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Thread: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

  1. #1
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    Default Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    First off, thanks for all the knowledge so far!

    I have been reading the forum for years, if this forum didn't exist I don't think I would be doing what I am right now. So thanks!

    By following Concordia Yawl #26 Restoration, Lofting the Brewer Cat Boat, Building the Maid, (just to name a few, there are so many) I have learned a ton and been very inspired to just go for it.

    Since you all are unknowingly a large influence in this project I figured it's only fair I share the journey with you.


    Our story reads like a bad joke
    A French ex-pat, a dyed in the wool New England-er and a Norwegian wolf dog are building a wooden boat....

    We are two guys in our early 30's and have decided to build an Ingrid from scratch. We felled the trees this past winter, borrowed a sawmill, turned the logs into boards, built a ramshackle boat shed, a lofting floor and now we're ready to start.

    My name is Steve, I am the builder and dyed in the wool New England-er. Alix is the French ex-pat, my helping hand and is making a running video documentary of the build. You can find that here www.acorntoarabella.com

    I plan to post here with much more detail about the actual construction than will go into the videos. As well as ask questions when I have them, and boy o boy will I have questions!

    We were ready to start just over a month ago but "The Man" stopped by and wanted to know where our building permit was. Whoops!

    Long story short we had to take down and move the boat shed, get site plans, signatures from the Conservation Commission..... So if you saw a post titled "Sourcing for 12,000lbs of lead" a little while back and wondered what ever came of that guy you now know. Tied up in red tape. We have found some lead but are still in need of much more if you know where we can find some. =)

    Now that we are all permitted and legal we are ready to begin! Lofting begins this weekend, the lofting floor just needs another coat of paint which will happen tomorrow.

    I have never built a boat before so any advice from the folks who have would be much appreciated.

    I own, have read, and understood "Details of Classic Boat Construction" by Larry Pardey, "How to Build a Wooden Boat" by Bud McIntosh, "Lofting" by Allan Vaitses, and "Building Small Boats" by Greg Rossel. As well as information gleaned from this and other forums. I also know my way around a wood shop well enough.

    We are building an Atkin Ingrid and we desire to build her as close to the way she was built in 1934 when the lines were drawn. We will use silicon bronze fasteners and make other upgrades where it makes sense but in general we want to build her as planned.

    I think that's about enough info to begin. I will be posting more soon I am sure.

    My Grandpa and the old Massey Ferguson, a Beer and White Pine, A hunk of Future Keel Timber, The Ramshackle Boat Shed

    Last edited by sdenette; 09-13-2016 at 05:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    We look forward to images and inspiring stories of your progress ! Proceed !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Awesome. Will be watching.

    If you have good reading comprehension I think that book list will get you there even for a first timer.

    Your dedication will need to be stronger than your reading comprehension by about 85X approximately.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Welcome to the club.


    Just remember, don't be like that Madison feller and get yourselves sidetracked.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    Welcome to the club.


    Just remember, don't be like that Madison feller and get yourselves sidetracked.
    He makes a very good point.
    Last edited by J.Madison; 09-13-2016 at 05:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    i'm not that far away.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Fantastic, I'll be lookin'. Best building motivation to ya
    Last edited by andrewpatrol; 09-13-2016 at 06:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Welcome aboard! Steve and Alix!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Looks like a perfect setting for your build,with all that timber close at hand. Looking forward to seeing more have fun.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    I'm making popcorn!
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    J.Madison-
    I don't think dedication will be much of an issue. I have been itching to do this for a long long time and I am one stubborn S.O.B (my ma would agree) haha I am glad you think that reading list will get me there, it's been interesting sifting through their drastically different approaches. Bud makes it seem like if you're within a 1/4" you can cram some caulk in there and get on the water. Pardey on the other hand! haha I am surprised he was not measuring to the thousandths of an inch. His work is impeccable! Your work on the Maid was/is also impressive, I really enjoyed that thread. I hope you can get back at it soon!

    Thad-
    You are indeed not far away! If you are ever down in the valley shoot me a message and swing by! We will be at it most weekends, all day Monday and Tuesday afternoons. (Alix is unemployed and I only work 3.5 days a week) Do you know a guy named Roo? He told me about a wooden boat aficionado in the area, maybe he was referring to you?

    Auscruisertom-
    The setting ain't bad! I wish we were closer to the ocean but other than that we can't complain. My family owns a 50 acre farm (mostly wooded) that has not been seriously logged in a very long time. There is no shortage of future boat wood. We have a small mountain of White Pine and White Oak to work with and if it looks like it's not enough we can just mill some more. The only exception is cedar for the planking. We don't have those on the property. I suppose we could plank in oak but that seems like a nightmare.

    Falcon1-
    Best make a lot! It's gonna be a while!


    The lofting floor got the last coat of paint yesterday morning. Trammel points and a new bevel up smoother plane from Veritas Tools arrive in the mail today. When I get home from work we will start laying down the grid and lofting starts tomorrow! It's taken 6 years of research and a solid year of prep to get to this point. It's kinda surreal to actually be starting!

    Any thoughts on how long lofting should take? Bud says "I can do this whole body-plan job in less than 3 hours" Pardey said it took him 30 hours, he lofted in much more detail for his sawn frames and such but that's still a huge difference.

    Ingrid is a pretty simple boat and the plans are even simpler, so I don't plan on lofting every little detail, a lot of little details don't even exist on the plan. I showed the plans to an architect friend and he was aghast at the lack of details haha. Does 3-4 days seems reasonable to get the job done? It takes what it takes, I won't rush it, jut curious as to what I should expect.
    I'll post pics as we get rolling but right now I gotta drag my butt to work.


    Thanks again for the warm welcome and kind words so far!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    I lofted a Fore n Aft by Atkin once and found more than a few errors. I was very new to it then and they rattled me quite a lot. Expect a few errors and ask Thad how to deal with them, he's a pro! I can't remember how long it took.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Sounds like a fun project. I'll be watching, too.


    Steven

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Why put a time estimate on the lofting before you even start? If I were you I wouldn't put unnecessary pressure on myself to do something that I'm unfamiliar with. Just take your time and enjoy the process and try to soak up as much understanding from the lines as possible. Get them right.

    I find that when I'm trying to learn a process, the meticulous route pays off. Do it slow, think everything through and let the boat become real in your mind before you cut wood. Don't rush to get cutting, this is where you need to hold your enthusiasm in check. Time spent here will pay dividends down the line.

    Are you gonna close in that shelter? Woodstove?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Re: how much time? Jim's advice above is near perfect IMO.

    I'm reminded of a quote from one of the survivors of the famous 1847 Donner Party rescue. The Party was trapped high up In the Sierra Nevada mountains by Winter onset and was forced to desperate measures to survive. After rescue, one young women was asked for her advice to others undertaking a long journey. Her advice was to "Hurry along but take no shortcuts."

    Norm

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Haha,
    y'all are absolutely correct and I will certainly take my time and do the best job I can. I look at lofting like putting in a foundation it's not a place to cut corners and if it's out of whack it will come back to haunt you! I simply was/am curious about others experiences. I am well acquainted with long journeys and am in no rush. Just trying to learn and hear others experiences. If it takes a month to loft I'm fine with that.
    I think once I start working you will see I am not in a hurry and will to build her well. I only intend on building 2 boats in my life. This one and a dingy, I want them both to outlive me :-)

    The building will get sided with plastic for the winter and I have to check with the building inspector about putting a wood stove in. If I can't do a woodie I have a propane jet heater I can use but would much rather have a stove. We are very much on the building inspectors radar so we will have to go thru the proper channels.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Dang, 50 acres of wooded land, couldn't build out in the middle of it?
    I remember the bs I went through to build my small 800sf home, which does not float, leak or move. Every bureaucrats beezwax how it was done.
    Then , in the yard my 34' cruising boat was built. No one gave a rat turd. It has pounded 70,000 miles of salt .The only time "the man" has been aboard he was looking for dope.
    I am looking forward to virtually visiting Arabella. Some traditions save the name reveal until launching, not me.
    bruce

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    What kind of tools will you be using? Is there a heated space nearby with a bench and a few power tools? Bandsaw, tablesaw, jointer?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    The building Inspector also asked why we did not build in the back 40, there is just not good access and certainly no electricity. Building the whole project with the generator and walking/driving out back to work on it would be a pain. Not to mention getting the boat out when it's done!
    I think we are all set with the building now though. The inspector is super interested in the project and said he will be stopping by frequently out of personal interest. So long as his posterior is covered I don't think he will bother us too much. I will have to pull a permit to install a wood stove and get a permit to demo the building when the boats done but it's a small town and other than some paper work and $ it shouldn't be a big deal.

    Buildings and other structures there is a lot of rules and regulations for here as well. On the flip side I could literally build a aircraft carrier in the hay field and that would not require a permit. Laws are funny sometimes

    My wood shop is in the back of the garage right next to the boat house and there is a lot of room in the garage. My shop has a wood stove for the winter and A/C for the summer. It's not huge but I could build the rudder in there or anything that size or smaller. The plan is to hole up in the shop when it's really too hot or cold to work in the boat house but with some plastic sides, a little sun and a heater I should be happy in the boat house most of the winter. The heat will bother me more than the cold will.

    Other than a big band saw, jointer and planer (I have em, they are just smaller) I have just about anything you could want. Cabinet saw, drills, impact guns, couple routers, sliding miter saw, two lathes, radial arm saw, couple small table saws, stationary belt and disk sander, drill press, shaper, power planer, jig saw..... Also full compliment of planes, spoke shaves, hand saws, adze, draw knives, multiple bit and braces, any measuring device you could want. As well as the tools to keep the tools sharp and working, saw files and sets, sharpening stones, slow speed water cooled grinding wheel, fast grinding wheel, diamond plates.... A lot of it is older, many many hand-me-downs but the vast majority are in good working order or will be when I need them.

    Some pics of the shop. The first one is of my bench shortly after I made it. The second is a pic I took while overhauling the band saw but it shows the shop fairly well. The last one is from when I just finished installing the laminate floor and was getting everything set up again.

    Last edited by sdenette; 09-16-2016 at 01:37 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    I could work with that!

    I find that I can work in the cold so long as the wind is blocked. It's surprising how much comfort a wood stove adds with out actually raising the temperature a great deal.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    New tools!

    I only have a couple Veritas planes but the collection is growing =) Just added their bevel up smoother. Something tells me this plane and I will become very well acquainted in the months to come.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    What is that/those other thing(s)?


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Trammel points. You clamp them to a piece of wood, metal ruler... and use them to swing arcs, draw circles etc. I got them primarily to help with laying down the grid for lofting but I am sure I will find many more uses for them.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Those trammels are handy things. They look like you could put a pencil in one for a beam compass. Nice plane as well! Very low angle on that one...good for end grain.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    That is one wide tail vise!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Quote Originally Posted by sdenette View Post
    Trammel points. You clamp them to a piece of wood, metal ruler... and use them to swing arcs, draw circles etc. I got them primarily to help with laying down the grid for lofting but I am sure I will find many more uses for them.
    aha, thanks!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Great project, thanks for posting all the details and pictures, I know it takes extra time. Does your boat shed still have a sheet plastic roof as shown in the photo? Any concerns about snow accumulating on the roof?
    I used to have a sawmill business and ran all winter in an unheated space. I found that below 20 degrees it just isn't worth trying to work, but I was using hydraulics and air cylinders that were cranky in the cold. Being outside all the time, I got used to the cold and seldom wore a coat unless it was really cold, if you don't work outside every day you aren't going to get used to it and the cold will cause problems. Its hard to perform detailed work with gloves on, for example. All I'm saying is you have to be realistic about what you can get done when the weather doesn't cooperate. Dealing with heavy snow and ice accumulation on the lumber is another problem. Any lumber you may need should be well covered or under a roof. Getting covers off the stacks of lumber is a hassle when there is 3 feet of snow and a couple inches of ice on top of the cover, its 0 degrees F out and the wind is blowing hard. Trying to scrape 1/2" of ice off boards you may need isn't a good use of your time.
    If you do get heavy snow, you'll get large piles of it on the sides of the building as it slides off that big roof, causing access issues and water problems as it melts. I mention these things because I've been there, done that, and wish I had taken weather issues into consideration before they became problems.
    You've already experienced some delays in the project with the building inspector/permit issue. You will have more delays and setbacks, it always happens. If you are using recently sawn oak, you should consider what it will be doing as its drying if the project takes a few years to complete and the boat isn't in the water yet.
    OK, sorry for the naysaying, and sorry if I'm sounding negative, I think you'll be successful, you are off to a good start.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Jim Ledger-

    You can indeed put a pencil point in them but it's a part you have to buy separately. It was not in my catalog when I ordered the points and plane but it's in the new catalog. Looks like I have another little item for the wish list. =) The low angles are so nice on end grain and I like how much lower their center of gravity is. If one gets the Low Angle Smoother, L/A Jack, L/A Jack Rabbit, and L/A Jointer they all take the same iron which is handy! You can also get a toothed iron that will fit them all.

    John Rafter-

    You don't sound negative at all, just realistic. I share your concerns.

    The plastic roof is there to stay. Once it gets cold we will close the sides and ends in with greenhouse plastic as well. Snow piling up is a concern but I also know from experience that if you get a poly covered building up to 35-40 degrees when its snowing it melts as fast as it lands. It's a dirt floor so if it floods or gets icy we can just throw some sawdust or sand on it and clean it out in the spring.
    The plan is to install a wood stove, preferably a behemoth so when we are expecting a lot of snow we can crank that up, add the jet heater if necessary and keep the snow from piling up.
    One end of the lumber stack is only 9' from the building so it may get a little buried but the other end is free and clear so we can plow/snow blow in front of it. All the pine is in the wood yard under a actual metal roof so that's easy. We also have the wood shop that is heated as well as the garage that is unheated but dry and wind free.
    Last winter we got no snow at all and the ground hardly froze. The winter before that we got hammered. We will see what this year brings!
    I was a farm kid, frozen water buckets before school, digging out the woodpile to heat the house... I also spent 2 winters as a roofer and worked right through the winter. I have no illusions about working in the cold, dealing with snow.... If it gets real nasty it will only be for a month or two and we can hole up in the shop. If the roof caves we will buy more plastic, clean up the mess and try again. All part of the fun! =)

    The oak, now there is an area I have real concerns. I tarred the ends of the keel timbers and bow/stern post to help with checking and gave them two coats of linseed oil + kerosene + a slug of copper naphenate to also help slow the drying and checking. So far it seems to be working well. I also used the linseed oil concoction on the ends of the other oak boards to help slow the drying. The checking on the boards in very minimal so far, mostly right up the heart of the center flitchs which I will discard anyway. There is a little checking on the face of the keel timbers but those things are massive and I don't think the small checks pose a problem.
    My plan is to keep any fresh wood on the big timbers sealed with the linseed oil mix and to keep them covered as much as possible for as long as we can to keep the sun off them when not being worked. I have a bunch of old drop cloths and such we can drape over them when we are not working. The big timbers are all free of the heart and are very clear, so if we are diligent I think we will be alright. Add in the dirt floor, an occasional night covered in damp sawdust and I think we can keep the big timbers moist enough that they don't check or twist too badly.
    Other than ribs and floors most of the oak boards will have had a full year and a half, maybe two years to dry before we use them. I will cut everything a bit over sized in case the lumber moves and then bring it down to final dimensions.
    Fingers crossed!

    Time for some grub and to start laying down the grid!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    That pencil adapter will be handy when you want to strike arcs to establish perpendiculars on your lofting.

    I have a bowshed covered in poly with a woodstove. During the winter I keep props under the ridge every four feet. If I'm expecting a heavy snow I keep a fire going at night. I make repeated inspection tours during the night and hit the inside of the plastic with a broom to dislodge snow. After a few snows there's about a six foot accumulation around the shed, really hard-packed stuff, too, and it presses inward. I've had sheds collapse from snow.


    Condensation is a major inconvenience as well. About an hour after the fire is lit it will start raining inside. Keep your tools covered.

    Good luck!

    Jim

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Lofting has begun!

    We laid the grid yesterday, the trammel points and a home-made plywood T made erecting the perpendiculars a breeze. I am not sure we would have been able to do them as quick and accurately without them. It took all day, it's the biggest and most accurate grid either of us have ever drawn.

    We plotted the points for the rabbit and the "bottom of the keel" I put that in quotes because what the table of offsets calls the bottom of the keel is actually the bottom of the boat from stern up through the stem.

    The rabbit made a slight dip/pretty steep transition right around where the stem and keel come together. The "bottom of keel" line looks smooth and fair but the rabbit does not. We pulled a point there and by moving the point 3/4" the rabbit smoothed out, lost the dip and follows the shape of the stem better.

    The plans say 11" from station A on LL 4 for marking one of the last two points for the outer face of the stem. This point made the stem jut vertically all of a sudden. Scaled up the point looks to be more like 14" from station A. We faired past that point and got a nice smooth curve and the point moved 1 3/4"

    There was also a point for the rabbit on the stem 20" down or so from the sheer that brought the rabbit to within 2" of the face of the stem where it was a solid 3-4" away everywhere else. We faired past that point and the rabbit paralleled the stem like it does everywhere else. The point moved 1 1/4"

    From what I have come to understand issues like these are fairly common?

    The changes don't seem dramatic enough to cause an issue but I wanted to get the opinion of a couple folks who have done this before. I don't want to make a bad decision this early in the process!

    We marked and drew all three points as the plans indicated and the "corrected" lines so as it develops farther we can re-evaluate.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    We have been slowly picking away at the lofting, we drew in the sheer, underside of cap and gilt cover and went right off the side of the lofting table! Whoops! Gotta add a extra 6" or so to the table to be able to draw the tip of the bow.

    My job has been more demanding than usual this week (we have a competition tomorrow we have been getting ready for) so I have been working on wrapping up a few other small projects since I have not had much time or energy after work and lofting takes plenty of both.

    Since this week has been nuts, work owes me a few days so starting next Thursday I have a 5 day run of nothing but lofting. Hoping to get most, if not all of it wrapped up.

    I am a bit surprised no one responded to my question in my last post about shifting the points (a couple hundred views but no reply).

    Is asking about lofting taboo round here? Do I have to figure it out on my own, rite of passage style? If that's the case I won't ask any more questions until we start cutting wood. I have seen enough builds start and stop on here that I am sure there is plenty of skepticism and I completely understand if lofting is something I have to do without any guidance.

    I tuned up the Low Angle Smoother and used it to finish flattening a coffee table I am building for a wedding gift. I was super impressed, no tear-out even where the grain switched directions, when I went over the burl inlays... A joy to use! Veritas really knows how to make a nice tool.

    I'll get some lofting pictures up later next week when we are in the thick of it.

    Thanks!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    All the lines have to run fair. The batten is the final arbiter, not the offsets. If it were me, I'd pencil in the lines lightly at first until all three views were plotted. The three views have a way of picking up errors and confirming correct points.

    One tip, leave about six feet clear fore and aft of your lofting. Let the battens run off the lofting surface and continue the curve out into this space. If you don't, if you end the battens at the stem and transom, the lines will flatten out at the ends.

    About posting...sometimes nobody says anything, try not to take it personally, just keep tellin' the tale.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Diagonals are the important ones, they're where your planks will run but as Jim says, fairness is all. I think you said you had Bud MacIntosh's "How to Build a Wooden Boat " ? It deals with lofting very well.

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    I am watching , but only like to comment on stuff I actually know about, and I only lofted one boat about a thousand years ago.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Building Arabella (An Atkin Ingrid)

    Reply's or not I will tell the tale. I would be thrilled to one day find out my story inspired or helped someone else like others threads have helped and inspired me.

    Jim-

    I think those are going to prove to be some useful tips. Before I go any farther I have to scarf up some longer battens, the mill I used could only cut a bit over 14'. Any recommendations for the length of the scarf? I seem to recall somewhere that a 20 to 1 was recommended for battens but I could be making that up.

    I do have Bud's book and a few others, I think the few others are confusing me the most. They all have a slightly different method and different boats for examples which could be leading to me over thinking this.

    I will get some longer battens made and get the other views down and see how they compare. In theory lofting seems fairly simple. In practice I am finding it a little baffling. Lots of head scratching so far.

    On a side note does anyone have experience with a Sawsquatch?
    https://www.skilsaw.com/product-details#?product=122742

    I have to knock the keel timbers down to size in the not too distant future. Also, when I milled the lumber I left the vast majority wild edged and milled on the thick side. The thought of wrestling a 3"x18"x14' hunk of oak on the table saw is not appealing. I have to rip a straight edge on them first and my circular saw won't go thru in one pass. I am thinking of picking up a Sawsquatch and making a ripping table so I can quickly and relatively easily bring those big slabs down to size. Has anyone used a set up like that and/or used a Sawsquatch?

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