Saturday, 4 February 2012

More on gunwales, inwales and knees (and other stuff!)

With the inner and outer gunwale in place the knees at the stern and breasthook at the bow have been fitted.  The bresthook is a complicated shape with lots of angles to measure and transpose onto the Doug-fir but it turned out pretty well and I’m pleased I set aside some time for this when I wouldn’t be rushed. 

The long process of planing the gunwales down to size so they match the sheerline of the hull sides followed and I have the blisters to prove it was done by hand.  In some respects I could have used an electric planner (if I owned one) but sometimes the traditional way of doing things is ultimately more satisfying and as long as the plane blades were kept sharp they cut through the Oak, Doug-fir and cedar sandwich that makes up the gunwale.  Once complete I have run the router with a radius cutter around the top of the inner and outer gunwale and then around the inside of all the gunwale gaps (for want of a better name) and this has finished it off nicely.   The only sharp edges left are the bottom edge of the inner and outer gunwale that will both be rounded by hand as the curvature of the hull does will not allow the router to be used.

I really like the pictures below, there is an honesty about this boat as it’s construction is visible to all that want to look.   Yes, it’s never going to be a traditional wooden boat with all the skills required to build it but it is not pretending to be that at all and is lighter, faster and ultimately more usable as a result. 

Having bought some really nice quality stainless steel rowlocks on ebay these have been temporary fitted in position.   When fitting the inner gunwale spacers I had used two slightly longer ones where the rowlocks would be fitted.   The rowlocks have also been raised slightly on an oak pad each side so that the oars are well clear of the gunwale when rowing.  The rowlocks came with a stainless plate and this has been recessed into the top of the oak pad although it’s not my best bit of carpentry, I guess that’s why I’m a “wood butcher”.  The pic below is before the oak pad was recessed.

Finally the top of the middle seat has been roughly cut to size and once glued into position I will use the router and flush trim bit to tidy up the edges.   It is too cold to do any epoxying in the garage at the moment so the seat top has not been fitted, however it has come into the warm of the house and been epoxy coated to save time later.

1 comment:

  1. Nice breasthook shot! I see you brought the gunwales together as a point. Was that terribly difficult? I've seen other Goats done that way (Simon in Florida comes to mind) as opposed to trimming them bunt and adding a tip or cap, which can also look nice if done well.

    Can you describe where you've placed your oarlocks in relation to the BH3 "arms"? And how did you arrive at your measurement?