Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gloucester Rocker Part 6 - More planking

Fortunately there aren't that many planks to fit and it now goes pretty quickly. Two more planks on the starboard side:

Then two more on the port side:

Same view at the transom:

I love the way lapstrake planking make the shape of a boat pop!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gloucester Rocker Part 5 - Cutting the Dory Lap bevels between planks

Now the hard/fun part, cutting the rolling 'dory lap' bevels. I have no idea if this is the right way to do these, but it was what worked for me and by the end I almost had the hang of it and could knock out all all four bevels to hang a plank in about 30 minutes.

First I cut the next plank and test bent it into place to define the exact overlaps and marked that on both planks. You'll note that this went exactly over one of the previous screw holes so I took that screw out to cut the bevel and then sunk it down deeper afterwards.

Next I eyeballed how long to make the bevel and then measured that to make them all the same. To actually cut the bevel I tried a block plane but settled on my go-to 2" chisel and cut them free hand with a slicing motion. This one is getting close but you can see that decrease in thickness at the edge of the plank is not quite a fair curve so that hump needs to go.

The plank laying flat on the table is not too bad, the one already on the boat is a little more awkward when handling the chisel. I had to remove one of the screws here too while cutting the bevel to protect the edge on the chisel

Time for a test fit for how the two halves of the dory lap match with each other. At this point it's been through a few trial fit and adjustment cycles and is getting pretty close.

When it's as good as it's going to get (for something that thankfully doesn't have to be water tight) spread the wood glue and clamp it up.

The same process goes for the dory lap on the aft end of the planks by the transom too..

Because this isn't a real boat going in and out of the water I just glued the laps between planks and did not use any fasteners which I know is a no-no with solid lapstrake planks. It just seemed like it wasn't necessary and would increase the risk of splitting a plank and cluttering up the look of the interior when finished bright. We'll see if this works out long term but i think it's ok for something that is really more furniture than boat.

Now just three more planks to go...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gloucester Rocker Part 4 - The first plank

I had a lot of trouble with the planking because this little caricature of a boat has a tremendous amount of bend and twist in a very short run. I couldn't get 1/4" luan plywood (what the plans spec) to make the bend no matter what I tried. I then switched to steamed planks which worked much better. 

Lowes and Home Depot happen to sell 48" long 6" wide 1/4" thick strips of various species that were perfect for planking stock and didn't require any planing or prep work. None of the options were particularly suited to boat building, but then this is just a toy. Poplar was inexpensive, had light clear grain and was the easiest to bend, so that's what I went with. Most of the boards have off color sapwood so it took picking through almost every store in the metro Boston area to find 6 clear boards with matching color.

There is a lot of stress on the plank ends so I started by gluing the first plank to the stem and letting it set up before attempting the bending.

For steaming I borrowed (with permission) the wife's steam mop. It looks pretty odd but it actually worked really well for these small thin planks and didn't require building a steam box just for this little project.

After the steaming the planks bent pretty easily and lined up with the transom bevels better than expected.

Finally the planks are attached to the transom with glue and countersunk stainless screws.

Two planks down, four more to go...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gloucester Rocker Part 3 - Stem and Transom

The first real parts of the boat to take shape were the stem and transom. They were both made from 3/4" quarter-sawn white oak. I got all the oak parts out of one seven foot board, but the transom and seat were wide enough that I had to glue up pieces to get the right width. 

The bevels were roughed in with a belt sander and then the beginnings of the sculling notch was cut with a coping saw.

The stem was also beveled with a belt sander. The plans suggest beveling all the way to the top of the stem head, but I thought that would look silly so I stopped at the sheer line and chiseled a clean end to the rabbet bevel.

Now we're ready for planking...