It Has Been A While

Hello Again

It has been nearly a year since I last posted here.  I was right in the middle of finishing the Lazy Weekend Canoe when that project went off of the rails.  That set back was not only discouraging, but it also wrecked my summer plans for the Scouts.  Not only did I have to scrap the canoe, but it put me in a real time crunch as well as I scrambled to come up with alternative plans.

By the time I was done I was ready to step away from boats for a while.  I still have several nearly finished drafts about work that I had done on the Puddle Duck Racer, but I just didn’t feel like finishing them.

However, this is not a sad post about the past, but a happy post about the future.

You see, this past Saturday I made the first cut on another boat.  I have finally gotten around to starting my Deansbox build, and I am glad to say that the fire is definitely back.  Building and sailing boats is just way too much fun to give up for long.

On that front I also have plans for another mouse boat, and I still have dreams of a fleet of Lazy Weekend Canoes.  But more on that later.  Suffice it to say that with old content, and new plans I should be able to write regularly for some time.

Not that anyone is actually reading any of this.


Cutting out sails didn’t seem as real as actual woodwork.

I have actually been working on and off for some time on the sails for the new boat.  Jim Michalak actually suggests that in his book.  This boat is too big to build in my house, and sewing sails was something that I could do while it was still too cold to glue stuff together outside.  However, the last set of sails that I made out of polytarp I taped together in just a few hours.  It wasn’t until later that I reinforced the tape by sewing everything together.  So while I have been working on the sails for months, it mostly has felt like I have been spinning my wheels.

First Cut

I started the day on Saturday by cutting a very clean 12 foot 2×6 into 1 in strips.  Of course, the Harbor Freight blade that came with my Harbor Freight circular saw wasn’t up to the task.  I had dulled it cutting out the chine logs and gunwales on the Lazy Weekend Canoe.  Things went much better after I got a new blade.  While I was at Lowe’s getting a new blade I also picked up a relatively knot free 16 foot 2×8 for the main mast.

The Harbor Freight circular saw, with it’s cheap fence, does a much better job of ripping lumber than I have any right to expect. Once I got a new blade in the saw it even made remarkably straight cuts.

Next thing you know I had a pile of strips ready to be turned into spars.

First Glue Up

When it comes to gluing long strings of lumber together my favorite clamps are my C clamps.  They can apply a lot of pressure, guaranteeing that I get a good result.  Unfortunately, most of my C clamps are small 2 inch clamps.  For the most part that is fine.  It is amazing how much ground that covers when it comes to building boats.  For example, the boom and yard on the Deansbox are both 1.5 inches square, and the boom and gunter on the Puddle duck are 1.25 inches (or so).  The chines and gunwales on pretty much all of the boats that I have built so far were less than an inch, and so on.

Boom and main mast all glued up and ready for bed.

I started by gluing up the boom, as I knew that I would have plenty of clamps for that.  My original though was to get the boom glued up and then wait until it dried to do the main mast.

However, it soon became clear that I didn’t need any of my big clamps for the boom, and my small clamps were too small for the main mast.  So I decided I might as well glue it up as well.  As you can see in the picture I don’t really have enough clamps for the main mast, but I seemed to get plenty of glue squeeze out.  I think that the finished product will probably work.

When I raided my wife’s rags for glue cleanup duty I chose a Moana rag, and a Little Mermaid rag.  Not only were they pretty beat up, but they seemed an appropriate boat sacrifice.

Blessings from the most nautical of all of the Disney Princesses.