Wee Rob – November 2015

It’s been a rather productive month on the boatbuilding front – which may be partly why I haven’t got round to updating the blog till now! As the pictures show, I’ve had a high old time gluing on bits of wood to make up the framework of deck beams, carlins and so on that will eventually carry the deck itself. There is a bit of a problem developing as time draws on and we slip into winter, in that the ambient temperature in the garage is easing below where epoxy resin is comfortable; there are other things I can do though, but it might mean that the deck doesn’t get attached till next Spring – no real problem I don’t think.

One aspect that was a real problem though was the fabrication of the cockpit surround, which is somewhat curvaceous! I had thought to laminate the shapes and the pictures show an impressive number of clamps used in that endeavour. It didn’t work though! I had decided to use the “Gorrilla Glue” instead of West. The temperature was within range (about 13deg) but I rather suspect I didn’t clamp it up tightly enough and the shapes rapidly de-laminated and, again as pictured, ended up in the workshop bin! Plan B was to make up plywood “formers” and then glue (with epoxy this time) pieces of WRC to said former and then cut to shape. This did work and while the top surface might not look all that pretty, it’s quite strong and will, of course, be covered with decking in due course.

That leads me to think about how I’m going to make up the cockpit coaming and to decide (well almost decide!) to buy some Ash and set myself up for steam bending. I do have a wallpaper stripper languishing on a garage shelf which will make a decent enough steam source. One element of this whole process is of course thinking about the next move, or indeed several moves ahead! Fabricating the coaming is another possible winter job.

The other process that features in the picture gallery is the carving of the paddle, in the West Greenland stye, which I’m very much enjoying – even to the extent that it becomes a distraction from other elements of the job – but hey! There’s something deeply satisfying about unearthing a shape than lies hidden within a piece of wood.

All in all then I’m very happy with progress. She begins to look like a boat – a real kayak – rather than a random collection of pieces of wood and that’s actually quite exciting!

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