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Thread: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

  1. #1
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    Default Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Hello all, after long search for what will be my second boat I decided on William Garden's 12 6 Tom Cat. My last boat was the Wabnaki Cedar strip canoe (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...16-Strip-Canoe) so I will stick to the strip planking also with this one.

    There is a beautiful thread by Greg (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...Garden-Tom-Cat) and I am learning a lot from it.

    The plans jus arrived from Wooden Boat and the lofting table construction is on the way. I am lofting on 1/4'' plywood as recommended by Greg Rossel in his book but I think it is going to be too thin for nails to hold the battens... in any case I can always add another layer of plywood below.

    Here is my progress so far on the lofting table





    Any tips and help on the process will be welcomed. Thanks, Ofer

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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Wow! You're even worse then me! The varnish isn't even dry on your new canoe and you're starting the next boat. I wait at least a year.
    Awesome! Looking forward to your progress.

    On the boat I'm building now, I used 1/4" luan ply for the lofting. Sheetrock nails, with their heads driven into the ply, worked OK for transferring lines to the molds.

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    I'll definitely be following along! Someone here on the forum showed their lofting process, and one photo was just like Rich's above, with a small piece of blue tape to hold each nail in place. Never seen anyone else do it, but it seemed like something I might do.

    Good luck!
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Wow! You're even worse then me! The varnish isn't even dry on your new canoe and you're starting the next boat. I wait at least a year.
    Awesome! Looking forward to your progress.

    On the boat I'm building now, I used 1/4" luan ply for the lofting. Sheetrock nails, with their heads driven into the ply, worked OK for transferring lines to the molds.

    Thanks Rich. I have to admit, the canoe was a trail project and a way to get the shop in shape to build the next one. The canoe is beautiful and I am committed to finish it but I love sailing. Thanks for the feedback.

    Ofer

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1 View Post
    I'll definitely be following along! Someone here on the forum showed their lofting process, and one photo was just like Rich's above, with a small piece of blue tape to hold each nail in place. Never seen anyone else do it, but it seemed like something I might do.

    Good luck!

    Thanks that's a good idea. I also read a tip about grinding little triangles from the tops of the round top nails. I am going to try it. Ofer

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Started the lofting process yesterday. Here is the lofting table ready to start



    Worked all day. Lofting is like programing, once you get into it time is passing by. Did a lot of progress and many mistakes. I am lanky that the planes are great and probably don't have many mistakes as so far whenever I found a mistake I could trace it back to my error.



    I am struggling with creating the right battens broke dozens of battens during the work. Any suggestions about materials that can be used as battens?

    Also, I left the transom for the end. The plans don't have numbers for the transom on the table so I guess I will need to create it from scratch and I am not sure how to do it. I have some ideas but if someone have a link to a good explanation or any tips it will be great.

    Ofer

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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    I bought a piece of vinyl soffit material from Home Depot and cut it into strips for lofting battens. For tight curves, it works well.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I bought a piece of vinyl soffit material from Home Depot and cut it into strips for lofting battens. For tight curves, it works well.
    Hi Rich, thanks for the comment. I spent tow hours at Home Depot on Saturday looking for something like that. Can you send me an image of what you have used? How long was it?

    Thanks,

    Ofer

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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by oferraz View Post
    Hi Rich, thanks for the comment. I spent tow hours at Home Depot on Saturday looking for something like that. Can you send me an image of what you have used? How long was it?

    Thanks,

    Ofer
    I don't have an image to give you, but any piece of 12' long vinyl siding will do. The stuff is about 1/16" thick and you cut it into strips about 1/2" wide. It's floppy and works best with tight curves.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Thanks Rich. I figured out that Home Depot don't have the vinyl PVC siding in store and managed to find them in other store. This works great for a battens.
    P.S. You are building a beautiful boat (the 18' Palmer Fantail). I am following your progress.

    I decided not to loft the transom as I don't feel that enough information is provided in the plan and after reading other blogs, most people indicated that they ended with the wrong size.
    I am now ready to start build the molds.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Lofting a transom, if it's raked, can be a real head-scratcher. A curved, raked transom is even worse!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by oferraz View Post
    Thanks Rich. I figured out that Home Depot don't have the vinyl PVC siding in store and managed to find them in other store. This works great for a battens.
    P.S. You are building a beautiful boat (the 18' Palmer Fantail). I am following your progress.

    I decided not to loft the transom as I don't feel that enough information is provided in the plan and after reading other blogs, most people indicated that they ended with the wrong size.
    I am now ready to start build the molds.
    I have explaned the lofting I did of the transom. Search for 10 ft dinghy gartside 127

    Hope this helps. In would not know how to do it flawless without any lofting. The end result is a bigger inner transom and slightly different shape of the outside transom.

    Regards, Christiaan

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Hi Christiaan,

    I am learning a lot from your thread. Nice job. As Rich mentioned in this boat it is a
    curved and raked transom which required a different and more complex procedure (few more steps). The problem I have is that the plans of the boat don't have too much information about the transom. No information about the transom in the lofting table, only 3 waterlines and two butts. So when I started the lofting I found out that I am doing too many assumptions. The last station is very close to the transom so I think that once I will have the mold in place it will be easy to draw the transom.

    Ofer

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Ofer,

    When you place the transom on the strong back, just plumb it and set it at 90 degrees to the keel having left it as built on the plan mould. As you bend the strips to the hull moulds, you can get a line to the inside transom face and take various bevels, strips to transom. Two people were good for this!

    I used a grinder and then a course sander to sneak up on the outline and bevel and finally a block plane to finish. Take your time, was a challenge but you'll do it...

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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by gregleetaylor View Post
    Ofer,

    When you place the transom on the strong back, just plumb it and set it at 90 degrees to the keel having left it as built on the plan mould. As you bend the strips to the hull moulds, you can get a line to the inside transom face and take various bevels, strips to transom. Two people were good for this!

    I used a grinder and then a course sander to sneak up on the outline and bevel and finally a block plane to finish. Take your time, was a challenge but you'll do it...
    Hi Greg, thanks for the feedback and tips. I will need a lot of support to go through this project. Ofer

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    First mold is ready. After few weeks of work working with wood again feels good. Started with section 4. Here it is:



    Few more to go but now it will be faster. In addition I figured out that I need a place to store the long battens I created without taking too much working space. So her is the solution:


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Mold sections are ready. Eight in total. It took me longer than I thought but job done. Next is the strongback, stem and apron.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Hi Offeraz
    Thought you may find my site interesting....I'm building the same boat as yourself and Greg but in AU. Been building for quite some time and am enjoying the journey tremendously so will keep an eye on out as I have done with Greg's site.
    Cheers and good luck
    Laurie
    http://www.woodworkforums.com/f32/tom-cat-66348/20

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Hi Laurie,

    Thanks for commenting. Your and Greg's blogs are my text books. I read them over and over and learn a lot. I am looking forward to see your boat in the water. It looks like you are very close to it.

    Best,

    Ofer

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Strongback is standing. This time it has wheels so I can move it around the shop if needed.





    Its much bigger than the canoe I build before. I will need to rearrange the shop. And last, I couldn't resist putting the sections on and see the shape for the first time:



    My next project is a stem box. Any suggestion on what size of box I need for this boat? I don't want to build something too big.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Lookin' good there ...

    My steam box was 8' as that's how big box insulation sheets are sold AND, I knew i wanted to steam a long section of the sheer strake. As it turned out; I wound up steaming my 8' sections of cedar for those strips that had a lot of twist. This was time consuming but worked well.

    You may not have to have a big one if just steaming frames and stem/transom knee lamination pieces. I am moving back toward the steaming of frames. If I can manage to do the longest in one length they would be about 8' long... we shall see... I am also planning on using the plastic sleeves for bend in place application; again, we shall see.
    Last edited by gregleetaylor; 01-23-2016 at 11:26 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by gregleetaylor View Post
    Lookin' good there ...

    My steam box was 8' as that's how big box insulation sheets are sold AND, I knew i wanted to steam a long section of the sheer strake. As it turned out; I wound up steaming my 8' sections of cedar for those strips that had a lot of twist. This was time consuming but worked well.

    You may not have to have a big one if just steaming frames and stem/transom knee lamination pieces. I am moving back toward the steaming of frames. If I can manage to do the longest in one length they would be about 8' long... we shall see... I am also planning on using the plastic sleeves for bend in place application; again, we shall see.
    Thanks Greg, I was looking at your steam box photo and wander if it is an insulation covering wood or you used the insulation as the structural material? I will probably will also want to seam few of the strips. If I remember correctly you did it also. But 8 fit should be enough for that as I will probably need to steam only one side (port) of the strip.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    I found the link. I went this route. The box will not last a long time but long enough I should think.

    http://lumberjocks.com/projects/20175

    no wood in it save the 1/2" dowels i put in for the wood racks. The whole thing was duct taped together (heavy duty black stuff)

    I also used the wall paper remover steamers

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Great tips. That's my project for tomorrow I will post a photo of the end result

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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Good afternoon (at least it is here),
    I just posted a new thread calling for catboat articles for our publication.
    Let me know if you would like to contribute.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Took Greg's advise on the steam box. It's great. Including the wall paper remover steamers. in one day and less than $100 I got a working seam box up and running. Here is the result:



    Tested it on the stem strips. started with one and than added 2 on each turn. The photo below show mid work. I now wants to let it dry for few days before glueing it.



    The last pice of work for this weekend was the transom. Glued together the two plywood layers as a first stage. The photo below is a dry run before gluing.



    I now need to find wood for the third layer of the transom. Any suggestions? Is the only way to do it is to buy few pieces of 3/4'' and plane them down to 1/4''?

    Have a great week

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    more progress...

    The stem was glued and cleaned. Here it is with the shape of the stem marked on it.



    I needed a marking gage so after some search on the internet I decided to do one as a side project... here is the result:



    Shaped stem





    And another dry fit with the first mold...


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat



    Nice work .I like the gage , and those hand drawn plans ( pre- cad ) by Garden.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Very, very nice. I'm a bit jealous, though, the museum plans I got for my Palmer launch came with only a lines plan. Lots of head scratching when there's no detail or construction plan!

    Please forgive my ignorance, but how does that marking gage work?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Very, very nice. I'm a bit jealous, though, the museum plans I got for my Palmer launch came with only a lines plan. Lots of head scratching when there's no detail or construction plan!

    Please forgive my ignorance, but how does that marking gage work?

    Hi Rich,

    The gage is simple and is used to draw lines parallel to your wood edge. You release the wedge, set up the length of your marker and push the wedge back in to lock the distance.

    I am following your progress on the Palmer, a beautiful boat.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Transom lamination is finished. I decided to use Redwood for the external layer of the transom. I know it is not a great wood for that as it is soft but building it in California I thought it can be appropriate to use some local wood. Here it is:



    Apron shaping is also in progress. A lot of plane work but it is getting there



    over all it start to look like a boat



    and last, this morning I managed to put the transom in place. Next I need to get it to the exact shape.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Looking VERY nice! Great progress! Motivating to me too!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by gregleetaylor View Post
    Looking VERY nice! Great progress! Motivating to me too!
    Thanks Greg. I am learning from your post almost every day. You are doing a wonderful job on your boat.

    Ofer

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Long time since my last post. Not too much progress. Also worked on a side project, as weather get better we need a new paddle for our canoe. A great project and a lot of fun.



    On the boat I started planking. I am using strips 1"x0.5" red cedar strips. The Sheer is 1.5" wide.



    Using Gorila glue between the strips and epoxy on the stem and transom






    From this point and in the next 43 days a good day is a day in which I am adding at least 2 planks....

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    I used Titebond II glue for my Palmer launch build. Since you're glassing inside and out (I assume), the Titebond II will do just fine. Also, cover the edges of your molds with packing tape to prevent gluing the boat to the molds. Again, this worked great for me.

    The canoe paddle looks great. A friend of mine who no longer goes paddling just gave me a pair of paddles that look like yours. I'm unfamiliar with the type. Are they racing paddles?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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