Archive for November, 2007


Monday, November 26th, 2007

Lofting is the process of drawing the hull lines full size from the scale drawings. The reason for this is to make sure that the lines are fair and to catch any mistakes in the drawing early when they are easy to correct.
With the help of Mark Neuhaus I was able to loft the bow and stern sections of the Willy Winship on one sheet plywood. The picture shows the stem with the outer rabbet. I still need to determine the inner rabbet and bearding line. The stem will be 2 1/2 inches thick, made from two 1 1/4 inch thick pieces of White Oak. Since I have the basic shape of the stem I can glue up the two pieces of Oak and start the rough shaping of the stem while I determine the other measurements.

Wood for Thought

Monday, November 19th, 2007

I picked up 25 board feet of Port Orford Cedar for the boat from Urban Hardwood Recovery. The boards were 3/4 and 4/4 which means they are 3/4 of an inch thick and 1 inch thick unfinished and some are 15 inches wide. After the boards have been planed and sanded they will be 1/8 to 1/4 thinner. I will be using the Port Orford Cedar for the thwarts, knees, breast hook and and other small parts that I want a wood that is easy to work and looks good in clear varnish. I had planned on using White Oak for the transom but Urban Hardwood Recovery was almost out of White Oak so I found nothing that I liked. They will have some more when the next kiln run ends in two months.

I am now faced with a dilemma. Do I use the 6/4 White Oak that I already have or do I use some of the Port Orford Cedar? I am thinking that I will use plane down some of the cedar to 1/2 inch and then bond it to one side of 18mm marine plywood. I would end up with a transom that would be 1 1/4 inches thick and still looks good. I may also make a frame for the transom and bond the cedar to that. Using the frame would be lighter and nothing would be heavier than using the White Oak. The Port Orford Cedar is the left and middle boards and the White Oak is the board on the right. Check back latter and I will have an update on the great transom dilemma.

A New Saw Blade

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I picked up new saw blade for my table saw at the recent woodworkers show. I have been having problems with burning when I am cutting long pieces of wood with my table saw. The burn marks are unsightly and have to be sanded out which takes extra time. The blade I picked up is a Forrest Woodworker II thin kerf blade along with an anti-vibration plate.

The instructions to install the new blade had me check the trueness of the blade and fence to the table. I found that both the blade and the fence turned in at about 0.005 inches, about the thickness of a piece of paper, at the back of the saw. This may have caused binding when I was pushing the wood through and the source of the resulting burning. I adjusted the blade so that it is as true as I could make it and then adjusted the fence so that it was 0.005 inches wider at the end of the saw. Adjusting the fence this way is supposed to reduce binding. I ran several 8 foot pieces of Alder though and there as a little bit of burning but nothing like before and the cut was smooth like it had been sanded.

I am using the Alder for the faces for the drawer on my work bench in the boat shop. Just one of the many projects that have to be finished as I prepare to start building the next boat.

Randy is Building a Boat

Monday, November 12th, 2007

I am starting to build another boat. The first boat I built was the Nutshell Pram designed by Joel White. This time I will be building the Willy Winship, a 13′ 9″ sailing skiff designed by John Atkins. This boat can be rowed, sailed or powered by a small outboard motor. The method of construction will be the same as the Nutshell Pram, glued plywood lapstrake.

Some of the skills I plan to learn or improve are scarfing, lofting and lining off planks. Lofting is drawing the boat full scale. This will be done on a 4′ x 8′ 1/4 thick plywood painted white. For this design, only the bow stem and stern need to be lofted and once drawn they will be used to transfer to the White Oak that the bow stem and stern will be made out of. I am using White Oak for the stern, bow stem, skeg and guard rails. White Oak is heavy but also is very strong and robust.

I plan on providing descriptions and explanations as the boat construction progresses which may be technical and terse. If you find that you don’t understand someone thing please post a comment and I will try to provide more information.