Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Real Carpentry

  After all this fooling with plywood, I am now making a lot of trim pieces. And there are several on the boat:

toe rails-                      4
hand rails-                   2
walkway coamings-    2
outer wales-                2
inner wales-                4
hatch board retainers- 4

That's 18 by my count. I started with the forward toe rail.

Here it is laid out.  I think I was subconsciously inspired by the aluminum toe rail on my buddy Jason's Mirage 18 to make lots of little holes. Bad move. Easy enough for a robot to mill out of aluminum.  A lot of work in wood.

Here I am drilling all those little holes. I was half way done when I changed my mind, so I just pressed on. Get it?...pressed on? never mind.

Here they are, roughed out with a chisel.

For the curves at the ends of these, I opted for a series of straight cuts with a hand saw.

Then rounding it all off with a big ol' horseshoe file my dad gave me from when he was a farrier. It's a lot easier than doing it with a jigsaw.  I find that cutting really hard wood with a jigsaw puts tension in my whole body and makes me really uncomfortable.

I rounded off the insides of the holes with the handy dandy router (thanks for that gift, Tommy)

and put my lovely assistant to do some of the tedious sanding.

Lucia got in on the sanding, as well.

The outer wales involved two scarf joints each.

Damn, I'm good

Would you have been able to pick out the joint if it weren't for the screw mark on the wood?

This board had a little wane in it right at the end, which made the perfect base for a scarph joint.  It worked out!

 The inner wales were a little less tedious to make, but a little more dangerous, it turned out.

See all those little pieces glued on the end grain?  I cross cut dozens of  them on the table saw against the fence. I had a little push stick to send them over onto the floor, but toward the end, one of them got a little caddy-whampus between the blade and the fence and, ZING! That little sucker flew back and got me literally right between the eyes.  My safety glasses (thanks for reminding me, honey) absorbed the blow and fell off my face in three pieces (but never broke, strangely).  Oh, how very lucky I was, not to have taken it in the mouth! That would have really added to my pirate look.  From then on, I stood well out of line with the blade.

The fine students at Carroll County High School planed me this lot of white oak.

Here we have staves laid out to be gang-cut for the tabernacle, trying to use the prettiest wood from each board.

  I tried to order them so that the bows of the respective staves cancelled each other out.

Here they are glued up with LPU glue.  Right glue for the job?  I dunno. I'm always doubting.

Cami chiseled off the foamy squeeze-outs for me. It was a fun weekend for the kids.

Ready for pucky

Making a table with the window cut-outs

Boat as playhouse

The weather was nice, so we took their boat out for the first time since last fall.  This is an Auray punt scaled WAY down from Bolger's interpretation. I built it for them two summers ago.


  1. I would not worry about the laminated tabernacle - it will be fine I'm sure. I can't wait to see all of those parts installed. Natural finish (I hope)? Looks great, and nice to see the whole family involved!

    1. Yes, natural finish, I guess. I know I don't want to be in the varnish club. We always protected exterior wood with used motor oil and have had great results with it. It makes everything black, which is bad or good, depending on whether you like black wood. I put some un-burnt motor oil on a test piece a couple months ago and it's looking pretty good so far. I might do that. who knows?

  2. LPU should be fine. If there are problems, they'll likely start from weathering at the upper ends. Sealing well helps reduce wood expansion/contraction (TBIII seems to be working well for this, under paint).

    When you add hinge plates, they can be used to tie/reenforce the upper end of the outer laminates. If you like, it can be bound with many turns of nylon twine or cord, stretched on each turn to provide crushing force and clamping it all together (avoiding a through bolt).

    Probably overkill, for the tabs, however, but never hurts. We mostly do this at the end of spars to forestall end-splits.

    Looking good!

    Dave Z

    1. Dave,
      I hope you're right. They will be through bolted pretty well, so you can trust the glue, like George Buehler says. I was thinking of gluing on little caps of the same wood onto the tops of the tabernacle posts with the grain running horizontally and rounded off to shed water. I was going to have a heavy plank bolted across the front of the tabernacle to take the forward force of the mast so there won't be much bearing on the pin under way. Raising and lowering will put substantial stress on it, though, so I may do a lashing job as you say.

  3. Like those scarfs and looking nice inside!