Sunday, October 06, 2002
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Construction Journal

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4/12/01 - Work Bench Genesis
Click to see a full-sized view Every good boat-wright needs a work bench, so I built myself a nice one. Note the skill with which this particular piece was rendered.

I don't really know what all the fuss is about with this overblown fawning over "skilled craftsmen." Hooey. What's the big deal, anyway? Just go down to the Home Depot, pick up one of those workbench kits in a box, slap it together and there you go. This wood working stuff is easy.

4/13/01 - The Plans Arrive
Click to see a full-sized view Okay, enough of the chit-chat. The plans and the book got here today, and a quick look at the plans was enough to convince me that I need to spend a great deal of time looking them over. There are notes scrawled (very neatly) every which way and it's very likely that if you don't examine every square inch of them, you'll miss something pretty important.

The plans also came with a smeary, poorly executed xerox copy of some construction notes. On the first few pages the copy is skewed to the left so that the first few words of each sentence are somewhere off the page, and I have to imagine what it is that they say. In most instances it's pretty easy, and in the cases where they are not, the book fills in the gaps.

4/13/01 - The Plans Arrive
Click to see a full-sized view Okay, enough study, it's time to go buy some wood. The book talks at great length about the difficulty in finding decent wood, but then cautions you that when you do manage to find some good wood, it's probably cut down in such a way as to kill some rain forest somewhere. I plan to paint the hull white to get that classic look, so the wood for the hull doesn't have to be premium quality wood, but I do plan to have the stem, keel and transom done in mahogany, so it will become an issue.

In any case, I have several days before I get to the point where I have to worry about that. Right now, the building frame and moulds have to be built, so I can get cheap pine boards and plywood for that.

4/14/01 - Building Frame
Click to see a full-sized view The moment in which it is determined whether or not I am allowed by the fates to retain my full complement of fingers has at last arrived. I begin the building frame. Many of the more experienced among you will no doubt skip ahead to the more complex bits, but the novices should take some time to study this part of the project and get it right. That's made even tougher because most of my reading skips over this relatively uninteresting bit, so I had lots of questions about how to do this as I went along, and no real answers anywhere. Unfortunately, as I went along the answers became clear in the work that I ended up having to re-do.

Still, it's important that the thing be square and level, because mistakes made here will be reflected in the final product. I'm taking this on faith, because that's what my reading says. In truth, I'm still struggling to manage a drill and a saw. Here I have one half of the frame completed, and I can assure everyone that the corners are by-God square.

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