Today I worked on attaching the newly-scuppered inwales to Miss Nancy. The first step is to dry clamp them to the hull up at the sheer line. Once an inwale was clamped on, I was able to mark it for cutting. Truth be told, I cut them a little short, but I used some pieces of filler wood to get them to reach all the way to the stem.
As you can see, it looks like I marked it in the right place, and I definitely cut it on the mark. The problem was that I had not clamped it sufficiently so the inwale was bowing inwards a bit. Enough to make this mark be off by a quarter inch. That’s a LOT in the woodworking world, but I will recover.
Once I had the inwale cut to length, I mixed up some epoxy, painted it on, and then started clamping it into position. The initial clamp placement is just to hold it in place while I drill some pilot holes for the screws. Sometimes a clamp was in the way of drilling the hole, so I would have to move it. With all the holes drilled, I ran a steel screw into each hole and then backed it out again. The purpose of this little exercise is so that the brass screws don’t have to cut the threads in the wood. Doing so is very difficult with brass and often results in either mangling the divot in the top of the screw (where the bit grabs it) or twisting the screw in half.
With all the threads cut, I then made a second pass and set the brass screws in place. I put a screw between every other scupper, and I offset them from the center. The offset is because when I mount the seats and thwarts, I will want to drill a mounting hole there. I skipped every other scupper, because the outwales will attach there. When I get to that point.
I had other things to do today, so once I got the port inwale glued and screwed into position, I let the glue set for a while. Also, I used every C clamp I could find (which is probably not all of the C clamps I own). I returned about six hours later and gave the starboard side the same treatment.
With both inwales in place, I turned my attention to the bow deck. I should have mounted the stern deck first, because it does not have the inlay in it, so if I messed it up, it would not be a tragedy. It would be easy enough to make a new one. Luckily, all went well with the bow deck, so my impatience didn’t bite me. This time.
Fitting a deck is not an easy thing to do. The inwales’ inner surfaces do not go straight down, so a square cut along the edge (relative to the top of the deck) will not do. I measured the angle with a bevel gauge, and transferred the measurement to the edges of the deck.
The deck was quite a bit wider than it needed to be, so I had to trim it to the correct width. It’s really a little too wide, but I figured I could wedge it into place and spread the hull a little bit. Making it narrower would have meant the edges would have come all the way to the inlay – maybe even into the inlay, and after all the effort i put into doing that, there was no way I was going to let that happen. So I wedged it into place.
With the deck rough cut to the correct width, I placed it on a sanding belt and sanded the edges down to the correct (ish) angle. I didn’t get it exactly right, but I did come awfully close. Then I mixed up some more epoxy, painted the edges of the deck, mounted it in place, and ran some screws into it from the hull, through the inwale, and into the deck. The mess on top of the deck is where I mixed wood flour with the leftover epoxy to fill the gaps. They weren’t very wide, and now that they are filled, no one will notice.
I did not get around to fitting the stern deck. I will probably cut it to the width the boat wants it to be since it has no inlay. Or I may make it a little wider so that it kinda, sorta matches the bow.
Updates as progress warrants!