View Full Version : Outer stem fit?

07-15-2001, 06:11 PM
How well does the Outer Stem need to fit? I will be putting bedding compound on, then the stem itself. There is a slight gap between the inner and outer stem as it is, around a 16th or so. Just due to imperfections in my ability to plane the inner, and spokeshave the outer. Does it have to be 100% perfect or will the bedding compound take up some slack?

Thanks for any help


ken mcclure
07-15-2001, 10:14 PM
What are you building? How is the outer stem fastened to the inner, besides the bedding?

So far, what I've learned is to keep doing the part until it fits right. The extra money you spend remaking a part is insignificant when compared to the cost of the whole boat. Especially if you're several miles out when that outer stem decides to start to work or, heaven forbid, let go.

07-16-2001, 06:11 PM
I'm building an Ellen as in the WB magazine a few issues back. The stem will also be secured with screws. It does not SEEM to be structural, more of a bumper is what it looks like.

Steve Lansdowne
07-16-2001, 09:28 PM
I just took the first week of the building Ellen course from John Brooks at WB School. Though the outer stem was to be fitted the second week, I think that 1/16 would be OK from comments he made during the class, though of course if you can get it closer than that it would be even better. John indicated that the outer stem and the keel were to be bedded so they could be removed later if they needed to be replaced. You could e-mail John and ask him.

Don Olney
07-16-2001, 09:43 PM
Well, call me a knucklehead if you will, but here's how I fine tune the fit between the outer and inner stem:

Line the stems up and place them together. Put a pencil mark on both so you can line them up again quickly.

Now take them apart and take some chalk from your chalk line and put it all over the inner stem. Press the outer stem to the inner stem, grind them both together slightly.

Take the outer stem off and the chalk will show you the high spots on the inside of the outer stem. Take a spokeshave and work the high spots down. Or if you want to, use a belt sander--try the forward edge--carefully!

Repeat the chalk exercise a few times and the stems will fit like you won't believe.