Friday, December 27, 2013

Chesapeake Deadrise Build

East River - Mobjack Bay
In St. Michaels Chesapeake Bay Museum

The watermen on the Bay have some of the most elegant vessels which, in many cases, are build by themselves though now perhaps not so much. The Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Va did capture one such build all done by eye, no plans. Amazing really. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Keel, Stems and Boomkin

Got some key things accomplished on the "you know what" this weekend. They are:

  1. trimmed the shear back 1/4" for a sliver of ash to cover the ply edge.
  2. cut, planed, shaped and sanded the boom kin.
  3. attached stems and keel. Shaped both.
  4. watched the Redskins choke again.
So, here are some photos.


Bench with boomkin stock.
Boomkin 8-sided.
Boomkin 16-sided.

Bow stem and template.
Markings from template
Rough cut of stem.



Saw witnesses and chiseling.
Keel and raindrops.
Bow stem and keel shaped.

Oh, I also ordered filler for final fairing, primer, and paint. I'm dying to roll the boat over, but I'd like to get a coat of paint on while she is secured to the moulds. Much to do before that happens. C'est tout.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

She's Got Her Wheels On ...

About 20 years ago one of my brothers gave me a 6 ton jack. I thought it was neat, but didn't know when I'd get a chance to use it. Well, today was the day. I just couldn't quite lift the end of the boat to slip in these roller skates quick enough. I dug through the shed, found the jack, and up, up, up she went. Thanks Bro!

I don't feel like pecking at this keyboard, but here are some pics from the "maiden voyage".

Jack and skateboard

1st daylight.

port side

Inverted. Bow to left




That Plank

Whiskey Plank
Effort in and of itself can generate a sense of accomplishment, that a project is moving forward. There are, however, certain milestones that are particularly rewarding. Yesterday afternoon the last plank, the whiskey plank, was mounted and permanently cemented to join all those that came before it. A glass was raised in celebration and long views were attempted out in the driveway looking back into the cavern of the garage. The frame will grow wheels today and the boat will see daylight. I want a 360 degree inspection at proper distances before attaching the gunwales.

Here are a few of the cutting out process and the scarfs which should stain and finish nicely.

Port and starboard whiskey curves

typical scarf

You can tell the end grain of the ply soaked up some epoxy (can't be avoided), but a light stain should reduce the joint's visibility.

Screws are inside the rub strake's footprint.
quarter view

bow view

Despite all her pocked screw holes, I think she is looking good. Now the beginning stages of finishing can begin.

The stems have been laminated for some time. Would have been nice to have a functional band saw to cut their taper to the keel, but the hand saw got it done ... eventually.

Jack plane bevelled the sides.

The belt sander with 80 grit did the initial smoothing. That's that. More next time.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Boat Goes On

Absent, but not out ... I'm close to scarfing the whiskey/shear plank. I pulled the last "truss" template last night. It is proper that this plank is last for it provides the most "show" for the boat. As the uppermost and outer edge, it has all those previous laps lifting it up. I'm frankly still not convinced that all my tweaking of the shear batten is right. A distant view isn't possible in the now tight garage, or for that matter, out on the drive. We'll have to wheel her out once the whiskey is down. In the meantime I'll add 1/4" to the shear line for safety and scribe a batten once upright and in the drive for good eyeballing.

So, planks 4 & % are on. Only the shear planks remain, and I am pausing on this. My intention is to bright finish this plank inside and out. Scarfs need to be best. The balance of the hull will be painted. I've made a mix from 2 MinWax satins that looks happy. I mocked up a test panel for confirmation.

Sample panel.

Paint is "Sky Blue" semi-gloss by Marshalls Cove. Bill Thomas on OCH seemed to like the ease of application for his Fox canoe. Seems to have an easier workability from the can vs. Brightsides, plus I like their color choices better. The stain is a 50/50 mix of Minwax "Golden Oak" and "Golden Pecan". It goes well with the various cherry accents I've planned. I'm going to use ash for the gunwales, but model has pine now (a close color match).

What else? Centercase slabs are cut. Here is a photo of the gain fence and rabbet plane. Works just as easily as on the manning benches. I do scribe the gain edge with a utility knife against the fence to help keep the edge clean. I had gotten some tear out previously.

Rabbet fence.

And one more looking forward from aft. I have 2 scarf joints together which was unintended. No issue I don't think, but I had intended to skip a beat. I've maybe 145-150 hrs now from nothing to something. I'm jacked. I think I can have a new boat come Spring.

Tail view.
I know she looks kind of brutal with all those filled holes and roughed up stem, but finishing will smooth and make all that go away.

The shear is still vexing me (though it looks good in this photo to my eye). I'm not confident it is where it needs to be. It does match the moulds. Perhaps I should trust the drawings? Well, I think I'll roll the whole works into the drive, paint the shear batten black or grey and study from a distance. As I say, this plank does mean the most aesthetically. Having fun!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chopping Block Cinderella

As I've said, it is good to have other pieces of the boat to offer relief when certain tasks lose some interest. After getting some work done early this morning, I went to inspect the latest plank glue up. They were solid, but I lacked motivation to take them on. Then a look at the rudder blank proved to egg me on. I took the blank with paper template spray mounted on to the Skil bandsaw. What a piece of junk. Even a new blade couldn't move through the 1" stock. Just not enough horsepower. The Bosch scroll saw wins again.

Blank and template.

Templates for a NACA 007 foil proved a right fit for the slab thickness of 31/32". These were paper outlines glued to 1/4" ply, saw cut and filed to the outline. Loads of jack planing approximated the shape well enough for a controlled sanding of 80 grit in the belt sander. The result: a tapered foil that is ready for final finish sanding and glass. I'm very happy with this. What a transformation. She is now a princess.

The day is gorgeous, 68 degrees, sunny and breezy. Being outdoors for a couple hours made for a nice break. Don't think sailing wasn't contemplated.

Now back to designing mundane buildings. Pay is still better!

Foil template testing.

Near done shaping. Some final sanding needed.

Another shot with mineral spirit rub.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

3 Planks Down, 3 To Go

A cold front has moved in and the garage temps were so low that Friday's scarfing hadn't quite set. So, I fired up the kerosene heater and began work on the rudder foil. I elected to make the bladed out of epoxy laminated douglas fir. No real reason other than I thought this plywood boat deserved something other than plywood foils. From a 5/4 x 3x 10' board I was just shy of completing the rudder's width. Since I had some cut offs from the spar staves, I slipped those in to complete the required width. End grain was altered to eliminate any warping of the final blade. I also am planning to glass the whole affair as added protection. My intention is to varnish the end result. since my planer is limited to 10" widths, two halves were glued up, planed and after a pass through the jointer, glued together. A full sized template helped in the layout.
Rudder half clamped.

Paper template on stock.
I've bought new blades for my 9" Skil bandsaw and I'll be curious to see how well it cuts. The blade that came with it was rot. It dulled after a few cuts in plywood. We'll see what Bosch blades do.

Otherwise the planking went on. I've got it down now. The laddered batten templates are very accurate. I cut 2 full planks at a time taking care to just skirt the penciled trace of the template. Judicious use of the jack plane and belt sander provides a gentle curve. The beveling and cutting of gains has now got a rhythm too. Waiting for the epoxy is what is holding back now, but I do glue both plank stocks at the same time.

Stock laid out and template set to confirm fit.

Nails in pilot holes confirm positions of scarfs.

wetting scarf before thickened epoxy.

Wax paper separates 2 planks for simultaneous clamping.

I dorked the corner of 2 scarfs. Luckily they are outside the final plank outline.

The Manning benches are awesome. At 36" they handily make a convenient work surface and can be easily maneuvered for planking operations. Perfect height. Slipping a block of wood under one plank panel helps register the joint with the nails mentioned above. There is also adequate room for slopping in the thickened epoxy after the initial wet-out. I've noted some don't bother with this step, but I want as deep a bond as possible.

I've now 1/2 a hull. 3 planks on, 3 to go, and number 4's stock is curing.

Went back to drywall screws.

3 planks on.

Epoxy distorts appearance, but boat is true so far.
Bow and template beyond.
Not pictured, but started are the centerboard case and the planing for the outer stem and keel. Again, I climbed up on the boat to work. She is sturdy. I expect to be done planking come Thanksgiving. I'd like to show her off to family then. Ah, one other thing to note. I gave up on washered screws to pull the planks together. The washers sometimes stuck in the epoxy taking bits of wood in their removal. Drywall screws leave a conical hole which I rationalize is easier to fill and offers more surface area for the epoxy to fill and stick to.  ... OK! its easier too. What's wrong with that?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Planking at 33%

Lesson number 1: make darn sure any planks are fully inside the garage before shutting the overhead. No sooner had I walked into the house after a good day of bat work did I hear a loud "crack!" The last 12" of my recent plank was effectively guillotined by the closing garage door. Since it was clamped to one of the manning benches, it had no place to go. Man, that hurt.
Alas, some heavy epoxy and glassing on the inside face seem to have mended the damage. We won't be bright finishing this area. I'm otherwise too embarrassed to show a pic of that.

The good news is that we are done with 1/3 of the planking. Four planks on and 8 to go. She's taking shape and, aside from self inflicted wounds, the technique is evolving.

To back up, here are a couple shots of the scarfing marking, stacking, and trimming. The jack plane makes fairly quick work and the last touch of the belt sander makes it all right.

marked at 2" for 8:1 scarf.

stacked for planing

near done.

The trussed templates continue to be accurate. After cutting the 2 opposite planks together I set template again on the planks to confirm shape and either sand or plane the edges true to the template as a last check. No adjustments have been necessary on the moulds so far.

hot glued truss template.

another view of same.
rabbet plane with wood strut for beveling.
After much fussing with the "clothes pin" clamps (several broke and some were short), I resorted to using screws and fender washers (drywall screws bit too far into the planks). The resulting holes will require filling, but this will be nothing after all the nail holes I fixed on my strip kayak. Holes bored in the moulds under the other plank edges provided for positive clamping there. I see the epoxy stains distort the lines, but they are fair.

drywall screw method was discarded.

3/4" #8 screws and fender washers. 
1/3 planking done.

And so, we've 1/3 a hull.