Saturday, May 23, 2009

Keel Laying Part II

Last Sunday while waiting for the keel to dry I decided to make a sculling oar from a cypress 2x6 I bought from the sawmill. I used the sketch on the bottom of Figure 2 here  as a guide, but I made it 10' long instead of 7 1/2'. If it is too long it will be easy to shorten it. I first made a template fron some scrap plywood left over from the hull panels and used it to mark the cypress plank. I then cut the oar out using a jigsaw. The blade was too wide to completely cut with the jigsaw so a circular saw was use to rough it out and an electric planer was used to shape it to its final size. The shaft was made into an octagon using the jigsaw set at a 45. The shaft was then rounded off using a power sander and some emery cloth. The result is not very pretty, but it should be functional. The oar is visible in the first photo between the boat and the remainder of the board from which it was cut .
This morning my brother came over and helped me glue the keel and bilge keels in place. We dry fit the pieces in place and masked the area of the hull adjacent to them with masking tape. This kept the glue in the right place and made clean up easier. The excess glue was used to fill in the gap at the bow as the keel there is wider than the plywood hull. The process went smoothly with the extra help. Monday I will remove the temporary screws and fillet the keels so they can be glassed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Laying the Keel

Progress on the boat this week was slowed by a stomach ailment but by Friday I was feeling well enough to begin working again. Using the electric planer I planed the gunwhale pieces and bilge keels down to the same thickess and started planing the spacer blocks for the gunwhals to thier final thickness. This morning I started heating a large pot of water in preparation for mounting the keel. When it neared the boilin point I pulled the keel out of the trough it had been soaking in since Sunday and screw it to the bottom of the boat leaving enough overhang to bend it around the bow. I wrapped a towel around the overhanging wood and affixed a clamp to the end of the wood and hung about 20 pounds of lead decoy weights from the clamp. I then began to ladle the boiling water over the towel and wood. After 30 minutes the end of the keel was about 3 inches from the top of the bow. I bent the keel the rest of the way by hand and clamped it to the bow. I then added a few more screws to the stem but left the clamp in place so the screws are not bearing the full pressure of the wood trying to straighten itself out. The process of bending the keel was muchin easier and quicker than I expected, heating the water was the longest part of the process, and my fears of hearing a loud crack and seeing flying splinters never materialized. I will let the keel dry for at least a week and glue it and the bilge keels in place.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Launch Day (of sorts)

Progress has been slow as the last two weeks, But things are starting to move forward again. On Tuesday I picked up a load of cypress lumber from a nearby sawmill ( ) to make the keel, stem, bilge runners, outwhales , inwhales and floorboards. The rest of the week was spent trying to convert rough cut lumber into boat parts. The first few days were spent sanding the sawmarks out with my R/O sander. Yesterday a trip was made to Harbor Freight and an electric planer was purchased.  I now have the bilge runners and the keel complete, 3 of 4 gunnel pieces are finished to their final width and have to be planed down to their final thickness. The first photo shows on of gunnel pieces (laying on the 2 x 6) The end of one of the bilge runers can also be seen on the hull of the boat. Also visible on the ground is a large pile of shavings from the planer.
The next photo shows how I am temporarily storing the lumber to allow it to dry. The sawmill had 4 inches of rain on Monday and most of the wood was thoroughly soaked. The rope slings allow for good air flow around the wood. Temperatures in the tent reached at least 96 degrees Fahrenhiet today. After working for an hour my clothes were completely soaked from sweat. The last photo shows today's launch. The finished keel/stem has placed in a trough of water to soak in preparation for bending it around the bow of boat later this week.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Continueing the glass work

After taking most of the week off from boat building, today I sanded the edges of the fiberglass we laid last Sunday and covered the transom with glass. I also laid some more glass on the bow, and picked up some mahogany planks to use for thwarts. In the center of the close up photo you can see a small black spot. This spot is a love bug, a local insect that hatches out and mates in mid spring and early fall. They are attracted to gasoline fumes, uncured polyester resin (discovered that fact a few years when I restored an old fiberglass skiff) and apparently to uncured epoxy. I will sand them out after the epoxy cures for a few days.