Sunday, February 19, 2012

Frame Construction and a Scarf

Cody and I have been cranking out the frames lately. 

Once he's got the measurements marked out on the table, he cuts pieces of wood to fit.  
Then we make a pattern for the gussets, which are pieces of bracing that cover the joints of the frame. 

Then the gussets get cut out of plywood.  I'm using the coolest tool in our shop in this photo-  our Track Saw.  It's looks like a skil saw, but it rides along a track.  The track ensures a perfectly straight cut, and allows you to line everything up before you start.  Really simple and safe to use.  Perfect for me!  Cody has been using one for years building climbing walls and its use translates well into boat building.

Once we've got all the pieces cut, we carefully lay them out on the table, and paint all the connection points with epoxy.  Epoxy is a type of glue.  First we paint on a thin layer to saturate into the wood, then a thick layer, usually mixed with fiberglass powder for extra strength.   Once the epoxy is on, all the pieces get sandwiched together.  

The frame is then ready to be clamped and screwed into place, so the epoxy can dry.  Once it's dry, we'll remove all the clamps and screws.     
I love helping to make these-  they really look like part of a boat!  

This is the first of many scarf joints that I will be undertaking.  On the large flat sections of the hull we will use only one layer of plywood.  However we can't just butt them together, as this would leave a weak point.  So I have to heavily bevel the edges and glue them together. This is called a scarf joint.

My scarf joint is glued with a thickened mixture of epoxy and is being held down by the heaviest things I could round up.

We have completed 8 of 13 frames.  We should be done with the frames by the end of the week and then we get to set them all up.  Very Excited!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Boat Makers,
    You are such a fine little couple.