I’ve become aware that this blog could become intensely boring* if I’m not careful – so any suggestions from my reader(s?) would be welcomed. The handbook on blogs says I shoud engage with my readership, not to mention commodify my blog. I vaguely know what the first of these means but making it a commodity? Perhaps I should fashion and market a nifty line in woodworking tools, or articulate and publish the 10 useful habits of amatur boat builders that I could subsequently self publish in a useful hand book, delightfully illustrated and the knock down price of 20.99 USD (delivery extra). How about some plywood boat building leisure wear, pre coated with a generous layer of sawdust and epoxy resin to a random (and different) design on each item so that each one becomes a unique collectors item?
I think not. But keep the ideas coming!
Or a readers question and answer session.
Martijn from Holland asks why I’m building the thing** out of plywood and not using ‘conventional’ lapstrake method rather than using stitch and glue?
He then, helpfully, provides the answer “It takes a bit more woodworking skills (and time) in the early stage, but you’ll make partially up for that since the amount of fairing and sanding in the later stage is reduced.”
Martijn, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. *** I have to admit that my woodworking skills are rudimentry – I can hold a saw in the right way and can use a chisel and a plane but I’ve never made a decent cabinet making joint in my life, let alone a scarf joint for a length of wood. OK, I did spend 12 weeks of my life learning how to file pieces of metal flat, square and parallel but that was a long time ago, in a workshop far away. **** There is a physical reminder of this period:
But I digress. Before I could start I had to get organised. Firstly, a chimney for the fire. Ebay and Gumtree were scoured and observed for several weeks and eventually the right parts materialised. There were even a few feet of suitable stove pipe in the bulders junk in the other end of the shed. Brickes were needed to hold the stove up and then we had the trial lighting up. The shed filled with smoke. I’d left the damper on the chimney shut. Then it rained and, with the exception of today (28th December), it seems to have done so ever since. I had to source cowl for the chimney – I had some sheet aluminium lying about at home so was able to make a crude conical device – but it seems to work.
Then a stock of firewood was needed. How much could I beg or steal? The Owners Agent and I have become observers of building sites and skips – no waste wood or unused pallet is safe….An electric chain saw was acquired.
The trailer was unloaded and the various sheets of plywood were examined. It’s like a big Airfix kit – each sheet has various parts on it, cut out with little tabs holding them in the sheet. Two minutes work with the electric jig saw releases each part – perfectly formed. In fact,one lifts a sheet too impetuosly the parts release themselves. The sheets were stacked on a couple of pallets and left in a corner of the shop.
We were almost ready to go.
* Or for nerds only
** Help, I need to think a name for this boat
*** As far as I know, there will be no physical assault on nails during the upcoming build procedure.
**** Not in another Galaxy – sorry Star Wars fans – but Stoke on Trent, when it boasted of Stanley Matthews and a steel works or two.