Sunday, December 31, 2006

Read the plans CAREFULLY.

There's nothing quite like the realisation that the piece of wood you have spent so much time on is just plain wrong. You know the sort of thing, cutting two left hand side pieces.

The little section in marked in red in the bottom left is actually part of the side piece. I read the plans as if it were a chine, or longitudinal member. So now I have two side pieces which are each about an inch short.

Oh well. It's all learning and practice I suppose.

The plans for the boat come from Glen L.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Planing square

Ever try to square a side of a board with a plane. It can be a bit more difficult that it looks.

If the board is off to one side, one thing that worked for me was to offset the blade of the plane. (Please forgive the block diagram). Now the plane will take off more on one side than the other. This let me take off the the bulk of the material quickly.

Don't forget to reset your blade to square as you finish off the job.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

New Planes

Christmas brought some new planes. Wooden ones from Rutlands. The Jointer plane blade doesn't sit quite right. One side of the blade is lower than the other and no amount of pushing the top of the blade left or right will fix it. I suspect that the throat is not square with the base of the plane.

Since the plane is made of wood, a few minutes with a file should fix that.

The blades will need a little work to sharpen them up, a sheet of glass and some carbide paper is your only man for the job : ScarySharp.

Yep. I know that I opened them early, but that's a traddition in this house that goes back hours.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A shim in time saves recutting.

When cutting this frame, I was a little careless with the jigsaw, and the angle of the blade wandered. At one end the cut was perpendicular to the face, at the other, the bevel was almost 15 degrees off square.

Since this piece will be supporting weight from above, and will be under compression, and will have some nice bronze screws through it holding it all together, I reckon shimming is the way to go.

A ScarySharp block plane (see previous post) makes short work of getting a really flat edge, square to the surface of the board.

The shim was cut with a circular saw with a fine cut blade (lots of teeth) and a parallel guide. Works wonders for cutting a narrow strip.

Since I'm using Balcotan PU, I can get a strong end grain to side grain glue joint. All I need is LOTS of clamping pressure.

None of my clamps were of any use in this, so I put a block of wood behind my shim, tied a cord tight around it and the notch in the far end of the frame piece (with a small piece of wood there to prevent marking) and twisted it very tight with a screw driver. This method has been in use for centuries. It's cheap and versatile.

The shim was glued in place oversize, and then I trimmed the ends to fit.

I think that this counts as a rescue.

Next I will try shimming the other frame piece that I messed up, but that will be more difficult as I want to just shim the damaged part, which means cutting a notch. The only downside of Balcotan PU, is that it's pretty intolerant of gaps.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Shimming it.

From my previous post on routers and tearout, you may remember that I kind of messed up a perfectly good frame piece.

I am thinking of Cutting off 1/8 inch and shimming it. Clamp and glue another peice to it and sand /plane it to size. If the glue is truely stronger than the wood, it should be fine. Since I'll be using Balcotan PU, the end grain joint should not matter. And there I think there will be screws in place to hold it all together anyway.

And one last peice of reason is that it should be under compression most of the time anyway.

This time I think I'll try it out on a peice of scrap first to see how it goes. It if works, then I may be able to do the same thing on one of the transom frame pieces that got cut a little short.

That piece is cut a little short at the top. Since that part will be under compression and out of sight, shimming may be the way to go.

- To err is human, to mess up in style you need power tools.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Keeping Nyala in Style

A book that I came across that you might like. Keeping Nyala in Style
It's the story of a couple who bought and restored an old wooden boat. It's written by the woman, to disabuse us of our stereotypes.
She details many of the things that she learned along the way, along with illustrations and photos, from fitting bulkheads to the curves of the hull to cutting the joints for the frames for cabinets and beds.
I've already used some of her ideas for building a wardrobe in the attic. Ok, so that's not boat building, but it's all practice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fuller Stepped Drill Bits

Today I had cause to try out my Fuller stepped drill bits. I won't repeat my earlier post, and I have not got a cut through photo to post yet, but they do make life so easy. The drill bits come for different lengths screws, so for any one drill bit, the length of the narrowest part of the drill, ie for the pilot hole, is fixed.

But the length of the shank and the depth of the counter sink can be set so easily. This means that you can set the depth that you want to countersink the screws to exactly, just under the surface, or deep enough to plug.

Drill one hole and then pop in the screw, no trying to drill two concentric holes and a countersink.

They are not what you would call cheap, but given that I have about 1000 bronze screws which all need predrilling, that equates to a whole lot of saved time. Even if I figure that time saved at minimum wage, I think I'm well in the black.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Routers and Tearout

And I really should have known better. Really. This is starting to read like a "Mistakes not to make when building a boat." - Actually I may use that as a title if I ever write a book. I certainly won't be short of material.

I forgot that Routers like to cut the grain, but they really like to lift the grain. So the bottom peice here has nice big lumps missing.

When you find that the direction of spin of the blade will lift the grain - see diagram opposite.

Flip the thing over so that the as the blade of the router rotates, it cuts the grain, rather than trying to lift it.

Of course the really annoying thing is that I knew this, I really did. In my hurry to finish the frame, I forgot. And then when cutting seemed not to be working quite right, rather than take five and put my brain back into gear, I pressed ahead and messed up.

The damage is done to the part of the frame that sits on the keel.

If you can't be a good example, be a dire warning.