Friday, December 28, 2012

Building Truant! part 1

I'm about hopelessly behind with blogging now, but oh well! Life comes before blogs!

I've kind of been taking it a bit more easy in the shop these days, and enjoying a little well deserved time spent doing other things. My hobby, besides smithing, is wooden boats. I'm working on my second wooden boat model.

The model I am currently working on is a 1/8-scale model of a boat called "Truant." It's a good bit different than the model "Curlew" I built several years ago, and has been extremely interesting to build.

Here are the three primary frames that will make the boat the shape it's going to be. They are glued up and ready to go!

Here are the two side planks glued to the stem. The stem is a piece of wood that makes up the front of the boat.
I hand carved a "cutwater" or stem face piece and glued it to the front.

This is a structural piece called the breasthook! It helps to strengthen the front of the boat.

Here is the transom glued in. The transom is the very back of a boat. The string is being used as a make-shift clamp system to hold everything in place while the glue sets!

The piece glued in the corner of the frame, is called a "knee" and adds greatly to the strength of the frame.
Here I am adding glue where needed!

One the two side planks and the primary frames were all glue together, I had the basic profile of a boat. Then I had to go in and put in the rest of the frames. There were 7 frames in all, plus the stem and transom. Each frame is completely different in size and shape from the others. In such small models, clothes pins make great "clamps."

After all the frames were in, I cut and glued the two bottom planks on. The slot is for a piece called the "center-board."

Then came the top deck beams! These are boards that will support a deck on the from or "forward" section of the boat.
I also glued on a trim board down either side.

Where the side planks and the bottom planks meet, is obviously the most likely area for leaks. So, I mixed up my water-proof glue and wood dust and filleted the joint, using a wooden puddy knife fabricated from scrap.

Next I glued in the "mast step" and the "mast partner." The "mast" is a long stick that will hold the sails. The "mast step" is a board in the bottom of the boat that the mast sits on top of. The "mast partner" is a board above the mast partner that supports the mast.

Hey it looks like a boat! I must be doing something right!
Next I glued some support pieces on the forward interior of the boat that will help brace the mast supports later on. I also glued in the "centerboard housing." The centerboard is a board that sticks down into the water through the boat. It's function is to make the boat sail forward instead of sailing sideways.

I also layed a layer of wood over the central seam in the bottom of the boat. These boards will help seal this seam and make it water-tight.

I painted the entire forward section brown, and then began decking it over. The decking wood is black-walnut.

After the forward area was decked over and everything trimmed and tidy, I made a door to shut off the forward section completely. I wanted the door to be removeable, so I made it to where it could slide in and out.

This is the door!

I added some decorative finishing trim around the mast hole and the centerboard trunk.

And finally, the latest things I've done is to paint the aft interior, and add decking to the interior.








Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hammer and top swage

I finalized all my power hammer tooling for making hand hammers, so I made my first hand hammer under a power hammer this evening. It's a will be a little less than 2 pounds once it is totally finished.....I still have to polish, harden, temper, and handle.

The starting piece!

The hole punched!


The tooling needs a bit of tweeking but it worked pretty good.

I made a tool called a top swage the other day. It turned out ok, especially considering I've never made one before and never seen one made either!

And in a shocking turn of events.......

Back in the winter of 2010 I built a properly scaled down model of the wooden boat I eventually hope to build. The model was 1/8-scale, and was quite detailed, with seats, pins for holding the sail ropes, and basically a 100% working model. It would sail great all around our pond. Here are some pictures of the boat and building process.

Back in the spring or summer of 2010, I was sailing the boat in the pond, when it suddenly sank without warning. I still have no idea what happened. It was fine one moment, and then it went straight down. I knew where it sunk, but the water there is 20 feet deep, extremely dark, and extremely cold, even on bright, sunny, warm, days.

Today, we were out fishing. The line on one of the poles I was using, suddenly went taunt, and the pole started jerking. I grabbed the pole and attempted to set the hook. The fish had let go by this time, but there was an immense amount of dead weight on the line. I started pulling, and felt that whatever the weight was, it was being pulled along. I gently continued pulling, wowzers.......up came my boat. Here are some pictures of a model boat that's been sitting 20 foot under water, in all weather, and in the mud for a year and a half.


So now I suppose I'll get some experience in boat restoration!