24 December 2012

Forward half of two more stringers fitted (0.5hr)

Took an opportunity to fit the forward ends of two more stringers. The chamfers are very long and twisted now. Again the pull saw cuts most of it and a bit of sanding to fit it. All fiddly as each frame joint has to be glued, drilled, nailed and then surrounded in glue. Then the stem joint has to be copper riveted and bound with twine and glued all round.

Finished restaining the hardwood on Daisy G. She is looking a well used boat, with many dents and dings in her rubbing strips, but that is what they are there for. Quite a bit of paint came off with the masking tape, so there will be some touching up needed. Inside of cockpit still to do in cream before I tackle the green hull.

22 December 2012

Four stringers fully fitted (1.5 hours)

I have fully chamfered and fitted four full length stringers. Six more to go. As usual, the work goes faster as you get used to it. Chamferring the ends against the stems is best done with the pull saw. Sanding is very slow with the multi tool. The stringers have more twist in them as they approach the keel, which is relatively easy to allow for with the saw, by lining it up parallel with the stem.

The lines of the stringers look a little depressed towards the ends. I think I misread the drawings slightly when setting up the keel/stem backbone. We live and learn.

21 December 2012

First stringer secured to bow (about 1hr)

I have cut and chamfered the bow ends of the first stringer and secured it in place. I tired sanding the chamfer, which works but is very slow as it is really quite long. I found that it is much quicker, and more accurate, to cut the bulk of the chamfer with a Japanese pull saw, and just finish it off by sanding. This makes rounding the surface much less likely.

This stringer is now glued and ring nailed from the centre frame to the bow frame. At the stem it is drilled right through and both stringers are held by a copper wire pushed through and clenched at each end, bound by strong twine through two positioning holes in the stem and then all bedded on Sikaflex. Bit messy but seems to work  well. I need to repeat at the stern and then fit all the remaining full length stringers. The end chamfers will get more acute and much longer as I approach the keel.

19 December 2012

Stringers dry fitted (1 hr)

I have pushed all of the full length stringers into place, which helps to show the overall shape of the canoe. They are just pushed into their respective slots on the frames and tied at the bows. The whole set up becomes quite rigid at this stage, but it was fairly out of shape by the time I had got them all in. I levelled everything up again and finally screwed the frame supports to the strong back and the main frames. The whole set up should stay in place now...

The next stage is to cut and chamfer the ends of the first stringers to fit the stem/stern, glue and nail that stringer to each frame and glue, pin and lash the stringers to the stem/stern. Then repeat for the remaining eight stringers. I think this is likely to be one of the longest stages of the process.

18 December 2012

Canoe keel

This poor photo shows the true keel, which is very thin. The covering board has cleats on the bottom of it to ensure that the true keel is kept straight during construction. When I took this picture I suddenly thought I had used the wrong timbers for the first two stringers, but I haven't, so that is a bit of effort saved.

The slots in the frames for the stringers have to be filed slightly at an angle towards the end to accommodate the sloping stringers in straight cut slots. The first stringers are marked and tied at the ends to ensure that the hull is symmetrical, which looks OK here. The tricky part will be to cut them to length and chamfer them to fit either side of the stem. The designer says the simplest way is to sand them with a power file or sanding block until they fit. I will try my Bosch multi tool to see how that works

17 December 2012

Intermediate frames in (1hr)

I have fitted the remaining frames. They pop out of the plywood sheeting easily. I fitted them according to the dimensions, but the stern seems to come out slightly shorter than the bow. They are meant to be identical. Probably my workmanship.
I have pushed the first stringer into place on each side as this is the one which sets the symmetry of the whole set up. This is a tight fit, but it has to be. Gentle tapping with a soft mallet has got everything lining up quite well.
I think the central frame is fractionally too narrow, as the line of the stringer is pinched in slightly at the middle. Little I can do about it with precut frames, but a point to note for the designer. Interestingly, if I pop the stringer out of the centre frame, it adopts a much smoother line around the centre, but its line towards each end then becomes pinched. Getting a boat fair is really not a trivial matter, and this canoe is effectively a prototype.

The large keel timber is temporary. It is effectively a straight edge which clips over the true keel, which is only 10x10mm, to keep it straight. When all the stringers are fixed, it comes off. The stringers are fixed with Sikaflex and a copper ring barbed nail through a pre-drilled pilot hole. Seems to work well.

16 December 2012

Started on Canoe (4 hours)

First stages of building my flax canoe started. Screwed together the building frame, and then set up the stem and stern pieces. The tricky part is that nothing is absolutely straight, even the bits that are meant to be. The building frame has a slight curve in it, but the designer told me the critical thing is to get the keel straight. He has set up a board with carefully fixed blocks which is clipped over the  keel to do just that.  Eyeing in everything also helps.

I had to do some post gluing adjustments when I realised there is meant to be about an inch of rocker in the keel, where I had thought it straight. The curve is now in it, but that meant putting in a spacer to fill in where I had cut the keel a bit short. Only one cut so far and I got that wrong! But not a show stopper. Once the glue has cured, the remaining frames need to be fitted, and then the stringers to give it its basic shape. Sounds simple...

I also stained some of the woodwork on Daisy G. It is cold, so it will take a while to dry. Not ideal conditions for paint and varnish.

9 December 2012

Too cold to do much

It is too cold to really want to spend too much time in an unheated shed. Not great for painting anyway. I tried out the blanking plate with the engine in position. It can certainly be put in and taken out, but it is quite tight. I will need to practise how it is best done so I can do it without thinking. Whether having the well full of water will help or hinder I don't know. What I did find is that it is all too easy to drop the blanking plate right through the hole through the bottom of the boat. Not a thing to do at sea.

I have been sanding the hardwood trim around the cockpit. It had far to many white paint streaks on it last season. The next thing is to mask it all off and restain it, before painting inside the cockpit. I hope that it will all look quite smart eventually. Updated my on board art gallery with some new pictures I did over the summer. One copy of a Klimt painting of "Eve" came out surprisingly well. I even finished it, which he never did.