Sunday, June 8, 2014

Skeg Fabrication: Milling and Lamination

So, with the shop semi-functional, I got to work on the skeg. The skeg measures (approximately) 1720mm (67") long; 165mm (6½") at its widest/deepest point; and 70mm (2¾") thick. To create a blank measuring 70mm x 165mm x 1828mm (72" allowing for further cutting to size, I started with two rough-cut pine (species unknown - this is old wood that came from an old Michigan farmhouse) boards measuring 50mm (2") x 152mm (6")x 2140mm (84"). These boards were used to support lath & plaster walls so there were multiple shallow, small nail holes in the faces of the boards when I began to work the lumber.

These were milled with a thickness planer to 35mm (about 1 3/8") x 146mm (5¾"). This removed many, but not all, of the nail holes. The boards were then cut down to 1828mm (72") for gluing.

The boards were laminated using epoxy: a coat of neat epoxy on both boards, thickened epoxy lathered on one board, and then clamped together.

Once the lamination is cured, I will square up the edges and glue a hardwood shoe - maybe that's not the correct terminology - on what will be the lower edge. (Maybe it is a sub-skeg?) I have some found oak 2x4s that I plan to mill to fit the blank and form the lower edge of the skeg. After cleaning up one of those 2x4s, I think it might be quarter-sawn oak… If it is, I'll find different hardwood for the skeg and use the quarter-sawn oak for something that will be a bit more visible.

Once the blank is complete, I'll make a pattern, rough-cut the skeg to shape and work to fill and fair any remaining small, shallow nail holes. I'll fine tune the fit when it is time to install the skeg.

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