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56 foot Schooner transom replacement #1: Have form...will bend

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Blog entry by Scotach posted 07-10-2008 08:08 AM 1376 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of 56 foot Schooner transom replacement series Part 2: Here's a look at the project »

Scope of work: Replace transom (subject to change)
Vessel: 56’ Schooner
Material: Sapele

So, we’re a couple of weeks into our repair and restoration class here at the “boat school” and we have something like 8 boats we’re working on between the 16 students in the class. One of which I will be working on is the replacement of the transom on a 56 foot wooden Schooner. For those who are not familiar with boats and related terminology, the transom, on a boat is the surface that forms the stern or “tail end” of a boat. (Pictures following)

Now, this is a large piece of wood that we are going to wreck out of the boat, while preserving as much of the planking and internal framework as possible. Once the original transom comes out, the scope of work may change to include more if there is any rot present in the internal structure, planking, or decking. To give you some scale of this project, the transom on this 56 foot boat is about 7 feet wide and 44 inches from top to bottom and 3 7/8+ inches thick. Did I mention that it’s a curved and raked transom? A big curvaceous and important chunk of this boat! So, in this series of blog posts, I’ll be documenting our progress.

First order of business, obtain the camber or radius of the transom. And the only way to do that was to visit said boat, and get into another boat. So we devised a plan, grabbed the tools and hot melt glue gun, several lengths of door skin and hit the water.

In this first photo we’re using hot melt glue to fix blocks along the transom to rest the door skin on so we can spile or scribe if you will, the cruve of the transom. Don’t worry ma’am, your’re boat is in good hands, we’re training to be professionals!
Spiling the curve of the transom

Once we obtained that critical bit of info, we were back at the shop. Now, rather than carve this transom from solid stock, it was determined that we would make this transom out of laminated stock. Ok, sounds easy. But there’s still the matter of the curve. So, we took the curve we obtained, laid it out on the bench, faired it up, then transfered that to some 2×8’s and cut the curve out on the bandsaw. This was the beginnings of our bending form. We spent the better part of a day building a bending form that eventually all 7-8 lifts will be glued up on.

What might you ask are we making this transom out of? Well, it appears that we wood workers have used up just about all of the teak, hondo mahogany, and other exotic trees for our handiwork, that now we’re using Sapele for our boats. It’s in the mahogany family, and relatively nice stuff to work with. We milled all of our 4/4 stock to the dimensions we needed and set to work.

Here’s a shot of the bending form.
The bending form

And here’s a shot of that Sapele.
Some Stock

The sapele bends pretty easy around that radius and did not fight us much. We did have two clamps go flying today though. As of this afternoon, we have glued up 3 lifts, and will be continuing tomorrow. So, I’ll leave you with a look at one of our lifts on the bending form. This should prove to be a great project for all those involved, and I can’t wait to get down to the boat yard. The Schooner is hauling out tomorrow!

And here’s the first of many glue-ups that I’ll be doing this week.
The glue-up

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero



10 comments so far

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2361 days


#1 posted 07-10-2008 01:11 PM

Looking good!

Thanks for the post

Callum

-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out http://thetimberkid.com/

View stanley2's profile

stanley2

311 posts in 2453 days


#2 posted 07-10-2008 04:06 PM

Brian – good on you – this blog is going to be a blast. Isn’t the peninsula just a beautiful place to learn something new in woodworking!

-- Phil in British Columbia

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2649 days


#3 posted 07-10-2008 04:31 PM

Wow… I wish I could be there. I am more than a little jealous.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Texasgaloot's profile

Texasgaloot

464 posts in 2358 days


#4 posted 07-11-2008 04:39 AM

I’m waiting to find out that the horn timber, knees, and parts of the shelf & clamp, perhaps even the afterdeck are all going to need to be scarfed in. It’s a lot easier to do when she’s on the hard! Thanks for the posts!!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Scotach's profile

Scotach

72 posts in 2277 days


#5 posted 07-11-2008 05:22 AM

This project should be one to remember for sure!
Indeed the Olympic Peninsula is a great place to learn this wooden boat building stuff, Stanley2.
In some ways, I wish I could stay here longer, but I’m a Southern boy, and I just can’t keep myself away from home for too long.

Hey Texasgaloot, sounds like you know your boat building…we’ll see about all the above mentioned pieces. She was hauled out today at noon, blocked and shored with jacks. Tomorrow, we should be wrecking out so we’ll see what lies beneath. Stay tuned.

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3058 days


#6 posted 07-11-2008 07:03 AM

What are you using for the glue.

Looks interesting. You state that the transom is 44” wide but you are blueing up smaller planks. I hope this all goes together OK.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Scotach's profile

Scotach

72 posts in 2277 days


#7 posted 07-11-2008 08:07 AM

We’re using West Sytems epoxy for the glue-ups. Not really glue, but sounds better than epoxy-up. ;)
As for the dimensions of the transom, they are as follows;
at its widest point it is close to 7 feet
at it’s tallest point it is close to 44 inches
and it is just a hair under 4 inches in thickness.
We’ve milled everything up as needed, thanks for your concern though…measure twice, cut once.

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3058 days


#8 posted 07-11-2008 10:44 PM

What I was referring to is the way that you seem to be epoxy-up the transom. It looks like you are making it only one board wide. Are you going to “glue up” 44 inches high and then cut the transom out of the block of wood, or are you going to make more blocks like you have shown and join them together side-by-side to get the 44”?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Scotach's profile

Scotach

72 posts in 2277 days


#9 posted 07-12-2008 04:12 AM

Sorry Karson I misunderstood. Let me explain better what we are doing.
First we took 4/4 stock and planed it down to 3/4” x 7” in length.
Next we ripped that stock to width. We ripped all the stock wider than needed.
Some are 6 1/2” and some are 7 1/2”.

Once we have the thickness and width we need, we are laminating 6 planks, 3/4” together. We need 4” in thickness when it’s done. Once glued up, the unit made of 6 planks, we are calling a lift. There will be somewhere between 6-8 lifts that will then be through bolted together on edge. This will yield a large blank, somewhere around 7 feet wide, over 44 inches tall and have a thickness of 4 inches. From this large rectangle. we will then cut out our shape.

Once I get more pictures up here, I think it will become clear as to what we are doing.

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3058 days


#10 posted 07-12-2008 04:31 AM

Thanks. Make sure you show us the through bolting.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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