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Thread: Leather bailer build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    Decorah, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Leather bailer build

    I wanted a little project to occupy my hands when my plywood skiff project needs more focused time than I can find on a given day. Something that I can pick up off the bench, grab a tool, make a few cuts and get back to my busy life.

    Ben Fullerís Small Boats article on a leather bailer caught my fancy https://smallboatsmonthly.com/articl...-scoop-bailer/ in a severe way. One late night of retail therapy on Amazon got me the copper tacks and a sheet of thick leather. The wood would have to come out of the scrap pile.

    A54B8E0C-FABD-4FCE-BC00-4F016F0071C8.jpg

    I free-handed his pattern on graph paper and picked out a slab (of ash?) that had been in the firewood slabs but I couldnít bear to burn it.

    BE2997A4-8307-4547-87E5-836D18ED75D5.jpg

    I sawed off a piece that was supposed to be the right size and split it down to thickness with a hatchet and then a scrub plane. Cut it to shape with a handsaw, some chisel work, and a rasp.

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    No lathe here so the handle will have to go in a square mortise and come out of that chunk of cherry that used to be the frame of a broken chair I deconstructed.

    Tonight (or the next night or whenever I get a chance) Iíll chop the mortise, cut out the handle blank and whittle it down to the lines. Iíll give it a bit of a slant while the tenon goes in plumb to try to replicate Benís 5 degree angle on his drilled hole.

    -Neil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
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    24,894

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Cool!
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Excellent, I was using mine the other day and noticed that the wood was worn round and smooth where I hook my thumb over the top edge of the bailer. Mine is a touch flatter on the bottom then yours, kind of like a catboat stern; the tumble home is important, keeps the leather from collapsing. Have fun.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Got some time to work more on this today. There was a work meeting I just needed to listen to so I took the laptop down to the bench with me. If one person can knit through a meeting, I can saw and file. RHIP, remote has its privileges.

    I didnít take pictures of this stage , but I laid out the mortise on the back and chopped it with a chisel. Then laid out the width of the tenon from the mortise. Then after cutting the tenon, I shaped the handle behind it, mostly with a half-round rasp. Then I sunk it (okay I had to trim it a few times) and glued it with Titebond III. I thought about wedging it like Ben Fuller, but I think that the beefy square tenon plus glue should be plenty.

    7EB2927B-40DC-4AF6-8B09-C24C6AC70CC7.jpg

    6897D3FB-D77C-457B-B30E-41A2F6987F1F.jpg

    Hereís he profile I ended up with. It has a bit of the upward slant of the original design.

    EE1632A5-AE70-43B0-8E62-4B46A7E8F11B.jpg

    Next post: time to put the leather on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa, USA
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    140

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    One more touch, I added an indent for the thumb coming over the top like Ben Fuller said that he eventually got from wear. Hard to take a good picture of it.

    2B20E54F-5120-43E2-A86E-4CC4CFC43E29.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    I like the thumb indent. I think I have a permanent callous on my right thumb from years of bailing. Most recent bailing work out was 500 scoops from 4 inches in the dory.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
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    24,894

    Default

    Nice!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    I laid out the half-circle on my leather as large as it could be and I moved it forward the width of the wooden back to better use the shape that I had available.

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    I laid out the holes for the tacks with the dividers and drilled holes in the leather with a cordless drill. Then I clamped the leather in place and drilled through the existing holes to make pilot holes in the wood.

    5B23DD5B-4701-4CA3-9B73-CF7884FE3C25.jpg

    The copper tacks were easy enough to drive into the pilot holes with this lump hammer.

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    I cut the leather to shape after it was on the wood and rubbed the outside with some tallow from the kitchen. I used the same tallow on the wood as a very light oil finish.

    2311337E-450E-4888-99B2-858833802993.jpg

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    It really is a lovely handmade tool. I keep admiring it as it sits out on the table while the glue is drying.

    I am excited to try it out today. I think weíll take the canoe down to the farm pond and flip it partway full of water and then bail it out. My kids are going to love it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    dfw
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    1,550

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

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

    steve

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    9,639

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Great job, Neil, and thanks for the inspiration. I want to make one! It's so much nicer than the cut off Clorox bottle that I have.

    jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    St. Helens, Oregon
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    4,485

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Beauty! One thing I would do in addition is drill the handle for a lanyard so it stays with the boat if you flip it. 'Course, a canoe doesn't typically go over that hard

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa, USA
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    140

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD;[URL="tel:6656437"
    6656437[/URL]]Beauty! One thing I would do in addition is drill the handle for a lanyard so it stays with the boat if you flip it. 'Course, a canoe doesn't typically go over that hard
    That’s a great suggestion. I’ve been wondering how people do the job of attaching the lanyard to the boat. I know how to make a loop of string through a hole in the handle, but what options are people using for attaching the loop onto the boat?

    I feel stupid asking this, but I’ve been wondering about it for months. I first started in the camping world so all I think of are carabiners, but it seems like there must be much better, more boat-y solutions to that problem.

    Maybe I should start a new thread in my “I know nothing” series, but I just have not been picking up an answer to this in all my reading about boats.


    -Neil

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
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    324

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilMB View Post
    I feel stupid asking this, but Iíve been wondering about it for months. I first started in the camping world so all I think of are carabiners, but it seems like there must be much better, more boat-y solutions to that problem.
    Nice job on the bailer!

    I just tie my Tropicana jug bailer onto my boat with a bowline, but a more boaty solution would be either a soft shackle or a wooden toggle.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Cushing, Maine
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    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Having a nice bailer makes getting rainwater out of the dinghy or the dory a pleasure rather than a job. I've never needed a lanyard on the bailer as these bailers float when you let go of it. However in a highly capsizable boat might be good. If you want to get fancy, some cotton three strand with an eye splice on the lanyard side and just tie the boat side. Or do it like I do my oarlocks with a long eyesplice on the the boat side, an eye big enough to put the oarlock through or in this case the bailer, then cow hitch it to a boat part like a riser. Problem with a lanyard at least on my boat is that I bail from various olaces and use the bailer with several boats so the lanyard get in the way of vigorous application.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    24,882

    Default Re: Leather bailer build

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    It's so much nicer than the cut off Clorox bottle that I have.
    Much prefer the Clorox bottles myself. Recycling and they easily get every last drop with the thin edge.
    "So we beat on, paddleboats against the wake of a neighborís jet ski, born back ceaselessly into the past." The Great Lakes Gatsby

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