Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mast Construction... Which Method to Use

While varnishing the spars continues at a slow and steady pace, I am planning and preparing to build the masts.

I have gone round and round over how I will build them… hollow box, solid round, hollow-box rounded or birdsmouth?

After much deliberation, I plan to test my skills on a sample birds-mouth spar section. It will be about three feet in length and will match the diameter of the mizzen mast. It that test run is successful, I will build a birds-mouth mizzen. It the test is not successful, I will probably build a solid mizzen mast and a rounded hollow main mast as specified in John's sail plan.

To get started, I'm ripping the staves tomorrow. Cutting the notches on the router table might be delayed as I am still consolidating my tools from two separate shops - and the weather may impact when all the bits and pieces for this project wind up here. Gluing the test section will follow soon after the notches are cut.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shop Gremlins

Ever not been able to find something - a tool, fasteners, stir sticks, anything - you KNOW you just had in your hands? Yeah, me, too… far too often…

So, a couple of weeks ago, looking to begin working on the mizzen mast for Gardens, I went to the plans for the spars drawing - and couldn't find it. Okay, I'm sure (well, pretty sure) I had it in my hand not too long ago. But it wasn't with the rest of the drawings… Checked everywhere in the garage cabinets and workbench, checked the basement, checked virtually every cabinet in the house - all without luck. Checked the new (and uncompleted) workshop in the barn. Nope. Maybe it is still in the shop at Little House… nope, couldn't find it there although I did manage a bit of much needed straightening up over there looking for the drawing… Well, it has to be somewhere…

Went out to the workshop today to check what needs to be done with the floor. I moved a couple of things around and found two drawings… The gaff yawl sail-plan (which I set aside a while ago as not needed) and, yes, the spars drawing. Why didn't I find it the last two or three times I looked out there? I don't know. I'm happy to have found it but I'd love an explanation as to where that drawing has been or why I couldn't see it until today… The best explanation I've come up with is Shop Gremlins.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And now I can get started on the mizzen mast!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a New Year!

As last year drew to a close, work on Gardens slowed to a standstill after she was moved to the Farm in October. The weather went cold and wet, then colder and snowy, then colder yet with ice… Conditions in the barn have not conducive to boat building these past couple of months.

Then the holidays arrived with family and friends here for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend followed closely by a quieter - yet busy - Christmas. The weather - ice and snow - contributed to the quiet Christmas.

There has been some progress around here. New circuits and new lights have been installed in what will be my new shop. It probably won't be a proper work shop until next spring but I can see it taking shape. We also acquired a portable generator and had the necessary switch-box installed to keep things running around here during (highly likely) power outages resulting from winter storms. (Not really boat related but "fun" stuff nonetheless.)

As for boat building work, the spars will move to the basement for varnishing. A tiller mock-up and, eventually, laminating and shaping Gardens' tiller; and fairing and painting the foils are other winter projects I'll be working on in the basement.

It's a New Year! We're looking forward to a fun, busy and productive year!