should have been straightforward.  I failed on two attempts.  I decided to take the tiniest shaving off each edge with my table saw, and then carefully long-board the edges with sandpaper.  The result was unsatisfactory.  My third approach was to joint the edges with a router, which requires setting up the boards with a gap just narrower than the width of the router bit, with a fence clamped so as to assure that a small amount is removed from each edge.

This technique has the advantage that even if there is a deviation from the centerline, it can still do the job, as the 'error' is reproduced symmetrically.  The jig to achieve this is simple, but not trivial to set u…