Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Installing frames rocks!

Tonight's installment of "Duck Punt Building 101" begins with  a test fit of the sheer planks. At first I struck a line along the side of the boat indicating where the sheer plank would line up and then I just clamped the plank in place to check my fit. Spot on. Whew! Next, I need to figure out how to "feather" the sheer plank into the bow. This may require the purchase of a new belt sander. Damn, I hate buying tools. (Not.)

Below you can see the sheer plank clamped in place from the bow,

and a view looking towards the stern. 
I can hardly wait to cut the sheer to final dimension and lose that boxy, "coffin" look.

The next step was finishing the frames. There are 6 full frames and 5 half frames. The full frames are already installed and now it is time to get the half frames installed. After cutting them to final length and width I rounded the ends over with my uber cheap, tabletop belt sander (every bit as ugly as the drill press, I will spare you.) Then I needed to round over the edges to match the full frames. The challenge is how to hold on to such a small piece when routing. I solved this by clamping a backing board (which allowed the router more surface area to travel on) and drove two small screws up through my table so they were just protruding about 2 mm. I butted the half frame up to the backing board, gave it a small tap to seat it on the screws and routed away with no movement and no problems at all. Simple and effective!

Of course, I just HAD to see the frames in there before glue up!

Once it was time to epoxy the frames in the the boat I had another challenge. When working by yourself, how do you hold the half frame while screwing it in place from below the boat? Again, we call on our friend "Big, Heavy, Rock." 

First I drove 3 screws up from the bottom so they were protruding about 2mm, similar to the trick I used when routing. I wetted out the area where the frame was going to be glued, and then applied a thickened bead of epoxy to the bottom of the half frame. I carefully placed it over the 3 screws and pressed it down to seat it. Then, I tri-folded a piece of sandpaper and set it on the half frame, then cantilevered a small piece of plywood over from one of the full frames and set BHR on it to hold it down. The sandpaper provided just the right amount of friction to keep the frame from twisting as I crawled around in the dirt on the ground under the hull and drove the screws into the half frames. Then I used the gloved finger to fillet the squeeze-out and in 30 minutes I had the rest of the frames installed!

The view of all the frames installed from the bow,

and from the stern.

Almost unbelievably, I am starting to run low on epoxy and I don't think I am going to have enough to finish the punt. Dammit! That stuff is SO expensive and I thought I was being pretty miserly with it. It is going to take a lot to glue the sheer planks on, and then there is the gunwales, the mast step and partner, the frames the thole pins go through, etc. I may have to buy another gallon, or at least another quart. $$$$$$$ At that point, I may as well coat the bottom with glass. Sigh. Will I ever finish this thing? Stay tuned to find out!


  1. Hi Rusty. Looking good, your cabinet making skills are really showing through. I am enjoying your prose as much as the actual building photo's.

  2. Thanks, Stan! On both counts! ;-) I realize that building a boat is not the most interesting thing in the world so I want to keep it as entertaining as I can. I really enjoy the writing part, I wish I could do more! Once this one is done (assuming that is a reality)I guess I am going to have to build another boat, so I can keep writing...

  3. I hear you about the epoxy- I just ordered three gallons and I'm crying inside.

    Your build looks great! You need to christen that rock as your boatbuilding assistant- perhaps glue on some googly-eyes for prosperity?

    Keep on keeping on!

    1. Great idea on the rock, I may just do that! And nice looking scarfs. You're making me wish I would have bought that jig. It would have saved a lot of time and effort! I'm really enjoying your build as well. Keep it up, you are doing awesome and you are an inspiration. I hope to build a SCAMP someday myself!