Monday, June 11, 2012

Problems and solutions...

Well, one does not become a scarfing master with one successful example. In fact, usually one becomes skillful at something by making mistakes and learning from them. I should be well on my way then because my second attempt at scarfing for making the bottom panels of the hull was, shall we say...less elegant. I think only having two panels in line rather than the four I had last time makes it much harder to keep your scarf in registration and cut a clean angle. It was ugly but I patched it up, sanded the heck out of it, and all is well that ends well. At least in scarfing.

I made some good progress today, and learned some more things to boot. The bow and stern were epoxied and screwed onto their respective posts. I was happy to take this step because it meant I no longer was going to be moving those side panels around and was actually going to start building this darn thing! 

The bow, screwed and glued. No turning back now!

The stern, also screwed and glued, and showing the saw kerf which allows the stern plank to fan out. Yes, I realize the epoxy looks hideous. Trust me, it will sand out and look fine.

When stepping back to admire my work I could see something which gave me pause. In fact, it gave me fits! The side panels pulled away from the frames and I could not figure out why. I finally discerned that I needed (once the epoxy had set up) to unscrew the bow and stern posts from the jig so the sides of the boat could relax into their final shape. This led me to discover that the boat needed to be flexed upward a bit to essentially pull the sides back in to the frames. Hard to describe, and hard to discover, but I did finally get the side panels fitting smoothly, and fairly, against the frames without having them forced into place, by wedging a 2X4 under the middle frame, lifting the center of the boat and flexing in the sides. Thank goodness for that thinking chair I spoke of before. It is getting good use!

Using my trusty batten to check the fairness of the side plank as it lies against the frames. There is a very tiny gap at the bow and stern but I would say this is pretty good!

The next step was to drive a single screw top and bottom at each frame to hold the side panels in shape. Then I was able to lay the bottom panel  on top of the side panels and scribe around the entire boat, leaving and inch or so to be trimmed during final fitting of the bottom. My trusty Festool jigsaw made short work of cutting to the line and the result is...
I have built a coffin.
I hope this is not a harbinger of things to come! ;-) 

And that is plenty for this installment. Next, when I get a free day, I will reference screw the bottom panel to the frames, and using a pattern bit in my router trim the bottom panel flush with the side panels. Then epoxy tape the bottom to the sides and I can turn the boat over and start framing the interior! 
Thanks for following along. More updates to come as soon as I can get some more time to work!


  1. With all this scarfing, gluing and screwing I'm getting a little nervous.

  2. Very nice blog. It was nice to meet you the other day with Marc Bohne. Thank you for the CD's...we listened to your music all the way to Port Townsend and back...very nice. Good luck with this project and we look forward to following your progress!

    Marcia Wright
    Fort Wayne, Indiana

    1. Thank you, Marcia! It was nice to meet you all as well. Glad you liked the music although that is a whole lot of Kora! ;-) And thanks for following along as I try to get this project on the water!