Thursday, February 20, 2014

Centerboard cuts

After all the work of scarfing, measuring, cutting and trimming the bottom plank, plus the addition of the keelson and seat stringers, the prospect of cutting a big hole in the bottom of the boat was more than scary. I also have never really used a circular saw, so it was even more daunting. But as it turned out my fears were for naught. The measurements held true, the lines were straight and the resulting slot will accommodate the centerboard trunk very nicely. There's still a little bit of clean-up work to do on the corners, but it's mostly done. 
The chisel and edge-plane proved to be the perfect tools for the job of cleaning up the slot. 

You can see the supporting section braces underneath the cut-out, with a little bit of junk yet to be cleaned up  in the corner.
I also was able to get the first two coats of epoxy onto the garboard plank. Much easier to do now rather than after I get all the bulkheads on. It looks so shiny now...almost as if it were varnished...but it needs another coat, lots of sanding and filling in the weeks ahead.

Epoxied bottom plank

I finished fiberglassing the insides of the centerboard trunk. This will make it completely waterproof and very strong.
One side of the CB trunk glassed. The other...not. 

Now...I need to find a table saw to borrow from somebody. I've got some serious lumber ripping to do...Given some of the severe compound curves in upcoming steps, I was reading from other  builders that it's much easier to laminate the stringers, rather than bend thicker pieces.

A stack of rough sawn Honduras mahogany, ash, and white oak ready to be ripped and cut down to size. This wood will be used to  make up the rudder blank, and the CB trunk logs and top/
All these 1x1 poplar stringers need to be ripped in half. 

If the weather is nice, and I get a little bit of time this weekend, I am going to attempt to melt lead, cut a big hole in the centerboard and pour a 30 lb lead weight into it. Another series of firsts...more to come!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

More Progress

 So once most of the parts were cut out and assembled, I assembled the building frame which is shown below. It doesn't look like much, but it is level in both directions and very sturdy and solid. Each one of the cross stations has a specific height which corresponds to the bottom curvature of the boat. Once the garboard plank is fastened on top, it will set up to the final curvature. Further additions of planks, keelson, stringers and bulkheads will end up holding the shape.

Building jig/frame. I see a nice bonfire in the future. :)
 In a previous post, I talked about cutting out the bottom plank. Below is a picture of what it looks like before fastening onto the frame. The plank will be held in place to its shape by a few temporary drywall screws that will be removed when the time comes to flip the boat.
Garboard (bottom plank) laid on top of the frame.  

Front view of the same thing. The curves look pretty fair. 

I tried taking a picture close to the edge. It's hard to get a feel for the sheer (curvature) of the board...but it looks nice. 
 Once the plank is positioned and fastened on the frame, I spent some time lining off centerlines, bulkhead stations, and stringer positions. I also pre-drilled and counter-sank holes on the bottom of the plank for securing the keelson. The photo below shows the keelson being glued to the bottom plank. I used white oak...a wood that has a very pleasing heft and solid feel to it. It's also highly resistant to rot; not that that will be particularly important as it will be encased in epoxy by the time I'm done with it.

Further proof that you can never have too many clamps when building a boat. Work has stopped until the epoxy sets up because I don't have any more bar clamps!
 I had to crawl under the boat to drive all the stainless screws that hold the keel in place. At this point, I have to say, I'm pretty glad that I build the frame at table height. I have a feeling I'm going to spend some more time underneath there, so it's good that there's a little room to maneuver around. I ain't as spry as I used to be!
View from stern looking forward. 

Side view. Here you can get a better feel for the curvature of the bottom.

Next up, fitting the seat bottom stringers, cutting the centerboard trunk slot, epoxying the entire bottom of the boat, and fitting the stem.