Post XI - Keels and stems

 Tonight I worked on the inner keel. I realized when trying to fit it to the mold that I ripped my stock about 1/16 too wide. Not to worry though - perfect opportunity to do some more planing! I have an old Stanley No.28 transition jointer plane that I only recently got back in good working order, so I was itching to try that out. I met with mixed success...the horned part of the handle on it is busted, so it's very difficult to use comfortably, and its hugeness makes it difficult to control on a narrow edge. I ended up going back to the No.3 plane. It's more finnicky to get long even cuts with it, but it's really the better tool for work like this I think. Also, thanks again to Harry and Wyatt at Bryan boatbuilders for the instruction on proper plane use (unsolicited plug).


Once I got it all planed down to the right size and the inside corners beveled, I fit it to the molds. Looks pretty cool on there.

Figure 26: Inside stem laid up on the mold.

I don't know if it's visible in this picture but if you look toward the transom, there is a noticeable wobble in the keel line, somewhere around station 10-11. I think maybe I should have stretched a string between stem and transom before putting up all the molds. I might be in for a bit of repositioning now. Not too big a deal, just a bit annoyed that I didn't take the time to do it right earlier.  

Figure 27: Tiny wobble in the stem line toward the aft end of the boat.

...but instead of doing that right now, I wanted to get my ash stem laminates all milled up. Inside and outside stem are each 1 inch, and I decided to build each up out of 1/4" stock. I really wanted to saw these to get the vertical grain facing out, but with the stock I had left, there was no way to do it. Keeping true to my economical build, I decided to use the stock I had, and milled them up flat grain style. It might make them harder to bend, but the stem curve is fairly generous and I don't anticipate problems. I have some spare stock to mill up another strip in case I break one anyway. 

Figure 28: Stem laminates all ready to go.

No time for doing the stem glue-ups at this point, so I finished off the evening with some nice relaxing bit & brace work. Not to go too philosophical on you, but man, they knew how to make tools back in the day. this 1" auger beats the everloving shit out of the hole saw I was swearing at for the first 2 holes. I bored a dozen perfect holes with this bastard in the time it took the useless wood-scorching hole saw to do just one! 

Figure 29: Bit & Brace. One of the most satisfying tools in the box.

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