Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bengali Shipwrights, again
These two men deserve their own blog, certainly, but I am more than happy to keep readers abreast of what they are doing. Their work is fascinating, as is that of the NPO they represent, which is trying to preserve this craft.
They have fully reassembled the hull, using a large jute rope passed around the hull pulled with a hardwood bar to squeeze the planking tight. The planking is jackfruit wood.
They began nailing from the inside, cutting a shallow mortise quickly with a chisel then nailing into the bottom of the mortise, folding the nail over and driving the other end into the top of the mortise, making a kind of staple across the seam. The nails are sheared from thin steel.
Once the topsides are fastened the hull is turned over and fastenings are place in the bottom. They actually do caulk with jute, wherever necessary, working around the staples.