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progress!!


By dave olson - Posted on 24 October 2011

Finally began the process of creating the building frame and the moulds for the Whilly Boat. I am using what is now  billed as pine trim boards (mine are 2 x 6 in 16' lengths) for the building frame side beams, and yellow pine boards in 1"x 2" dimension for the diagonal bracing. I am using the same pine for the spreaders on the mould bottoms that will attach to the building frame. I have selected 1/2" MDF sheets in 4x8' to create the moulds.

After much debate, I followed the idea of using a punch to make holes thru the mould pattern which only represent one half of the mould profile. I debated actually cutting one half first, using it to trace the exact mirror image on a second piece of MDF and then attach the 2 halves with the spreader and a cleat higher up. The reasoning for that was that each half would be identical, as it is hard to set the once-used pattern with holes that are now going to be bigger and get the same shape as the original half, not to mention the difficulty of realigning all the points up the same on the paper pattern. After NOT doing it that way, I wished I had, as some of the moulds and their points where the beveled joints would fall were not quite the same on both sides which could lead to an unfair hull shape.

I will have to correct these imperfections before proceeding with the planking. I may have to "fill in" negative space, where I belt sanded a bit more off than I should have, with the result that the point is lower on one half of the same station. That being said, I proceeded to finish up the moulds, recheck each one with the pattern, identify the problem areas, and add cleats that would allow the use of clamps when planking, as I felt the wooden hand-made clamps with the wedges may not be enough to firmly hold the epoxied joints.

After leveling the building frame to the wooden floor, and squaring it up, I attached L brackets to each 4x4 leg and screwed them to the floor to hold the accuracy. I intend to use a laser to line up all the moulds on the frame, and next work session, will do that and start the process of laminating white oak into the proper shape of the inner stems, and cut  and do the necessary beveling of the Keelson so that the planking may be started. I am having a bit of trouble initially, finding a source for 5 ply 1/4" marine plywood to make the planks.

Since I am building the Whilly at a friend's house, which is WAY out at the end of a dirt road miles from where I live, and since that friend is only there a few weeks of the month, it may take a while to build this boat.  It is the process and not the speed that matters to me.

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The building of the Raven is still going forward, but very slowly..I have had many different issues and decided not to post until solid progress if made, and then I will have some step by step photos and comments. It has been a tedious learning process, but I am happy with what I have done so far, and I see the possiblitly of success. Stand by in the coming weeks for photos and comments.

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