Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Frame Assembly First Phase Completed

This afternoon I completed the first phase of the frame assembly process. This phase was about gluing everything together and cleaning up the glue lines. Technically , I have a bit more cleanup to do, but for the most part it is done. Frame 1 went together quickly. After edge gluing the parts and filler blocks for the transom (frame 0), I wanted to see if there would be any interference problems with adding the interior gussets.

After looking the plans over carefully, re-reading several books and articles on constructing the transoms, and carefully looking over photos I have of this boat and others, I determined that the interior gussets are not actually needed because the frame parts are reinforced with the plywood forming the transom wall. Additionally, these gussets can be added at a later date if desired so I elected not to add them at this time.

The research also showed that the filler blocks for the transom were not called out either and I was a little concerned that these might interfere with some other later assembly. But the research showed this not to be a problem. The filler blocks add considerable strength to the three frame parts which would only be joined on a short edge otherwise. So these will stay in place.

Here is a another shot of the two final frames.

So the next phase of frame assembly will be repairing any assembly holes from nails and then encapsulating with epoxy resin. The holes will be repaired with thickened epoxy and sanded flush.

Encapsulation is a vital part of the process as it protects the wood from moisture. It involves coating the entire frame with two (maybe three) coats of unthickened epoxy resin. Each coat is applied and allowed to cure before applying the next coat. I will also be doing a fine sanding between coats so that the frame parts that will be exposed will have smooth surfaces. All joints and possible water entry points must be coated so that there is no chance for water to seep into the structure. I will leave the outside edges of the frames uncoated for now because these will be shaped to allow the skins to lie flat. So there is no sense in coating them just yet. They will be coated before the skins are applied.

I have also started planning the next glue up project which will be the stem. This is the curved assembly that forms the shape of the bow. It is made up from three layers of 3/4 inch plywood. It will be epoxied together and also fastened with bronze wood screws. Here is a picture of that part temporarily set up with frames 5 and 6 to give some idea of how it will look.

Of course, I am also planning on starting on the building form but that will require a bit of time to save up for the lumber and hardware needed. I anticipate starting on that sometime in June. I have enough work for at least a couple of weeks and if necessary, I can purchase some lumber early and begin assembly of the building form. We'll see.

So that's it for now. Take care and enjoy the spring and summer.

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