-Week 6 Write Up- Planking All Week

This weeks summary is fairly simple.  We worked on installing cedar planks all week.  At the beginning of the week, we had two planks on either side, starting at the chine.  From there, we worked down (or up considering the boat is upside-down), installing planks at a rate of about five per day for the first day, and once we got into a nice rhythm, we had eight one per day.

Each plank gets roughly forty-seven bronze nails driven into them, multiplied by around eighty planks, thats nearly 3,760 nails.  We are using the special G-Flex epoxy where the planks meet the oak, and regular mixing epoxy where it doesn't.  

By Thursday, we had planked all the way to the shear and Brendan began vertically planking the stern.  Drew and I set up staging around the STBD side of the boat to work higher up on the planks going towards the keelson.  Drew also constructed a T-table on top of the keelson to store the planks.  Now, we can access them from either side of the boat, and they wont be in our way to set up staging.  By the end of the day Friday, Drew, Brendan, and I got three planks on below the chine (remember the boat is upside-down).  We estimate all the planks will be on by the end of next week.  

*UPDATE* week 6 clip is up!

-PHOTOS- A week full of planking!

Here is a new drawing by Alfie.  It shows the accommodations down below.

The beginning of the week.  We start with the chine, then work down (or up if you consider the boat being upside down).  When we got into our rhythm, we could get eight planks on in one day.

A nice view of the curvature.  You can start to see how the chine will look towards the stern.

Here you can see where the plank ends run off the stern.  The stern will be planked with cedar as well, only vertically.

Beautiful looking cedar planks.  There are about forty-seven bronze nails in each plank.  Times eighty planks, that is about 3,700 nails.

The result of a couple days of planking with epoxy and G-Flex.  These were used over again until they became unusable.  Notice we even recycle old yogurt containers!

Woah planks!  Now there are twenty-eight planks on, fourteen for each side.  Only Fifty-two more to go!

Brendan fits on the shear clamp plank, this one does not go the whole length of the boat.

The beautiful strip planked stern that Brendan worked on the last couple of days.  This too will be layered with cold molded sheathing.

Brendan fits in one of the last stern planks.

Drew constructs a T frame along the keelson to stack the rest of the cedar planks.

With the planks resting on top of the boat, we will be able to access them from either side.  

The Last Shot Of The Week.  Brendan and Dave step back to admire the shape the boat is beginning to take.

- Week 5 Write Up - Finishing the frames and putting on the first planks

The week started out by removing the frames we had installed last week that had hardened over the weekend so that we could glue them and then re screw them into the stringers.  Once all the frames that had hardened over the weekend were glued, we still had some more frames to bend on.  Then after they set over night, we were able to glue and re attach them until all forty plus frames were on and glued.  

Drew and I brought all of the cedar planks down from upstairs.  The longest of these boards are 46 feet and were stacked next to the boat downstairs.  The 26 largest with the tapers cut into them were separated from the rest easier access.  But before we attach the cedar planks, we applied two coats of epoxy penetrating agent to the fir stringers.  This material is the consistency of water and applies easily and will penetrate the wood and protect it from rot.  Its important to put it on at this stage because once the planks are on, there will be limited to no access to the front side of the stringers.  The penetrating agent smells awful and is called Weasel Piss around the yard; respirators are needed.  

Once all the stringers were coated and all the frames were glued and re attached, we were ready to fair the frames to accompany the planks.  Of course, we want the boat to look fair, but all planks wont necessarily rest flat on the frames due to the curve of the hull, so Drew and I went around the entire boat with an eight foot test plank of cedar and laid it on the frames to see where the plank would lay up flat or not.  Most of the boat was actually extremely fair, but some frames needed a little sanding here and there.  Then the entire boat was vacuumed to remove dust.

On friday we put up the first planks!  First, the planks are dry fitted to the hull, and we started with the chine or the area of the boat where the bottom hull meets the side hull and creates a sharp bend.  Once satisfied with the shape of the plank, it was marked on the frames and the plank itself so we could lather with G-Flex.  Then, Drew and I went around pre-drilling then setting in two bronze nails to each frame.  The squeeze out from the glue was scraped off and wiped clean with a denatured alcohol rag.  Its really important to do a good clean up, because these are areas that will be very difficult to reach once all the planks are on, especially the backside.  

After the first plank, we start using a combination of G-Flex and regular thickened epoxy glue to attach the rest.  The epoxy is lathered on the tounge and grooves and the G-Flex where the plank touches oak.  By 5PM on friday, we had two planks attached, glued, and nailed on each side of the boat and wiped down clean.  By the end of the next week, all our work previously will be hidden under a beautiful shell of clear cedar.

*UPDATED* week 5 clip is up!

PHOTOS - more frames and the first planks!

This shot was taken right after we clamped the last frame.  Now, the boat is covered in roughly 40 frames.

Alfie stops in for a visit to see all of the frames on and the majority of the clamps off.

Brendan fits on the first plank to see how it will take shape bending around the boat.

Zoomed in on the first plank being fitted on before any glue is applied.

Mike Pease takes advantage of our progress and opens the large barn doors to snap a shot for the Pease Boatworks Website

Here i am nailing on my first plank!  Drew shares my excitement with a thumbs up!

A detail of the nail orientation.  Bronze nails are used and staggered like the screws holding the stringers on.

Taking a step back from the first plank on and nailed in.  Very cool.

Drew is lathering up the grooved edge of the first plank on the chine with thickened epoxy.  The tongued edge of the joining plank is also lathered, then put in place.

Ariel shot of the first four planks on.  Dave cleans up some of the G-Flex and Epoxy.

The last shot of the week.  Here you see two cedar planks on the STBD side of the boat.  To port, there are two planks on as well.  Soon, no more frames, stringers, or molds will be visible, only beautiful cedar planks.

-Week 4 Write Up - Stringers and Frames

The beginning of this week was spent cutting lots of bracing blocks for the stringers in order to clamp them tight to the mold stations and screw them in.  Each block had to be faired to an angle to allow for the bend in the stringer going the length of the boat  Eventually we learned it was easiest to just cut angles in with the saw over block planing them down from scratch.  Lots of tape then had to be applied to certain sections of the molds where glue will end up so that the wood doesn't stick to the molds.  Each stringer had to be dry fitted before we  clamped it on or screwed it in to check how they fit, and some of them had to be sliced down the middle in order to handle the harsh bends at the bow and stern.  These are the areas that were glued shut and clamped.  By Tuesday, we had four stringers on, clamped in place, and screwed into the bracing blocks.  

As an exciting side note: on Wednesday we had welders come in and weld shut the back of our wood burning stove to prepare for the cold months ahead.  We even had a small fire going.  But the weather lately has been warm during the days.

We had more stringers go up until all were on, five on each side, then the shear clamps were put on the boat on Thursday.  The shear clamps were also cut, but vertically instead of horizontally and fit into the stem where Brendan spent a few minutes hand chiseling in a notch for them to fit in.  And they fit really well.  Then they were lathered with epoxy and set in over night.

There was a little bit of preparation needed for the oak frames.  I went around to every mold and drilled a 1 and 7/8" hole on either side to hold a clamp up high were the frame will first be secured.  Then, a scrap of a left over frame was used to set the clamp at the perfect height to save time when the hot oak comes in.  5 clamps were set at every frame station for quick use, all set to the correct heights.  Brendan got the steam box going out back and let it warm up for a few minutes until the whole box was overflowing with steam.  Then, two layers of frames were put in, about 8-9 frames at a time and baked at an inch an hour, or one hour.  Once taken out of the steam box, there is a short period before the oak will begin to harden and lose its flexibility, so Drew and I stood by with clamps, all with gloves on, and Brendan would come rushing in with two oak frames, hot and steaming and shove it into the notch at the top where I would quickly throw the first clamp on tight.  Then he would bend it around the stringers, clamping on the down.  Then he would rush to the other side where I would be waiting with another clamp.  This was repeated until we had 18 frames on, roughly 40% of the total frames.  After they were in place, we could put a screw through them and remove the clamps.  On monday, we should be able to get the rest installed and start thinking about the cedar planking that have been lying in our way this last month.

*UPDATED* week 4 clip is up!

On go the Stringers, Shear Clamps, and Frames! - week 4-

On go the stringers.  At the stern, three meet together and require some good old fashioned elbow grease to get into place while they are screwed in.

A shot from the bow with all the stringers and shear clamps on.

This is the stem at the bow where the two shear clamps end.  Brendan hand chiseled in a notch for them to fit in perfectly.  Then they were copiously lathered with epoxy.

Here is the bow with all the stringers and both shear clamps on.  Next come the oak frames.

Dave working on the stern.  He installed the after most frames by sawing them because the angle was too severe to bend.

Here is the steam box ready to go.  It took a few minutes to fill it with steam, then we were able to fit about 9 frames at a time.

The oak frames are going on!  This was a very exciting process.  In the bow, the bend is slight, but as you move aft it increases more and more.

The oak frame on the left will be the most severe bend.  It took a little man power, but was easier than I expected.

Here, we've put two screws in the frames at each stringer to hold it in place without the clamp.  After the weekend we will take them off again to glue them, then screw them back in place.

The last shot of the week!  Here, all the stringers are on, both shear clamps, and about 40% of the white oak frames!  She's really starting to take shape.

- WEEK 3 Write Up - Making the Skeg, Frames, Engine Mount and Playing with Cedar

What an exciting week.  The first two days, for myself, were spent working with the 26 longest cedar planks.  Drew and I cut tapers in all of them so that they will meet at the ends when bent.  After this, drew began working on creating the skeg based off Alfie's drawings, a fairly daunting task.  I used a powerful router to cut tennants or tongues in the tapers we cut earlier in the planks.  After three days of finessing the planks, I was glad to have a new project.  Meanwhile, Brendan began hand chiseling the shape for the stem.  Once on the molds, he then positioned the keelson and glued them together.  It seemed like I was so focused for two days working with planking, that I didnt realize how much had been getting done around me.  It was very cool to see the stem and keelson up on the molds!

Then I got to work with Brad Pease on cutting the white oak for the boats frames.  I really enjoyed working with Brad.  He is a wealth of knowledge and taught me about hand selecting wood, where to cut it, and how to trim around knots and changes in grain.  Some of the oak board we were working with were twenty feet in length and up to three feet wide.  They were kept outside under a tarp to keep their moisture content so that we will be able to steam and then bend them into place.  They were very damp and heavy to work with and when cut, they have a very sweet aroma, almost like candy.  He showed me where the sap wood ran and how to bend a frame around a knot.  Lines for the frames were drawn on the oak in pen and then rough cut with a skill saw.  These pieces were taken upstairs and ripped with the table saw in order to get a fair edge.  Then, they were taken to the planer and a 1/16th of an inch was taken off until the dimensions were exact.  Then, each board was routed on all four corners to get a nice smooth finish and cut to size depending on their location in the boat.  The majority of them are seven feet long, going down to 4 feet.  Then I took each board down to the molds and dry fitted them to see where the grain would be in relation to the extreme bending points on the molds.  Then, I selected the most suitable board for each specific degree of bend.  The more bend in the frame, the tighter and more horizontal the grain.  Almost 100% of these frames are knot free and this just shows the level of excellence in this project.

While I played with oak, Drew and Brendan got a lot done!  Drew built the entire skeg, which was a really cool process to see unfold.  He basically had to put together a complex puzzle and then fair it smooth into a foil shape so it will cut through the water efficiently.  Brendan got the horn timber cut, shaped, and placed on the molds, as well as the skeg and keelson as noted previously.  He also had to construct a complex puzzle, the mount for the engine.  Again, designed and drawn by Aflie.  It has a large opening for where Aflie's sail drive engine shaft will go, and it also connects to the skeg.  At the end of the week, as you will see in the photos below, we have everything completed, installed to the molds, lathered with epoxy and drying over the weekend.

Next week, we look forward to attaching the sheer clamps and stringers.  Then the planks go on!

Here is an update on the time lapse video...

Pictures of Making the Skeg, Frames, and Engine mount

Alfie visits the boatyards with more drawings and solutions to Brendan's questions.  The horn timber is on the right.  

Here is some of the white oak for the frames.  Entire logs were hand selected and cut to our specs. 

The final product of my two days working with white oak.  These frames are exactly 1" x 1.5"
 and are labeled according to their specific location on the boat.  Each frame was specifically selected for its location based on its grain.

Drew is dry fitting his pieces for the skeg.  Here, notice the rough, bulky shape.  Below it becomes faired and smooth as a babys bottom.

Drew fairing the skeg smooth.  A piece of art.

Here, the engine mount has been fitted and the horn timber is in place.  Brendan and Drew apply glue to the horn timber where the skeg will be attached.

As the stem first goes on, Brad Pease looks on.

The last shot of the week.  The stem is on and aligned.  The engine mount is on.  The keelson and stem are on and everything is glued or in the process of hardening.