Showing posts from December 8, 2013

Six down, two to go

Plank 6 went up today. At this point, it is pretty routine.  I've sorted the spiling process, my planks are hitting their station lines, and cutting out the planks is a snap.  Cutting them by hand with the dozuki razor saw is far more accurate than guiding a jig saw, and results in an edge that requires little or no cleanup.

The spiling process works much better now that I have the sequence (bevel first) squared away.  Though, the shape of this last plank surprised me, and even caused me to put the pattern back on the molds to confirm that I'd done it right.

Cutting the gains is (finally) routine and done with confidence. 

The glue-up process (straight epoxy for wetting out the surfaces, followed by thickened epoxy for gap-filling adhesion) is straightforward, if a bit messy.

Laying out the clamps ahead of time, with everything needed close at hand, makes the glue-up uneventful.

At December temperatures, there is no urgency concerning 'pot time', so there is plenty …

Bevel, then spile (duh)

I spiled and glued-up plank 5 today,  and came to a realization that I should have figured out earlier.  For previous planks, I have beveled the landing for the next plank just before hanging it.  I realize now, I should have beveled the landing prior to spiling.  So doing brings the top  batten plane (the plane of the last plank landing) into closer alignment with the plane of the bottom batten of the pattern (the plane of the next landing).  This results in a spiling pattern that is significantly less twisted, which seems to result in a plank that is less distorted.
It may be that I have overestimated the impact of this change, as this plank (the 5th of 8 pairs) would have been easier anyway, but it is nonetheless clear that this is the right way to do it.  
The plank went on more easily than any previous. 
About 4 hours to spile, fit, cut gains, and glue up the pair.

Plank 4

Today was the first day that I've spiled, cut, fit, beveled, and glued up a pair of planks all in one day.  Four and a half hours.  The gains were much easier to cut for this plank, and they fit nicely.  The bow section was less tortured than previous planks.  The last 4 should be easier still.

Plank-3 Glue-up

Plank 3 went on today.  It felt a bit tortured, especially at the bow.  The glue-up at the bow was messy and required a fair amount of force to bring the horns of the plank to meet with the gains cut in plank 2.  I used every clamp, and slammed a couple of temporary retaining screws into the stem as well.

Cutting the gains continued to be a struggle, though, the new shoulder plane (and my own growing experience) improved that substantially.  For the first time I cut the external gain on the bench (or at least two thirds of it, so as not to make the end too fragile).  We'll see how that works.  It certainly is far easier than managing the winding bevel on the stem.

I was careful this time to align the tips of the clamps so as to have clear access to the entire length of the seam on the outside, and I cleaned up the squeeze-out and stripped the tape before I left.

The shoulder plane is superb.

About 3 hours today.

A shoulder to try on

My gut feeling at this point is that cutting the gains -- the rebate where planks transition from overlapping to flush -- will be one of the dominant esthetic touches on this boat, and perhaps the hardest to get right.  I ordered a small (#1) Lie Nielsen shoulder plane to make this job go more smoothly, and it arrived today.  It is a thing of beauty. Tomorrow I will give it a try on plank 3, which I spiled and cut today.
The first two planks look and feel fair.  I'm still not sure about my gains, but when the are filleted and sanded, i think they will be fine.  I do think I will try to increase the length of flush mating surface by an inch or two.

 I did the lattice and batten spiling thing again, and cut the pair of #3 planks.  They seem slightly oversized, and I'm wondering if the spiling technique is causing this, or whether i need to adjust the creation of the pattern.  The landings where planks 2 and 3 overlap will be wider than the half inch called for in the plans, whi…