Tag Archives: stem

Caledonia yawl project: the floors, odds & ends

The cross country ski season has come to an abrupt stop with the closure of the local mountain trails due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is unfortunate as March has seen considerable new snow and what I imagine is great conditions. That said it is imperative to self isolate and maintain physical distancing to control the spread of the virus.

My adaptation in Vancouver to stay active is to make a small investment in roller skis to keep the technique sharp and to do much more running. Now that we are working from home, I’ve replaced my bike commute time with morning runs. It helps to create a sense of separation from the home and the work even though they are take place in the same place now. In reality it is a struggle to discern what time is for what. Is it homeschooling hour? work hour? personal development and reading or the general tending to domestic needs?

With all that I’m endeavouring to find moments to return to the boat which is providing as always a place and time of quiet meditation, applied problem solving and creative output.

Here is a rundown of the discrete projects I’ve tackled on the boat.

Building the mizzen mast collar on the aft deck.

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Collar cut out of two pieces of 9mm okoume plywood
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Glued down with a groove between the two pieces to enable a mast boot to be connected.

The next item was the boomkin brace or hole that goes though the sheer strake. This is one of the scary items where positioning and aligning is important to that the boomkin end is aligned with the centerline to sheed the mizzen sail. The other consideration is the rudder head and making sure there is no impeding the rudder swing (a good reason to do the rudder earlier in the build process)

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I got a 1′ long drill bit for the hole saw to help with alignment and cutting on an angle.

and away we go.

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The angle is sharp enough that I had to cut from both sides.

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I then cut the remaining tabs with a needle width pull saw. Then I reproduced the angle of the cut on a piece of 1″ thick mahogany board.

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which I then cut out as a frame for the brace and cut that in half (delicate operation with a pull saw) to be able to have the frame on each side of the hole.

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This was a challenging glue up shape the clamps just did not work. So in the end I used small 3/4″ copper ring nails to hold it down during the glue up. I like the look of it so they will remain in place.

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I also took a leap and cut the shape of the bow and stern stems. I’d been holding off as I’d waffled on having a more flat profile or the curved profile Ian Oughtred also puts in the plans.

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I’ve decided on the curved profile and I’ll add this bronze bow eye that will be used for as a secondary forestay location or to attached an eventual jennecker. The normal pad eye for the foresday will be just behind the the bow brace on the deck.

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And the stern stem cut to rough shape

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That is the first part of this COVID-19 boatshop isolation chronicle.

Caledonia yawl project: planing the bow apron and stem

Having access to a thickness planer makes this activity much easier and more precise. I was able with relative ease to plane the whole length of both the apron and stem down to the specified thickness on my own. I did spend some time fretting about keeping the angles square and not ending up with a weird parallelogram that would give the bow a weird twist. fortunately the thickness planer coupled with a square and some judicious hand planing kept everything progressing smoothly. When planing the apron down to the right 2″ thickness i was sure to keep checking that it was square.

Continue reading Caledonia yawl project: planing the bow apron and stem

Caledonia yawl project: gluing the bow stem

When I ripped the strips for the bow stem I was not sure what the appropriate thickness would be so I played around with everything from 1/8″ to 3/16″ and up to 1/4″ most of my strips were 1/8″ thick.

Which meant that to create a 3″ thick stem I needed nineteen strips. Each strip needed to be buttered with epoxy and with so much surface area that turned out to be about 850ml of epoxy  or nearly a whole can. If all my strips were thicker I would have used much less epoxy. The lesson that I learned is that when laminating use the thickest strips that the mould will bear.

 

Nineteen strips of Douglas fir waiting for the epoxy

 

Then Fortunately Patrice came out to help me with the laying out of the stem on the mould.

a fair bit of epoxy squeeze out

Caledonia yawl project: planing the stern apron and stem to size 

I started this morning with a borrowed thickness planer, which allowed me to get the apron down to the specified 2″ thickness and the stem down to 1 3/4″ width.

 

running the apron through the thickness planer
  

checking that the edges are square
  
good view of the alternating grain pattern in the wood strips

The challenge was to keep checking the length of each piece to make sure it was square.  I had to use the hand planer a couple times to get it nice and square the whole length so that the thickness planer did not perpetuate the wrong angle.

 

bow apron all glued and clamped

Once I finished the getting the stern apron and stem to the right width, I started on the bow apron glued up with epoxy and microfibres for better gap filling in the lamination and strength.

 

Caledonia yawl project: dressing the stern apron and stem

On Saturday my assistant and I went to the lumber yard to get one more 2×3 to rip for the bow apron lamination and a couple 2×4’s that may end up being used for the floor timbers.

it was suprizingly chilly saturday, we got rain, wind and hail.
  
my assistant is ready to help me separate the apron and stem from the mould.
  
pulling the stem lamination away from the apron after the epoxy has cured
  
a good look at the epoxy that squeezed out and will have to be cleaned or planed off
 

Caledonia Yawl project: Gluing the the stern apron and stem laminate strips 

I had planned to glue the laminate strips in one go on Wednesday evening. But as things go when doing something for the first time, things take longer than expected. It was a cold evening and the epoxy was more viscous than I expected so spreading it on each laminate took much longer than I anticipated.

 

Dry-fitting the apron and stem

Continue reading Caledonia Yawl project: Gluing the the stern apron and stem laminate strips 

Caledonia yawl project: Making more sawdust

The process of cutting thin strips for laminations is a reductive one. As I don’t have a band saw, I’m using a table saw with a blade that is just shy of 1/8 thick. So for every 1/8″ thick strip I cut, I loose as much in sawdust.



I have just two more 2×3 boards to rip and I’ll have everything I need to glue up the bow and stern apron and stem.

Last scarf, moving on to the aprons and stems.

This weekend I was able to get back up to speed on my Caledonia yawl project after missing a week. I glued one of the two scarfs on strake 2 and will leave the other to do when I’ve got the station molds up as there is the most twist in the forefoot of strake 2 and it will be easier apparently to glue it down first and then do the scarfs.

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Scarf clamping mechanism. the 2×4 is screwed to the 3/4″ plywood to keep it from warping.

 

It was then time to tackle the apron and stems of this Caledonia Yawl. I’ve decided to try the method of laminating thin strips 1/8″ of Douglas fir with epoxy and West system 403 microfibre additive. The part I’ve been struggling with is that in Ian Oughtred’s plans the apron is 2″ wide. So I need to find a stock of wood that is at least 2.25 or 2.5 inches wide so that after it is laminated I have a little margin to plane it down and fair it.

Punching through the plans to create a pattern for the mould that will be used for the lamination.

 

But all the standar lumber jumps from 1.75″ to 3.5″ and it seems wasteful to rip down a 4×4 timber just to get something 2.5″ wide. After a visit to a couple lumber yards I decided to get a few vertical grain clear 2×3’s and rip them along the wide edge to get the width of strips I need.

The stems are only specified to be 1.75″ wide and so I am able to use rough fir 2x4s to cut the lamination strips and I’ll have 1/4 inch of material to plane off and to keep it true.

Transcribing the bow apron and stem pattern.

After using my full sized plans of the bow and stern apron and stem to punch through all the reference points onto my pattern board. I traced it all out again.

laying out the blocks I will use to clamp the laminated wood. Note that I’ve also put down packing tape to make sure the epoxy won’t stick to the pattern.