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Thread: An unlikely boat builder...

  1. #1
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    Default An unlikely boat builder...

    For anyone who's interested in following the progress of a 10-thumbed, newbie boat builder, I've started blogging my build.

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2009/09/boat.html

    Mainly for my own use, to help remember lessons learned, but maybe it can help encouraged others to start sawing.

    Hey, if I can do this, anyone can!

    -- John

  2. #2
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    I see I posted on your earlier thread (in the bilge) right after you opened the new thread up here. Thanks for humoring us and I'm sure we all look forward to more.

    Welcome aboard!
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    I see I posted on your earlier thread (in the bilge) right after you opened the new thread up here. Thanks for humoring us and I'm sure we all look forward to more.

    Welcome aboard!
    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Just uploaded a new installment to my boat building blog:

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...osaur-dna.html

    -- John

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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Great stuff, John. I smell a book deal down the road, right around launch day.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    Great stuff, John. I smell a book deal down the road, right around launch day.
    Just trying to keep it entertaining enough for my kids to keep reading... There's only so much technical stuff they can take before their eyes start rolling

  7. #7
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    In the latest episode of my blog, I tackle my first wood working project, ever...

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...g-project.html
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    John, Throw a coat of flat white paint on your lofting board. Lines will show up better. Most lofting surfaces are horizontal so you can use weights to hold your battens in place while fairing curved lines. In your case, drive little tacks in the coordinate points and bend your batten around that. Fortuneatly, most of your lines are straight, so no sweat.

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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Keep us posted, I will be following. Thanks.

    Eric

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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    My first attempt at lofting teaches me a useful lesson about spirit levels...

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...gonometry.html

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  11. #11

    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
    My first attempt at lofting teaches me a useful lesson about spirit levels...

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...gonometry.html

    -- John
    Just a thought, could you not use a Laser Level?
    "ITS NOT THE YEARS IN YOUR LIFE THAT COUNT, ITS THE LIFE IN YOUR YEARS."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by Svensk View Post
    Just a thought, could you not use a Laser Level?
    That's a good question, and you're the second person to ask it. I've never used one, so not sure how they work.

    However, I got into the trouble I did because of two reasons: 1. I was too cheap to buy a simple carpenter's square (every tool I buy is a piece of wood I can't afford), and 2. I kinda like the idea of trying to use the tools I have on hand, before buying a new tool.

    I keep thinking that the Vikings didn't have any store-bought tools, and managed to build some pretty elegant boats.

    As you'll see in the next episode, I solve this problem with two home-made tools, that didn't cost me a cent...

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  13. #13
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    There are always lots of ways to skin every cat John. Depends on whether you want a nicely skinned cat, or a nice cat skin. Look forward to seeing your solution.
    Keep It Simple: KISS it better.

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    Default Lofting - Take 2

    My second attempt at lofting was a success, but don't try this at home, kids...

    New blog post:

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...ng-take-2.html

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Chappelle's best tip: keep a "moaning chair" handy in your shop. I've spent some time in mine, head in hands, whimpering.

    Like when I went cheap and used particle board panels to loft a 17 foot boat on a concrete floor. After working at it for a few weeks I realized the boat was now 17' plus 5/8"! The panels sucked moisture out of the concrete and started growing.

    I delivered it all to the dump the next day and went back to square one.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Jans View Post
    Chappelle's best tip: keep a "moaning chair" handy in your shop. I've spent some time in mine, head in hands, whimpering.

    Like when I went cheap and used particle board panels to loft a 17 foot boat on a concrete floor. After working at it for a few weeks I realized the boat was now 17' plus 5/8"! The panels sucked moisture out of the concrete and started growing.

    I delivered it all to the dump the next day and went back to square one.
    Ouch!

    I've got a whole moaning *couch*... what does that tell you?

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  17. #17
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Misery loves company?
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    In this episode, I loft the body plan for the molds... For once it goes pretty easy!

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...ing-bones.html

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  19. #19
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    Default I Score Some Blades

    I Score Some Blades

    Sorry for interrupting the fascinating story of how I built my frames, but I'm super excited about this week's garage sale find. And I have a cautionary tale about being 'too careful' (i.e. cheap) with money.

    A couple weeks ago, I went to visit Roger, a very experienced boat builder in my area. I don't know what he thought of me, since I don't remember doing anything more intelligent than walking around his amazing shop with my mouth open, uttering the word 'Wow' every so often, but I learned a lot from him.

    Among the other secrets he let me in on was the fact that you could find great old tools at garage sales for less money than you'd spend buying new tools of inferior quality...

    See complete blog post
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  20. #20
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    Default What you get when you build a boat

    Whilst on my poor knees the other day, drilling away on the subject of a future blog post, it occurred to me that -- despite the sore knees and aching back -- building this boat was the most fun I'd had in years. And I wondered why, why it was so much fun?

    It surely isn't the boat itself, or the future of rowing and sailing it promises. If I'm honest, I don't particularly need a small boat to go sailing. I did plenty of sailing this summer on other people's boats.

    No, it's not the destination of completing the boat, so much as the journey of building it. It's the thrill of the possibility. The high of anticipation. The first date with a band saw. That's what makes building boats so much fun for me.

    New Blog Post: Unlikely Boat Builder: What you get when you build a boat
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What you get when you build a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
    ...
    No, it's not the destination of completing the boat, so much as the journey of building it. It's the thrill of the possibility. The high of anticipation...
    New Blog Post: Unlikely Boat Builder: What you get when you build a boat
    I agree. More than 2O years ago I built a Billings Boat wooden model of the Viking ship Oseberg after visiting the Viiking Ship Museum in Oslo where it and others reside. The Viking era ships and boats there are fantastically beautiful. I vowed then that someday when I had time that I would like to actually build a Viking style boat that I could sail in.

    I began my Oughtred Elfyn faering project several years ago with no boatbuilding or woodworking experience but with a lot of enthusiasm. My enjoyment has grown as the project has progressed and new skillshave been aquired-or are developing.

    I had hoped to get my boat in the water this summer but accepted that next summer is a more likely target. In addition to gaining new skills, I have learned more patience.

    Good luck with your project.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    The Essential Boat Building Tool

    For about 54 years, I was an unhandy guy. There was nothing I could do about it, it wasn't my fault, it was just the way my genes were wired.

    So, while Helena could spend a pleasant afternoon refinishing our 100 year old iron windows -- scraping away rust, cutting glass to replace broken panes, and carefully puttying them in place -- my jobs were exercises in frustrating futility.

    My jobs always went wrong. I always had to rework them and every job took longer than it should have or -- more correctly -- longer than I wanted it to.

    And the faster I worked, the more of a hash I'd make of the job, and the longer it would take.

    Absolute, utter frustration.


    Read new blog post: The Essential Tool
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  23. #23
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    Default The Unlikely Boat Builder: I Am Bitten

    The Unlikely Boat Builder: I Am Bitten

    The other day, I realized I'd been bitten. Not by a dinosaur, but by something just as powerful and a lot more sneaky: the boat building bug.

    I was building the stongback for
    Cabin Boy -- a kind of ladder-frame structure that is used to erect the molds. Compared to lofting and building the molds, putting together the strongback was simple, even for me. Obviously I didn't say so at the time... no sense tempting fate.

    Nevertheless, while doing this pleasantly easy work, I had a few brainwaves left over and found myself day dreaming...


    Read complete blog post: "I Am Bitten"
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  24. #24
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    Default The Unlikely Boat Builder: Man, The Tool Maker

    Man, The Tool Maker

    "There is nothing particularly difficult about sailing," my friend John V. mused as we drove across Peconic Bay last weekend into a cold, 20 knot breeze. "But there are an enormous number of simple skills to be mastered."

    At that particular moment, I was trying to master the skill of staying warm under the dodger, while John squinted into the wind like the Ancient Mariner, seemingly unaffected by the ferocious wind-chill factor...


    Read the complete blog post in which I (amazingly) build my first tool...

    Man, The Tool Maker

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  25. #25
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    Default Unlikely Boat Builder: Micro Inventions

    Some call them woodworking 'tricks', but I call them micro inventions -- simple, non-obvious inventions that some wood worker discovered hundreds or maybe thousands of years ago -- that are passed down from worker to worker because they are so darn useful. They're easy to recognize when you see them -- they make you slap your head and utter the word 'Wow'... at least that's the effect they have on me.

    This blog post highlights three micro inventions that I used just this week. Notice how they all reduce the complex mathematical problem of capturing a complex shape or angle to a simple tool. Brilliant!

    Read complete blog post: Micro Inventions

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  26. #26
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    John, Enjoying your blog. Thanks for posting and keep it up.

    You had a little animation showing a sextant. I can't wait for your step by step description of how to do it and then have Bermuda come over the horizon just when you predict it should
    Denny Wolfe
    www.wolfEboats.com

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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
    Just uploaded a new installment to my boat building blog:

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...osaur-dna.html

    -- John
    Do not pass up reading "BOAT BUILDING" by Howard Chappelle. Especially the construction of hatches and the Wilcox and Crittenden hardware. There is a house in Mill Valley California that has a stove pipe on the roof that is just like the one in the book that works no matter what the direction of the wind is.
    And I like the vent with water ballast operation too.
    He wrote 5 books.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcdenny View Post
    John, Enjoying your blog. Thanks for posting and keep it up.

    You had a little animation showing a sextant. I can't wait for your step by step description of how to do it and then have Bermuda come over the horizon just when you predict it should
    Hi Denny,

    I can't take credit for the animation. That was done by someone who donated it to wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Us...tant_swing.gif

    I like it a lot though.

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  29. #29
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by donald branscom View Post
    Do not pass up reading "BOAT BUILDING" by Howard Chappelle. Especially the construction of hatches and the Wilcox and Crittenden hardware. There is a house in Mill Valley California that has a stove pipe on the roof that is just like the one in the book that works no matter what the direction of the wind is.
    And I like the vent with water ballast operation too.
    He wrote 5 books.
    Yes, a great book. I have quoted a few things from Howard Chappelle already, though I can't say I've had time to read the whole book.

    Don't tell my wife about this house.... she's getting it in her head that we should be able to build a house with all this knowledge :-)

    -- John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  30. #30
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
    Don't tell my wife about this house.... she's getting it in her head that we should be able to build a house with all this knowledge :-)

    -- John
    A house is way simpler than a boat - bigger, but simpler. So I'm afraid she's right......

  31. #31
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    Default Unlikely Boat Builder: The Quest for Wood

    When John Atkin drew Cabin Boy, he didn't bother to draw up a lumber list. I imagine his audience of hearty, do-it-yourselfers would have been insulted if he had. So it was up to me to study the 5 pages of plans, and to visualize each and every plank and chine and seat riser...

    Full blog post: The Quest for Wood

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  32. #32
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    Default Unlikely Boat Builder: The Cruelest Lesson

    In the olden days (like 3 weeks ago), I thought the one task that separated the dreamers from the builders was lofting. But this week I decided there is another indicator of serious intent, at least for traditional boat builders. It's when your reading list starts to include more wood working books than boat building books...

    Read rest of blog post

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  33. #33
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Yet another thread I have to start reading from the beginning...and the blog! Thanks.

  34. #34
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    Default Unlikely Boat Builder: Occam's Razor

    For the last month or so, I've been asking all my new boat builder/wood worker friends where to buy boat lumber. There are many answers to this question: from a company in Brooklyn that sells wood recovered from 200 year-old buildings (built from old-growth timbers that are no longer available), to a company in New Jersey that supposedly sells wood sawn from White Cedars that fell into Jurassic-era swamps, to small lumber mills hidden away in the dark hollows of New England.

    However, there is one company that appears -- with positive or negative comments attached -- on nearly everyone's list: M.L. Condon, of White Plains, NY....

    Read complete blog post: Occam's Razor

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  35. #35
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    Default Unlikely Boat Builder: 'Plan B'

    As Captain Cook knew, there's always a Plan B. Thus, when the wooden boat that Helena and I had been looking for for years, turned up on eBay, we suddenly needed a Plan B.

    Plan A had been to "build Cabin Boy this winter so when and if we buy a wooden boat, I'll know how to take care of it." But the right boat came along sooner than we expected, and we now owned a boat. A boat in Florida -- about 2000 nm. from home. Clearly, Plan A wasn't going to cut it.

    So we came up with Plan B: to sail the new boat home from Florida in stages. Stage 1, the north west coast of Florida to the south east coast of Florida, via the Keys, commencing in 20 days.

    And that means this unhandy man needs to finish Cabin Boy in 20 days...

    Read complete blog post: Plan B

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

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    Default Unlikely Boat Builder: Stem Invention

    What a difference a deadline makes. I've been puzzling over a build problem for several weeks now, without success. None of my boat building books has a solution. Even Clem Kuhlig's "Building the Skiff Cabin Boy" just skips over the problem.

    Here's the problem: The backbone of the skiff consists of the stem in the front, the keelson along the bottom, and the transom in the back. The stem has to go from about where my hand is in the picture below, down to the leading edge of the ladder frame. What makes this complicated is that the angle and position of the stem is very important, and I knew I'd have to fool around with it a bit to get it right.

    So how could I hold the stem in place in a way that was easily adjustable, but also very strong?

    Read complete blog post: Stem Invention

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  37. #37
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Just remember...Puff boats dunno got ETA's, just destinations....so when you get there, there you are..
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  38. #38
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...


    Hi John,
    Here's another way to support the stem during construction. Good luck with your new boat.

  39. #39
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    Default Day 18: Year of the Blue Moon

    On this Day 18, my goal was to work on Cabin Boy's transom. I had bought a large plank of Mahogany from Condon's. It was a beautiful piece, but since I'd brought it home to my basement workshop, it had developed a nasty crack. The sudden change in humidity combined with a hidden weakness in the board, I suspect.

    Luckily, I'd been smart enough to buy a longer length than I needed...

    Read complete blog post: Year of the Blue Moon

    Enjoy: John

    Last edited by jalmberg; 01-01-2010 at 08:49 PM.
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  40. #40
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    Here's another way to support the stem during construction. Good luck with your new boat.
    That's interesting, Roger. My problem is I just didn't know enough about lofting when I did it. Now I'm realizing what I did wrong and why it would be *real nice* to do it right.

    You were probably able to pick a pattern for that brace right off your lofting board. Mine just isn't good enough for that, so I'm forced to improvise.

    But next time...
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

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    Default Day 17: Oak Smoke

    Well, on this Day 17, my mission was to mount Cabin Boy's transom, using the micron invention described yesterday, and to tie the whole backbone together, as much as possible.

    I started by bolting the keelson to the stem. To do that, I had to drill a long 1/4" hole through the keelson and the stem, and then chisel out a 'landing area' on the stem for the washer and nut.

    For some reason, I still find it difficult to drill or cut 'real wood'... i.e., the wood that will end up in the actual boat. There is something so final about drilling a hole, or -- worse -- making a saw cut...

    Read complete blog post: Oak Smoke

    Enjoy: John


    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Babylon, N.Y. USA
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Hi John,

    I'm really enjoying your blog.

    Are you backing the bit out of the hole to clear it of chips. You might have to do this every inch or so of depth depending on the bit you are using. Unless the bit is really dull the heat is from the friction of the bit and chips jambed in the flutes rubbing against the sides of the hole.

  43. #43
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    Nov 2008
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    Huntington, NY
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    Hi John,

    I'm really enjoying your blog.

    Are you backing the bit out of the hole to clear it of chips. You might have to do this every inch or so of depth depending on the bit you are using. Unless the bit is really dull the heat is from the friction of the bit and chips jambed in the flutes rubbing against the sides of the hole.
    Yes, in fact I was backing it out every 1/4" or so, when drilling the hole for the stem/keelson bolt, which is only about 2 1/2" deep.

    I tried both a twist bit, and one of those flat spade bits, and used a fairly slow speed. The spade bit was brand new, and the twist bit practically so, so I assume they were sharp (possibly a bad assumption?)

    Both bits ended up black with soot, but I don't think they got hot enough to become untempered.

    I need to get a brace... I seem to have problems with power tools.
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Day 15: Scary Dreams

    I had a nightmare last night. Not about 60 foot breaking waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Not about being dashed on rocks, or falling overboard. No, I was worried about my lofting.

    I woke up in a cold sweat, realizing that the chance were zero that a batten, run from Cabin Boy's stem to his transom, would show a fair line. I mean, how could the stem, the 4 forms, and the transom all line up perfectly, so that a plank, when pressed around that curve, would touch all 5 points at the same time?

    Impossible. I would have had to do a perfect job of lofting -- and I knew I hadn't done that. And I would have had to build all the forms exactly right, and mounted them, again, exactly right. And then my jury-rigged stem and transom jigs would have to be perfect.

    Not a chance. The batten would probably have more bump and bends than the Long Island Expressway. My project was doomed...

    Read complete blog post: Scary Dreams

    Enjoy: John
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Hi -

    Really been enjoying the blog.

    As a software developer myself, I have to compliment you on this description:

    Building a software program is not like building a house. It is not an engineering process that can be managed with Gannt diagrams or PERT charts. Writing a new piece of software is more like a voyage of discovery, requiring energy, resourcefulness, creativity -- and a large dollop of positive thinking.
    Of course, this also explains why it's so difficult to quote a price for doing it.....

    Best,

    Garret

  46. #46
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Day 13: Chine Logs - part 1

    I knew it might come down to this: Build or Blog? Build or Blog?

    So, for the last two day's I've been building, with no time to blog. The cause for all this concentration is the hardest thing I've run into, yet: letting the chine log into the forms. Whoever said there are no straight lines, no right angles on a boat, sure was right!

    Read complete blog post: Chine Logs - Part 1

    http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com/2...gs-part-1.html

    Enjoy: John

    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Of course, this also explains why it's so difficult to quote a price for doing it.....
    That's easy: make your best estimate, then triple it. You might break even
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  48. #48
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
    That's easy: make your best estimate, then triple it. You might break even
    Sadly, that's close to what I do. I think writing code is much like repairing an old wood boat: sometimes you find all kinds of fun once you open her up.....

  49. #49
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Sadly, that's close to what I do. I think writing code is much like repairing an old wood boat: sometimes you find all kinds of fun once you open her up.....
    I'd put 'fun' in quotes, when it comes to fixing old code... even my own code! I'm sorta fed up with programming, after 28 years. The next guy who says 'that should be an easy job' better be standing out of range of my boom.
    -- John

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Check out my blog: http://www.unlikelyboatbuilder.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can." -- Thoreau

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    Default Re: An unlikely boat builder...

    Quote Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
    I'd put 'fun' in quotes, when it comes to fixing old code... even my own code! I'm sorta fed up with programming, after 28 years. The next guy who says 'that should be an easy job' better be standing out of range of my boom.

    Well said & yes, I shoulda used quotes. 28 years? Same as me. No wonder I'm pretty tired of it as well. However, it does help pay for keeping boats afloat!

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