Monday, February 29, 2016

Assembling the Backbone

Had to start today cutting out some bad knots in the bottom near the stern and plugging them.

Only one of my teachers ever bothered to glue his plugs.  When the grain runs at 90 degrees to the plank the plug will generally stay tight because it swells at right angles to the planking.  Also, I learned to cut the plugs slightly oversized and pound their edges with a hammer to compress them.  Done right they go in with a tight fit, expand and they will not come out.

I had to use a curved-sole plane to round the inside of the bottom, aft.  The original boats shows this shaping only near the transom.  Once I had a good fit with the transom at the proper bevel I glued and fastened it with large wire nails through the bottom.  This is how the original was assembled.

Interesting technique I learned from my second teacher in Urayasu.  In order to line up the bow I fastened the ink line on the centerline of the bow and took wraps around the two legs of my square.

The ink line was then pulled tight and lined up with the centerline on the bottom, aft.

I swiveled the bow until the heel of the square hung just over the centerline of the bottom at its forward edge.  

At that point I knew the two pieces were lined up and I traced the shape of the bottom onto the bow.

Its a rough fit but the next step is using the saw to get the final fit.  If a simple butt joint in boatbuilding scares you, you are not alone...  Stay tuned, as I've learned a few tricks here.

Once the bow is fit and fastened its time for the side planking.

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