Shaping the foils: a machine is born

The solution came from marrying an idea I saw on a website with my SSRK, a router guide which slides on a track made by EurekaZone. The advantage of having the router slide on a track, mean that the router could be clamped as it traversed the width of the workpiece. The router and track could then be mounted on a platform riding on bushings atop angle iron which straddled the workpiece. A slot in the platform allowed the router to drop through and take off progressive shavings of the mahogany blank, shaping the rudder and leeboard.

Check the vid!


Leeboard and rudder

The blanks for the leeboard and rudder were made from mahogany boards which were ripped, then laminated back together with grains reversed so as to avoid warping. This clamping job was a doozy, because it was done under plastic which helped in keeping the glue up clean, but facilitated slippage.


I then planed and sanded the blanks so that they were ready for shaping. I downloaded images of the NACA sections for the foils , but wondered how the heck I was going to carve the foils into those precise shapes. I got on the internet, and started searching for ideas...

Bulkheads and storage compartments

It’s been awhile since my last update, but fortunately I can report significant progress.

After the bottom stringers were planed flat, Hoa helped me flip the floor over and position it on the plywood sides. I then nailed it in place, and trimmed the edges so that the canoe has a bottom. Only a couple of nails went astray. Bulkheads were then nailed and epoxied into place, greatly stiffening the structure, especially after fillets were spread from the plywood faces of the bulkheads to the sides. This divided the hull into storage compartments.

Inside will go food, water, clothes, sleeping bags and mattresses, anchors, ropes, and all the sundry gear which makes an expedition survivable and enjoyable. I painted the compartments with an epoxy enamel paint, which should hopefully be durable!IMG_1663

Note the extra bulkhead after station #2, with the oval access holes. This bulkhead is affixed to a plywood box which sits underneath the mast and transfers all the compressive forces to the rest of the hull. This section of the boat is very stiff and strong.


It looks like a boat!

It is nice to occasionally take a big step. One happened mid July while Rob, Eva Timmy and Sammy were here from Prague. First, I glued 3/4” stringers to frame the fore and aft bulkheads, and beveled the sides to match the taper of the boat. I then cut notches to fit the chine, floor and sheer rails. Next, I fitted the two bulkheads between the hull halves, strapped and clamped it all together and...voila!
Once I (temporarily) screwed strips across the boat to pull the sides together, I glued the bulkheads up, and then glued the bows together after making sure the two halves mated sweetly. Again, clamps, clamps & more clamps. The resultant epoxy ripple on the tip of the bow is a little unsightly, but the joint should be strong. I made sure to include sufficient fillers (wood flour and silica) to make sure the chunky peanut butter mess can be easily sanded.

I then flipped the boat over, pulled out the hand planes, and leveled both chine rails down to the plywood, so as to make sufficient flat surface so that gluing on the bottom of the boat will be a low stress and highly reliable process. Today I had quality time with a broom, brushes, dustpan & vac.

I also moved the bench grinder off its perch next to the sink, to make room for the WorkSharp... I am using it every two to three days now, as opposed to the bench grinder, which I only use every two or three months. The blades of my hand planes and spokeshave gleam, but I have gotten used to using them scary sharp. I also swapped in new sandpaper onto the WorkSharp. Why not? It takes only a minute, costs a buck, and my time is worth it.

The boys are off to camp for two weeks, and next week I am off from work. Although Hoa and I plan to organize the garage, and do a number of other house projects, I hope to make progress on the boat as well.