-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!

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