It’s Spring – time for woodwork and a change of head!

Well the year is turning, and so the original plan of “metalwork in the winter, boat work in the summer” has meant that  I have moved from the closeted-convector-heater-cosiness of the machine shop, to the expanses of the (un-heated) boat-shed and turning my attention from engine to hull!

A shift in thinking required.

Avid readers might recall that I embarked upon this project having discovered “strip plank hulls” and concluding this looked like “engineering in wood”, and therefore something I might be able to bend my mind to. Well the realities of this are interesting.

While the initial cutting of the moulds was OK and nicely defined (with acres of co-ordinates and orthogonal lines) and only required a change in “tooling” jig-saw instead of shaper/mill…

However, the deeper I get into the work, the more the “woodworker’s mindset” impinges on my comfortable co-ordinate led mindset. The problem seems to be:

  • A general wooliness about dimensional accuracy – a significant absence of dimensions at what feels like key places in the drawings
  • A wild and scary abandon about right-angles… For example It’s clear that the lower part of the stem is not at right angles to the bow, and it’s clear that it needs to somehow meet the hog (keel), but there are precisely ZERO dimensions, or angles shown to allow you to decide WHAT angle it should be at.
  • Moreover, there are millimetre-perfect dimensions for the fairing of the lower stem into the hog/keel on the drawing, but one end of the dimension  line is in thin air (the waterline in mid hull), and the other end assumes you might know where in fact you are going to hang/fit/glue the stem…

I think I just need to shift my mind into a free-er gear and try “to go with the flow”, “look for the line of things” and suppress the measurement-led voices in my head screaming for a level of precision and accuracy which  (it is dawning on me) is clearly unrelated to the world of wooden boat building!



2 thoughts on “It’s Spring – time for woodwork and a change of head!

  1. John

    Sometimes when you are not sure how something is going to work out you can make a temporary piece out of scrap material, even cardboard, and get some idea of how it is going to fit.


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