On Thursday we cut the keel batten, Inwales and stringers from a honk'n 1"x12"x22' and cut the side panels to their final shape using a long thing strip of wood to spline the final edges for fair curves. We spent a lot of time making sure our curves were fair and correct which is very important to beautiful lines on the boat. We are working in a pretty small space and it is a challenge figuring out how to maneuver the long pieces around the room.
Friday, I made it back home after school to find that my Dad had went all out on some new tools including a new plane, Jigsaw, random orbital sander, new Carpenters square (a BIG ONE) and a bunch of clamps. The new Bosch Jig Saw is SWEET. 10 bucks cheaper than the nicer DeWalt Model, a lot easier to use AND more precise of a cut.
We glued the stringers to the side panels fastening them with drywall screws while the epoxy set up and got to work marking and cutting the final shape of the bottom panels. This went pretty fast having practiced on the sides and soon after, we removed the screws from the stringers as the epoxy had mostly set. The next step was to plane a taper into the bow end of the stringer on the inside to allow the hull to bend at the bow and then attach the side panels to the bottom panels at the bows in preparation for opening the hull. We finished up late and decided to sleep in since our epoxy would be drying anyway.
Saturday morning begun with another trip to our local Lowe's warehouse for some 2x6s and some more drywall screws in order to construct what would become our hull support cradles that we will assemble the hull on top of. We decided to go with a modified I-beam design for the cradle which uses two 2x6s running the full length of the cradle screwed to each other in an upside down "T" shape which holds the lower board in tension when loaded and prevents the top edge from bending. We used a cheap laser leveling device to align the frames on the beam and check that they were level with each other. In this picture the bottom and side panels are visible on the far left leaning up against the wall supported in the middle to keep the sides from falling down and breaking the bow joint.
The actual hull cradle stations are attached to this center beam and to 3 legs that extend perpendicularly out at the ends and the middle. Our temporary bulkhead is made of cheap 3/4" oriented strand board which is about 6 bucks for a 4x8 sheet. We made the cradles from the leftover OSB after cutting out the temporary center bulkhead.
After constructing the cradle, we laid the now joined hull panels which are sandwiched together in mirror image fashion onto sawhorses to complete the bow profile and stitch the keel line with brass wire to hold the panels together while opening. Here the bow is shown "wired up"
The next sequence of events from this step involves wrestling the flat hull sides out and into their final position onto the hull cradles into what looks something like a boat when you are done. This is the part that gives this method of construction its name, the "butterfly technique". We were a little worried because all the pictures of this step that we have seen elsewhere seemed to include 10 or so other "helpers" (insert nervous chuckle) to stand around the edges and support the sides into their final position. While this would have been nice, it was just us so instead we devised a support system of 2x4s that angle out away from the cradles and guided the side panels down and in where they would end up. It worked very well.
That said, the next step is still best explained visually but in order to help you with your mental images, the dialog between Dad and I went something like this...
Ok, lets try moving it this...err uhh, wait wait no no no thats bad...ok how about we. Ok now go over there. Yeah hold that.....ok now down, ok wait wait just stop there... "IT'S HEAVY"!.... ok thats good. Little more, no too far........(more of the same)....