Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Partition Artwork

I've completed work on an wooden inlay that I originally wanted to use in 2013 when I was assembling frame 6. At the time, the work area for the art was too small for this particular art which is more detailed. I elected to use commercial laser cut software from Chesapeake Light Craft instead.

But over the years I still wanted to use this particular artwork, a clipper ship under full sail. When I decided on adding a partition between the head box and the starboard seat box, this seemed like the perfect place to try this out as the area is larger.

However getting the art laser cut was out of the question at this time due to financial considerations, so I chose to do it by hand instead using a sharp knife. Watching a few You Tube videos gave me the confidence I needed to start.

The following photo was shown in my previous posting, but I wanted to include it here as well since this is basically the start of the process. When I first considered doing this in 2013, I was thinking about using colored (dyed) wood veneers, hence the colored artwork. However, the colors appeared too vibrant for the look I was after when I took this back up a month ago so I took the time to create a wire frame version of the drawing to use in cutting the wood veneers. The colored version was simply used as a guide when selecting the different shades of natural wood colored veneers.

I started out by cutting the oval from the main background veneer with the drawing taped to the wood. Reasoning that the drawing would get more and more difficult to work with as I continued cutting pieces out, I figured the best thing to do was work from the inside out. The first piece cut out was one of the sails. I initially started by adding the final veneer material to the backside before cutting because this was the way they did it in the You Tube video.

The the cut was made through the drawing and the primary background material. Then the final material was cut out, being careful to try and not split the wood. This required 6 fresh blades over the course of this process.

The part was then super glued into position

As I moved on to other sails, I would tape down the drawing temporarily before cutting out each sail. I continued to place the final veneer behind the cut areas prior to cutting. And then after completing all the cuts needed for a given sail piece, I would remove the tape (except a couple of pieces on the side of the oval) as well as move the paper out of the way and then glue in the part.

As I got further along, I learned that it was easier to leave the final veneer off the back until I completed cutting out the primary material. The I could position the final veneer material into place on the backside and tape it down. 

I believe this only worked because the primary veneer is paper backed whereas the others are not. If the primary material had not been paper backed, it would have most likely split at some point as all of these veneers are quite fragile.

By the time I go to this point, my fingers and wrists were getting quite sore. The actual project took me 16 hours spread out over 4 days. This was mostly to give my fingers and wrists a chance to recover.

But now I was getting close and wanted to push through until the end. Many of the parts between the sails and the hull were very small and difficult to cut out. Several broke and had to be redone.

Eventually I got to the last piece and completed the work.

Now the plan is to cut out a matching oval in the primary veneer planned for the partition. Then when I add that veneer to the partition later today, I will epoxy this in place at the same time. Tomorrow (or maybe Friday since tomorrow will be busy with festivities), I will clean up the veneers and give this a light sanding. The primary veneer on the partition will be stained, but this artwork will remain as it is. Eventually the entire partition will be epoxy encapsulated.

I'll cover more of that next time. Until then, take care.

Click Here To Comment:

  1. Superb work, Carl! What a unique, beautiful, and personalized focal point to add to your boat! Can't wait to see it installed on the completed VeraCruise.


    1. Thanks Michael. I completed construction work on it this morning but will be delaying the staining and final installation until I get more of the starboard side work completed. It's difficult waiting for all of this. I have so many boat parts in a 60 to 80% completion stage, waiting for the right time to finish and install them!


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