The third and fourth sets of planks were hung this week as well as making up the bunks for our trailer. By this time next week all the planking should be completed and we’ll be looking forward to tackling the next steps of fitting and installing the outer stems and keel.
After removing all the temporary screws in the garboards, we planed the four gains to allow the second set of planks to sit flush at the stems. The next step was to plane the bevels along the lower edge of the garboards where the next plank overlaps. This gave us a chance to try out our bevelling plane – a low angle block plane with a guide attached that runs along a batten. Despite the fact that the bevels are very slight at this point on the hull we could appreciate how beneficial this method will be as the bevels get greater at the turn of the bilge.
Time to start mixing epoxy and hang the second set of planks. Instead of the temporary screws used on the garboards, we were able to use plywood clamps and wedges to hold these planks in place. Silicone bronze screws were used at the stems to securely fasten the ends of the planks.
Today was the first day of planking. After some final refinements to the stem bevels we hung the first set of planks. The garboards were glued and held in place along the keel using temporary screws. At the stems, after being coaxed into position, they were fastened with permanent silicon bronze screws. It will take three weeks to complete the six planks per side with two sets of planks hung each week. In order to keep busy during that time we will get started on the oars, kabes and foot stretchers.
This week saw the stems and hog receiving their final shaping before the start of planking next week. We glued up the first two sets of planks using the “nail and string” alignment method that is a design feature of the kit. This method proved to be very easy and accurate. The rudder also got some attention, after shaping the blade the rudder cheeks were glued in place. The tiller gave us a chance to put our laminating skills to use again and also use up some of the left over white oak from the stems.
We had some visitors from Ottawa on Wednesday to have a look at our project. They are very interested in building a St. Ayles skiff once they can find a suitable workspace.
This week was all about the stems and the hog. Both got their initial shaping on the bench with the power plane before being placed on the moulds for additional shaping. After checking to make sure everything was aligned we then epoxied the hog to the stems and the frames. Next week, after fine tuning all the bevels, we’ll get started on the planking.