December 13, 2014 Hours spent building to date: 428
All 240 feet of sheer plank laminations are on the boat at last. It seemed like I was working hard, but only getting a strip or two a day finished and glued due to difficulty in placing clamps on both sides at once, glue drying time, etc. But I did do a lot of shop organization and finish work on the frame as well to get ready for planking.
This was a challenging job due to the scarfing, length of the strips and getting the angles just right. I probably took each strip on and off the boat three times, so that’s 36 clamp-ups, which makes for slow going. I am not enough of a cabinet-maker to figure out the acute compound bevels where the strips meet the stem except through trial and error. So I was on my knees with a Japanese saw and sander for a lot hours shaving off a bit here and a bit there, then refitting.
The final product looks good, though. The pictures just don’t capture the sweep of the curve from way back in the boat clear up to the stem, but I think my interpretation of what Mark wants is pretty close. And it has to be strong — there are about 8 tubes of epoxy in there.
As I walk up and down the boat doing this and that, my greatest tactile pleasure is to grab a stringer or frame and just give it a shake. Not that long ago, it would have to be a gentle shake, because the whole boat would tremble at about 5 on the Richter scale. The stringers put us into the slightly shaky area, which felt better. But the clamp has made the boat immovable, which really feels good.
Note to future builders: I thought it would be very difficult to saw out the slots for the sheer clamp after the frame structure was set up. But because of the sweep, most of the work is about 2-3 feet off the floor, which isn’t bad. So I would just saw the frames and bulkheads off square at the top to the dimensions shown, then establish the final sheer line and slots with a batten and gauge block just before starting the laminations. I spent too much time adjusting slots that were just a bit off because I cut them early in the build, when I wasn’t sure of the technique, didn’t know quite how this was going to come together, etc.