Its been a very rewarding few weeks since I last blogged. Although, at first glance, it may not appear if much progress has been made, we have in fact been busy cutting, notching, edging & gluing bulkheads and frames. There are 23 of these things to prepare, including the bow-stem assembly, main structural bulkheads, and the stern transom. I try not to place expectations on progress, preferring to take as much time is needed to get things right. After all, our safety will be dependent on the quality of the work.
The accompanying photos show the process. There are 13 frames per side, each one different. After lofting (drawing out the shape of each frame) the next big job was to cut out the frames. I had been given many suggestions about the best way to do this. In the end I purchased a small 85mm skill saw, and cut to within a millimetre of the line. I found this to be extremely accurate and much faster than using the jigsaw as had been suggested to me. I used a hand plane to trim to the line. Then stringer notches were cut out of the plywood. The plans call for all the frames to be edged with 18 x 45mm timber. Accurately cutting such acute angles was a challenge, but eventually I found that I could get acceptable results with the jigsaw. Then I delivered the frames to Deb at the gluing station for her to glue the edging with epoxy resin. At first we used clamps to hold the edging in place until dry, but after the first few, we switched to flipping the frames over, and screwed back through the ply with 12mm stainless screws, which was much faster. This sort of attention to detail, has almost become an obsession. But with such a large project, even small changes to work processes, can save (or cost) hours of work. We found we could cut, notch, edge, glue and screw three frames per day.
Next week I will use a router to begin notching the edging, using the previously cut-out ply as a guide.
We took a day off gluing and cutting on Friday, to tidy up the work areas and take stock of progress so far. There were bits of boat all over the place. I took the opportunity to do a spot check on a random selection of frames and was relieved to find each dimension I checked was accurate to within a millimetre. No major mistakes so far!
Why the dolls house title to this blog? On at least two occasions visitors to the workshop have mistaken our frames for dolls houses! It will be a month or two before they will look like something approaching a boat.