Saturday, February 28, 2009

Completing the hull

With the bottom completed, I can start to work toward the sheer of the canoe. That's the top edge that the seats and thwart and decks are attached to. I need to install some "filler" strips above the first strip I installed when I started planking. (this is actually working toward the ground in the following pics) Once all the filler strips that I need are in place then I can get to work trimming the ends of the strips in preparation for the outer stem.

Well, that takes care of the sheer line; it just needs to be trimmed to look like a canoe. I will do that later after the outer stems are in place and it's time to begin fairing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back from CA. Let's get to work!

Just got back from California (traveling for my day job) and now it's time to get serious about getting this thing ready for 'glass. I really wanted to get the hull complete before the 1st of March, and probably could have met that milestone if I didn't lose four weeks to travel. I really shouldn't complain too much though, at least I have a job.

Any way, when I returned from CA, this is what I was working with. The bottom still needs to be closed up and this is very time consuming due to the amount of twist and bend and the multiple directions that it all goes as well as the clamps and wedges and tape that has to be put on.

This is it with the last strips in place.

Close up of the last strips

Now I need to work on getting the sides of the canoe built up to the sheer line at the ends. That should bo fairly quickly since the strips are pretty much straight with a little bend. Once that gets built up, I can trim the ends of the strips and cut the mortices for the outer stems and get them installed, then it's fairing and fiberglassing time. Check back soon.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Going back to Cali

So, I finally got the strips on the first half of the hull. Now it's time to cut to the centerline and then start fitting the strips on the other side. Let's get started, shall we?

Cutting the centerline with a sharp chisel.

I started cutting the centerline using a very fine saw. That wasn't working so well, so I went back to the book, Canoecraft, for guidance. Mr. Moores discusses using a razor knife and straight edge for the initial cutting to within 1" of the centerline, then following up with a chisel and either block or rabbet plane. I don't have a rabbet plane (maybe I'll build one after this canoe is out of the shop) and I don't have a straight edge as long as the keel line of this boat, so I just used a chisel. I was surprised at how well it did the job. As long as I worked from the center toward the stems, the chisel was cutting across the grain and keeping the bevel of the chisel toward the cut gave me excellent control. I was able to make the entire centerline cut in about 2 hours.

More planks going on!

The planking went surprisingly fast. I still had to wait for the glue to set pretty well between each strip, but the weather was very nice and the glue was cooperating nicely. I was looking at about an hour between each strip before I could take out the wedges and staple the planks and not worry about them pulling out of place or away from the molds.

Tape is a great clamp.

The picture above shows several strips of tape across the hull. That is to keep the two sides of the hull lined up while the glue dries there. I had hoped to complete the bottom of the hull before taking off for California, but after working all day and getting within 10 strips, I was spent. The following picture shows where I left off. When I get back home, I will hit it hard and get the hull complete and ready for 'glass within a week (maybe a week-and-a-half?) hopefully.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nearing the half way point on the hull.

I have been beating myself pretty hard on this lately. I really want to make my mid- to late-March deadline, so I have been working till about 0' dark-thirty every night trying to get the hull ready for glass. Unfortunately, I will be traveling for a week with my day job, so that adds extra pressure to stay on schedule. This series of pictures shows where I was when I started on Sunday night and goes through Wednesday morning.

The process has gotten considerably slower since I started turning around the bilge. The strips are under a lot more stresses being twisted and bent in many different directions as they are installed. Having to hold them in with wedges and clamps until the glue sets takes much more time.

The hull is very tight. I have looked and can find no gaps. I anticipate that if there are any gaps in this hull, they will be along the centerline, but I'm pretty sure that I can avoid all of that with patience and very close attention to detail. The fitting of the strips for the other half of the bottom of the hull will be more like joinery work and that is something that I really enjoy doing with hand tools.

These two pictures (above and below) are where I stopped working on the hull on Tuesday. Clamps, wedges and tape were all left in place for the night to let the glue do its work.

This last picture shows the hull the next morning after I removed the tape and wedges. At this time, I am about 9 strips away from finishing the first half of the hull bottom.***

***I don't have pictures because I need batteries in my camera, but last night I was able to get seven more strips on and now am only two strips away from center. I will get those on tonight.
Tomorrow, I am only working a half-day at my day job and I will be able to cut the centerline and start the other half of the "football". I will have fresh batteries in the camera and get that documented. Then I will work all day Saturday until I have to get to the airport for my trip Sunday morning.

Anyway, I hope to be pretty close to fairing the hull when I return and getting ready for 'glass by the last week of this month. Stay tuned!