Monday, September 13, 2010

I Find Your Lack of Explosions Disturbing

I may have mentioned how bending the spring-loaded sheer stringers on the boat puts the whole thing under enormous stress. As in, I have to huff and puff and make squinty faces and squat-lean all my weight against the wood to get it to curve into place. Still seems like it should explode all over the garage. Odd.

Today I was fitting the starboard sheer stringer, and eventually, after swatting mosquitoes and braving antediluvian crickets, claimed victory, the whole thing creaking and taut like a room full of catapults.

Getting the strips to lie flush against the bow was no small challenge, what with the quadruple-helix twist they went through, and the soul-flexing forces I had to apply. But fit they did! Here you see, in center frame, clamped in place, the flush fit of the top layer of the starboard stringer. Oh, just trust me, it's flush:

Also note, three wedges slipped under the rope to tighten it up. Much more effective than any knot.

And now, behold the army of clamps that made it possible. Spring clamps, bar clamps, C-clamps, and today's favorite: scrap rope wrapped three or four times around the wood and secured with a lazy half-hitch. Holds tight, can be installed with one hand (unlike certain bar clamps) and gives as much as I need it to.

Next step: gluing.


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that wood will never relent in its tensile force. In a way, your entire boat will be a pre-stressed structure, which a structural engineer can tell you is extremely strong. And since your stressed members twist and turn, you have multiple vectors of force holding the boat together.

Until they break.

S R Wood said...

I'm imagining the whole spring-loaded boat bobbing happily at the dock, tra-la-la ... until the unsuspecting sailor puts one foot on the deck.

BANG! The sheer strake will whip off, sending the sailor spinning over the horizon while the boat disintegrates in a shower of wood.

EyeInHand said...

Starting to look rather boatie already, lack of explosions notwithstanding. A little bundle of potential energy. Perhaps you should christen her "Siege Weapon" or "Trebuchet", which has a nice ring to it. Might cause people to stoll past along the far side of the dock.

I'll have a large surplus of extra clamps soon. If you want some more for the duration of your project, let me know. Would be happy to see them used.

EyeInHand said...

Mmm, that would be "stroll."

S R Wood said...

Thanks, Barry: that is a tempting offer indeed as no boatbuilder ever has enough clamps.

Trebuchet: I love it.

Anonymous said...

You learn something new everyday like: " have multiple vectors of force holding the boat together. Until they break."
Well, and all these years I had been thinking that vectors don't break, that they just hang around and sail gracefully, seamlessly accross the planes with their older brothers the tensors.

Well, what do you know?