America's Most Historic Yacht

Progress through September 2010

Posted By on November 23, 2010

You’re going to see a lot of these timbers in the coming months.

Like before, lots and lots of futtocks.

But, before we get down to business, you may recall Eric’s blacksmithing work from the last post.  So far you’ve seen him forge a fro and head up bolts.  In his spare time, he decided to try his hand at forging a throwing axe. Christina demonstrates.

Nice.  Blacksmithing rocks.

In previous posts you’ve seen the laser level used to line things up.  The problem with using the laser as the only means of establishing a center line is that various boat parts get in the way of the light beam.  Therefore, as the boat grows, it’s more and more handy to have another way to track the boat’s centerline.  The crew has set up a taut cable that extends the length of the boat directly over the centerline.

Ok, you can’t see it at all in that photo, but trust me, it’s there.

Plumb bobs are dropped from the cable to known reference points that have been previously established with the laser.  The cable can then be adjusted to get it exactly on the boat’s centerline.

The advantage of this method is that now the crew can drop a centerline anywhere on the boat that has an opening to the cable above it.  If they can’t use the plumb bob by itself (say, to locate the center of the bottom of a beam) they can use the bob to locate a centerline that the laser can then pick up and beam to whatever location they need it.

As you might imagine, a lot of time is spent getting this cable exactly right.

Just because they can use fancy things like lasers, it’s good to know that old school methods like using a plumb bob are right there as well.  Speaking of old school, a glance at one of the crew’s tool tote is a good reminder that many of the same tools that were used to build this boat originally are still being used to rebuild it.  You can see a slick (that giant chisel with the wooden handle on the right), a couple of hand planes, a chisel roll, and a heavy mallet.

The rule is:  use what works.  And given that there’s been hundreds of years to develop efficient methods of building wooden boats, it’s no surprise that many of the old techniques are still the most efficient.

Upstairs, the crew continues to crank out frame / deck beam assemblies.

All trunnel fastened.

And so, one frame after another, the boat’s skeleton gradually takes shape.


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