- 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...

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