Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Initial Frame Fitting - Part 1

So I have talked in the past about initially fitting frame parts and I have shown some end result pictures but never really explained the process I use. This article will go through the steps I take to fit the frame parts together. The article is actually in two parts because I wanted to post an update and I haven't completed all the steps and taken all the photos for this article. I will be too busy over the next few days to do that and I did not want to delay posting another blog entry.

It should be noted that there are any number of different ways of accomplishing this process. This is the process I am using. I make no claims that it is the best or the only way to do this. Given my constraints on spending, I elected to fit these parts in the fashion I will describe.

When the parts are first laid out, the side pieces are a bit longer than they need to be. Additionally, parts such as gussets and gusset filler blocks are not drawn on the plans. There are only general instructions about how much of the frame parts must be covered by the gussets. All of these pieces will need to be final fitted or created.

The end result will look like this

The first step is to align the bottom frame piece to the chine and keel points that were previously measured and laid out on the layout board. 

These measurements come from the plans and indicate where the centerline of the bottom frame reaches at the keel and were the ends of the frame meet at the chine blocks. See the article that explains these terms here: Article with chine, keel, and sheer description

The frame bottom needs to be temporarily attached to the layout board so that it doesn't move. This is done with nails. The holes for the nails should be pre-drilled slightly smaller than the nail. Predrilling insures that the wood doesn't split when the nails are hammered in.

Next the side pieces are aligned to the sheer point at the top and to the curve line representing the outer edge. The sheer point and curve were also previously drawn on the layout board.

At this point, the side pieces are too long and overlap the bottom frame member. 

After the side part is aligned to its marks and the curve, a couple of marks are made on both edges to show where the part needs to be trimmed. These marks are then transferred to the side of the part. This will be where the part is cut. Always double check the part again to make sure the line is in the correct location.

I don’t have a band saw so I use a jig saw to make the cuts instead. However, that requires that I cut a bit further away from the line than I might do with a band saw. Either way, it’s best to not cut right to the line. Better to leave a bit of excess and then sand down to the line using a belt (or disc) sander.

The next article will detail the remaining fitting steps as well as making gussets and filler blocks.

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