When I used the word "disassemble", I didn’t take all the pieces off and then reassemble it like an engine. I took only a few off at a time, so the other old pieces would still hold it together and in the proper shape.
You can see the rotten wood from years of water left in the hull after a day on the lake. There is a drain plug on the bottom of the hull, but all the water cannot be drained. There are too many nooks and crannies. The restored hull will be water proof, and this will not happen again. New procedures will be used that were not even thought of back in those days. They quit building wooden boats about 1965, and went to fiberglass.
This is a 3 piece unit called the stem and the grip. It forms the bow (pronounced bough) of the boat. The far end bolts to the keel, which is the backbone of the boat. The keel and grip/stem are in the center, the chines (the yellow levels are resting on the chines) form the lower outside edge of the boat, and the shear forms the upper outside edge of the boat. You will see these later.
These ugly rotten frames (labeled P3, P4, etc) you see, and the stem, grip and keel will be replaced with new white oak. The original were mahogany. They will be used as patterns for the new ones. I failed to take a picture of that operation. I took the frames from both sides, laid them together, compared the shape, and then decided which one is more true. Then it was placed on the new piece of white oak and the pattern drawn, taken to the band saw, and wallaa, a new frame. I actually cut both frames out at the same time, so they were mirror image twins.
In the top picture you see the new keel, grip/stem and some new frames in place. The shear is on the floor in this up-side-down photo. The bottom one shows all the new frames replaced.
An interesting and challenging operation is steam bending. A piece of wood will only bend so far before it breaks. But when you heat up the cells inside the wood, then when you bend it, the cells on the inside of the curve will squish smaller, and after it cools it remains in that new bent form. (If you heat it back up again, it will straighten out.) The board is soaked in salt water, and the moister transfers the heat quicker. Later on, I skipped the soaking and heated longer. Here are some pictures of the steaming process and a jig I built to form the transom pieces. The piece of wood is inserted into the steam box, steam is applied for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the thickness, and then removed and within seconds it is applied to the form/jig.
The black piece you can see is bent. It is black because it took me 4 tries to learn how and get it right. The steam should be 212 degrees, but at my altitude, 4500 feet above sea level, water boils at 205 degrees, so it takes longer to heat up.. These pieces are the transom bow and cheeks, which form the new transom.
You can see that I left some of the side planking on to help hold the shape of the boat.
One of my friends called this a naked boat. I wonder if she (the boat) is embarrassed? Boats sre girls, you know.
The date on this picture is 31 oct 2006. Halloween! It has now been 6 months, but I took 6 weeks off to help in the harvest. I generally work about 4 hours a day, some days only 1 hour, some days not at all and toward the end I worked up to 10 hours.
See you later.
A Romantic Christmas at the Ashworth Cottage
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