The Hardest Working Tool in Boatbuilding


There is no doubt that on my project it is my smallest hand plane, an old nondescript piece of metal that I inherited from my Dad and I suspect he got it from his Dad as well. I removed a ton of material with it today to make the bilge panels fit. The first panel was worse so I suspect that my boat is a bit out of “Square” as the bilge panels were twins of one another….or the bottom was not quite symmetrical although I spent a lot of time trying to make it the same on both sides.

Oh well, it’s a done deal now.

I had a long day today and got a lot done. I planed the edges of both bilge panels, tied them to the other panels and bottom, taped the inside of the joints in preparation for filling them with thickened epoxy and finally, put some epoxy on the bow joint to tack it together.

That doesn’t sound like much but I am beat…planing is a heck of a workout but I crawled under the boat dozens of times to pass each tie back through to the top and to tape the inside of the joints. I made a ton of sawdust and shavings today….

It was interesting how the bilge panels went together….at first I though I was going to have to cut some plywood scraps to fill the gaps at the back where the bilge panels meet the side panels. But, as I slowly worked away, removing material with the plane, the panels came to fit quite nicely. They meet the bottom and side panels quite nicely as well. I had one place where the bilge panel wanted to intrude into the interior too much and I puzzled over how to fix that for a long time. Eventually, I used a piece of scrap and a screw to pull the bilge panel up to where I wanted it…

I wound up the day by epoxying the bow where the bilge panels, bottom and side panels all come together…it’s quite a mess right now and I have to say that trying to do things in the front anchor well from under the boat is really difficult. That is going to be a messy compartment!.

Some other photos of the day….

I like the bilge panels in the next one … they look like tail fins 😉

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Filed under Assembly, Cutting and shaping, Glassing, Materials, Tools

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