Ways to Give

Inside IYRS Blog

Learn what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a student.

Feb 17

Written by: Tom
2/17/2012 6:08 PM 

Here's how she looks with all her planks attached at last.

The plank ends that had been allowed to run long (also referred to as "run wild") have been trimmed back in preparation for fitting them to the transom.

But before that happens, it's time to fair the hull. The first step to creating the smooth surface that water will easily slide along is to plane down the high points.

The trick is to take off just enough to remove the high points along the plank seams, but not so much as to overly thin the planks or create flat spots.

Taking thin shavings and changing up the direction of travel with your plane help to keep the progress the work more towards fairing than thinning.

The lobster yacht now has one sheer clamp installed,

and another just about ready. Here, the clamp's distance from the top of the sheer strake is being checked using a deck beam (ok, it's a Half Beam).

Once the students are satisfied with the height along it's length, the clamp is bolted through the frames and hull. Here, one student sights the drill angle to make sure that it's level, while the driller makes sure that it's lined up with the frame.

The clamp is solid along the aft end, and kerfed along the front end. When a part is kerfed, it's cut along its length with a thin blade, usually a band saw. This is done to create two thinner parts that can bend more easily than one thick one. The part is only kerfed in the area where there is the most bend. The rest of the part is left as a solid, piece. You can see the kerf along the sheer clamp here.

By kerfing the clamp, you retain the strength of the full-with part while gaining the flexibility of a thinner part.

And by the way, even though this student looks completely entangled in the framing, having the boat be this open is actually a luxury.

Once the planking goes on, there will never again be such easy access to this area of the boat.

Now that the sailing dinghy is planked and riveted, all attention is focused on the interior. One of the interior parts is long thin board called the Riser. The riser acts as a shelf for the seats (technically, Thwarts) to rest on.

The riser has a small decorative bead along its lower edge. There are many ways of making this bead. Here, a student is using a beading tool to essentially scrape the bead shape into the wood.

Assistant instructor Joel Sanger checks the shape of the scraped bead against the shape of a bead that was previously made using a wooden beading plane.

Little details like beading along the riser or the underside of a thwart give the boat just a hint of elegance without being showy.

Upstairs, some of the dinghy's spars have gotten their sealer coats of varnish and are hanging up to dry.

Just in case you were wondering, the first year students are still planking.

It's not because they're slow, it's because there are only two students per boat (as opposed to more than twice that for the WH 15), and after all, it's their first boat. They're being careful.

The schedule is always up there on the wall, reminding everyone of the various deadlines to be met.

Students are learning to use tools that you don't run into every day that are nevertheless very handy for boat building. One of this is the Slick.

A slick is a large, heavy chisel that's great for taking large amounts of wood off quickly. This student is cutting the taper that will become a scarf joint for his plank.

He'll use the slick to get close to the final slope for the joint, and then finish using a hand plane (preferably one with a longer base, like a No 5).

Once he's glued up this plank, it'll be back to cutting, shaping,

backing out,

and fitting.

Speaking of backing out, the students make their own backing out planes early in the program. Here's a particularly nice example of one.

Now, stop hanging around looking at the boat and get back to work!


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