Well here it is, the bare bones, the Trow’s skeleton, the rib cage.
I’ve been looking forward to this moment, the first time I get to see the form developing, the lines on the computer and the ideas in my head in 3D. Admittedly I didn’t spend much time setting it up right. The boat’s not square as it stands and the distances between the frames are only guessed at but it was a hurried job, done more to demonstrate to the various onlookers that it was a boat and not furniture than as an accurate dry run.
Kitchen units, I ask you… Actually Chief Vitalstatistix was there, along with Impedienta, saying that it looked very big and, said the Chief, “It wont go through the waves very well with that flat front.” Said I, “You’ll find the front at the other end.”
5 minutes later I dismantled it and noticed that the structure held together even without clamps, I don’t suppose this is significant but when I dislodged the inwale from frame 1 the whole thing sprang apart like Inspector Clouseau’s 2cv.
There’s still a lot to do before the sides go on, the central bulkhead needs to be framed and have a thwart added. I wanted to avoid framing it but have noticed that it’s 4mm shorter than drawn, how this has happened I don’t know, but the framing lumber will have to make up the missing length. The holes in the end bulkhead are hatches or rather urn holders, and a hatch still has to be cut on bulkhead 1. I’ve added bevels to the frame members on bulkheads 1 and 3. This took a lot more thought, worrying and emails than was warranted by their difficulty. The literature often refers to "tricky bevels" which had evidenty set me on a wave of bevel paranoia.
Heartened by the bevel experience I went on to experiment with scarf joints. Again everything I’ve read about these joints has put me off them, expect, of course that they’re effective and look better than a butt joint. But it turns out that my plywood sheets are 6cm longer than the standard 244, which means there’s an opportunity to scarf. I made a join, roughing out the ply taper with the plane, and then finishing with the belt sander. I clamped the two pieces to the bench, buttered up the faces with epoxy, put a heavy stone on it and walked away to let it cure overnight.
When given the boot test by a passing cowgirl the next morning, the join held up well, better than I expected. But later I couldn’t resist giving it that little bit more pressure and eventually it broke. Still, the ply was under far more stress than it will be on the boat. This is good news and bad news, good because I can use scarf joins instead of the slightly clumsier butt joint, bad because I now have to make them—and make them well.