Strips & Clamps

I am now at 55 hrs worth of labor. 10 of those were spent in sawhorse & strongback building. I closed the keel joint last night. Except for a few cheater strips to add at the bow and laminating the outer stems, I have a hull! Like most new tasks this build started slow from the shear, but after hitting the waterline the strips just dropped in place with little additional planing. Again, my strips have an 8 degree bevel on one side. Most hand planing was approaching the twist and sweep of the ends near the stems. Some pics here for illustration:

Clamps of various sorts taming the strips. gaps are left for “cheater” strips.

This is a good view of the pine inner stem on the plywood bow form. The stem is finish nailed at either end and tack glued hopefully for easy removal later. Note the 1/4″ mahogany and full 3/4″ yellow pine strips at the shear.

After my stapler broke I elected to used 18 gauge nails to hold the strips on the forms. Clamps and, at times, masking tape held the strips in line for the most part. I think I’ll like the residual nail holes as they indicate the hand-made quality (emphasis is still on quality).


All clamps on deck! Still needed more.

Some strips had a real twist near the stems. Judicious use of a heat gun helped loosen the ligaments in the wood to allow for easier twisting of the strips where necessary. Otherwise, I suspect the wood might have protested and snapped. This is a good technique here which also helped warm the shop a bit.

Fender washer & drywall screw persuade a particularly stubborn strip.


Appears messy, but stripped to keel on port side.


Hot melt glue made fast work of the bottom’s more compliant strips.


Longer view toward bow.


A close up of marching slugs. Joints appear fairly tight. Hull shaping will tell.


Centerline shown with 1/8″ offset for keel strip.
1st pass at triming to the keel.


2nd keel trimming to just inside of the line.


final straight cut done

After the 2nd keel trimming I loosened the hull from the forms just enough to sneak a plane in to true up the work. Not hard at all really.

Port aft quadrant. Yellow pine keel installed. Trimming to commence.


I had segregated or book matched the strips as they came off the saw, but then promptly ignored the work as I stripped the boat. It was only at the tail end of the process did I realize my negligence. Luckily the wood is relatively the same in color. Call it character. I will monitor it closely on the deck.
End view. I was late to bookmatch the strips. Nice football at bottom.


Wood strips look nice.

I decided to repeat the bottom sheathing process to starboard. Strips were trimmed close to the previous side and then trimmed to allow for a 1/4″ yellow pine keel strip. Fairing of the starboard keel joint used a small chisel as the port side obstructed getting the plane in there. A rabbet plane may have worked. Must add that to my wish list.

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