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Thread: Two bits...

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    My lobby for the traditional end of the spectrum is in recognition of the slippery slope syndrome. Glued lap. Cold molded vacuum bagged. Lighter. Thinner. The wood eventually becomes just a built in form around which to wrap the fiber and chemicals. Substitue the wood for Airex foam, why not? And finally, build around a plug and eliminate the fillers all together. I want to make clear that I'm not denigrating non traditional wood techniques, materials, and vessels. I'm talking specifically about Wooden Boat magazine. This single, unique publication. There are uncountable sources for non traditional (wood and otherwise) techniques and boats. And more so every day. There are almost none that still focus singularly on the areas I like. Might someday there be no longer any more materials left to actually construct a traditional wooden vessel? Sadly, very possibly. But even if the information I value becomes merely historic reference, I still want it. There are so many other fine publications that cover variations from non tradtional wood, Classic Boat, Good Old Boat, Small Craft Advisor, even Cruising World, are just a few that scratch just the kind of itch we're talking about here. I think the more a tool attempts to be all-purpose the lesser it's ultimate value. I feel the same way about publications.
    Chuck Hancock

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    snip... when good-quality solid lumber was plentiful and cheap.
    This is THE clincher of the argument! In most parts of the World, you cannot buy timber that is properly graded of of the appropriate dimension. I've had to cut my own as you'd have seen and have my own nice little timber yard. I'm as much in favour of traditional building techniques as you Bob. In intend to build a batten seamed Atkin design next, all the while slowly chipping away at my own design for an Ashcroft planked boat in the manner of the Logan & Bailey boats that our New Zealand cousins across the ditch are restoring to their former magnificence. (NZ Kauri is impossible to get in Australia and probably bloody difficult to get in NZ itself).

    So here-in lays the fundamental problem: If the raw material is difficult to obtain, then how on Earth are we going to, not just maintain the old skills, but also expand them so a greater number of people practice them in years to come?

    I suggest that WBM is doing just fine, although it could arrive on our antipodean shores to coincide with the date on the cover, rather than one or two months later!

    Oh... And I second the idea that it could go monthly... Bob could have more trad-rad stuff that way!
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  3. #38
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    This is THE clincher of the argument! In most parts of the World, you cannot buy timber that is properly graded of of the appropriate dimension. I've had to cut my own as you'd have seen and have my own nice little timber yard. I'm as much in favour of traditional building techniques as you Bob. In intend to build a batten seamed Atkin design next, all the while slowly chipping away at my own design for an Ashcroft planked boat in the manner of the Logan & Bailey boats that our New Zealand cousins across the ditch are restoring to their former magnificence. (NZ Kauri is impossible to get in Australia and probably bloody difficult to get in NZ itself).

    So here-in lays the fundamental problem: If the raw material is difficult to obtain, then how on Earth are we going to, not just maintain the old skills, but also expand them so a greater number of people practice them in years to come?

    I suggest that WBM is doing just fine, although it could arrive on our antipodean shores to coincide with the date on the cover, rather than one or two months later!


    Oh... And I second the idea that it could go monthly... Bob could have more trad-rad stuff that way!
    +1 How about having our edition printed in Oz ...I'm sure we could find a printer capable of the work .
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  4. #39
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Keith, high quality boatbuilding wood has always been hard to come by. These days, with labor being worth what it is, we often set our wood standards so high it is well nigh impossible to find what we want. Some of those old classics were built with wood our modern day purists would consign to their fireplaces. I disagree with you assertion that modern adhesives are "better." We don't even know the life expectancy of some of them, they are still so new to us. Wood moves. Most adhesives don't, and those that do have their own downsides. Consider the market value of a well built traditionally constructed boat with the same design strip planked, cold moled or otherwise slathered with epoxy. Why do people pay three or four times as much for the old fashioned built model of the same boat? Why is a photograph worth less than an oil painting of equal quality?

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    But actual cash value has nothing to to with value to the owner.

    I respect your knowledge hugely & have followed your advice more than once, but we do know that, in salt water, epoxy lasts as long as or longer than stainless screws for example.

    Luders' seem to be holding their value pretty well & they (hot molded) were certainly modern & untried in the 50's, no?

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    A mint, hot moulded Uffa Fox 14 would cost just about as much as a Concordia.

    The Mighty Pippin? You couldn't pay enough!!!

    BTW, it was built in the early 1970s and the glue on the seams was just as good and adhered to the ply just as well as the day it was applied. That's about 40 years of service without fault. The ply (laminated wood) has rotted in parts, just as well as solid timber would have rotted under the same circumstance. It's still fundamentally an organic product.

    Both methods, modern and traditional, are needed, can be mastered from the pedagogy of Wooden Boat, books, schools, self-teaching & practising and apprenticing, or a combination of any of these. There's more than one way to skin a cat and so it should be this way.
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  7. #42
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    "Both methods, modern and traditional, are needed, can be mastered from the pedagogy of Wooden Boat, books, schools, self-teaching & practising and apprenticing, or a combination of any of these. There's more than one way to skin a cat and so it should be this way."

    Well said, a man of understanding. When you do that for what seems like forever, it adds up to experience. With that you come to understand that the learning never ends. / Jim

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    The point of the conversation is (or certainly should be) WB magazine itself. I for one don't wish to declare any relative merit to any style of boat or boat construction at all. But the magazine is simply a finite resource. Every page dedicated to stich and glue how-to is one less for what I want to pay for. That's the basis of my argument. If someone wants to spin off "Plywood and Epoxy Monthly", more power to 'em. There's plenty of material and doubtless an eager clientel out there. That's all I meant to convey.
    Chuck Hancock

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Chuck, in an ideal world where there is great interest in all things carvel, batten seamed and ashcroft, I would agree with you. However, this not being the case (and I would point out now that all the woodenboat restoration/building schools around the globe have both modern and traditional streams in their curricula) both ends of the spectrum need addressing within the magazine. Plywood/cold moulding boatbuilding techniques are now well entrenched within Wooden Boat, and to remove such content from the magazine would cut the financial viability of the journal out from under it. If this happened there would be no publication where traditional techniques would be expounded, explained, dissected and debated.

    Just sayin'...

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  10. #45
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Bob, I'm not claiming that glued boats are necessarily better. I'm claiming that they can be every bit as good as a traditionally-built boat, with advantages and disadvantages depending on the application, and that they deserve an honored place in WB alongside traditional construction. Arbitrarily limiting the magazine to wooden boats built with techniques predating modern adhesives would exclude some of the best wooden boats ever built. We've been building with epoxy for many years now, and we know that life expectancy is long enough. It's also an undeniable fact that in most places high-quality boatbuilding timber is harder to come by and relatively more expensive that it was in previous years.

    Why is a photograph worth less than an oil painting of equal quality?
    And here we go again, more snobbery. Beware Creeping Fogeyism! Are you sure you're not a Confucian?
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 02-04-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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  11. #46
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    Chuck, in an ideal world where there is great interest in all things carvel, batten seamed and ashcroft, I would agree with you. However, this not being the case (and I would point out now that all the woodenboat restoration/building schools around the globe have both modern and traditional streams in their curricula) both ends of the spectrum need addressing within the magazine. Plywood/cold moulding boatbuilding techniques are now well entrenched within Wooden Boat, and to remove such content from the magazine would cut the financial viability of the journal out from under it. If this happened there would be no publication where traditional techniques would be expounded, explained, dissected and debated.
    Duncan, what pains me most about your comment is the truthful sounding ring of inevitability it has. Fight the good fight as long as you can, I say. That's all we can do. After that? I'll just have to learn to love carbon fiber. Or maybe I should finish that rebuild of my '73 T140 Bonnie...
    Chuck Hancock

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Keith, Gold Rock and I are on the same page. We are talking about the content we'd like to see in WB, without regard to the merits of construction techniques that rely on adhesives and manufactured wood prducts. Let's not put too fine a point on it. What I was proposing was beneath WB wasn't everything that wasn't totally traditional, but rather the very elementary "quick and dirty" entry level techniques and designs. Like Gold Rock, I really have no interest in "entry level" content. For those that wish or require such, as we all did at one time, it can be found just about anywhere.

    I'm not denigrating so-called "modern" methods, but I don't have much regard for those who tout them as an easier alternative to a demanding craft, or more accurately, a collection of interrelated crafts. God knows we see a large number of posts in the forum from people who have spent hundreds of dollars on epoxy and can't seem to get it to do what it's supposed to do. Frankly, it's been my experience that working with plastic resins in boatbuilding is much trickier than building traditionally. I'm sure you've seen me write more than once that working with grown natural wood is in many respects easier and more pleasant than working with plywood and epoxy. You aren't going to hear that from the manufacturers of plywood and epoxy, but I suspect a lot of professional boatbuilders would say the same. I really do have sympathy for the many folks who jump into building a boat far ahead of the learning curve and endure great cost and frustration when they find it all wasn't as easy as whoever sold them on the idea told them it was. As you know, however, I have little sympathy for those who feel those who have invested the time and study to learn the right ways to do things are being "elitist" or "snobbish" when they recognize that there are, more often that not, right ways and wrong ways to do do things.

    As for boatbuilding wood, I have to say that I think the claim that it cannot be found today (particularly when proposed as an "excuse" to build boats out of manufactured wood products) is a lot of bunk. I cannot ever remember a time when good boatbuilding wood didn't command a high premium, and that goes back forty plus years now. (Even in the "Golden Age," every time they cut one tree, the next one was going to necessarily be farther away, so ya never ever could "get wood like we used to!") The trees still grow just as they did in generations past (except, of course, for chestnut and kauri pine and some politically incorrect tropical hardwoods, for all of which we have comparable alternatives). Mechanized equipment makes harvesting timber easier today than it ever has been and much more wood is accessible in areas where, without the logging technology we now have, harvesting was previously impossible. (There's no contest between a chainsaw and a double bladed axe!) "Finestkind" straight grained knot free stock was always hard to come by. Sourcing it is but another of the traditiional boatbuilder's skills. Good trees still grow and are felled as in ages past and just about every area of the world has local species suitable for boatbuilding use. I have to laugh when I so often read the laments of those who "can't find boatbuilding wood" and haven't loooked beyond their local big box hardware outlet or construction trade lumberyard. I've seen a lot of good boatbuilding wood used in boatyards and none of it ever came from Home Depot. Most all came directly from mills, or "Gypsy" loggers with a Woodmizer, who had been "keeping an eye out out" for it, knowing there was a yard that would be happy to buy it for a good price if and when it was available. It would then be set aside for when it was needed, often to air dry for a good long time, and that's how "good wood" was seemingly "always available" in times past. When somebody snivels that they can't just run down to their neighborhood lumberyard and buy clear Sitka spruce or green bending white oak, I don't think I'm being elitist at all in thinking they haven't a clue what they are doing.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    We are talking about the content we'd like to see in WB, without regard to the merits of construction techniques that rely on adhesives and manufactured wood prducts.
    So am I. I think modern construction techniques enhance the world of wooden boats and make it better, and deserve coverage in WB magazine just as much as older methods.

    Traditional craftsmanship is really the core of the thing. That's the difference between a Wooden Boat and a "boat with some wood in it."
    What I was proposing was beneath WB wasn't everything that wasn't totally traditional, but rather the very elementary "quick and dirty" entry level techniques and designs.
    Make up your mind. However, I still disagree. Phil Bolger and Dynamite Payson were excellent fellows and introduced many people to boatbuilding, including me, and I'm proud that their work was occasionally in the hallowed pages of WB. There's space for it all; we certainly have not been overwhelmed with month after month of "build the latest instant boat" articles. If the magazine neglected more complex or more traditional methods in favor of only that, I'd complain too, but there's certainly no danger of that.


    I don't think much is added to our store of boatbuilding knowledge by those who promote wooden boatbuilding materials and techniques designed primarily for people who are lured by the promise of instant gratification. It may certainly be said that "paint by numbers kits" gave . . . millions of people an introduction to fine art and the satisfaction of creating a "real oil painting," but did they add anything to fine art? I submit, so also is it with "instant boats." Like "paint by numbers," there's a place for "instant boats," but I do think it cheapens a publication that aspires to something better when it "teaches to the dumbest kid in the class" and follows an editorial policy of "No boat left behind."
    I'm not denigrating so-called "modern" methods, but I don't have much regard for those who tout them as an easier alternative to a demanding craft, or more accurately, a collection of interrelated crafts . . . Frankly, it's been my experience that working with plastic resins in boatbuilding is much trickier than building traditionally. I'm sure you've seen me write more than once that working with grown natural wood is in many respects easier and more pleasant than working with plywood and epoxy
    Again, make up your mind. Is it a simple technique for the inexperienced, ignorant, lazy or stupid, or is it really harder than traditional methods? (Some folks can screw up anything, but none of us are born knowing how to do much.) But again, you most certainly are denigrating modern methods. Look at the language. "Dumbest kid in the class" indeed. As you know, I have no patience with doing things badly. I have even less patience with the idea that doing it the way it was done in 1886 is superior to doing it in a way that has only been possible recently.

    There is room in WB magazine for all construction techniques that use wood, old and new. There is room for sophisticated articles that will teach the oldest and most experienced something new, and for articles that teach the basics. We are in no danger of the magazine turning into "Boatbuilding for Beginners". However, I do not think WB should be "Nineteenth Century Boatbuilding" either.

    As for boatbuilding wood, . . . the claim that it cannot be found today . . . .
    I didn't make that claim, merely that it's scarcer, harder to find, and more expensive. That's true. One can obviously still find it, since traditional boats are still being built, and a good thing too. It's also true that with better adhesives and production techniques, plywood is better than it has ever been, and first-class boatbuilding plywood is more or less instantly available to anyone with the money. Personally I don't find tracking down lumber in the backwoods an enjoyable part of a project. YMMV.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 02-05-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    I say reproduce and edit the dialogue between Cleek and Wilson as an article. (No offense to Gibbs and Gold Rock and others adding great insights.)

    They are civilly and thoroughly debating the future of wooden boats. Who better than WoodenBoat to lead the way in advancing the dialogue over boat building methods?

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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    I say reproduce and edit the dialogue between Cleek and Wilson as an article. (No offense to Gibbs and Gold Rock and others adding great insights.)

    They are civilly and thoroughly debating the future of wooden boats. Who better than WoodenBoat to lead the way in advancing the dialogue over boat building methods?
    A great idea!



    Eventhough I think Keith is ultimately right in this argument, Bob has some great points twards the preservation of the traditional craft.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    I hereby waive my "copyrights" to WB! Quote away! Keith and I are really not all that far apart, as usual. We just like debating things and we know how to "play by the rules." You won't find us devolving to name calling, although Keith does sometimes "bend the rules" by trying to put an advantageous spin on what I say. His premises seem more absolute, while I like to paint mine in a broader spectrum of "shades of grey." (That'll get a rise outa him!)

    I am certainly no Luddite. I use modern materials when they seem appropriate and I'm always on the lookout for new mehtods and products, as anyone who knows of my affinity for CPES can attest, but I think there are two constants in the game that don't ever change, the "physics of wood" and the "physics of the sea." A craftsman who has a command of the traditional methods can build any "wooden" boat, be it plank on frame fastened with treenails or a "plywood box" "encapsulated in plasic resin like a fly in amber (which I concede, in the case of amber, is a "wood product" that does last a long, long time!) I appreciate that others may debate differing boatbuilding philosophies, but there can be no denying that the mechanical properties of wood and how it moves as its moisture content changes in a marine environment are inconsistent with rigid adhesives that don't move along with it. That's really the distinction between building with mechanically fastened natural timber assembled with consideration for shrinking and swelling and building with "manufactured wood products" fastened and encapsulated in adhesives and coatings that are intended to prevent the wood doing what it naturally does.. The traditional approach requires a respect for and acceptance of how wood moves and an accommodation of that, while the "modern" approach confronts those same inherent characteristics of wood and seeks to negate or overpower them with modern technology. Even though I might be considered a "Confucian," I do think there's a "yin" and a "yang" in that, in much the same way that similar differing perspectives in Eastern and Western philosophy are reflected in the differences between Asian and European sailing hull and rig design. It isn't "a matter of opinion" that laminated wood structures subjected to wetting and drying cycles, however mitigated by moisture inhibiting barriers, will inevitably tear themselves apart. That isn't to say that traditonal construction doesn't have it's own well known limitations, but when wood decays, as nature has decreed it will inevitably do, traditional construction takes that into account by factoring the anticipated need for repairs into its engineering equation, unlike "modern" methods, which reflect the "modern" economics of our "throw-away" materialistic culture. The "traditional" boatbuilding methods address the inevitable forces created by the nature of wood by vectoring them in the direction desired, while "modern" methods meet those forces head on and seek to overpower them.

    That said, can we truly consider a method that of its essence seeks to overcome the very nature of wood by holding it together and covering with plastics to be "wooden boatbuiding?" Is that qualitatively any different from other modern technologies that have made it possible to turn barrels of crude oil into unquestionably fine fibreglass boats? It's all "wooden" at the end of the day, oil being, after all, merely decomposed vegetable material.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 02-05-2012 at 04:21 PM.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Once again Bob, I point to my own 40 year old unencapsulated, ply, stitch and glue boat that, left uncared for for many years, developed rot and required bits of it to be chopped out and replaced. Now after a few seasons hard sailing it needs a repaint. I would hardly call this the act of a "throw away" culture, although many did suggest I do just that before I restored her.

    The same degree of care is required in building and maintaining a ply, stitch and glue boat as a traditional building. Endgrain needs to be sealed, voids filled, metals of differing nobility need to be separated and so on. If built and maintained properly it will last as long as any traditionally built boat, and probably longer as plastic resins will last for hundreds, if not thousands of years before breaking down. Like I said, wood is wood and it really doesn't matter if it's been processed and laminated up, or if it's used in a solid form. If left uncared for in either state it will rot.

    It's worthwhile remembering that many of the traditionally built boats were working boats and designed to have a short, hard life. A life beyond 20 years of service was not generally thought of, either in the building or using of these vessels. That some of them are with us today is extraordinary.

    As to the issue of traditional timber stock, the method of obtaining timber you've described is precisely the one I used in getting mine. Even if I just wanted small stock to build Billy Atkin's Krazy Kat (my next build, as Erica will consume years of time) which is batten seamed carvel, I would still have to follow this route. Whereas Atkin describes being able to pick up the timber, for such a small vessel, from a local supplier quite easily and at low cost. Now, excluding my own labour I've now accumulated quite a collection of timber suitable for boat building at a much, much lower cost than if I were to go and order such timber from the local mill. But how many people these day have either the time, work space, or inclination to man-handle big logs onto gluts, roll them into a portable mill, stack, sticker and air dry cubic metres of timber?

    I also restate that if Wooden Boat doesn't cover "quick and dirty" builds, or modern processed timber/adhesive techniques it will not be a going concern (think advertisers alone) and there will be no journal where traditional techniques can be expounded upon.
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    I also restate that if Wooden Boat doesn't cover "quick and dirty" builds, or modern processed timber/adhesive techniques it will not be a going concern (think advertisers alone) and there will be no journal where traditional techniques can be expounded upon.
    Yea, I know. You're right about that. And if it weren't for the dirty pictures, Playboy wouldn't be publishing all those great articles! But to bring it back to where it started, I think they can find it still profitable to cut the stuff about "12 hour boats" and use the space to address both traditional and modern sophisticated aspects of the craft.

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    Default Re: Two bits...

    . . .by trying to put an advantageous spin on what I say.
    Now, now, Bob, if you don't like the words I quoted, you shouldn't have written them.

    His premises seem more absolute, while I like to paint mine in a broader spectrum of "shades of grey." (That'll get a rise outa him!)
    Indeed. My position is not absolute at all, but as inclusive as possible. I like traditional boats and boatbuilding, and I think WB should publish lots of excellent articles about them. I also like boats built by modern methods, and I think articles about them would be fine too.

    Your arguments seem to shift around surprisingly. Is simple plywood construction really too easy, fit only for novices and those desiring an ugly boat by next Tuesday, and beneath the dignity of the august pages of WB magazine? Or is it a snare and a delusion, and in truth no easier than traditional construction? Are boats built by modern methods just fine if carefully constructed, or do they have serious inherent flaws just waiting to appear? Are you "not denigrating modern methods", or are they "boats with some wood in them", not really any different from fiberglass boats, "instant gratification " for "the dumbest kids in the class"?

    A craftsman who has a command of the traditional methods can build any "wooden" boat . .
    I don't think so, at least not without learning new skills. While most traditional boatbuilders are intelligent, skillful, and adaptable, knowing how to shape solid wood teaches one nothing about the techniques for using epoxy effectively. A cold-molded boat that's vacuum-bagged, for example, uses techniques very, very different from anything in traditional building; it's probably the most difficult and labor-intensive method of wooden construction known. Modern boatbuilding techniques are NOT entirely a subset of traditional skills.

    . . . there can be no denying that the mechanical properties of wood and how it moves as its moisture content changes in a marine environment are inconsistent with rigid adhesives that don't move along with it. That's really the distinction between building with mechanically fastened natural timber assembled with consideration for shrinking and swelling and building with "manufactured wood products" fastened and encapsulated in adhesives and coatings that are intended to prevent the wood doing what it naturally does.
    Ah, now we're talking materials science and engineering, subjects I do understand a little about. Wood changes size and shape with changes in moisture content, certainly. Glue doesn't so much, although characterizing it as rigid isn't really accurate. Epoxy is quite flexible compared to iron or bronze, for example. However, glued construction in most cases doesn't try to eliminate wood movement by abolishing changes in moisture content. It deals with the motion by keeping the size of the wood pieces small relative to the size of the glue joint. Glue joints can accommodate wood movement perfectly well as long as it's not too large. That's how plywood stays together; the veneers are thin and they don't move much, so the stresses on the glue lines stay within reasonable limits. A cold-molded hull is just a large funny-shaped piece of plywood. So is a glued-ply lapstrake hull. They can be covered with layers of reinforcing fabric and epoxy (although they aren't always) because, again, the veneers are thin and don't move more than the glued joints can tolerate. Glued construction "works with the nature of wood" just as much as traditional construction; if it didn't, the boats wouldn't stay together. Nature cannot be fooled.

    They're all wooden boats. Some of them are good, some not, but goodness doesn't depend on with whether thay use treenails, metal fasteners, or glue. And the good ones all deserve coverage in Wooden Boat.

    Certainly if anyone at WB wants to do anything with our conversation it's OK by me (as unlikely as that may be). And by "Confucian" I meant having perhaps excessive reverence for the ancestors.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 02-05-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scot View Post
    from John Bell:

    [/I]Done.
    -Scot
    Thanks! I've been wanting that "feature" for years!!!!

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    Default Re: Two bits...

    In case anybody's still interested in this thread, I'm copying this from http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ing-propaganda, a "revived" thread relevant to this one.
    It contains a lot of back and forth discussion on the pros and cons of "modern" boatbuilding. When you separate the fly$hit from the pepper, good points are raised from both perspectives. If WB's editors were to keep in mind that these "new" methods are "entry level" techniques, perhaps an editorial content balance could be struck that kept things in perspective. I submit that it is fair to presume that those who are just starting out really do want to learn the traditional methods and that "quick and dirty" methods allow them to get their feet wet without being scared off by the considerable complexity of traditional methods.

    "I've been following it with some interest. Frankly, I think it is a great discussion and pretty much all that can be said about the subject has been said in here.

    The biggest kernel of truth is that SNG or "quick and dirty" boatbuilding does indeed provide an entry for many who otherwise would be discouraged by the steep learning curve attendant to the traditional wooden boatbuilding craft. DIY traditional wooden boatbuilding requires much more of the amateur than it ever did of the pros. Professionally, in days of old, boats were built by teams of specialists. While master boatbuilders had a working command of most all of the various separate crafts required to build a traditional wooden boat, few were masters of all of these. In the old time production environment, there were loftsmen, framers, plankers, caulkers, finish joiners, painters, riggers, sailmakers and so on, each a separate trade with its own tricks of the trade and secret handshakes. Today's amateur has to be able to do most all of them alone. How many really would tackle traditional wooden boatbuilding today from a standing start?

    Stitch and glue, and indeed many of the adhesive-dependent construction systems touted today serve a justifiable purpose as the "gateway drug" to real wooden boatbuilding, but those who start off with it and never matriculate to the more challenging traditional methods are a lot like those who begrudgingly admit they "tried it," but "didn't inhale."'
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 02-10-2012 at 02:17 PM.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    there were loftsmen, framers, plankers, caulkers, finish joiners, painters, riggers, sailmakers and so on, each a separate trade with its own tricks of the trade and secret handshakes.
    With sailmaking always being specialized, that would be the difference between a "boatbuilder" and a "shipbuilder"
    A boatbuilder has to be competent in all those skills. It would be impossible for one man to complete a ship.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    With sailmaking always being specialized, that would be the difference between a "boatbuilder" and a "shipbuilder"
    A boatbuilder has to be competent in all those skills. It would be impossible for one man to complete a ship.
    I think the main difference is the size of their hammers.

    That said, specialization was common practice in most all of the larger yards. Herreshoff, Lawley, and the rest, had separate crews for the various specialties. Herreshoff, for example, had a separate "small boat shop" that turned out their Columbia "lifeboats," the "Buzzard's Bay Boy's Boats" and the like, but, when completed, the painting was done by the paint shop crew. Their larger boats were built "in place," with the various crews rotating through as the work progressed. It wasn't an "assembly line" operation as with automobiles, of course, but their foundry work was done by the foundry crew, rigging by the rigging gang, caulking by the caulking gang, and so forth.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    A great couple of posts Bob, and I think they really explain the ultimate need to have S&G methods shown alongside traditional methods under the one publishing umbrella. I wouldn't call all S&G "quick and dirty" as some of these vessels do require considerable skill beyond that of putting a "Bolger box" together. Indeed, some "Bolger boxes" can be major builds as well, as witnessed by the epic of Peter Lennihan's Turtle Bay. There are some many shades of grey that render the subject that a simple dichotomy is really impossible to attain. As much as I dislike powerboats, the noise and fumes they make, the wash they produce that can damage delicate ecosystems, I know that Wooden Boat will always have them within its covers (and sometime on its cover!)

    Interestingly finely crafted musical instruments, such as violins and pianos, are almost all produced in a 'factory' setting where different people turn out and assemble the various components in a production setting.
    Jarndyce and Jarndyce

    The Mighty Pippin
    Mirror 30141
    Looe
    Dragon KA93

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    First, epoxy-glued construction is far more than stitch and glue. Second, stitch and glue is not merely "entry level" boatbuilding, although it can be. Have you ever seen one of Sam Devlin's boats? You can say many things about them, but entry level they're not. Here are four at Port Townsend.



    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 02-11-2012 at 07:42 PM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    I've a real problem and honestly hope to never remedy it. I like all sorts of boats.In fact, if it floats, I like it. I do not care if it is big or small nor the material it is made from. I am just addicted to floating things.Either I was a fish in some previous life or I am absolutely nuts in the present, I really do not know. The only reason I have a slight bias toward a boat made from wood is that this is about the cheapest and easiest material I imagine I can safely handle. I am a hobbiest , not a tradesman or professional boat person. The variety of methods and boats presented in Woodenboat magazine satisfies my addiction handsomely as it is forever reducing the paucity of my knowledge in things boat related. For that I am grateful.

    Perhaps in the next life I will win the Choose-Your-Next-Life lottery and return as a tradesman or professional boat builder(shipwright). How lucky I will be to have had the chance to read Woodenboat magazine in this life!




    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    Second what Keith wrote instead of going with the "traditionalists".

    I like the diversity includud under the present WB mantle. Heck, one of my favorite articles appeared several years ago, the one about the wooden PT-Boats. And it's the only place we're going to read about reasonably small, low-powered displacement motor cruisers.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Two bits...

    A very enjoyable read, thank you to all contributors.

    My vote is for more of the same, I think that WB has found a pleasing balance of modern and transitional content.

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