Here's about 1000 board feet of Catalpa and Sassafras that we cut and had sawn and will be part of a boat and/or a canoe in the future.
The latest project is 15 foot flat bottom skiff. The plans are drawn 1" = 1'-0"
This skiff is a Atkin & Co. design from 1953
We are set up to draw the boat full size from the plans - "lofting".
The lines are first plotted as points and then drawn using a long bendable batten. The refreshment is my Black IPA.
Here, Mom contemplates my layout! We pushed the canoe I'm building to the side temporarily so that we could at least get the boat lofted and the parts piece billed.
The points have to follow a nice even sweep. Adjustments are made to keep it so.
The wood for the molds and for the boat is Catalpa that we cut down near Bad Axe and had sawn to boards last september.
From the "lofted" plan we can start making the molds for construction.
The front stem is made up of a 2 piece inner and a one piece outer.
After the epoxy cured I removed the bolts.
Setting up the mold. There are 5 stations 28" apart, a stem mold and a transom mold assembly.
The inner stem on the mold.
The inner stem is held in place with 1/8" brass rod through the stem and into the holes in the form. They will be pulled out as the sides are put on.
You can see the brass rod through the stem.
This is the assembly, attached to the last station, that will hold the transom in place during construction.
The transom is 1" thick walnut from a tree we cut down on our place a few years ago. Probably not many skiffs with a walnut transom, but you use what material you have on hand.
All the staions are in place. The canoe is out of the shop for now, I'll finish with the varnishing once the boat is out.
This is a white oak rafter taken from a 150+ year old house. I will get the 2 pieces for the chines, after pulling about 200 nails.
The end of the chines had to be steamed to make the little twist at the stem.
The "high tech" steam box being used again.
The twist being accomplished with the help of a pipe wrench.
Just the weight of the wrench did the trick.
It was fun to get the chines to fit the stem at the compound angle.
Chines are screwed and epoxied and the stem beveled.
Lookin' kinda' like a boat!
The ribbands are in place but are just part of the form not a part of the boat.
The side boards, or "strakes", are shaped by the ribbands and will overlap at them, thus we have a "lapstrake" boat.
The first board (garboard) is going on but needs a little steam to make the twist at the stem.
Wrap it up and let it sit for about an hour to soften
Let it dry while in clamps.
These are the four templates for the side boards (strakes). They look like they should be straight when looking at the form but they aren't.
The garboard is glued on using West System "G-Flex" epoxy.
The overlapping edge has to be beveled so that the next board will lay flat on it.
I sacrificed one of my old planes to make the bevel jig.
I used a router and jig to make the long bevels for the joints in the side boards (strakes).
My lumber was not 15 feet long, without knots, so I had to make these scarf joints to get the length.
The scarfed joint using the G-Flex epoxy.
This is the rabbet or "gain" so that the all planks will lie flush at the stem and stern.
The gain tapers to the full thickness of the plank at the end.
Now all planks are flush at the stem and the transom.
The outer stem now covers all the ends of the planks and the inner stem
We're all planked!
The bottom is the next step.
The bottom planks go across the width. These are just cut to size and will be screwed down until the epoxy cures, then screws removed. There will be no metal fasteners in the boat - all assembled with West System G-Flex epoxy.
View of the walnut transom.
Today we took the boat off the mold and turned it right side up.
About 1/3 of the bottom is installed.
Looks like a boat!!
It sure looks a lot bigger right side up. After the bottom is finished all the interior work starts.
Thanks Dave, Doug and Larry (homebrew bud). Those just might be "homebrews" in the cups!
Finally right side up, to stay for awhile, to do all the interior woodwork, ie: gunwales, seats, breasthook, paint, etc.
The interior stem.
The bottom is on and covered with 2 coats of epoxy
Keel meets the stem
The skeg sticks down (up) from the bottom 5 inches.
Two coats of epoxy have been applied to the interior and sanded smooth now, I"m putting in the frames - 10 per side
The gaps are intentional and are for water to run through and not collect.
Almost done with frames. Each one is different and has to be scribed to the hull.
The "breast hook" was a fun one to fit.
Quarter knees were much easier.
The inwale (inner gunnel) will fit into the notch in the knee.
The outwale is epoxied on and the screws will be removed. The frames, inner and outerwales and knees are made of sassafras rather than catalpa.
Temporary screw holding the outwale to stem.
The inner on one side is complete now working on other side.
Once this is all done I can start working on seats.
Sassafras meets catalpa meets walnut.
We're changing our mind about painting the interior, maybe a natural finsh would look good and keep cleaner looking than white.
Looks like it could be in the water this spring.
The interior is complete. Two coats of epoxy and five of varnish.
Snazzy rear seat eh!
I got the bronze oar locks on ebay.
Center seat is a storage compartment. The brass thingy is to lock the oars to the seat for security.
With the exterior having two coats of epoxy we need to drop it into the water to establish a water line.
Got to get it right side up!
It looks pretty good in the sunlight.
Onto the trailer.
Off the trailer.
I put a mark on the stem and stern at the waterline with a "load" in it!!!
Used the string method to get a straight waterline. Now we can get the paint job going.
Painting was a challenge but it came out good.
I just know that the skeg is going to hit something so I put a brass half round on it.
The heavy-duty lift eyes came from a kids swing set - thanks Dawn.
Out of the shop for the last time.
To the lake!
Don't let that post hit the boat damnit!
Load 'er up and see if she floats.
I think it's going to be OK. The numbers and name will be coming soon.
Rowing Macy home!
Salute! Thanks so much Dave, Doug, Dawn and everyone else who helped with this project.