Building a Traditional Wooden Boat #4: Strongback

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by MattD posted 1854 days ago 11567 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Building the Molds Part 4 of Building a Traditional Wooden Boat series Part 5: Building the Transom »

The strongback is completed and the molds are in position. Starting to take shape! The strongback is the very flat, level and squared box in the photos below. It is attached to short (2 foot high) sawhorses on each end. The molds are attached and braced to the strongback. The boat will be constructed upside down over the molds. So far, I haven’t built anything that will be an actual piece of the boat when it’s completed! Everything in the pictures below will eventually go to the lumber pile for some future project. Ah well. More exciting stuff is coming up soon.

Next is building the transom (the back of the boat) and attaching that to the strongback. This will be the first “real” piece of the boat.

Thanks for reading!

Photos shows the view facing the front of the boat.

Strongback Materials List:

  • (2) 2×8x12, Lowes
  • (1) 2×10x10, Lowes
  • (2) 2×4x8, Lowes
  • Total for above: $33
  • Misc nails and scrap lumber

Project Materials Summary:

  • Plans and Book: $60
  • Lofting Supplies: $47.88
  • Mold Supplies: $36
  • Strongback Lumber: $33

- Total Project Expenses so far: $176.88

Labor Hours Summary:

  • 5/29/09 – 6/8/09: Lofting – 12 Hours
  • 6/14/09 – 6/20/09: Building Molds: 5 Hours
  • 6/25/09 – 6/27/09: Building Strongback: 7.5 Hours

- Total Project Labor Hours so far: 24.5 Hours

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

7 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2272 days

#1 posted 1854 days ago

Looks nice!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View a1Jim's profile


112000 posts in 2176 days

#2 posted 1854 days ago

looks good look forward to more.

-- Custom furniture

View Splinterman's profile


23058 posts in 1960 days

#3 posted 1854 days ago

Hey Matt,
Looking good…...but…......just a small suggestion… reduce lateral deflection in your jig, screw two vertical 4×2 to a 4×4 foot plate and mount it in the center of your jig… me… will bend over time…...been there done that.

View JoeC61's profile


34 posts in 2182 days

#4 posted 1854 days ago

This looks like a great project! We recently visited Grand Marais, MN, on the north shore of Lake Superior. There’s a school there called the North House Folk School ( where boat building such as this is taught (among other wood working classes, timber frame, log home…).
Seeing your project makes me want to sign up!

-- Joe-Carver, MN

View MattD's profile


149 posts in 2543 days

#5 posted 1854 days ago

Splinterman – Thank you for that suggestion. I’m going to add that center support.

DaveR – To make the stem, I plan to make a pattern picked up from the lofted plans and then cut the stem from the template. The stem will be a single curved piece of white oak with a knee section to join to the keelson and keel. 1.5” thick. I’ll carve out a rabbet for the planks to fit into.

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

View cylis007's profile


56 posts in 2068 days

#6 posted 1851 days ago

I am really enjoying following your progress. Great work! Thanks for sharing.

-- A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. ~Benjamin Franklin

View Napaman's profile


5315 posts in 2676 days

#7 posted 1830 days ago

great stuff…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase