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Thread: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

  1. #421
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Fitting the sheer strakes turns out to be a beast of a task. In spite of an accurate pattern layout, the actual parts don't want to conform to the shape of the hull.

    Working with wide pieces of kiln dried lumber is problematic. I originally planned to use air dried ash, which would have steamed more easily, but it turned out to be fill of pith, unsound knots, and other defects.

    Here we are steaming the starboard side in place, with the trusty Coleman stove, repurposed gas can, and plastic wrapping:

    resized steaming stbd strake_01.jpg

    resized steaming stbd strake_02.jpg

    Steaming complete, clamped and cooling. Preliminary dry fitting of the port side suggests that it will be easier than starboard. I'll work on that day after tomorrow.

    resized steaming stbd strake clamped.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
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    He could not even lie."

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  2. #422
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Starboard sheer strake trial fit completed, all screwed on. Karl Stambaugh gets the credit for designing a really handsome sheer line.

    resized completed trial fit starboard.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  3. #423
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by UCanoe_2 View Post
    Karl Stambaugh gets the credit for designing a really handsome sheer line.
    I was reading up on him the other day. Seems folk speak very highly of him and his designs. I'm looking forward to seeing your boat turned and ultimately completed.

  4. #424
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Karl designed the Sailing Skiff 15 as a retirement project for his father. I saw the boat, Joy, IRL at the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival some years back.

    Here I am steaming the port sheer strake:

    resized port steaming.jpg

    And all clamped up. I figured out some tricks to make this long unruly board easier to handle solo. I screwed some pieces of scrap onto the cross spalls to help hold the port strake roughly in place, and used ratchet straps and wedges to "persuade" it into its final position. I'll need to make some adjustments to the starboard side, mostly to align the gains better.

    resized port clamped.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  5. #425
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Well, the sheer strakes are refusing to conform to the shape of the hull. You can see in the previous post there is a scrap 1x2 at the forward end of the port strake, to which a ratchet strap is attached.

    That 1x2 broke -- with a resounding crack! -- releasing the strake and pulling screws out of the stem. There was an awful lot of energy stored in that strake.

    Time for more steaming. Here are the trusty gas can and Coleman stove cooking the forward end of that port strake. This time I am working outside on an improvised jig, rather than steaming in place on the boat.

    I hope this second steaming succeeds. There must be a limit to how many times the wood will tolerate this operation. The old brown rug is just a bit of insulation. You can see in this photo how much the strake has already curved. Yep, it started as a straight piece of lumber.

    resized steaming port strake_again.jpg

    And here is the strake clamped and wedged into what hopefully is a permanent shape. There will still be some springback, but hopefully the darn thing will be more cooperative in fitting the side of the boat. It will be cold tonight but just above freezing. There will be a little drop in humidity. I really should cover this apparatus and add a heat lamp.

    resized clamped and wedged.jpg

    Tomorrow I will do the starboard side.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  6. #426
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UCanoe_2 View Post
    Well, the sheer strakes are refusing to conform to the shape of the hull. You can see in the previous post there is a scrap 1x2 at the forward end of the port strake, to which a ratchet strap is attached.

    That 1x2 broke -- with a resounding crack! -- releasing the strake and pulling screws out of the stem. There was an awful lot of energy stored in that strake.

    Time for more steaming. Here are the trusty gas can and Coleman stove cooking the forward end of that port strake. This time I am working outside on an improvised jig, rather than steaming in place on the boat.

    I hope this second steaming succeeds. There must be a limit to how many times the wood will tolerate this operation. The old brown rug is just a bit of insulation. You can see in this photo how much the strake has already curved. Yep, it started as a straight piece of lumber.

    resized steaming port strake_again.jpg

    And here is the strake clamped and wedged into what hopefully is a permanent shape. There will still be some springback, but hopefully the darn thing will be more cooperative in fitting the side of the boat. It will be cold tonight but just above freezing. There will be a little drop in humidity. I really should cover this apparatus and add a heat lamp.

    resized clamped and wedged.jpg

    Tomorrow I will do the starboard side.

    Assuming you don’t need all the initial stiffness to pull the hull into shape, have you though if ripping & laminating two (or more!) layers in place? Seems like you already have the steam box set up, but if it doesn’t work… should be an option.
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

  7. #427
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Daniel, that's a good suggestion but it would be hard to implement at this point. The strakes started out as 1x12s. I don't have a way to resaw lumber that wide. If I were to make these planks in multiple pieces, it would look more like strip planking than laminating.

    In Karl's e-book, Good Skiffs, he shows the construction of the prototype Sailing Skiff 15. He used single very wide planks for the sheer strakes. He did not show how he got them to conform to the shape of the hull.

    I don't really have a steam box. I have plastic sleeves from Duckworks that I slip onto the planks, and then introduce the steam into the sleeves. Unlike a steam box, the sleeves lend themselves readily to steaming parts in place.

    The technique has gotten simpler over time. Instead of trying to seal any gaps with tape, I just pull the sleeves as snug as I can and hold them in place with clothespins. The sleeves are larger than the planks, which leaves gaps for draining condensate. Earlier in the build, I just wrapped plastic sheeting around the chine logs and applied lots of duct tape. Using clothespins there is no tape residue to clean off the lumber.

    These sheer strakes are radiata pine. It's not my favorite species, but I have come to like it better. There is some radiata pine trim on my house which has proven to have low rot resistance. It is really soft, easy to work but also easy to dent with clamps, etc. It is responding to steaming much better than the Doug fir I used for the chine logs.

    Yesterday's plank will come off the jig in a little while. Then comes the moment of truth when we finally see how well it will fit the hull.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  8. #428
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    On the starboard sheer strake, there is a scarf joint in the section I wanted to steam. I was concerned about the epoxy in the scarf letting go with heat, so I added stainless machine screws to the joint. Yet more holes to fill from temporary fasteners. The plank will come off the jig today.

    resized machine screws.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  9. #429
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    I’ve only steamed once, a very short piece of a gunnel. I would wonder about that scarf too. Maybe a clamp would have sufficed.

  10. #430
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by dalekidd View Post
    ...... I would wonder about that scarf too. Maybe a clamp would have sufficed.
    The epoxy on the scarf did not show any signs of melting. A clamp would have worked, but it would have been more difficult to pull the plastic sleeve over it. See the photos in #421. Really I should have used shorter screws, because the 1-1/2" screws tore the plastic. I had to wrap plastic sheeting around the sleeve to cover the hole.

    Today I took the plank off the jig and propped it against the side of the boat. It looks like the fit is improved.

    Tomorrow will be a day for household chores, cleaning the bathroom and putting firewood in the woodshed. No more boat work until Monday. It will be cool, and the time for outdoor boat work is running out.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  11. #431
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    The outdoor temperature is now too cold for epoxy. I had to bring the sheer strakes inside to fill some temporary screw holes. Rather than appropriate "her" side of the garage again, I used pieces of scrap to temporarily extend the cross members of the strongback. It's an unconventional use of space that leaves just enough room to squeeze by without getting epoxy on my clothes. It's easy to see the extreme curve these planks have taken.

    resized unconventional.jpg

    Today I'm off to find a skateboard for my grandson's birthday present. Tomorrow I will resume boat work with more fitting of the sheer strakes.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  12. #432
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    The gains required some adjustment with a chisel to accommodate the edge of the plywood. In other spots the gains came out oversized. Not sure yet exactly how to fudge that misfit, but I am thankful for the gap filling properties of epoxy.

    resized gain chisel.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  13. #433
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    "Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the earth." Or, in this case, give me a ratchet strap and a big pipe clamp, and I can pull this sheer strake into position.

    The ratchet strap bears on various parts of the strongback. The pipe clamp bears on a strongback cross member, with a 45* cut on one corner. Note also that the pine 1x2 that broke in #425 (used to extend the strake to gain leverage) has been replaced with oak. Hiding between the clamp and the ratchet strap, on the far right side of the picture, is a dowel that prevents the clamp from riding on top of the strap.

    resized ratchet strap and pipe clam.jpg
    Last edited by UCanoe_2; 11-19-2022 at 09:14 PM.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  14. #434
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    The inner stem, the upper edge of the sheer strakes, the forward perpendicular, and the baseline all intersect at a point. Here I have used a notched strongback crossmember, whose top surface is at baseline level, to establish that intersection.

    At long last, the sheer strakes are pulled into position and fastened with #12 x 1-1/2" screws.

    resized strakes screwed_01.jpg

    resized strakes screwed_02.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  15. #435
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    Yoo-hoo!

  16. #436
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    82 clamps and I still don't have enough!

    I realized I needed more pressure points to get the sheer strake tight against the plywood planking. So I made some quick and dirty lapstrake clamps. First, I made a pattern from doorskin.

    resized planking clamp pattern.jpg

    I traced the pattern onto 3/4" plywood and cut out the clamps with the bandsaw.

    resized bandsaw with planking clamp.jpg

    I made 12 clamps. Here are four installed on the boat. The wedges are builder's shims.

    resized four planking clamps.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  17. #437
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    I need more clamps............

    The forward parts of the sheer strakes need 3 clamps between each pair of frames. I pull the sheer strake and plywood together with Harbor Freight deep reach C-clamps, and then replace the storebought clamps with homemade ones. Here is the port side clamped as far as the Station #2 frame. Note also that the forward end of this strake is held in place with a wedge that bears against a 2x4 block screwed to the forward strongback cross member.

    resized port and more clamps.jpg

    I bought 6 more Harbor Freight clamps, but still need to make another dozen homemade ones tomorrow. The throats will be a bit wider, because in most places the builder's shims do not give enough pressure.

    Here, making wedges on the radial arm saw with a simple jig:

    resized wedge_01.jpg

    resized wedge_02.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  18. #438
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    Default Re: Stambaugh Sailing Skiff Build in Virginia Mountains

    "Tomorrow" got postponed due to holiday-related "honey-dos" and a mouse invasion. I finally had time to make another dozen lapstrake clamps, and got the aft half of the sheer strakes attached. I used all but two of the Harbor Freight clamps, and still need more homemade clamps. It's true that you can never have too many.

    resized final clamping i think.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

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