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Thread: My 17' whitehall

  1. #1
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    Default My 17' whitehall

    I am putting together a 17' whitehall using the cedar strip method detailed in Ted Moores' and Susan Van Leuven's books. Plans are from Canadian canoes with some slight modifications to suit my liking.

    This is my first time through the mold set up process. I've built my strongback, cut my molds from MDF and just last week I mounted them all on the strongback using 1" x 1" sticks sawn from scrap 2x4s. Squaring them to the centreline of the boat (in the plane of the waterline) was easy, but many of the molds are out of square in the station plane - ie. the surface of the station molds are not square to the surface of the strongback.

    The one exception is at the aftmost and foremost station molds, where they are squared to the transom and stem molds, respectively. The next step for me is adding the stem and the inside keel strip before I start planking the hull. My question regards the best method for squaring up the station molds.

    1. Option 1: make a square brace for each station mold
    2. Option 2: slide each station mold into square and fasten to the inside keel strip with temporary screws, relying on the foremost and aftmost molds to keep the structure rigid and square overall.


    The second option seems like it would save a lot of time but smells suspiciously of corner-cutting. Then again, it might be common practice to speed things up in this manner. Can anybody comment on what I should do?

    Oh, and please don't take this as traffic-whoring for my blog (makes no difference to me if you visit or not), but if anybody is interested at all in following my adventures, I'm chronicling the build (hopefully the first of many) on:

    http://nashwaak-boatbuilding.blogspot.ca/

    And I'll be sure to credit forum members for advice given.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    I take the belt and suspenders approach and do both, square brace at each station mold, then I attach a full lenth temporary batten along the keel and usually at the turn of the bilge on both sides. Taking the time to make sure your mold setup is as square as you can make it is time well spent.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Ah ok.

    That sounds like a good way to go about it. I was unsure about the kind of stresses that the strips place on the mold as you build. Since my inside keel is a permanent part of the finished boat, I'll have to attach that with temporary fasteners, but the temporary bilge-turn braces sound like a good idea. Just so I'm clear, you mean that these are laid in place and then removed once the planking reaches the turn of the bilge right? Or do you mean that you notch the molds and leave the stringers in place until the mold is removed?

    Thinking about it now, making 14 square braces really isn't a lot of work. I'll definitely do that just to be sure the mold is rigid.

    Thanks x 1,000,000

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Another good technique for checking alignment is to plumb mason's string above your molds aligned with the center line on the strong back. Check each station center with a plumb bob suspended from the line. If you attach the bob's string to the plumbed line using a black spring binder clip you can quickly adjust the bob so it is right above each station mold. Make appropriate adjustments and brace. After bracing check all the molds for fairness in several areas with a long batten. Now is the time to catch tracing or lofting errors.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Hi Ian
    I would vote for option 1. the end molds are already fixed, and the keel strip should let you fix the distances for the rest I would just tack each mold to the inner keelson if you are worried, and leave the nails proud so that you remember to take them out after you've partly stripped the hull. Once you have six or so strips on, everything will firm up and in any case, how much would the hull change if one of the forms angles forward or back, likely less than the hull will move after you take it off the forms once the outside is complete.
    Rgds

    Rick

    oysterbayboats.ca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Your jig does seem a bit light to me. It takes a fair amount of abuse over its lifetime. If the inner keel is enough to brace the whole thing, then it's all good. If you have some wiggle you might want to brace it some more. Here's the jig for an 18-footer. Perhaps overkill for yours.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    That is significantly more built up than mine, yes. Thanks for the pic.

    I used the strongback method described in Ted Moores Canoecraft book - plywood box beam instead of dimensional lumber. I live in NB, Canada and getting straight lumber is next to impossible, so plywood was the best option. It only needs to lat me the once as well. This is 100% a hobby for me and the next boat will be of a different design entirely. The plans I bought are meant to mount on a canoe-style strongback that sits up on sawhorses too. I made no modifications to the mounting instructions.

    I'll have an update to the later blog today showing what I did last night. I braced the molds with triangular blocks of MDF, which stiffened things up significantly. The MDF split a bit while I was anchoring them, but the additional rigidity of the keel strip (once I add it) should keep things stiff. At the very least the triangular blocks will give me a good gauge of squareness as I line each station up for its temporary fastening to the inner keel strip.

    I liked the "belt and suspenders" suggestion above too, and plan to anchor a temporary strip at the turn of the bilge to hold things in place until I get the planking built up a bit. I'm using staple-style construction (should have mentioned that) so as I build, each strip will contribute to the overall rigidity.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    How did you make the stem? Steam bent or laminated?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    The stem is not yet constructed, but I plan to laminate it.

    My plans contain a stem mold (unlike darroch's pic above) that remains in place throughout the build process, along with an extension mold that goes between the foremost and second-to-foremost molds. They are absent in the pics on my blog, but I'll add them when I get the stem laminates sawn up. The stem mold is drilled with 1.5" holes at a dozen or so points so that the laminated pieces can be clamped directly to it while the epoxy cures.

    I think the usual procedure is to lay up both inside and outside stem pieces together (mine has both rather than a single rebated stem) to ensure that the two pieces will nest nicely once the strips are in place.

    The outside stem laminate is removed during the strip-laying process and set aside, then glued & screwed back onto the hull afterward.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    New questions regards gluing of scarphs.
    ============
    Question 1:

    I got my inside keel piece all ready and scarphed on a 12:1 angle.

    For gluing, I've read that it is a good idea to pre-soak scarph surfaces in epoxy to ensure a better bond by preventing the end-grain from soaking up too much goop and starving the joint. I understand completely why this is done, but am wondering about the exact procedure (I don't want to screw it up - it's a major structural piece))

    Does that mean I should just epoxy the joint with unthickened epoxy, wait a few minutes, mix in my adhesive fillers, then glue?

    Or does it mean I should paint any joints and wait for a "tacky" cure, then mix up a new batch of epoxy for when I actually go to glue it?
    ==============
    Question 2:

    I did my scarph with a No.4 Stanley plane and I got the angles pretty darn close...achieved the nice feather edge everyone talks about, but when I mate the surfaces, they don't exactly come together. There is a noticeable, but small (maybe 0.25mm - 0.5mm) gap in the middle of the scarph as though the centre of one or the other scarph surface was ever-so-slightly convex. This despite having laid a straight-edge across both scarph surfaces (while the sticks were still clamped to my bench) and not being able to see any bumps or hollows.

    Given that I don't care a heck of a lot about a perfect micron-tolerance yacht finish fit (e.g. appearance of the joint), do you think it is ok to just rely on the epoxy and filler (West system adhesive filler fibres) to fill the gap or should I really strive for a tight fit for structural reasons? I'm leaning toward the former unless somebody strongly advises against leaving the gap

  11. #11
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Does that mean I should just epoxy the joint with unthickened epoxy, wait a few minutes, mix in my adhesive fillers, then glue?

    A noticeable, but small (maybe 0.25mm - 0.5mm) gap in the middle of the scarph...is it ok to just rely on the epoxy and filler (West system adhesive filler fibres) to fill the gap.


    Yes to both.

    Not stripped but still smooth, this Whitehall was cold molded at Lyme Boatbuilding College.


    http://www.boatbuildingacademy.com/b...-rowing-skiff/

    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 02-27-2014 at 11:52 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Nice one keyhavenpotterer! I wish there was such a school nearby to my location where I could go for weekend courses.

    I had thought about doing a cold mold just for the hell of it (since this is a hobby), but the more I read about it, the more I realized it is an absolutely terrible method for a rookie to attempt.

    Plus the more I looked into getting veneers for such a project, the more I realized that it is pretty much impossible unless you're extremely well funded, or if you're set up for milling veneers yourself, plus have about a year's worth of spare time in which to do said milling!

    Thanks for the answers. Hopefully I can find a few minutes to glue it up tonight.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    New question regarding alignment:

    I took great care making the molds to ensure that all my mold centrelines were perpendicular (to the greatest extent possible) to the factory edge of the MDF from which they were cut. I checked them all as I mounted them on the strongback as well to be sure that the centreline was straight up and down relative to the strongback surface.

    The strongback, to my knowledge, is dimensionally stable, possesses no measurable twist or other built-in deformation (plywood box beam) and was cut & assembled with care to make sure I had nice, straight edges.

    When I got my keel piece cut, I immediately noticed a problem. The keel has an arc in the horizontal plane (ie the plane of the strongback surface) to port side. it seems to be greatest amidships and less toward the bow/stern. A string stretched between the forwardmost station and aftmost station confirm the arc - approx. 3/4 inch at the amidship deviation. The two string attachment points are solidly braced by the stem and transom molds (see above), so I'm confident that the string represents a true centreline.

    I don't think it's a problem of unsquareness, since I took a lot of time to make sure each mold was square as it was mounted. Probably not an issue of asymmetry either, given the method I used to transfer the plans (see my blog).

    Looking back, I think I know what my problem was: I established the centreline on the stronback using a chalk line. If I happened to pluck that line a little sideways, do you think it's possible that it created the arc or do I have bigger problems?

    And a follow up question:

    True or false: I need to move the molds to correct the arc. The best way to do this is to translate the deviant molds to starboard and rely on the string as my placement guide.

    Thanks x 1,000,000 for the guidance. Much appreciated!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Quote Originally Posted by cerveza_fiesta View Post
    New question regarding alignment:I took great care making the molds to ensure that all my mold centrelines were perpendicular (to the greatest extent possible) to the factory edge of the MDF from which they were cut. I checked them all as I mounted them on the strongback as well to be sure that the centreline was straight up and down relative to the strongback surface. The strongback, to my knowledge, is dimensionally stable, possesses no measurable twist or other built-in deformation (plywood box beam) and was cut & assembled with care to make sure I had nice, straight edges. When I got my keel piece cut, I immediately noticed a problem. The keel has an arc in the horizontal plane (ie the plane of the strongback surface) to port side. it seems to be greatest amidships and less toward the bow/stern. A string stretched between the forwardmost station and aftmost station confirm the arc - approx. 3/4 inch at the amidship deviation. The two string attachment points are solidly braced by the stem and transom molds (see above), so I'm confident that the string represents a true centreline. I don't think it's a problem of unsquareness, since I took a lot of time to make sure each mold was square as it was mounted. Probably not an issue of asymmetry either, given the method I used to transfer the plans (see my blog). Looking back, I think I know what my problem was: I established the centreline on the stronback using a chalk line. If I happened to pluck that line a little sideways, do you think it's possible that it created the arc or do I have bigger problems? And a follow up question: True or false: I need to move the molds to correct the arc. The best way to do this is to translate the deviant molds to starboard and rely on the string as my placement guide.Thanks x 1,000,000 for the guidance. Much appreciated!
    It is more than likely that the chalk line laid down a curve. Check it by driving a nail into every cross member at the line and sighting along them. You could create a straignt line by stretching your line between the marks at each end, and using a point or pencil to mark the cl at each station being careful to not disturb the line.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    It is more than likely that the chalk line laid down a curve. Check it by driving a nail into every cross member at the line and sighting along them. You could create a straignt line by stretching your line between the marks at each end, and using a point or pencil to mark the cl at each station being careful to not disturb the line.
    You're right, it may be worth hauling my molds off and re-doing the centreline right on the strongback before remounting them. Then if I still have misalignment I'll know my problems are worse than poor chalkline technique. It'll be a couple hours any way you shake it, if it means I don't end up with a crooked boat!

    Thanks for the advice.

    I posted a pic on the blog showing my misalignment issue if you're interested (would post here but the image exceeds quota and I can't be arsed to resize it now):

    http://nashwaak-boatbuilding.blogspot.ca/

  16. #16
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    New question! Regarding cloth weight.

    I'm getting to the point now where I'm ready to start planking things up and want to get my glass & epoxy on order so I'm not held up once planking is complete.

    I looked on the Canadian Canoes site to see what they said about cloth weight and was surprised to see 10oz cloth specified in their kits. I say surprised because Ted Moore's book and Susan Van Leuven's book both specify 6oz cloth for similarly-sized boats.

    So I fired an email off to Ron at Canadian canoes and he said that 10oz was originally specified because the first bunch they built were for ocean use and he imagined that they needed the extra stength to resist twisting forces of the ocean swells. He did state however that several users had built the same whitehall design using 6oz fabric and that he had heard of no delamination or any other such failure.

    Lacking a clear answer from the plans seller, I'm wondering if anybody else has an opinion on it. My use will be occasionally on the rocky shores of Passamaquoddy Bay (near St. Andrews NB, Canada), but probably much more use will be on smaller lakes. I can see why one might go 10oz. for abrasion resistance and stiffness, but I don't want to overbuild the boat and add unnecessary weight if I don't need to...especially considering 6oz seems to be the standard elsewhere for boats of this dimension.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Hi
    how many layers of cloth will there be... I build cosine wherries using 4 oz cloth, but the layers overlap the the center line of the hull, one left, one right, and one down the center. then the keel is glued on with another layer of cloth. so at the bow and stern, where the cloth reaches from shear to shear, there is 3x4 oz or 12 oz of cloth, inside and out, near the shear of the center of the boat, only 4 oz. I think it would be difficult to get a clear lay-up with 10 oz. If you're finishing bright,I'd use 6 oz max, maybe 2 layers.
    By the way, I had two of my boats available for rent for 4 summers, it was very hard on them, being outside all the time, and in the water, used by lots of novice rowers, no failures in the cloth. only damage was from poor storage by me during the winter, one was blown off the dock by the winter wind, and hit so hard it punched a hole through the hull, repaired that, boat is still in use.
    This of course is only my experience, but cedar strip is amazingly tough, and I really like being able to turn the boats over myself for storage and maintenance, or lift them down to the water with the help of my wife.
    remember, if you built it, you can also repair it...
    rgds

    Rick
    Oysterbayboats.ca

  18. #18
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    @Rick

    Good to know. Based on the bill of materials bill Ron includes with his kits, he calls for 1 layer of 10oz cloth, done in halves to either side of the keel inside and out (as you describe for your boats). I don't believe that he calls for a layer of glass over top of the outer keel and skeg (possibly just sealed with epoxy) but I'll have to check on that to be sure. As I understand, it's more difficult to lay up 10oz fabric clear because there is so much air to displace between the glass fibres? Is that true?

    I'm not overly concerned with a bright finish, but maybe 2x layers of 4oz all around is a better choice if that will be easier on a beginner. I'm not bead-and-coving or scarph joining my strips, so unless forces align and it ends up looking *real* good when it's planked up, I'll likely just paint the outside of the hull. I had a vision for a black and dark-red hull anyway because of a little model longboat my gramp made that used to sit on the mantle in my gram's house.

    One last question: When doing 2 layers of glass, does one usually lay the second layer directly atop the first, or is it necessary to completely "fill up" the glass and sand for a smooth finish before adding the 2nd layer?

    EDIT: Answered my own question. Newfound woodworks has a good article on the procedure for double-layer glass.
    Last edited by cerveza_fiesta; 03-12-2014 at 10:15 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    I think you'll find that 6 oz is the easiest fiberglass cloth to find - every one stocks it (I buy 4 oz by the bolt and always have it on hand). Two 6 oz. layers in and out would be my choice in this case, maybe overlap the centerline by about 2 inches, once the keel strip and skeg are on, a piece of bias-cut cloth over the keel to strengthen the connection to the hull. Not sure of newfounds method, but I place second layer of glass as soon as first layer is not tacky; you want to be able to slide the cloth around a bit, but still have a chemical bond between layers. Don't try to sand, if you need to clean up the seam or remove a nit, use a scraper.

    Rgds

    Rick

    oysterbayboats.ca

  20. #20
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick in Pender Harbour View Post
    I think you'll find that 6 oz is the easiest fiberglass cloth to find - every one stocks it (I buy 4 oz by the bolt and always have it on hand). Two 6 oz. layers in and out would be my choice in this case, maybe overlap the centerline by about 2 inches, once the keel strip and skeg are on, a piece of bias-cut cloth over the keel to strengthen the connection to the hull. Not sure of newfounds method, but I place second layer of glass as soon as first layer is not tacky; you want to be able to slide the cloth around a bit, but still have a chemical bond between layers. Don't try to sand, if you need to clean up the seam or remove a nit, use a scraper.

    Rgds

    Rick

    oysterbayboats.ca
    I like the bias idea. Newfound's article talked about that - doing the first layer "normal" and the second layer biased (I know that's not exactly what you're talking about). It makes a lot of sense to have the 45deg fibres in addition to the transverse/longitudinal ones underneath. Newfound sands between fully hardened coats, but I've read lots of other places that a chemical bond (as you describe) is really the best way to go - and also less work. I'm not a complete amateur with epoxy so I'm confident I can pull it off without needing to sand in between coats.

    So with mine maybe the best thing to do is a "normal" layer, followed by a bias layer over the entire hull, and then an additional bias layer just over the keel, skeg and stem to protect and reinforce them. Two layers of 6oz might be a bit of overkill weight-wise and I'm tempted to do my 2 layers in 4 oz. From what Ron at canadiancanoes said, a single layer of 6oz has worked fine for some customers, even though he prefers a single layer of 10oz. I'd like the thing not to weigh an absolute tonne so 2x layers of 4 oz is probably a good compromise.

    Thoughts on doing glass this way? I realize the bias layer will have discontinuities at the edge of each strip, but these should be well tied together by the layer of "normal" glass underneath, right?

    EDIT - no trouble finding 4oz either. A local store can get it in a week.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    I think you'll have no problem with the strength of the discontinuities, but those lines are hard to make invisible if you do finish clear. (and the boat will look great, you'll probably want to).
    It can be done, carefull work with the scraper, and good fill coats.
    Rgds

    Rick
    oysterbayboats.ca

  22. #22
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    New question!

    Last night I went at the transom with a router to mill a rebate for the strips to sit in. The idea is that the strip ends sit inside the outer edges of the transom for a better finish (or so my plans advised).

    I guess I didn't give it a lot of thought because the result was pretty crap. Because the rebate has no bevel, the strips don't sit flush and there is a large gap on the inside. Figure 44 in my blog shows the problem (files are too big to post here an can't be arsed to resize them).

    http://nashwaak-boatbuilding.blogspo...-planking.html

    So considering there will be a ~1/4" gap on the inside of the boat around where the strips meet the transom, I'm wondering what to do. Options are

    1- Leave it and fill it later, then hide the gap under a fiberglass fillet
    2- Redo the whole transom
    3- mill away the end of the rebate and just bevel the transom (even though it is now slightly too small)

    Any other options I might not be thinking of? I'd thought about maybe doing a special strip with a wedge cross-section that I could lay in the rebate to create a bevel and fill the gap in one fell swoop. If I was careful with it, the appearance wouldn't be awful and it might even look intentional! I feel like having a solid wood filler in there would be better & cleaner than trying to do the job with packed FG and resin too.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks as always for your advice.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    A couple of thoughts... if your strips are long enough, you could just cut the rebate off and move the transom back a hair (so the strips land fair) you're boat will be a couple of inches longer and you will see the end-grain of the strips. If you have a rabbet plane you could use it to tidy up the rabbet so the planks land tighter. I always have a fillet at the transom anyway, you can't glass into a sharp corner and I like the glass to join the transom to the hull. The fillet will cover any small gaps there. I just don't like the fact that the strips won't glue flat to the transom as you are stripping the boat.

    Rgds

    Rick

    oysterbayboats.ca

  24. #24
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    I was able to put a filler strip (see my latest blog post - link above) into the rebate and I am in the process of cutting it to a rolling bevel in the same way you would cut a stem rebate. Luckily, the hardest bevel (ie the part that will show the most of the filler strip) will be below the aft bench seat, and the filler strip above the seat should be effectively hidden by a fillet. I'll probably make a pretty generous fillet in there for extra strength too, seeing as how the strips won't be bonding directly to the transom anymore, which will help to hide it even better.

    Last night I finally started fairing things up. I was having very poor success until my buddy showed up out of the blue and helped hold my long fairing batten around the mold. Once you have an extra pair of hands supporting the full length of the batten it becomes much easier. I realize I could do the same thing with clamps, but for this one-off hull I think I'll probably just enlist the wife for an evening.

    One question I have about the fairing process that I don't see covered in any of my resources:

    I see that there are some gaps here and there (which isn't entirely unexpected), and I understand how to go about closing them up, but I wondered about batten tension. I noticed that if you just spring the batten around the molds, the low points on the molds are visible, but with a bit of tension on the batten, some of the low points disappear. Should I be tensioning my batten in this way or just allowing it to spring around the molds naturally?

    Second question about fairing: in the bow of the whitehall - in the foremost 2 station molds - there is a pretty significant amount of twist applied to the strips. When fairing, should I be trying to emulate this twist by holding my batten tight to the molds, or should I just allow the batten to spring around the curve untwisted? I worry that if I try to manually apply the twist, I'll end up springing the batten in an odd way that misrepresents the fairness of the curve.

    Thanks as always for the sage advice.

    ian

    http://nashwaak-boatbuilding.blogspot.ca/

  25. #25
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Tried to put some pics in here so that I could update pictorially without linking to my blog, but the darn thing won't let me.

    If anybody is intersted at all, nashwaak-boatbuilding.blogspot.com shows a lot of progress. I should have a new one up pretty soon that shows the mocked-up gunwhales, knees, breasthoooks and all that good stuff.

    I had one question: What are peoples' thoughts on mechanically fastening gunwhales and knees as opposed to gluing them in place. Gunwhales are especially high-wear items and I want to be able to replace them without too much trouble. The designer originally called for glued gunwhales, but I can't think of a good reason why no.12 stainless screws wouldn't hold just as well. I'll apply caulk or some other waterproofing in the holes so that water doesn't get into the cedar core of course.

    Just stoked all around on boats today. I ordered up some extra WEST stuff to get the last finish coat on the inside and do the final few glue-on pieces. I even managed to find some oarlocks with tapered shanks (Mercer Marine) and some decent boards at the lumberyard for making a pair of 8' oars!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Copied and pasted from your blog. I'll bet you can do the same.



    There have been millions (?) of rails held in place with just screws. You really don't want water getting into the strips though, it will be trapped between the layers of glass, and the rail will add a lot more stiffness glued than it will just screwed. I would glue it, it's not much work to remove if you ever have to, and you probably never will have to because after all of that really well done work I doubt that you'll be smashing it into things.

    I've never rowed a Whitehall, not because I don't want to, I just have never had the opportunity. Looking at yours makes me want to even more.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    "I had one question: What are peoples' thoughts on mechanically fastening gunwhales and knees as opposed to gluing them in place. Gunwhales are especially high-wear items and I want to be able to replace them without too much trouble. The designer originally called for glued gunwhales, but I can't think of a good reason why no.12 stainless screws wouldn't hold just as well. I'll apply caulk or some other waterproofing in the holes so that water doesn't get into the cedar core of course."

    I glue everything, the only fasteners on my rowboats are the oarlock blocks (which are glued and epoxied) and sockets. My theory is that gunwales can be planed and sawn off if needed, and the epoxy is much stronger than the point load of a screw.
    rgds

    Rick

    oysterbayboats

  28. #28
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Hmm...good thoughts on gluing vs. screwing. I don't think the waterproofing will prove too much of an issue. The holes in the hull are thru-holes (ie will not be cut by threads) and can be easily sealed back up with a brush of epoxy before I reassemble the rails. I could also use a bedding compound of some sort. Opinions seem to be split right down the middle elsewhere online as to whether it's better to glue or screw.

    I have already started screwing at the knees and breasthook. I wanted the hardwood parts all tied together through the cedar/FRP lamination, and I kind of like the "buttoned up" look of screws all along the gunwales to be honest. The boat isn't really a showpiece (I'm hardly a master boatbuilder); It's more of a thing to suit my fancy. Points definitely taken RE waterproofing though -- i will go out of my way to ensure the core wood is well protected.

    EDIT

    I was trying to upload and it wouldn't let me no matter how small the pics were. Simple copy-paste does work!

    Por Ejemplo:


  29. #29
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    I'm in the "glue it all" camp on this issue. You'll have plenty of fasteners to look at from the inside of the boat if you use them to attach the inwale to the spacer blocks, or every other spacer block. And think about coming alongside other nicely-finished small craft or big fancy yachts -- you really don't want screw heads on the outside of your outwale to tear up paint and varnish, or catch lines, garments and PFDs...

    The integrity of the composite construction is critical, so any holes through the fiberglass covering on either side of the cedar strip hull need to be drilled oversize, filled with epoxy and let cure, then drilled to fit the screw or bolt. Anything that might let moisture into the cedar core is a direct threat to the longevity of the hull, so be very cautious and only do what is absolutely necessary and can't be done with epoxy and fillets. There are many old glass sailboats out there with ruined balsawood core decks due to this very issue.
    Last edited by Thorne; 05-28-2015 at 09:00 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    I'm in the "glue it all" camp on this issue. You'll have plenty of fasteners to look at from the inside of the boat if you use them to attach the inwale to the spacer blocks, or every other spacer block. And think about coming alongside other nicely-finished small craft or big fancy yachts -- you really don't want screw heads on the outside of your outwale to tear up paint and varnish, or catch lines, garments and PFDs...

    The integrity of the composite construction is critical, so any holes through the fiberglass covering on either side of the cedar strip hull need to be drilled oversize, filled with epoxy and let cure, then drilled to fit the screw or bolt. Anything that might let moisture into the cedar core is a direct threat to the longevity of the hull, so be very cautious and only do what is absolutely necessary and can't be done with epoxy and fillets. There are many old glass sailboats out there with ruined balsawood core decks due to this very issue.
    Thanks for the input, though the screws won't catch on anything. They are all countersunk flat-head type and will be sunk in 1mm or so beneath the rail's surface in the final assembly.

    I am fairly set on screwing it all in place now (since I already started and there are quite a few holes already drilled), but I do like the idea of drilling oversize, backfilling with epoxy and redrilling, rather than just painting inside the holes with a thin coat. Your method will be much less failure prone.

    I need to do another fill coat or two on the inside FG anyway, so I can get that all done at the same time without too much hassle.

    Do you guys have much experience gluing fasteners in place? I've heard it said that epoxy doesn't do well in torsion and that a fastener (even if fully coated with epoxy on its way in) should still break free after the epoxy cures. That might be a good alternative seeing as how I've already started drilling -- dip the screws before driving them home? These are pretty sturdy no. 12 SS screws by the way. You can break the head off but it's very difficult to do so.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Usually the whole idea behind fasteners is to NOT glue them in place -- they usually just need sealing of some sort when used in solid wood applications. Back in the day they were often dipped in red lead or varnish. Don't think that anything will really glue SS wood screws in place forever, but a good epoxy might hold for some time, depending on what sort of coating the screws may have. Some will have a thin coating of oil, so if gluing is critical, consider dunking them in thinner before use.
    Last edited by Thorne; 05-28-2015 at 11:52 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Usually the whole idea behind fasteners is to NOT glue them in place -- they usually just need sealing of some sort then used in solid wood applications. Back in the day they were often dipped in red lead or varnish. Don't think that anything will really glue SS wood screws in place forever, but a good epoxy might hold for some time, depending on what sort of coating the screws may have. Some will have a thin coating of oil, so if gluing is critical, consider dunking them in thinner before use.
    It's not for the extra holding power on the screws or to glue them in place -- it's for sealing the wood. Dip the screw, drive it home, and whammo -- sealed and screwed in one step. If it binds on the screw and makes it permanent, then as you say, you might as well just glue/fillet it because the screw is redundant.

    But given that I'll be removing the wales to complete painting, seal the hull penetrations, and apply interior fill coats anyway, I'll have lots of opportunity to get all those screw holes in the wales sealed up with varnish. A final varnish dip just as I drive home the screw should help "seal the deal" (yuk yuk).

  33. #33
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    I don't remember seeing any frames in your hull. If that's the case the rail is not there just as a bumper, it's structural, which explains why the designer calls for a glued rail. This is especially important if there is no inner rail. Structurally glueing it will be much better.

    Just for appearances sake you might go ahead and drill all of the holes and fill them with a dark colored dowel. When I build glued lap with cedar I clamp the laps with pan head screws until the epoxy dries then fill the holes with epoxy thickened with red cedar sanding dust. I like the looks much more than filled with big plugs, it's more subtle.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    Here are a couple of photos showing what I mean.




  35. #35
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    Default Re: My 17' whitehall

    @Gib,

    I see what you mean about the structure; there are no frames. There are however both inner and outer 'wales tied into breasthooks + knees plus 3 thwarts tied into seat knees, and (eventually) floors under the floorboards.

    I just want to be done with the glue really, but I guess in for a penny, in for a pound with a FRP-cedar boat. It's meant to be an integrated structure so why stop halfway right?

    I like the idea of simply plugging my holes with the epoxy-cedar mix too.

    Will update with progress next week!

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