Thursday 1 May 2014

The spine

On Wednesday I decided there was no way I could afford to do this (at least in a decent time scale) if I had to pay for freight for ply. So we borrowed a trailer and went to Bunnings, and bought four sheets - two of 9mm and two of 6mm. I have no idea what their ply is made from, except that it's stamped "BS1088" and had a brochure talking about sustainable forestry. On close inspection it looks pretty good. The face sheets are clear and I couldn't see any voide around the periphery of the sheets. It'll do. While we were there I picked up a pile of western red cedar planks that I'll laminate to make the centerboard.

So once I got home, I cleared the bikes and car from the garage, got Perry's help to put a 9mm sheet on the bench, and marked out the spine on it. Then I cut that out with a jigsaw, and repeated the exercise twice to make doublers for the front section. Then I clamped the three bits of ply together and worked them with my trim router (think tiny cuts) and sandpaper in a block until I was happy with the curves, and all three pieces matched nicely.

Here's what I'm trying to make, from my model. The spine is a good spot to start, because it's a manageable size, but a fair bit of the boat (bulkheads 1 through 3) hangs off it, so I can construct a largish subassembly that then gets attached to the rest of the boat before having to permanently banish the car from the garage:

Here's a pic just before picking up the jigsaw:

And here's the result of about four hour's work. I still have to cut the holes in the back of the spine, and slot it to accept bulkhead 3:

As I work I come up with things that I'm missing. The top two items at the moment are a decent plane and a spokeshave. It's very nice to actually be making things though.

Oh, and I've come up with a name for my boat. It'll be Elena.

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