Monday, March 8, 2010

Strongback Construction

As we mentioned yesterday, the strongback has recently been completed. After taking a few photos today, we figured that we should explain the strongback in detail. We chose to go for a design that raised the molds high off the ground, as we will have to work inside the ship while riveting (and we are both over 6' tall). On a similar note, the stringers attaching the legs make a very convenient tool rest. Once the planks go on, they will also function as a seat for the man peening rivets inside the boat. This model allows the molds to sit at about chest height, a comfortable working position. The molds are 2 by construction, reinforced at the corners using ply. Although simple, they are very sturdy. The rocker in Willy's hull becomes more evident now that the strongback is assembled. The second photo illustrates the method used to connect the molds to the back--a detail overlooked in most books. It also demonstrates the technique used to fit chines at each station. A basic positioning system allows the builder to quickly square and level each mold before attaching it. Chines will be made of 3/4 x 1 1/2 red oak. The spaces for chines to run over each mold were cut using a dozuki saw and chiseled to fit the chine. That saw is perhaps one of the finest (and fastest) cutting handsaws that we have ever seen. As far as value in a general-purpose saw goes, this one can't be beat. For the woodworker, it also excels at cutting dovetails. The strongback still needs to be modified to accept the stem and stern (both yet to be built--need to find suitable material). Any suggestions regarding stem/stern material choice? The sides will lapped with 3/8" mahogany (NOT ply), but we still need material for the cross-planked bottom (tentatively 3/4" cedar). As we approach the purchase of fasteners and bedding compounds, we will focus on a few common debates regarding choices for the next few days. Photos of the strongback are below.

Joe Lap

No comments:

Post a Comment