Friday, July 21, 2006

The boat gets a bottom!

Dan and I have been slowly working at the boat this week, as we get an hour here and there. Much has gotten done, I just haven't been faithful at updating the blog! Finally, you can see what we've gotten done...

It takes nearly two full sheets of 1/4" plywood to cover the bottom of the boat. The process begins by laying the wood end to end on the bottom of the upturned frames and sides. Then, you have to mark the plywood with a pencil along the chines. This line gives you your sawing line. Here you see Don beginning to draw the line...
And here's a closeup... we made sure to make a nice dark line.After both sheets were carefully marked, we set the sircular saw at a 15 degree angle (to match the angle of the sweep of the sides of the boat), and carefully made the cuts. Here you see Dan finishing up the back half of the bottom of our vessel. We cheated a little outside the line, just to give ourselves little wiggle room. You can always take off a little extra material once the boat is together. You can never add some if you accidentally cut off too much!And here, you can see the two pieces laid on the boat. Seems to fit pretty well!
Next, we had to repeat the procedure used earlier in the build, when we spliced together the two 20" widths of plywood to make the two 16 foot sides. To do this, we used the same sandwich of plastic, fiberglass cloth, epoxy, and plywood. We layed weights up on it to encourage a good straight joint... and then let it dry overnight.
Extra weights along the one side, where the wood seemed determined to be warped and difficult. Do any of you know people who are stubborn like this wood? I didn't think so! I don't either!Here's Dan taking care of a little detail after the assembly dried over night... he's using a razorblade tool to cut off the fiberglass that was overhanging the edges of the joint.
Next we spread plenty of glue all along the chines and the bottom edges of the frames... and layed the 16 foot completed bottom on top of the frame... and began to attach it with screws. In case you were wondering, the glue we are using is Tightbond III. This glue comes highly recommended as a superior wood glue that has a unique quality... it is totally waterproof! So, in theory, we are creating joints that will not leak!If you look real close at the photo below, you might see a fdaint blue line upon which Dan is drivign a screw. We used a carpenter's chalk line to mark the spot where the three frames meet the bottom of the boat. The trick worked! We didn't miss with any of the screws!
I am sorry now that I didn't take more pictures of this attaching process. It took a LOT of screws and a lot of glue to attach the bottom to the chines and frames. When we were finally done, we were like little kids, and couldn't wait to flip the boat over. When we did, this is what we saw! Finally, a boat!!! If you look carefully at the transom, you'll see another project we undertook this week... to begin filling in all our screw holes with some wood filler. This is the first step in what will be a considerably time-consuming finishing process... puttying, sanding, brushing on wood sealer, and painting! Our plan is to recruit Leslie (my wife) and Heather (Dan's fiance) to help with this process!And of course, we couldn't rest till we took turns sitting in it! All I need are my oars! I guess we better get to work building those!


At 8:52 PM, Blogger snpentz said...

What a beautiful boat. Nutmeg is bigger than I thought. Thank you very much for posting your photos, excellent!


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