Building Notes
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The following are a number of topics on which I've written about my experience. 






I started without any significant view on what materials to use - and my initial enquiry on plywood varities on the Welsford forum led to a couple of weeks of opinion and advice.  In the end I plumbed for a relatively cheap marine grade (BS1088) ply based on Pacific Maple.  Subsequently I bought a couple of sheets of Hoop Pine marine ply, at significantly more expense.  The difference? - well the maple is lighter, it is also 5 ply, whereas the Hoop Pine is 7 ply (9mm).  The Hoop Pine is clearly a better quality product; its over twice the price too! It is stamped AS2272, which is the Australian (and I believe New Zealand) standard for marine ply.



I ended up using a bit of Tallowwood, which is a very heavy Australian hardwood - almost 1000Kg/m3 - which for the limited application (centrecase ends and cap) probably is of little impact. I have also selected Spotted Gum for the skeg, and rubbing strakes; again this is an Aussie hardwood and is heavy; it works well and apart from the weight (do Australian trees make light hardwoods?) I would recommend it.



Hoop Pine was chosen as it is generally well regarded as a boat building timber given its knot free even grain which is works well with all tools.  It is probably a bit on the soft side - but I've been very pleased with it overall.




You cannot go past a Japanese pull saw for most kinds of manual sawing.  They are an absolute delight to use and I'm struggling to figure out why they aren't more widely sold.  They cut more accurately, with less kerf and less effort.  If you're not convinced then find one to try.


On the whole I used a number of power saws - jigsaw, circular saw and a bench saw (actually a circular saw in a Triton saw bench).  Really a case of horses for courses - they all have played a reasonable part in my construction and I would be reluctant to do without one..



I have a bench plane and a couple of block planes.  To date the block plane is the most valuable, although I suspect my technique with the bench plane is not doing the tool justice!


I also have a Makita electric plane which is very useful for removing large amounts, but be careful you don't gouge chunks out beyond what is needed.  I think electric planes are one of the more dangerous tools and should be used with extreme care.


Chisels and Rasp

I have a set of 4 chisels from 6mm to 25mm - they are all useful, although I particularly used the 19mm in cutting the slots for the stringers in the frames - ie. cut in two parallel lines and then chisel across to remove the piece.


A rasp has also proved useful for making rough changes to shape.


Clamps and clamping

I have used all sorts of clamps.  I have a range of G clamps from 3 inch to 9 inch; I have half a dozen of the Quickgrip bar clamps of various lengths, which I find very easy to use and useful in a variety of situations.  I did make the mistake of buying some no-name cheapos, which proved the adage that when it comes to tools buy the best you can afford, as they are now pretty hopeless after little use.  I have quite a set of small spring clamps and I have also used tie down straps in a variety of ways to help holding things in place whilst the glue went off.  The one thing I can say with confidence is you should always determine how you will clamp any pieces before preparing the glue.  On a couple of occassions I didn't and found myself rushing around trying to position pieces, figure out which clamps to use where and so forth, which made the whole exercise more stressful and something of a rush.


Picture at right shows use of tie down to hold a stringer in place.





I used some white coated hardboard to mark out all the frames - this allows you check that they are correctly marked out in relation to one another and makes for a simple process to transfer to the ply whereby you lay the hardboard over the ply and drill small (1.5mm) holes through, and then join the marks on the hardboard together.  I used French curves extensively to draw most of the necessary curves and found it beat mucking around with battens and other flexible materials which never go quite where you want them to.



I cut them out in a couple of ways - at first with the jigsaw (this is obviously needed for any of the curved bits) but latterly with a circular saw.  I recommend cutting just outside your marks and then using a block plane to take the edge back to your marked line.



Initially I used some fiddly geometry to mark the notches before cutting them, but soon made up a smalltemplate which sat neatly over the 'corner' where the notch was to be and allowed a pencil to mark the required cuts.  It was then a case of two parallel cuts and then a chisel to cut across.



I used 'zip' ties to hold the lowest line of planking up to the bottom plank.  This worked OK, although I've accepted that I will not be able to extract the tie in full, rather I've 'sanded' the bottom off, and the top parts are embedded in epoxy and covered with glass tape - there may be more elegant ways of doing it but I'd go the same way of I ahd to do it again.  I was fairly liberal with my use of screws to hold planks in place whilst gluing, on the basis that the holes will be filled.  As you will probably know the lowest strake at the forefoot represents the most challenging part, and I managed it with an army of clamps, srews and anything else that came to hand - I wouldn't want to do it too often.  The rest going up are for the large part relatively easy, and I derived great satisfaction as the hull rapidly became apparent.



Having noticed someone else having used a router with a rounding over bit to give their stringers an attractive well finished look internally, I rather wish I had done that, as it makes for a simpler approach than mine, viz I fitted mine fairly rough cut and must sand them back to something respectable.