Wee Rob Diary July 2015

Monday 27.7.15

The garboard strakes have now been faired and look quite reasonable. There is a problem though in that, somewhat on a whim, before fitting the starboard hand strake I decided to check the width of the two strakes at several of the mould stations to be sure that the boat is growing symmetrically. Sadly it isn’t! There must be an error in the mould (my fault obviously!) but there were differences of between 5 and 10mm at several stations. Not a disaster because I was able to take it into account when fairing that strake and so the dimensions are now about right, the only evidence if the growing error being that the stud strake slightly overhangs the stringer for much of its length. That’s OK – the stringer didn’t actually have to be there anyway – and the lesson is well learned that I must check measurements at frequent intervals. The old maxim “if it looks right it probably is right” still holds, but maybe it’s not reliable down to the odd 5mm!

I’ve also cut and fitted the keel. That looks fine and measures up right! I think I’ve decided to leave it square-is in section rather than tapered as in IO’s plans. No particularly scientific reason for that – it’s more than I can’t see a reason to cut wood away to make the drawn section; but might change my mind on that as the build goes on.

My second mistake is in misjudging / miscalculating the width of the inner stem (apron) and the strakes. I’ve bevelled the apron to 14mm, the plans say 12 and In now understand why! The 14mm plus two layers of 4mm plank should give an overall 22mm which would nicely fit under the 22mm thickness of wood that I have ready to make the stems. In fact what I seem to have got is a total of 23/24mm. That’s also easily resolved though – I shall laminate the outer stems from marine ply (there should be plenty left when the planking is finished), to an appropriate thickness (probably 25mm to match the keel) and all should be well.

Next task – to bevel the lands on the garboard strakes and then to cut the gains at each end. I shall then make patterns from cardboard again, but make them as accurately as possible, and endeavour to cut the next plans with a lot less waste.

Overall – I’m feeling quite positive about the project, learning and relearning as I go. I took a particular small pleasure yesterday in stripping, re-sharpening and resetting my 50 year old 12” plane and feeling it whisper through the Douglas Fir of the keel and produce perfect shavings!
Tuesday 28.7.15

Useful hour or so in the workshop – port side bevel and gains completed. Cutting the gains was interesting …. I opted for 25cm in length, made the prescribed cut with a Stanley knife and then found that a chisel was a much more useful tool than the rebate plane that I had thought should have been ideal for the job. The chisel – good and sharp I might add – followed up with some fresh 80 grit abrasive on a block made reasonably light work of the task. The bevels came out OK I think – it’s a somewhat less precise process despite the stringers which I had hoped would have taken more of the flex out of the fitted plank.

I then made the cardboard template for the next plank – or a least started to make it ….. as always – work in process! I couldn’t quite understand the shape that was emerging at the bow, but it’s actually OK (I hope); the trick is to be able to think upside down while the boat is growing on the mould!

Wednesday 29.7.15

Set to with high hopes of a productive afternoon. The gains are now cut and the lands bevelled! As a friend said the other day – there’s a whole different and somewhat esoteric language attached to building boats. I’ve refined the templates, ad they seem to fit OK, although I’m a little anxious whether a cardboard template fits in quite the same way as 4mm ply especially as this time I’ve cut the template quite accurately in an attempt to avoid waste (of ply, not of cardboard!). We’ll see.

One problem I have mentioned before is the lack of space in the garage which, among other things, means that sheets of marine ply have to be cut outside. That’s not really a problem, until it rains, which is what it did, so although I’ve moved things forward a touch, my high hopes were thwarted. That’s the way it goes!!!

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