You are correct rosco. Can't remeber the year, but it was superbowl night, the wardrobe malfunction bowl... That was a while ago!
Once I had the 2 8' lengths of plywood joined up with a butt block for a joint I was ready to attach the newly made sides to the bow stem. This was a cool step for me. I was working with my wife and we were jockeying two 16' long pieces of plywood around trying to attach them to a leaning triangular post. This was one of those "that will be easy" steps that quickly became a bit time consuming. Attaching the bow stem to the first side was straight forward. With this completed, it became apparent that we were not going to be able to simply "hold" the second side in place while we glued it and screwed it. The solution was to brace everything in place with grade stakes pounded into the lawn and a few stategically placed lines. This part I really enjoyed. Something felt just right about building an old design out in the yard using wood scraps and a hammer to get everything lined up. I felt like Earl Brockaway (the original builder) might be proud. We successfully joined the sides and the stem even with the help of the neighborhood dogs. They had a propensity for jumping up on the staked sides to "peak over the fence"... This did not speed up the alignment in any way shape or form. It did however give us plenty of practice pounding stakes. With this part of the assembly complete we faced the task of shoving the whole thing back into my "new shed" as I called it. You may perfer to side with my wife and her naming of my fantastic structure. She dubbed it my "Occupy Bowleys Quarters Tent". She claim it bore a strange resemblance to images on the nightly news of the then ongoing occupy movement going on around the country. Which ever camp you fall into, we still had to get this thing back in there. With the help of some neighbors we carried the flimsiest of all plywood contraptions into its new home and opened a beer.
Nice work so far. Keep posting with updates. I have often thought about trying to take on a project like this myself. Any way you can share a ballpark estimate of total cost for kit, wood, matrials, etc..?
Brad i can fill you in if you would like. Send me a pm for the details. If your looking for a cheap boat, you will be a bit disappointed.
While the sides and stem were curing, I fabricated the transome and corner stems. The transome was a laminate. Two layers of 3/4" plywood. The stems were again 4x4 ash.I This step is a test of the butt joint construction (add lude comments here). Each side has to make a substantial bend to join the transome. I was a bit nervous. Once again old school was the name of the game. A length of line, a stick and a bit of nerve and the sides were bent to the transome. As much as this scared me, the low tech method seemed just right, I just hoped that my fabrication techniques held as I bent the sides into shape. Heres how it went down.
Thanks for the comments guys. Its kind of fun to walk back through this process. The one thing that has persisted through this entire build is that there is nothing "simple" involved the building this admittedly simple boat. Perhaps somebody with some wood working skills would counter that statement, but I have to admit that I am no carpenter. Having said that when I began the plans all looked very straight forward. Come to find out the every scrap of wood you put in this boat is cut on compound angles. Measurements are all on the curve. Nothing is square, flat or level. I would spend hours making one pattern and getting the saw set up only to find that when I switched sides on the boat the saw setup changed... I am a measurements sort of guy, it comes from having a machinist for a father. However it didn't take too long before measurements went out the window and the eye took over. After a while angles where guessed and refined in scrap wood and lengths were refined by half a blade width trims. It was at this point the woodwork became fun. The pictures of the progress show none of these things, but in the end, the skills gained are as rewarding as the end product.
I was very relieved that the "big bend" during the transome install went well. A friend is completing the same build and he broke a side while attempting this step. That caused me a night or two of lost sleep leading up to my attempt. All that worry for nothing. With the shape of the boat now defined it was time to install the chines along the bottom edge of the sides. These pieces allow for a solid attachment point for the bottom and do more than a little to stiffen the shape. This process was time consuming. The ash chine pieces are not square in shape. The narrow edges are cut on a bevel both top and bottom this allows them to squarely address the bottom panel that will be screwed to them eventually. Factor in the curve (rocker) of the bottom and that means the "correct" angle changes as you move from the stern to the bow. Without a way to cut a changing angle along the length of the piece I had to guess the average angle and cut the pieces to that angle. With all that messing with my head I also had to factor in that these long chine boards did not meet the transome, bow or butt block squarly so each end had to have a custom compound angle cut in it. I burned through a lot of scrap making templates! Eventually all four pieces fit and were installed. I was happy to move onto the bottom install.
The bottom was formed out of 3/4" plywood. It glued in place with Sika Flex 291 and screwed to the chine blocks. The joints were all butt joints to later be reinforced with glass. While it was a bit cumbersome working with full sheets of plywood in my narrow tent, this step was refreshingly thoughtless. Toss a sheet up trace a pencil line and get out the jig saw. Just what I needed after the chine block jig saw puzzle I had just left astern. Before I installed the bottom, I resined all the edges where the wood would join to protect against water intrusion.
One of the primary uses for this boat is going to be on the trotline. I wanted a straight tracking craft that would not require much attention to track a straight line. Enter the keel. This was a deviation from the plan as the builder never intended to attach a keel. In there original configuration the builder installs to small 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" "shoes" between the chine and the centerline. This allows the boat to sit level when beached. I work off a dock so this was not important too me. I chose a piece of white oak for the keel. This was installed once again by gluing with Siko flex and screwing from the inside out. It mounted up very solidly.
With the exterior completed, it was time for a resin coat. We coated the entire outside with a vinylester resin thinned out to allow for penetration of the wood. A couple of coats and she was saturated. This was to be the base layer to protect her from the water. With this step done, it was time to gather up some folks and roll the boat over for the first time. I was excited to see her right side up.