Sunday, January 31, 2010

on lashing....

Sunday 31 January 2010: Saturday night I start lining the frames carefully into position, checking they are plumb and perpendicular to the keelson and then lashing them to the stringers. First the gunwales and keelson and then the chines. I work from the center frames out towards the stems. I am learning how to lash as I go here and some of them come out better than others. I may cut some of the sloppier lashings out and do them over as I get better. The material I am using for lashing is known as artificial sinew. It is a made from nylon fibers that have been waxed. It lays very flat and locks into itself when it is pulled tight. It is possible to make a very strong, flexible joint using this technique since there are no screws or pegs that could weaken the joint or form stress concentrators. The frame is starting to feel taut and alive as I work my way out though only about half the frames are lashed at this time.

Drove out to Freestate Lumber in Timonium Friday to look at ash and white oak for bending a masik and cockpit coaming. All the pieces they had were flat sawn with little, to no, vertical grain and didn't look suitable. I ripped a couple of 7 foot strips 3/8 inch thick from a red oak 2x4 I found at Home Despot. Bought a heat gun and gathered materials to make a bending jig for a masik. I'm not real convinced the red oak will be suitable for this but it is worth a shot. I need to make the jig anyway and I can try the red oak to see how it does while I continue the search for more suitable bending wood.

Monday, January 18, 2010

on sanding...

Monday 18 January 2010: Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King. Being preoccupied with ancillary activities this long weekend, I manage to get very little done. However today, being a beautiful, warm January day, I indulged in some light recreational sanding. Sanding is fun. Sanding is fun. Sanding is ... wOw ... kind of like rough sculpture with wood. I am making a smell like the inside of a giant pencil factory and the sun is warm so, Vitamin D. I knock off all the planing and saw marks and round over  and smooth all the stringers.

I briefly string things together to look them over but then break it down so that I can seal the edges of the frames with epoxy that I had rounded over on the router table last weekend. These pieces are about finished. On to the stem plates, masik, floorboards and cockpit coaming.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

i make things duller

Sunday 10 January 2010: Doesn't look like much has changed. But after staring at the frame sitting on the strongback for awhile over last week it occurred to me that I need to round over all the edges of the gunwales, chines and keelson that would be in contact with the skin. And also all the frame edges that might cut into the lashings or even me. It is never a good idea to be the one who is already bleeding in those situations where it might be necessary to sacrifice one, so that the rest can survive.

Since I am planning to lash this frame, I can't just sand everything after the frame is assembled. The time to do this is now. And so the war against sharp pointy edges was engaged.

I put together a router table last night. And I took it out on the patio this afternoon in pretty bitter cold conditions for these here parts. Running the gunwales and stringers through was more tricky than I had anticipated since I could only clamp the router table to some sawhorses. And those, almost 17 foot long, ribbons of cedar are extremely sproingy. It was too wobbly, even with tightly clamped featherboards to get the stock to feed completely cleanly. So it left a few little high sports, edges that I knocked down with a block plane once I brought everything back inside. Might not have saved much time, was way noisier and more dangerous than just rounding the stringers over entirely with a block plane. Possibly with a better, more stable setup on the deck or front porch it might have worked better.

I took the frames and rounded over all open edges and interiors.

I put everything back up on the strongback and cut all the deck stringers, fore and aft. I have a paper template that I traced last night for the stern plate. But I'm still thinking about what to lash and whether to have some pegs on the bow and stern plates. I'll have to figure that out before I cut those.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

strongback stations, looking sorta kayaky

Sunday 3 January 2010: I cleaned up the epoxy squeeze-out this morning with a surform while it was still a little green. Worked on it a little later with 80 grit paper on a sanding block. I layed out the strongback station on posterboard then drilled the required holes, rough cut the outlines on the table saw, and finished it up on the bandsaw. Marked off all the station and frame locations on the strongback on blue painters tape and screwed the stations down.

Got carried away and wanted to see something kayaky looking so I started attaching the gunwales, keel and chines to the frames with bungy cords.

It was around this point that I remembered that I still needed to carve out the slots for the rear deck stringers in frames 5 and 6, and seal all the frames with epoxy. So I took this apart, looked good while it lasted, marked and cut the deck stringer slots, whipped up a couple batches of epoxy and put a seal coat on all the frames.

I may put another seal coat on the edges tomorrow evening depending on how much epoxy was soaked up by the edge grain. Then the frame should be ready to assemble and lash on the strongback.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

cutting and gluing scarf joints

Saturday 2 January 2010: I stopped at HD after class this morning and picked up materials to complete the scarfing jig and a support stand. I also found red oak 2x4, 7 feet long that I think I can rip into strips for laminating a masik for the top of frame 4. Finished the scarfing jig and spent some time staring at it to determine whether I trusted it to be safe enough to do the job without losing fingers, eyeballs or other useful parts. I decide it looks ok. I picked up a small scrap of red oak 1x4 and cut a fingerboard to clamp the stock vertically. Ran a test on a piece of scrap and it looks good so I went for it. Cut pretty good, clean scarfs for gunwales, keelson and chines.

Layed everything out, and wrapped it up in plastic sheeting to keep from gluing together things that should not be glued together. I mixed up some epoxy with cabosil thickener, slathered up the joints, lined everything up nice and straight and clamped it down.


Tomorrow, I should be ready to fool around setting up the frames and will be able to get an idea of exactly how kayaky this thing will look. It takes some imagination to see it right now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

strongback, scarfing jig

Friday, 1 January 2010: Finished drilling out strongback holes and bolted everything together. Screwed the top plates on with 1-1/2 inch deck screws and marked out a centerline. Then I pulled the table saw out of the corner and spent some time trying to envision a jig that would allow me to cut the 8-to-1 scarf joints for the gunwales, keelson and chines. There are no rails in my portable table saw. But there is a sliding platform with various holes used to accept a miter jig. Finally decided I know what I need to do, but it will require some machine screws and perhaps a scrap of good plywood for a base, as well as one more stand to support the stock while I feed it through the saw. Off to Home Despot tomorrow morning after taiji class.