I’m a member of the awesome Sonoma County Woodworkers Association. Every time I go to a meeting, I kick myself for every meeting I’ve missed, because skill and knowledge demonstrated and transferred by the participants is amazing. A few years ago, there was a meeting at West County Design at which Craig Collins raved about the Bodega Bay Fish Fest Wooden Boat Challenge. This is a competition in which you’re given: 2 sheets of 3/8” x 4’ x 8’ plywood 12 pieces of 1”...
This is the third in a series of blogs on the different types of wooden boat construction I’ve done. The first two covered traditional carvel planking and framed plywood construction. This one will concentrate on a method called “cold molding”. Cold molding refers to the fashioning of a hull form by gluing up layers of thin planking in different orientations much like a sheet of plywood is made, but in this case it takes the shape of a boat. There are several methods by ...
Plywood construction probably presents the easiest method for an amateur to build a good boat, but it is also useful a useful construction for a professional shop wanting to satisfy a customer who doesn’t have a large budget. It is a straightforward process and the plans tend to be easy to follow but there are a few tricks of the trade which I will try to cover. The two boats covered here are quite different sisters from the same plan. The first, “Catspaw” was built on s...
The First Garboard Plank The first plank is on! It has been the most difficult part of the build so far. I’ve gone through 4 planks to get it right. For my fellow LJers who may be wondering, I’ve put in a few hours here and there, but I’ve taken quite a bit of time away from the project since the holidays. I’m exciting to be focused again. The challenge with this is getting the plank flush and tight into the rabbit along the keel. It’s a tough plank bec...
I finished lining off the planks today. Lining off is the process with which you project the final plank layout onto the hull. My first attempt at this didn’t go so well. Thanks to some suggestions from some fellow lumberjocks, I took the time to learn more about the process and I’m much happier with the results. The book, Building Small Boats by Greg Rossel, as recommended by DaveR, is an exceptional resource and I basically used the process in the lining off chapter. Results ...
Just a few more steps left before I can start putting the planking on the sides. Cutting in the Rabbet Between Stem and Keel The next crucial step is cutting in the rabbet between the Stem and Keel. This was done entirely by hand with a few sharp chisels. I used a small piece of wood (3”x1”x3/8”) as a template, representing the plank, to ensure a smooth transition as I cut away the rabbet. Here is the before picture: And the after picture. This was done on both ...
This next part is cutting the rabbet into the Keel and Stem. The rabbet is a groove for planking to butt into. The rabbet must be accurately cut in order to form a tight seal. The rabbet for sunshine runs down both sides of the stem as shown and continues along the keel to the stern. Keel Rabbet Cutting the Rabbet in the Keel was relatively easy since I had already beveled the keelson from the lofted lines in the Stem and Knee - Part 2 section. To me, it seemed practical to try ...
It’s been a busy month for other things, but I’ve made some good progress on the boat. I’ve also managed to find some great planking lumber, with a great story behind it, which I’ll write about a bit below. But first, update on the transom which now completes the stern. The transom is attached to sternpost with 5 countersunk #10 bronze screws which are covered with matching cherry plugs. Later on, I’ll epoxy in and cut the plugs off flush. And a ...
This is the construction of the Keel, Keelson, Skeg and Sternpost. These solid oak parts form the bottom backbone of the boat. I started by cutting out the shape of keel and keelson by transfering the measurements from the lofting. The keel is the thicker piece which be on the very bottom of the boat. The next step is to put a rolling bevel on the edge of the keelson. The intention is for the bottom planking to fit perfectly into a beveled “notch” that is carved into the...
Greetings.. Things are moving along well with the boat construction. This part in the series is cutting out the stem and knee parts which form the front “backbone” of the boat. To do this, I created templates from 1/8” birch plywood and used those as patterns to cut the actual parts from 2” thick white oak. To get the shape of the templates, I used the same picking up method as I used when getting the shapes from the drawing to the actual molds in part 2. This in...
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