Today I mucked about on a few odds n’ ends. First, I picked up some Sitka Spruce at a good price. I had it jointed and planed. Unfortunately, that made a few defects become obvious that weren’t apparent beforehand. I think that when it went through the planer/jointer some weaknesses were turned into cracks. I may be able to use it to make the mast and spars but I will have to do a lot of laminating and scarfing. I may just take it back where I got it. I am undecided.
When I got home I decided to try dry fitting a gunwale to the side of the boat. I picked up the first gunwale I did that has been curing for 3 days. I put the scarf towards the stern where the curvature is very slight. I clamped it to the boat at the temporary form in the middle and then bent the piece back to the stern and clamped it near the transom. Then I pulled the gunwale to the bow and clamped it near the stem. It was pretty easy! It also seemed pretty easy to bend it up or down as necessary to follow the edge of the side panel.
I have been putting off finishing the leeboard to its final shape before shaping the taper and streamlined leading edge. The little knob…how to shape that??? Funny how little things can hold you up. I decided to use the router to do the main bits of trimming and then sort out how to finish the little knob. I clamped a piece of 1/4 ” plywood to the top edge along the cut line. Got out the router and zipped along that. The I clamped my curved template, also made of 1/4″ plywood to the leading bottom corner and routed that to match the template. Then I cut out the extra bits near the knob with my Japanese hand saw. I clamped a straight piece of 1/4″ ply and routed up close to the knob. Then, I did the rest freehand. The big heavy router I have is good for that as it is very steady and it is easy to be deliberate. A few nervous passes and it was ready to be finished off with the Sand Shark, rasp and sandpaper. When I was finished…I thought it looked pretty good…the knob is a bit less than circular but maybe I’ll fix that with a plywood template tomorrow.
I don’t know if I have mentioned how extremely handy the Jorgensen clamps are that I use constantly to clamp pieces to sawhorses, hold-downs to the table saw fence, etc, etc. They are extremely useful. I wish I’d bought more when I got the two that I do have when they were on sale at Home Depot years ago.
If you don’t have some…pick up a couple or more…they are worth it.
Then, I mowed the lawn, weeded the kids’ unused sandbox, put away some snow shovels, cut the handles off a couple of old ones…they’ll make lovely blackjacks for shanghai-ing a crew 😉 and since have spent quite a bit of time reading Jim Michalak’s book again…amazing how much more information there is when you have actually been working on a boat and it isn’t an abstract intellectual exercise as it was the first time I read the book. I had been wondering just how to go forward with attaching the gunwales and the leeboard support and guard. Now, I have a pretty good idea how I am going to proceed so this was time well spent.