Day 19 - Stringers

I got the stringers done today. I thought this was going to be a big job but it really did not take very long. I lofted the curve from Renn's #'s and used my skilsaw to make the cut. The starboard side stringer was very easy and needed very little fairing. It's too bad they don't make a left-hand skilsaw as I bet the port side stringer would have been just as easy with one. When cutting the starboard stringer angles you can cut from the middle of the board moving towards the tip, adjusting angles as you reach each foot marker where the angle changes. On the port stringer you have to cut from the tip and move towards the middle of the board.

Day 18 - Transom

Well, I'm back from the computer conference and I'm back at work on the Jumbo. I finished gluing up the transom. I surfaced one side of my 2x8 so it would be nice and flat. I covered the center section of the 2x8 where the motor will rest with a piece of 24oz cloth and then a piece of 6oz over the rest. The doubler and horns also have 6oz. 



I put a good size fillet at the base of the horns and when glassing the 2x8 I used one piece of cloth that covered the horn as well. This should give me a trouble-free joint there.
Tomorrow I'll be able to heat-gun off any drips/runs and clean up the edges. I'll also start shaping the stringers. My goal is to have shelves, stringers, bowstem and transom on the jig by the end of the weekend.

Day 17 - Transom

I cut the transom out today. I decided to go with the 60" cutout instead of the 16+30 version Renn is doing on his Jumbo. I am still thinking about using an adjustable jackplate with the motor and this would mean using a front mounted, hydraulic steering setup. That would mean the offset cutout, used to protect a side mounted steering arm, would not be useful. I'm getting ready to take a bunch of kids to a computer conference so I don't know that I'll make any more progress for another week or so.

Day 16 Shelves II

Finished the Shelves today. I added the third section to each and started filling some of the voids in the sub-flooring 1 1/8" ply used. I know Renn calls this stuff crude; maybe I just got a good sheet of it but this is nice plywood. There really are only a few voids in the inner plys, easily filled with epoxy and microspheres. I'm pleased with the strength and light weight that this plywood gave to these very long (24') pieces of wood.

I've started drawing the transom and I also cut the versalam down the middle with a 12 degree bevel. Tomorrow I'll finish up the transom and start marking out the curves on the versalam stringers.

Day 15 Shelves

Spent all day making the shelves. This is a big job! First I put two sheets of plywood together to loft the curves. Two sheets gives you 16' which is enough for the first 2 of the 3 sections that will be glued up to create the 24' shelves. The first 2 sections are hardest as they are curved. The last section is just straight material 1 1/8" x 4" x 8'. Notice in the photo the back corner of the plywood sheet is missing. The whole idea here is to make patterns you can use on one piece of 8' subflooring that will be the stock for the shelves. I used material from that missing corner to make my patterns. It took me awhile to understand what I was doing so perhaps these photos and instructions will help.
1. Attach two sheets of scrap plywood together to make a 16' flat surface (first photo). Loft the points from Renn's instructions to mark the curve of the 4" shelves.

2. Use nails to mark the points. Hammer the head in and tape them down.

3. Use a 1' x 8' section of the plywood to lay on the nail heads and transfer the marks. Hitting the plywood with a hammer works just fine.

4. Connect the dots one more time and saw out templates from the scrap plywood. You'll make a forward and middle section. Lay them back down on the plywood to make sure you have the right shapes. These templates are used to transfer the patterns to the 1 1/8" subfloor. Spend some time fairing the curves and your final shelves will require less fairing.

5. Once you have your final shelves cutout, lay them back on the plywood over the pattern and use it as a guide to glue them up. In this photo the two sides are together to make sure they have the same shape. You can see that the outside curve is cut at a 21 degree bevel.

Final Tip: Use your SkillSaw to make the outside cuts with 21 degree bevels. Remember that when your blade is tilted the saw will not cut right on the line as it does in a straight cut. Take this into consideration as you mark and cut.

Day 13-14 Bottom Finished

Inside of hull bottom is fully glassed. I got Jeanette to help me and we rolled the bottom over today. I set it up on sawhorses to make it easier to reach, ground off the tie wires, filled and taped the center seam and added fillets and tape to the chine flats. There is nothing else I can do to the bottom until I have the rest of the boat on the jig so we'll put it aside. My next steps are to make the transom, shelves and shape the versalam stringers. I am unsure how to create the right transom cutout so I've asked for some tips from Renn. It looks like I have to make some decisions on steering before I start cutting stuff up. I have to decide between hydraulic steering and rotary steering which is cheaper.
I used 1.5 gallons of epoxy putting the cloth on the inside of the bottom. The 10oz cloth soaks it up pretty good. In the photos I see Renn and others using a roller to apply epoxy to cloth and there is a question about putting the cloth on wet or dry. I've talked about this with Steve Rander of Schooner Creek Boatworks. He says to put the cloth on dry. I'm sure he's sheathed more boats than anyone alive and his method seems to work well. This boat sheathing #4 for me.
My tips for sheathing:
1. Cut cloth ahead of time. Put it on the boat and then take sheets off and stack in reverse order so they come off the stack in the order you need to put them back on.
2. Do it at a time of the day when the boat will be cooling down, not heating up. Trapped air in the epoxy and cloth expands when the hull heats up and this causes air bubbles to show up in the epoxy coating. It's better to put the epoxy on in early evening when the boat is cooling down. Never do this in direct sunlight.
3. Put cloth on dry and smooth with hands. Then pour epoxy into center and squeegee out from the center to stretch the cloth out. For the Tolman Jumbo this means pouring epoxy in the keel and coming up to the chine flats on one side and then doing it again from the other side.
4. I use a squeegee to wet out the cloth. I find that I get a more uniform fill and use less epoxy with a squeegee than with a roller. Rollers also tend to put trapped air into the epoxy and cause bubbles in the final coat. Squeegees are harder on the back and it takes more time but I still like them better. You end up with saturated cloth where you can still see the weave. More epoxy does not maket the boat stronger, just heavier. It's easier then to go back and use a roller to "fill" the weave with additional coats. You can also spray epoxy when thinned with lacquer thinner or acetone. This takes some experimentation but with the right mixture, you can get a good, glossy finish. I've even spayed epoxy with graphite in it with good results on the bottom of my Thistle.

Day 12 Chine Flats IV

Both sides are now done. I have all holes (screw holes from scarfing and wire holes from stitching chine flats) filled. Both sides are taped and tomorrow morning I'll glass the inside of the bottom then set it aside. Next is the transom, shelves and shaping the versalm stringers. Then I'll be ready to put it all together. I'm impressed at how quickly this is going given that I'm really only working a couple of hours here and there as I have the time.

Day 11 Chine Flats III

I glued the other side today and will tape the chine flats and cover the entire bottom with cloth tomorrow. I think I'd be going faster but for the hammock on our deck. It starts to get hot around lunch time and well... it sure is nice to be on vacation. Is there anyway to mount a hammock on a Tolman skiff? ;-)

Day 10 Chine Flats

Well, it's been awhile since I've been able to work on the boat. Between a week with the flu and the end of school, things came to a halt. Today was the first day of summer vacation though so we're back to making progress.

I dry fitted the chine flats and slats to both sides of the boat.


Once both sides were done I removed one side and coated everything with epoxy and refitted and clamped. There are several 2x4's used to keep the flats flat. Slats are used for the aft 2/3 of the bottom where the hull is already 1/2" thick. The front of the chine flats are stitched to the 1/4" section of the hull that will get its second 1/4" lamination after it's turned over. Once this side is dry, I'll unclamp the other side and gule it. I kept a 2x4 marked at 42" width at 40" back from the stem to keep the bow section square. The whole hull is wiggly still as there is no transom or other framing but it's still good to have things straight.
Tomorrow I should have the other side installed and then will tape the seams and see if I have time to glass the inside of the bottom. That's really all I have left to do on it before setting it aside and starting on the shelves, stem and transom.

Day 9 Chine Flats

I have both chine flats cut and shaped. I still need to get a router bit to cut the spline slots. The flats are springy little beasts and it's a chore to get them on just right. I'm using some 2x4's across the boat to keep everything straight. I've also marked out the 40" station with marks on a 2x4 at 42" so I can make sure that the correct shape gets built into the boat when the flats go on. I can tell this step will be exciting. ;-)

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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