Sunday, May 9, 2010

Boat Builders?

The weather this weekend was less than co-operative for class this weekend. While we've been spoiled by the nice warm, clear days that we had for the past few weekends, we were deluged with rain this Saturday. Still, I'd like to think that we had a very good class just the same. Even though it isn't the case, it seems like we were doing everything but building canoes as there were only two actual boats in the shop.

The strong-back assembly finally came out of the kayak hull this weekend. I had been delaying it for several reasons. First, we wanted to complete the deck up to the point where both sides were 'glassed and the coaming was installed. Second, I wanted to leave the frame in place until the last minute to prevent the hull from "relaxing" prior to the installation of fiberglass on the inside of the hull.

When we built this boat, we did some things which varied from the original plans a bit. We put notches in the corners of the patterns to allow us to install sheer clamps as we built the kayak. On a friend's previous kayak build, we put the sheer clamps in after the hull was complete and it was a pain. The other issue is that we needed to get the hull edge and sheer clamp to be beveled to match the deck shape. This would have been made very difficult if the patterns weren't in place to use as a guide.

With the notches for the sheer clamps, the student was concerned that we wouldn't be able to get the forms out of the hull as the patterns were undercut. I knew that the hull would still flex enough to get the forms out. Fortunately I wasn't proven wrong. I should add here that we were hoping not to cut the strong-back to get it out of the hull. Here it is - free at last! :

The student who had completed the woodwork on his Wee Lassie II, the Double Espresso, wanted to build a pair of paddles for the canoe. He made great process and with a bit more sanding and varnish, he will be finished with them quite quickly - they are nice looking paddles that are patterned from a design in Graham Warren and David Gidmark's book, Canoe Paddles : A Complete Guide to Making Your Own. He still has some caning to do on his seats and varnish, but his boat and paddles should be ready to enjoy this summer.

Another student had 'glassed the inside of her Wee Lassie last weekend. This weekend, we cut the sheer, cut back the inner stems and did a rough fit of the decks. We should be well on our way to completing the trim before the end of the year. It's looking good.

Rather than move the other boats (without fiberglass...) in the rain, we opted to work on their canoe seats. There were three seats made - one cherry one for a Wee Lassie that is in progress and two Peruvian Walnut seats for the Prospector Ranger. I'll be posting more about that process for Tech Tip Tuesday. It made for lighter lifting than usual!

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