Thursday 18 December 2014
It has been a good week. Since Alice was born in July, this is my first extended period without the crew around. I am a little shocked at my inability to sit still, I used to be an excellent loafer. But I have made progress on the boat. It's twelve years since I built the canoe, and my skills are more than a little rusty. I am enjoying myself though, especially since I've started putting things together, not just cutting them out.
On Wednesday I cracked the seal on the epoxy. I put together one nesting bulkhead, and made the fibreglass reinforced butt joints on the four hull panels.
I saved the bricks when I took the non-fireplace out of the basement, I knew they would be useful one day.
This went more easily than I expected, and today I found we had a good result. The joints seem really strong, and don't appear to be so stiff that they affect the overall bend of the plywood panels.
I got a router for my birthday this year , and today I discovered the wonder tool that is the flush cutting bit. Even though I cut out and planed these panels while they were screwed together, they did not match up perfectly. Flush cutting router bit fixed that. I already have plenty of applications for this tool in mind.
Today I added the stiffener pieces to the transom, and put together the hull panels for the butterfly process. A short section at the bow is joined using the same fibreglass reinforced butt joint that is used to join the panels. In a couple of days this should enable the "butterfly" unfolding process that is one of the key innovations used in several of B&B's boat designs.
When I looked at the plans, and saw that I should be able to put two panels together, drawn and cut seperately, and they should form a smooth unbroken curve, I was dubious. I didn't really expect that to work out. But I put the pieces down, and I think it looks pretty good.
Supposedly, hopefully, this will fold up into a boat.
Tomorrow, I'll get this ready to fold, and try to rip strips to make the gunwales while I have help here.
Monday 15 December 2014
A while ago I was getting pretty antsy to start this project. I had an hour during nap time, so I stole a cereal box and made a cardboard boat.
This morning my family decamped for Thunder Bay. In order to cope with my loneliness I have thrown myself into building this boat. This evening I laid out the long panels, and got them mostly cut out.
The keel and side pieces run over a sheet and half of plywood. You can join the pieces and then cut the panels out, but I decided to cut and then join.
After laying out the points, and checking them, finding a mistake and laying them out again, I used a 12' length of rectangular PVC to loft the curves. I have no idea what that piece of PVC is meant to be used for, but it worked really well for this. At first I tried to find a long, uniform wooden batten to use for this, but I couldn't find anything without bumps and knots. This piece of extruded PVC is very uniform and was easy to make fair curves with.
These shapes look odd, but I think they make a boat in 3D.
I cut the pieces out with a jigsaw, I stayed outside the lines and then planed off the excess to get right on the lines. I was a sissy with the jigsaw so I left myself lots of planing. I tried with the belt sander first, but the good old jack plane worked best.
Tomorrow I will try to finish trimming these pieces and then join them lengthwise.
Sunday 7 December 2014
At some point this spring I decided to build a small sailboat. I wanted a boat to fish and camp with, and just to sail. I spent the summer choosing plans and then accumulating materials. And now I'm just about ready to start. Twelve years ago I wanted a canoe, so I built one. Back then I had the time. Now I have a job and a young family and not so much time. But the kids are going to Nannie's for Christmas so I will have some time to make hay.
A guy at work has some property and a bandsaw mill. He gave me a bunch of really nice Douglas fir that I will use throughout the boat. This morning I got started by ripping some pieces that I will laminate to build the rudder and dagger board.
This will become the rudder.
This will be the dagger board.
I have no heat in the workshop right now, so I can't laminate until that is fixed, hopefully this week.