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Thread: Building a Welsford dinghy

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Today’s a BIG day.

    First of all, Today is LATER. As in “I’ll just take care of that later.” So today I got to learn to NOT to do that any more , ie. put things off to later. And I got to take care of all the little details I had put off.

    But Today is a BIG day as well. Part of the filling and patching included filling the holes that the last two screws holding the dinghy to the strong back occupied. That meant that I needed to remove these screws. The dinghy is now held to the strong back by only the few unnoticed drips of epoxy. It’s actually starting to look quite boatish. Here are a couple of pics.






    Tomorrow I’ll sand the bit of patching, sand of bit more, and then give the interior it’s prep coat of epoxy. Then sand that down lightly and she’ll be ready for her first coat of primer. But before that happens, I’ll need to get busy building a steam box, then rip and shape the gunwales. By Saturday I should have the steam box about ready to use. Oops, there I go predicting a fixed completion date. So that’s probably not going to happen, but figure sometime close to next Saturday.

    The boat is an accurate record of my boat building education. I had spent a significant amount of time cruising through the various threads on this forum, but until I began to build this dinghy, I really didn't have a clue to which details I needed to pay attention. Plus, I began with a minimum of power tools. Hand tools are good, but there comes a time when a power tool is what is needed. Thus the boat reflects the record of my tools acquisition, my acquisition of knowledge from surfing other threads when faced with a challenge, and my acquisition of wood-working skills. As such, I can be proud of the boat for what it represents, and I can be pleased with the level of skill I have attained thus far. I have begun a subscription to Fine Woodworking and have pulled from my library my book on cabinet making, for I have seen on this forum how much further I have to go. What a wonderful journey.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-16-2017 at 12:25 AM.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    So here it is Friday night, and I'm still sanding and patching. It's the result of some old v. some new. What's new is that as I was fairing up the connections prepping the boat for painting, I was finally able to verbalize my objective in the sanding process. I wanted all lines, planes and surfaces to be continuous, integratable -- which is how a mathematician would define fair. I wanted to be able to run my finger from sheer to bottom panel, or from side panel to transverse frame, without feeling any discontinuity. In the case of my finger, that would flag any edge, ledge or ridge that exceeded 0.005". As I alluded to in my last post, I came to this criterion quite late in the build. The rear transom had been cut, laminated and assembled before I acquired a router. It was also fabricated very early on in the acquisition curve of my skill set. Were I building the transom today, it would be a much more finished product. What this means is that I now have a whole new set of errors to learn to recognize and avoid, as well as remembering to avoid the errors I've already made. It also means that wherever a future sailor in this boat may happen to set his fingers, I now need to set my own finger first, to ensure smoothness.

    As a result, I've spent the day rasping, shaving and sanding the inside curves of all the frames and the upper curve of the rear transom. And laid in fairing compound under the doublers at the top of the transom. I have yet more sanding to do on the dinghy, and have not touched the work on the steam box. Next week, for sure. The weather guessers are giving me a 30% likelihood of showers tomorrow, but I need to spend the day preparing for tomorrow night's dinner, so no work tomorrow. There is SO much more I need to learn, so many great teachers on the forum. Really, I am almost ready to start work on the gunwales. Really.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    might i share a pic of how i worked on the vertical surfaces of my PORTUGUESE DINGHY transom ?



    i stood a wooden ladder up on my knee high work area(2-knee high sawhorses w/ my plywood stash resting on them, topped w/ a 3/4" sheet of foam insulation protecting the wood) and strapp'd the dinghy to it, standing on her butt

    that gave me a horizontal surface to work on instead of a vertical one

    it also positioned my work at a level that allowed me to sit on my roll around stool while working

    a similar method was used when working on the inner surfaces of the sides

    sure helped this old man's back...

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK & MORE PICS PLEASE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    One more great idea from a forumite! Thanks much for that idea.

    I'm tall enough that I was able to bend over in an inverted "J" to get at the troublesome part, but my body paid the price for it. I'll see if I can replicate that idea.\

    Thanks much, Steve.

    It rained this morning, and seems to be tapering off now, but I'm tied up all day in the kitchen. More rain predicted through Wednesday, so it looks like I'll be getting work done on the inside tasks.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Good idea SW. My back thanks you

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    y'all r most welcome

    when i was working on the sides i used a 5gal BUCKET OF BOLTS etc behind her and that worked quite well also




    the ladder trick would've dunn just as well

    & as mentioned THE BACK appreciates it

    shortly after i took this pic i realized my shop vac hose fits that sander ;-)

    and while i'm still here i might suggest an HF tool that makes sanding fillets EASY

    http://www.harborfreight.com/4-in-80...ank-60325.html

    comes in 2 sizes, my fave is the 4"

    for $4 it will make a BELIEVER outuv you

    gets in tight places and slicks 'em out nicely




    innything to make the sanding easier , quicker and come out nicer...

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Some fantasically practical ideas! Thanks to all.

    Graeme

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Slipped out early yesterday morning in the cold gloom. Was able to get about half the sanding done before the first rain started. I knew it was coming, so only exposed the stern quarter to work under the tarp and the rain frame.

    Spent today watching it rain. Sounds like tomorrow will be more of the same. They say showers Thursday morning, but nothing about later. Perhaps I'll be able to finish the first prep then. Then it's on with the gunwale structure. Will need to move the heavy guns back to the patio (and under the roof.)

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    The weather cooperated yesterday and today. I was able to finish sanding and the internal epoxy prep coat is now done. Now I can focus on the gunwale structure. Much work there. Unfortunately, that will need to wait: I spent today buying some oddments for my tools, some brushed nozzles for the shop vac, another rolling tool chest. Stuff like that. As the clouds blew in I lashed down the tarp over the boat, more tightly than I did for the last storm. We had 20-30 knot winds trying to take the tarp off a few days ago, and almost succeeded before the storm blew out. Tomorrow we're expecting much rain, 10+" in Yosemite, maybe 4" here over the weekend. The weather guessers have put us on flood alert; that wasn't hard -- Dry Creek (which runs through our back yard) is already out of its banks. No concern here: we live on BLUFF Creek Drive. IE, we're on the high side. Still, no work for another week, maybe.

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    A very frustrating Saturday...
    We're on the edge of an "atmospheric river," AKA the Pineapple Express. It rained several times during the night, but all day -- just VERY wet air. Drops not big enough to be rain drops. Just droplets hanging in the air.

    I've got a choice 4/4 x 12" piece of maple under cover, just waiting for me to have my way with it. I spent the day wanting to lay out a string of inwale spacer blocks, but the air was just too wet. Frustrating. Soon....

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    DANG!!

    The creek's up, but the dinghy's not finished yet!



    Now how am I going to explain this to the wife?

    But I did catch a break in the weather.
    I also caught a break in time to not totally bork something.... A learning happened: I dragged out my contractor's job-site table saw and support stand, and set the 4/4 rough cut 10" x 10' plank up to begin ripping a 1 1/4" slice off the plank. I was able to realize that if I tried to rip that slice off here, that given the relative weights of all the involved components, that it likely would not end well. So, remembering what I had read on another thread here (Lofting the Brewer Cat 25 ?) I set the plank back onto the build table and laid a 1x6 x 12' doug fir board on top of it as a fence. Brought out my worm-drive circular saw and proceed to rip off the strip I needed. The cut was not as easy as the poster had made it sound -- but the cut was made and everything ended as I had hoped it would.

    I'm starting work now on the gunwale assembly. Today's work and tomorrow's is on getting out the spacers that support the inwales. 200 mm blocks of 20mm x 25 mm. With full half-circle coving at both ends. Here I'm just really getting into it.



    It's kind of like open-pit mining, in miniature. This is about where I took a break to cut a second strip from the plank to get out the total number of spacers required.

    I was a bit surprised at just how hard hardwood is.

    Once the holes are finished, I'll run the strips through the thickness planer to get them down to 20 mm. Then I'll take the sides down until they begin to approach the holes. I really don't want the spacers to become separated within the thickness planer. I'll separate the blocks with my pull saw, and then mount them on a common base to finish bringing them to 25 mm. After that, I take on the gunwales and inwales. I think I'll have better weather by the time I'm done with the spacers. One hopes -- but this is winter, after all.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-16-2017 at 12:27 AM.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Tuesday -- rain. All day. Creek not so high today. Forecast is for rain through tomorrow, so creek will rise again.

    Working on the covered portion of the back patio. Peaceful, listening to the rainfall. Was able to finish the whole hole project. Drilled enough holes to make up 16 spacers (not 17, but 18: two different sticks, two starting holes). The sticks aren't straight by a long shot -- the pieces moved as I cut them out of the plank. Thus I'll not run them through the jointer. That's likely wise, since the jointer won't get here until next week. Since I'll be parting out 200 mm pieces from the sticks, their straightness (or lack) will not be so noticeable. And once fastened in place, any crookedness will disappear.

    But what to do about tomorrow? Another rainy day means no playing with the planks. I might be able to find enough room under the roof to run the short stick through the thickness planer, but not the long one, and I really want to go through those steps just once. Read a book.

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Rain today.
    And the creek is UP.



    But I'm not worried. The water is still about 30' below our yard. (This creek is called "Dry Creek.") When we get flooded out, the San Joaquin Valley will have been flooded out.

    However, I finished all the work that I could be doing yesterday.

    They say it's going to stop raining tomorrow. If so, I'll get on with the thickness planing, and then cut some wood for a steam box.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-16-2017 at 12:29 AM.

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    as LUCK would have it ...

    within the next hour i will be on the road(4 hours each way) to pick up a TENDER BEHIND

    your thread was the catalyst that caused me to pursue this little girl

    i'll know more about her this evening when i get her home

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    your thread was the catalyst that caused me to pursue this little girl
    Wow....
    I'll take this as a compliment, and hope it doesn't become a curse.

    Thank you, Steve

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    i don't know whether i should say YOU'RE WELCOME

    or THANKS A LOT...

    the little girl is in dire need of kneading

    i can see many hours of wearing blue gloves in my future

    & as my dear friend/antagonist says POX N GLASS CAN FIX ANYTHING

    the story is very sad and way longer than i choose to share on your thread

    suffice it to say i have acquired another RESCUE PROJECT

    BUTT I DO BELIEVE IT WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE END

    it'll darn sure keep me outa the beer joints, pool halls AND houses of ill repute... ;-)

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Sorry to hear she was less than anticipated.

    On the bright side, you will gain a much more intimate acquaintance with her, and when all is said and done, you'll be able to call her your project, not someone's project that you just finished for them.

  18. #88
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Accomplished a fair amount of work yesterday. Nothing show-worthy yet.

    Rain today. Cold and gray. Not a good day to be working outside on the boat. Spent a half hour outside working on the boat: caught a break in the rain, pulled the sticks I had holed for the inwale spacer blocks. Brought them under the shelter of the roof and parted out the spacers with my pull saw. Love the saw. Not so much the spacers.

    Categorized the spacers as something to consider doing over. I'll wait until a day with better weather to decide -- I won't be able to do anything about them until then anyway.

    Rain today. Cold and grey.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    At last -- a break in the weather. over the past two days I was able to whittle down the sticks that'll be the gunwales and inwales for the boat. Yesterday I was also able to finish cutting to length the DF construction grade 1 bys that will become the steam box; I finished the day by routing full-length rabbets on both edges of the top and bottom planks.

    Today I drilled clearance holes for support dowels in both sides and drilled pilot holes for attaching one side to the bottom plank. I have just finished gluing, screwing and clamping up the two planks, and am now waiting for the glue to set. It looks like I might be able to finish the steam box by Sunday. After that, I'll just need to carve corner radii on the wales and cut out the tools and appliances necessary to persuade the wood to bend around the sheer curve of the little girl. Once that's all done, it's time to steam, steam, steam. Mid-February? Don't hold me to it, though.

    The weather could not be finer: temps today are now approaching 20 degrees. Mornings start out about 10 degrees -- the kind of weather I can really work up a sweat in. Clear skies, no wind. The creek is still out of its banks, but down significantly from last week. When I'm not polluting the environment with the noise of my power tools, I listen to the creek flowing down to the river and the squirrels scolding me. Life continues to be good.

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Pictures. I have pictures. Proof positive that the DF 1 bys are construction grade. Second const grade, at best. Yet, I think they'll hold enough steam to get the job done. Besides providing me with yet more learning opportunities. I wrote in the last post that I had routed shallow rabbets along both edges of the top and bottom planks. They're just enough to provide a comfortable home for the side planks.



    Yes, the planks are checking. And falling apart elsewhere along their length. It just means I can't procrastinate too much longer.

    Here's the finished box, after gluing and screwing.



    Well, it still needs its end caps. Those are coming, RSN.

    And note please the tiled mariner's compass in the patio (my wife's idea). It points to Meridian North. It's about 17 degrees East of House North. I confirmed the angle by checking the shadow of the tile-setter's pin in the center of the circle at Solar Noon before he began laying the tile. I had originally pulled the angle from the USGS Topo map of our neighborhood.

    Yet To Do:
    1) radius the corners of the strakes. Two outer corners of the gunwale, three corners on the inwale.
    2) design and fabricate the tools and appliances for bending the strakes (benders, brackets and hair-pins). Photo explanations to follow.

    I also must work on a tangential build problem. I have acquired a number of power tools, each of which needs to be solidly anchored to the work bench. To do this, I would need to double the size of the garage. In my neighborhood, this is a non-starter. Besides the fact that we use the garage in lieu of a storage unit. Must think more on this.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-16-2017 at 12:30 AM.

  21. #91
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    I retain a memory from my childhood: my father worked with wood as a hobby, and he’d let me play with his off-cuts. One day, talk around the family was of getting a boat to go fishing in the bay (Humboldt Bay). So, wanting to be helpful, I dug around in the off-cuts for some appropriate pieces of wood, and nailed together what I thought was a pretty spiffy paddle. Just what we’d need for the boat. Then I started thinking about where we’d be paddling. So I nailed on some braces, and then some additional braces on the braces. For when a fish decided to attack the paddle.


    I still retain this tendency to over-think subjects. This probably shows in my work.


    We are currently stress-testing the flood control system here in the Central Valley; work in the back yard is at a stand-still. Has been for a couple of weeks.



    Lost (chose to fore-go) two days of beautiful weather last weekend. Enjoyed a rare opportunity to visit with family in Palo Alto, spend a day on the beach outside Pescadero. State Highway 1. My all-time favorite.



    Returned to two more days of good weather. Re-read JW’s build instructions; very glad I did. Picked up a detail I’d missed the four or more times I had read them previously: 15 mm x 20 mm rub strakes along the bottom of the upper side-panel. I was able to rough-cut the blanks for these, as well as to go shopping for more parts and tools for the steam box.



    I continue to be amazed at how a simple sub-task can spin off a whole tree of sub-sub-tasks. Bend the gunwale to the sheer line. Simple. Build the steam box to steam the strake. Simple, but redolent of sub-tasks. I was able to knock together the basic box before this last series of storms blew in. Retired to the garage to work out the small stuff.



    Here I have the essential components of the steam box: 2 x 4’ lengths of copper tubing, drilled every 4” to distribute steam along their lengths; 1 x TEE connector; 1 short length to connect to the steam source; 1 plate to screw to the side of the steam box and clamp the copper tube assembly in place, and one plate to screw to the retainer plate; and 1 quick-connect fitting to connect to the steam hose coming from the wall-paper steamer. I don’t think I’ve missed anything.





    Here I have the persuaders I’ll need to hold the steamed strake in place along the dinghy’s sheer line: the stern crutch to hold the gunwale in place at the stern transom; the hooks to keep the strake following the top of the sheer; the bow ledge to hold the gunwale up at the bow; and the hair-pin “clamps” with their wedges that will hold the gunwale laterally against the side panel.




    All these parts will be necessary, assuming the bending of the gunwale follows according to Plan A. The plan calls for a friend to be on hand to hold the dinghy and the strong-back down on the ground as I bend the stick around the wicked curve at the stern. Plan A. I do, however, have a Plan B to implement, should Plan A fail. JW has offered some constructive suggestions regarding Plan A; didn’t say it would succeed, didn’t say it wouldn’t. We’ll just have to see.

    The darker pieces have been cut from the rejected (failed) dagger board lamination. At some of the places, the failure was very evident. I'm glad I chose to reject it. These smaller pieces, however, are pretty beefy: 3 lamina of 1/4" plywood. Weather tomorrow calls for chance of showers. I may be able to mount the crutches tomorrow.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-16-2017 at 12:41 AM.

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Besides stressing our flood control system, the storms are taking their toll on our trees. When we bought the house in 95, the eucalyptus tree seen on the left of the photo in post #21 was already in the process of slowly listing to Westward. It had grown on the very lip of the bluff, and simply couldn't find the purchase it needed to stay upright. So by post #21, it had already leaned significantly.

    But compare that picture with the one in post #91, and you can see the listing is significantly advanced. The tree is now being supported in place by one of its trunks having been caught in a crook of the oak tree to its right. The eucalyptus has already had a major branch ripped off, and is now lying half-way down the bluff.

    The winds which had been forecast for today are now finally arriving. Sustained winds of up to 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph say the weather guessers.

    I spent the day working in the garage, assembling the steam box. I now have only one end-flap to affix and it will be ready for testing. Once the weather clears. Someday....

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    The picture of the hardware in #91 looks like serious overkill for getting your steam box to work.
    I've seen lots of steam boxes, none of them so elaborate (some pretty crude0 and all worked as advertised.
    Why all the hardware?

  24. #94
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Hi, Tom --

    The picture of the hardware in #91 looks like serious overkill for getting your steam box to work.
    I've seen lots of steam boxes, none of them so elaborate (some pretty crude0 and all worked as advertised.
    Why all the hardware?
    Maybe it's overkill. I had done some net surfing, and the copper pipe was a result of that search. My box is almost 10' long, so I thought I'd try to distribute the steam somewhat evenly. Overkill? OK. The quick release fitting will connect to the steamer I'm going to rent. Like I mentioned above, I do tend to overthink issues. I could have jerry-rigged a steam boiler, but I didn't want to have to divide my attention between trying to nurse the boiler into doing what it was supposed to do AND steam the wood thoroughly in the time allotted.

    Besides -- with the rain we've been having, it gave me work I could be doing (inside). I've been unable to get much work done outside with the storms. They opened the floodgates on our local dam yesterday, and another storm is due in at the end of the week. It kept the child busy. So there!

  25. #95
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    there'z something to be said for keeping busy, outa the beer joints, pool halls & houses of ill repute ;-)

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    The weather has been beautiful all weekend, including Friday. Friday I tested my steam box. Not surprisingly, it turned out to be a very educational experience.

    Some of what I learned:

    1. The box might work better on a hot Summer day than on a somewhat cold Winter’s day.

    2. My readings on the internet suggested that I should keep one end lower than the other to allow condensation to run out. This happened. This also created a draft sufficient to keep the lower end of the box relatively unheated.

    3. The inferior quality of the wood was definitely revealed. What began as a 6” check in the top at one end is now a 6’ fully opened crack. A significant crack has opened along one side face. It was truly awesome to listen to the wood respond to the injection of steam into the interior. While the box shows an inclination to self-destruct, I am confident it can be held together sufficiently to allow it to do its job.

    4. After an hour of steaming, the temperature at the high end of the box stabilized at around 180 F.

    5. After application of heat the end flaps of the box warped outward a bit, opening the box slightly.

    Hypotheses:

    A. If I can close up the ends of the box more tightly, I might be able to bring the interior fully up to temperature (212 F). (The box has enough small holes drilled into it for support dowels I’m not concerned about a pressure build up.)

    B. The wallpaper steamer does not put out enough steam for a box this size. This hypothesis can only be accurately tested if I seal up the ends as in #A above.

    C. For operation outdoors during Winter, perhaps a lesser difference in the elevation of the ends is called for.

    Conclusions:

    C1. Further testing of the steam box is in order.

    C2. For the moment, I plan to bend the gunwales using an alternate method of persuasion: wrap sticks in towels, soak towels in boiling water. My cold test with one stick gives me confidence that it won’t require that much persuasion to pull the wood around the bend.

    As Thomas Edison would have said, I have found one approach that doesn't work.

  27. #97
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Jammin' on the frim-fram
    Wailin' on the wales!

    We've had excellent weather all week. Monday a friend aka designated helper came by and we did a cold walk-through of the operation. I explained the issues with the steam box, and lined out my plan for heating the wales. After he left to go back to work, I set the two gunwale sticks in water to begin soaking in preparation for today's persuasion.

    This tube had been intended to be part of a French drain system in our back yard (that didn't happen). It came in handy as a container for soaking two 8 1/2 foot sticks.



    Said friend was due by at 11:15 to help me bend the gunwales, so I had to begin scurrying about by 8:30 to get everything ready. Pots, pans, towels. Think old western movies, where Doc arrives at the cabin to deliver the Missus of her baby. "Boil some water, gather up towel you've got". Clamps, speed clamps, wedges. Gloves (heavy leather), leather jackets. PPE stuff. Start fire by 9:00 am. Boiling water by 9:15. Add more briquets to fire at 10:30. Keep boiling water, add to pot.

    Friend arrives, we wrap the stick and pour water over it. Wave the magic wand (heat gun) at it. After twenty minutes of water-boarding, we unwrap stick. I'm REALLY pleased to see how the stick sags just as we unwrap it. We step to the boat and wrap it up in place.

    Drunk with success. We accomplished something I'd never done before. It's not perfect -- my wood twister would have come in handy, but I hadn't thought of it. The wales did not accept quite as much twist as needed. The bend is not quite perfect -- but close enough. I have to go to a conference in Sacramento tomorrow and all weekend, so I'll deal with the final persuasion when I return next week.

    The aftermath (as Doc closes the cabin door behind him):



    And the gunwales wrapped into their near-final resting places:



    Some more waving of the magic wand next week should finish the final shaping.
    Now to move on to doing some house-work to placate SWMBO, who had the good graces to absent herself while we laid up the gunwales.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-16-2017 at 12:45 AM.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Sketchy weather yesterday, but was able to begin snugging the forward meter of the starboard gunwale. The gunwale is now totally snugged up. Had what I presumed was a close call: in the aft quarter, the stick looked like the grain was starting to run out. Well, that warranted its on clamp and pad. And 100 mm farther aft was a stiff point in the curve, where a nascent knot appeared to live. That warranted yet another clamp. Interestingly, once the knot agreed to be snugged up, the stick behind it decided to follow right along. I still have two clamps left over, and the Port side gunwale yet to snug up. I don't have enough clamps!

    I'd love to continue -- weather today is beautiful: sunny, cool and warming, great for working; sadly, I've other business I must catch up with. I may screw the gunwale in place tomorrow, freeing up the clamps. I need to do some more study on that idea.

  29. #99
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Freed up clamps yesterday. Gunwale is now screwed in place, awaiting the time when I can glue it permanently.

    Here's the forward end of the gunwale, now screwed to the hull.




    And the aft quarter, still clamped up. When I began yesterday, I had 14 clamps on the gunwale -- with only two left as spares. I don't have enough.



    And the long shot of the dinghy.... I've begun clamping the port side gunwale, and will start screwing it tomorrow.



    I'm still amazed how how the simplest of tasks can entail so many sub tasks. With luck, I might (maybe) be able to finish the gunwale structures by the end of the month!
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-06-2017 at 08:13 PM.

  30. #100
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    We're finally able to stack together a few days of good weather. Got the starboard gunwale epoxied and screwed in place. Here's the port side getting glued and screwed.



    Fast forwarding a few days, and the dinghy is threatening to look boatish:



    Looking down the port side:



    My next challenge is to carve out the sockets in the transoms which will receive the ends of the inwales. Once I get the inwales in place, I'll turn the boat over and go to work on the outside of the hull.

    This poor boat has all the earmarks of a project left lingering too long. Not to mention the fact that shows all the signs of a first wood-working project: I've never been known to start simple. I'd like for my next challenge to be a build against the calendar. I think that now I might be able to produce a more reputable-looking boat. But this dinghy will be finished before I think any further.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-06-2017 at 08:18 PM.

  31. #101
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    So Sunday I was ready to bend the in-wales. Emailed my friend -- friend says he'll be available either Wednesday or Thursday. I was hoping for Wednesday because a chance of showers had been forecast for Thursday. Monday I set about cutting the ends of the in-wales to their finished shapes. And finished lengths.

    I set up my beveling miter saw. Double checked the fits of my end templates that I had cut against the dinghy geometry. Fits are good. Measure the finished length of the Starboard in-wale: I had run a length of string along the sides of the spacers on each side of the boat, taping flags on the string at each end; laid the Starboard string along the in-wale. Clamped the after end of the string to one end of the wale, laying the string out along the length of the stick. Placed a tick mark on the wale at the forward flag position. Stretched the string, found a 50 mm differential. I gave up on using the string as a measure of the needed length.

    Ran my batten along the course of the in-wales, marking lengths on either side of the batten. Am much more satisfied with the accuracy. I then transferred the dimensions to the respective wales. Turning back to my Starboard templates, I note that the lengths I had measured were for the outboard sides of the wales, and that the inboard sides of the wales would be longer due to the curvature of the sheer. DUH! So I moved the cut marks on the Starboard in-wale to adjust for this.

    Back to the miter saw with my Starboard bow template. (The templates were formed from the gunwale off-cuts, and are of the same finished dimensions as the in-wales.) I transferred the miter angle from the template to the saw. Did the same for the bevel angle. Many fine adjustments -- precision slamming of fist against massive machine. Check angles of saw blade against angles of template: I have a good match. Double check fit of template at bow of boat: the fit is still good. Set in-wale up on the miter saw, set stick in proper position for cutting to length. This is the cut at the bow end of the in-wale. I lay the batten down on the in-wale, double checking the match for length: I'll be cutting at the correct distance. I'm through with measuring just twice. I make the cut. I repeat the process for the stern cut. Much double, triple checking of each aspect of the cut. I make the cut: the Starboard in-wale looks good.

    I then laid the Port-side in-wale on the miter saw. Same drill: double, triple checking of each aspect of the cut at the bow end of the stick. I then laid the batten along the length of the in-wale, only to find that I had not moved the marks as I had with the Starboard in-wale. I had enough wood for the outside of the in-wale, but not enough for the inside of the stick.

    After much staring at the wood, noting that it wasn't going to magically grow to its corrected length, I realized that I had two options: fudge the fit with the in-wale that I had in hand, filling the large gaps both forward and aft with thickened epoxy, or re-cut the in-wale. The good news was that the fits at each end, the epoxy-filled fits, would be covered by connecting hooks, so nobody but myself (and the person breaking the boat) would ever know what I'd done. The bad news was that I would know what I had done, and this just wasn't acceptable. Finally, I pulled out the remaining Maple plank from my stack and I ripped a new in-wale. I'd run it through the thickness planer and then round the corners on the router table on Tuesday.

    I had been hoping on Tuesday to do a test run of the new steaming setup I had decided to try: steam bending the wood in a plastic bag. Now my day would be taken up shaping the new in-wale and finish cutting it to length with its proper terminations.

  32. #102
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Thursday, very early in the new morning, I heard it raining. Went back to sleep with the thought that I'd call Dave when I woke up to cancel the bend. (He had emailed me Tuesday evening to say that Thursday would be best for him to lend a hand.) I had run my test of the new steaming set-up on Wednesday, and was a) very pleased with the way it worked, and b) was confident that if need be I could bend up the in-wales single-handed.

    Fetched in the newspaper at 7:00 am under a cloudless sky -- I wouldn't have to call Dave to cancel the bend. I read the newspaper over my coffee; had breakfast while reading Marchaj's Seaworthiness; proceeded to set up for bending the in-wale. I suspected that it would be likely that we would only be able to bend one in-wale due to my limited number of clamps (20).

    I started stanley up a half-hour before Dave was due to arrive. The wood had been fully engulfed in steam for only about 5 minutes before he arrived, which gave me time to fill him in on the new protocol. When bending the gunwales using boiling water poured over towels swaddling the sticks, we only had a few minutes to bend the wood into place. As a result, we were only able to bend the wood through the three planes, but we weren't able to apply the needed twist before the wood's natural rigor set in. This time, bending the wood inside a plastic sleeve, we were able to bend the wood and twist it all the while the wood was steaming.

    My suspicion was correct: we needed all but one of my clamps to set the in-wale into proper shape. I'll let the wood set in the clamps all day tomorrow, and steam up the Port-side in-wale on Saturday.

    Proof that I had help:



    Here's the end result, with stanley still hooked up:



    All along the gunwale ....


    And so, the learning continues.

    I do have a "fantasy finish-by date," but I'm not telling anyone.
    Last edited by webishop14; 08-06-2017 at 08:23 PM.

  33. #103
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Monday evening, after having decided to remake the in-wale, I got to thinking about what I had done wrong. Not just kicking myself. It occurred to me that I had actually made two mistakes. Had I only just made the first mistake, I would have realized something was wrong. When cutting the stick to length, I made the first cut from the wrong end: I began the measure from the stern, ending at the bow. When I placed the in-wale on the saw, had I made the first cut at the stern, where the smaller off-cut would be, I would have realized that I didn't have enough wood to cut. Instead, I made the cut at the bow, thereby casting my mistake in wood.

    On Tuesday, when I got to cutting the in-wale to length, I got to the point where I had already compared the set-up of the saw with the bow template, and was about to place the in-wale on the saw to cut, when I realized that I was about to repeat the mistake that had forced me to re-cut the wale. So I had to strike the set-up that I had and set about making the fit at the stern instead. Silly me.
    "The future is already here it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  34. #104

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Looking good. It is a nice project especially because it teaches so well. Soon you will be fishing with her...

  35. #105
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    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    So I told my wife that after I will have done this, this, that and the other thing, by the end of the week I'd be able to turn the dingy over to finish work on the outer hull. Maybe be painting her by the end of the month. As is to be expected, this blossomed into an aggressive and highly optimistic "To-do" list, two dozen entries ending by Thursday. With luck, I'll be done with it by Saturday.

    But, I'm thinking now that if I can continue with weekly "To-Do" lists, and then follow thru on them as projected, I should be painting the dinghy by mid-May.

    To further encourage me to not finish by the end of May, SWMBO has asked me to refinish her sewing machine cabinet. During the rains over the New Year's break I over-hauled the mounting of her machine in the cabinet. The cabinet had been designed for another sewing machine, and her previous husband had mounted her sewing machine in the cabinet with an unfortunate alignment, and a large gap on the right-hand side of the top. So I remounted the machine to eliminate the gap (move it to the left side), and then created a fill-piece to make the gap go away. The wife wanted the cabinet refinished at the time, but working outdoors was not an option at the time, and we didn't want the fumes making the house unlivable. So now she's playing the "it's later now" card, and that's how I'll be spending the weekend, or the first of next week.
    "The future is already here it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

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