Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Penobscot 14 New Build: St. Jacques

25 Dec 2013: We decided we needed to build a wooden bateau to excite kids about sailing, and to sell pirate wares at local craft fairs. I looked on the interweb and one of the first sailbateaus that popped up was the Penobscot 14 designed by Arch Davis. It reminded me of our Lugger, similar fair lines, lapstrake construction, reverse sheer transom and a simple gunter rig. The boat we will build already has a name, St. Jacques :)

Here is what the boat will look like.

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I spoke to Arch a few weeks earlier about the boat and it sounds like it will fit well in our Bay. I also may be able to use local cypress for the build. Ordered the plans, patterns and guidebook and they arrived quickly, just before Christmas.

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Sped off to the Lowes Christmas Eve day to get lumber for the building jig. Found some white pine that will get us started. It is only 12 feet, ideally I needed a 12'3" piece, but I'll adapt. Used the Highlander trailer to bring the lumber home.

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Laid out two 12 foot sides for the jig and made the first cut for the jig end pieces.

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Captain Jack picked the truest edge for the top of the jig and held the boards stealy while I screwed on the ends. Used 2 1/2 inch exterior screws.

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The jig is being built upside down right now. I cut out a board for the stinger that will hold the stem (bow).

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Cut another 1 x 12 diagonally to be the stinger knees, flipped the jig and screwed the into place.

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Cut 6 legs from pressure treated 4x4s.

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Installed legs on each corner and mid span.

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Cut a diagonal brace, but goofed up and cut it too long. The brace is only supposed to go from the corner to inside the first cross brace.

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Here's the jig brace recut and screwed in with drywall screws. I cut a nice notch to try and fit the wrong board :)

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Some of the power tools used so far.

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Made a leg for the stinger and decided to add a little tool and supply shelf. Maybe the Pettit Paint fairy will see this and drop off some gifts :)

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Cut boards that the station frames will be attached to.

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I set Station Zero 2 inches back from the stinger end and screwed the station frame jig board into place. They need to be placed exactly every 2'4". It was getting late so I'll recheck the measurements when the sun is up. That little scrap piece on the stinger was added to provide a level surface for the tape measure foot, and it will be removed once measurements are approved.

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The bateau is 14'0', just a bit longer than a Sunfish. Here is Merci checking out the building jig.

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Here's what the tool shelf looked like at the start of the build. It will be interesting to see what tools get added before launching.

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Traced the stem onto a 1/4 inch piece of oak plywood. Placed carbon paper under mylar pattern, taped edges of pattern down and used the rounded end of a pair of scissors to rub marks on vs pricking with an awl. It came out pretty good, now I need a batten to fair out the curves.

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26 Dec 2013: Cut out the notch for the stem.

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Cut out the stem pattern. Cut out a little of the diagonal brace also, oops.

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The pattern will be used to cut out 3 3/4 inch stems, which will be laminated. The top of the stem will rest in the jig like this.

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I didn't notice that some of the stations were marked on the forward edge of the jig braces. After I got them measured and placed correctly, I marked the Station on each frame with an arrow to the proper edge.

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Also marked the centerline from Station 0 back to the transom.

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29 Dec 2013:Moved the jig into the sailboat shack, the other boats will keep St Jacques company and tell sailing stories while he is being built.

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Put a 4 wheel dolly under one end of the jig and it rolled real nice.

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Traced out 3 stems, made them a little proud so they can be routed flush to the pattern.

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The teak Arne Vodder swivel back chairs make nice supports!

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Took a break to mail out some signed 1st Edition Sunfish Owner's Manuals! Get one today

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Cut out 3 stems, 6 pieces total because they are cut from 1x10 lumber and then butt jointed and glued together.

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Screwed the pattern to the stem and used a flush bit router to trim the blanks to size. Ideally you'd glue up a 3 stems and then route therm all at once on a router table with a larger bit, but I had neither the bit or the table, so I opted to route one individually then screw them together.
Update: Then I re-read the builder's instructions and what I should have done was trim the center stem flush to the pattern by itself, then add the outer stems and trim those flush to the center stem. Witchcraft! :)

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Gluing and screwing all 6 pieces of the stem.
Update: Follow up with Arch, epoxy is optimum for this, learning along the way :)

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Cutting out frame 2-4, the forward bulkhead. I used pine frame and oak plywood for this, would have preferred cypress and okume, but it will be sealed with epoxy. I may put another face on this bulkhead when the marine plywood shows up.
Update: Yep, I took the bulkhead off of the temporary frame, trimmed out the center of the oak plywood, flipped it over and put marine grade okume on the flip side.

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Built the temporary frame for the building jig.

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01 Jan 2014: Selected a "moaning chair" for today's activities. For those of you not familiar, the moaning chair is defined by Chapelle as "a comfortable seat from which the boat can be easily seen and in which the builder can sit, smoke, chew, drink or swear as the moment demands. Here he should rest often and think about his next job. The plans should be at hand and here he can lay out his work. By doing so he will often be able to see mistakes before they are serious and avoid the curse of the amateur boatbuilder: starting a job before what has to be done to get it right." (Chapelle, Boatbuilding 1941). Now for our purposes, Ms Adrienne has also suggested that we have "cheering chairs" for the "usual visitors."

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Since I glued the routed the stem pieces THEN glued them together, I needed to trim them a bit after the glue dried. I set the flush trim bit bearing to ride on the center stem piece, routed one side, flipped and sanded the other.

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Sanded the stem with 80 grit.

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Skipper Audrey and Capn Jack test fit the stem to the jig and Station 2-4 bulkhead.

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Stem test fit in the jig and Station 2-4. Edit: The stem is sitting high in the notch. The face still needs to be beveled and the notch needs to be beveled also to match the rise of the stem. Once done, the stem will fit deeper in the notch and a piece of plywood for the garboard will lay flush from stem to frame.

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02 Jan 2014: Went to Ozark Hardwoods in Pensacola, FL to pick up some 1/4" okume marine plywood. Turns out the plywood is 6mm.

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They had some cool Lineberry lumber carts.

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The owner Richard made an awesome kayak.

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I like the epoxy shadow.

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OBTW the shop, tool, stock of hardwood, and 50 unit storage facility on 2 acres are for sale for 550K. If you by it tell Richard I sent it and I get the kayak as a commission.

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I love my Dodge Grand Caravan, it carries a full sheet of plywood! Or 7 people. Or pulls a trailer.

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Capn Jack tried out our coffin smoothing plane on the stem. Blade needs to be dressed and sharpened, but otherwise it did some good work.

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The boatyard cat is LOTS of help, she secured this piece of plywood for us...

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03 Jan 2014: Headed to Wilson Cypress in Milton and grabbed 2 1x10x16s for the stringers and sheer clamps. They take great pride in hand picking great, clean board for my projects. The Sunfish trailer works great as a high speed lumber cart.

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Richard at Ozark Hardwood ripped the stringers and sheer clamps, even let me help and didn't charge me extra for my labor. My brother Kirk used to have 3 labor rates at his shop, $10 per hour for labor, $20 if you watched, $40 if you helped :) Then we picked a piece of 1x10x12 white oak for the keel, put a straight edge on it, planed both sides and ripped it to 3 inches.

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Swung by Magnolia Bolt next to pick the stainless steel screws, they treated me great and I got to go pull the screws with them. I got 1100 screws for $42. And they ship!

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Traced out the transom pattern, forward and aft bulkheads on the okume. Ooops, I could have used cheapo plywood for the transom pattern, oh well, now I have a real nice pattern.

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04 Jan 2014: Going to use my new old P W Co clamp.

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Cut out the transom pattern, and the bulkheads.

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I redid the Station 2-4 bulkhead with okume, ditched the oak because it was not marine grade. Put the wood clamp to work.

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Started beveling the stem with a Stanly SB 4, first time and it went ok.

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05 Jan 2014: Drawing inspiration from Jack's boat, circa 1971.

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Ripped a 1x8 to start building temporary frames.

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Picked up some more tools and materials for the build.

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Gave the boys a clamp each and then asked to borrow them.

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Ripped 2 sheer clamps to 3/4x 1 1/2. I didn't realize that they were a different size than the stringers when we ripped the cypress yesterday, so we made them all 3/4 by 3/4. So now I have 14 stringers, plenty of spares and the 2 sheer clamps.

Put up some temporary wall on the sailboat shack, so now it is the Small Boat Restoration Shop :) The front and back walls can be rolled up. I'll set up the router, chop saw and band saw in there, and a couple of clamp lights.

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06 Jan 2014: Working on the frame for the transom, picked up some select pine. Will cut rough shape for top, bottom and sides, put together with half laps, then trim to pattern.

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Went to Miss Donna's Antiques and picked up a try square, plane, marking gauge and awl. I got the folding 2 foot ruler there a few months ago and I am amazed at how handy it is to use.

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07 Jan 2014: Grabbed a couple of clamp lights so I can work early evening, move them around as needed.

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Picked up a inexpensive Blue Hawk router with table for $90 at Lowes. Used it to trim the pine 2-4 frame to the new okume plywood frame. It was a lot nicer than doing it by hand and went quick.

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Reattached the bulkhead to the temporary frame, used the framing square and try square to get a good centerline. Edit: I was excited to play with the plywood and got out of sequence with the build, Arch tells me how to build a nice square jig to line up the temporary frame parts in the plans, in sequence of course.

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Going to put wheels on the jig so I can move it around if needed. oops, these wheel's attaching plates turned out to be too big for the 4x4 legs...

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..so spend some time in the moaning swivel rocker to contemplate whether to get smaller wheels or jury rig these......time's up, off to Lowes for smaller wheels :)

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I turned the jig on its side to put on the wheels, and hey, this would make a good spar bench!

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Put swivel casters on the middle legs and extension, and swivel locking casters on each end leg. Now it can pivot like a lumber cart

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I'll lock the wheels down, shim the wheels to leave jig as necessary, and maybe attach a strap before I start beveling. I foresee needing to move the jig out on turning day IOT flip the boat.

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I use my Uncle's Craftsman tool kit a lot, mostly the ratchet, scredriver and standard wrenches. It's handy to tote out to my work site, saves me lots of trips to get the right size tools.

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08 Jan 1014: Got the shop set up today, moved some saws in. Also put up dodgers all around the shed, so I can work during rain.

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Cut out the spreaders for the rest of the frames. The cut out, not one, not two, but three transom frames before I got the right size blank. My fault, should have followed the building guide! Here is transom frame 2.0 lounging in today's moaning chair, I have plans for parts of it elsewhere.

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The usual visitors...

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Tried using the table saw to kerf the half laps by hand, couldn't find the miter gauge (which I have never used), that is scary without the right guide set up because you're cutting blind. Chewed up the the first board's lap pretty good, so I'll go contemplate for a while on something else.

Added some line, quick release snaps, rings and eyestraps to my "shade sail" aka dodger. Testing out some ideas so I can transform the shed/shop depending on wind/temp.

Wind died down, beautiful day on the Bay.

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09 Jan 2014: Cut the shoulder at the top of the stem. I tried using a bandsaw, but the blade wandered on one side, so I switched to a jigsaw. The cut was very rough, so I smoothed it out a bit with a rasp. One side is cut a little short, so I am leaving it alone until I get to the point where I pull together the sheer clamp, stem, breast hook and stem facing and see what it needs. I might have to graft a piece back in.

I tried the bandsaw kerf for the half laps, I don't have the skill right now to set it up, so I switched to the router method. SO I needed a wider router bit. Went to Lowes and found a nice 15 piece router bit set for $45, came home and started routing the half laps. Of course I tried the easy way first, to just guide the router by hand along the cut line, and I wandered. So for the next 3 boards I clamped on a guide fence and got nice straight cut lines, When I put the frame together, the first piece was off, so I recut a new board for the portside frame, rerouted it and the transom frame half laps together great! Glue up tomorrow.

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Got too late to do boat building, so I started fiddling with a carpenter's trestle. I came across the term while looking for information on tools in a 1918 book called Farm Mechanics. Sounds like just the thing I need to steady pieces while I work on them. We had some hunks of cedar, beams from our covered porch in Texas, that were being used as benches and plant stands, so I decided to use those. They'll still get to be benches or plans stand when not being trestles, but now will have new legs. Here is my adaptation so far.

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10 Jan 2014: Used epoxy and screws to glue up the transom frame. West System 105 Epoxy Resin, 205 Fast hardener because it is high 50s today, 406 colloidal silica for filler. Mixed it up between mayonnaise and peanut butter consistency. Because of the lower temp it did not kick off right away, but a helper might be needed to get all the clamps and blocks positioned, or use 206 Slow hardener. Another tip would be to use spring clamps to hold it while the blocks (to prevent clamp marks) and bar clamp were applied. And the Island of misfit boat parts keeps growing under the work bench.

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Screws go in from the aft face, they won't show because the transom is faced with wood or plywood.

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Forward face of transom frame.

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Shop stove taking care of some yard debris and scraps.

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Pricked pattern holes for frame 7-0.

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Cut blanks for frame 7-0, bandsawed them out married up so I'll have the same wiggles on both sides :), them put on butt blocks, cleats, legs and spreaders.

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Beveled the stem notch at Station 2-4, test fit the stem and Station 7-0. I need to level the jig before all the frames go on.

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Quittin time.

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11 Jan 2014: Every board for the frames and boat has been through the house so far.

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Jack's sailboat circa 1971.

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Beautiful day, waiting for the usual visitors to stop by. Added a flag.

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Moved the flag.

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Transom frame rough cut out.

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Pattern screwed on for routing.

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Inside edges done.

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12 Jan 2014: Laying out frame for Station 4-8 and 9-4. Need to cut a miter so wood can be butt jointed.

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Cut both sides.

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Marked the transom sheer clamp and stringer locations.

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Pricked the pattern.

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Stacked the frame parts and screwed them together so they can be trimmed together and match up port starboard.

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Added cleats to the frames. This piece of old mahogany Sunfish backer block from Merci found its way into the fray.

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Glued up Station 11-8 bulkhead.

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Station 11-8 needs to be built up, and transom frame beveled. We will be ready for keel soon.

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13 Jan 2014: Shop tour. Nothing like rain on a tin roof!

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Keel is tacked down to bevel the bottom of the stem, fit transom and mark inside for routing the edges.

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Measuring back from Station 11-8 to find position of reverse shear transom.

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14 Jan 2014: Working on shear clamp notch on the transom.

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Shadow puppets.

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Shear clamps clamped on.

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15 Jan 2014: Went to check out a small local sawmill, we might get some live oak or long leaf pine milled for the boat or our new shop.

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Had some rocks delivered for the driveway, but the help was goofing off instead of spreading them.

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16 Jan 2014: Took a trip to Schurr Sails in Pensacola to drop of plans for the Gunter rig main and jib.

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Here are some sail color options.

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Spread more rocks, and built up some parrel beads for the sliding Gunter rig.

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17 Jan 2014: Cap'n Jack scored a Stanley No 4 block plane in original box. Inspectors approve.

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Cut the keel to length at transom.

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Added the offset centerboard keel strip, bonded with West System 105 epoxy and Fast Hardener (air temp 50 degrees F)..

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Swung by Miss Donna's Antiques, found a rabbet plane and finger plane.

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Marked off lines at bulkheads and removed keel in prep for routing 1/4 round edges on the inboard edges of the cockpit.

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19 Jan 2014: Routed the inboard edge of the keel that shows in the cockpit.

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Cut the centerboard slot.

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Epoxied keel to stem, bulkheads and transom.

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20 Jan 2014: Working on the stringer miter.

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Cut and fit the sheer clamps at bow, bulkheads and transom.

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21 Jan 2014: The dodgers are working great to keep the wind down. They are set on yardarms wirh parrel beads so I can furl them on nice days an open up the shed.

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Split a stringer at the end, but there is still a lot of stringer left on the other end, so I moved it forward and cut the bevel again.

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Fit 3 sets of stringers, 2 more sets to go!

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23 Jan 2014: Fit more stringers.

25 Jan 2014: Fit last 2 sets of stringers.

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I cut off each extra piece at the transom as I went along.

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Looking good, maybe we'll stop here :)

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26 Jan 2014: Sick day :(

27 Jan 2014: Removed stringers and rounded inboard edges that will show inside the boat. Then epoxied the stringers and sheer clamp to the stem, bulkheads and transom.

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Used some painters tape to reduce the amount of epoxy that squeezed onto adjacent surfaces.

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Tied a bow line to the sheer clamp so the boat won't float away...

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15 Feb 2014: Cut some pine strips for laminating the stem facing.

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Wrapped the stem so the facing doesn't stick, the lamination will be shaped then removed for planking.

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Started bending the laminations to the stem. Used West Systems 105 resin/ 206 slow hardener/ 406 filler to bond the strips.

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Stem facing drying, we had some cracks at the sharpest bend, so we clamped it down and we'll check it out once it dries, it might have to be redone.

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17 Mar 14: St Jacques moved to the garage for beveling and planking.

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12 Jun 2014: Back in the garage!

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13 Jun 2014: Picked out some cypress to make a new stem.

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16 Oct 2014: The first stem was cracked at the sharp bend at the base of the stem, so it was scrapped. The first stem's laminations were not a consistent thickness, that contributed to them cracking when they were bent. I went over to Fred's house and he helped cut out another stem using his larger shop saws. Fred has built two Penobscot 14s and has become an invaluable resource, one of his boats was an award winner at the Madisonville Boat Show.

This time I am trying cypress from my local mill, and Fred mentioned that he used white oak for his boats.

1x6 cypress, ready to rip lengthwise. The boards were cut from a 10 foot board, and are long enough to wrap the stem.

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Cutting the strips to about 3/16 inch thickness. Fred used push sticks to hold the board tight to the fence and push it the last bit, I helped guide the board as it came out of the saw.

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to be continued...