Post XXXVIII - Seat Risers, Seat Posts & Transom Cap

Shit's getting pretty real now. It's fun to be working on finishing touches of the construction, even though the pace is almost unbearably slow. I got some free time over the weekend and put on quite a few of the remaining interior pieces. First thing was the transom knee -- shaped long ago but never attached.

Figure 179: Installed transom knee

the aft seat risers were next; these have been delayed for far too long because I wasn't quite sure how to approach it. The seats in the aft end are highly curved and steeply beveled. Not the funnest thing to try and fit. I started the same way as I did for the other seats, picking up the bevels and drawing them out on the riser stock. 

Figure 180: Aft seats mocked up

I managed to get both risers fitting pretty good on the ends, but there is a problem in the middle -- the curvature of the hull leaves a pretty hefty gap. It's somewhat visible in Figure 181, but in reality it's around 3/16". On the main and forward seat risers I corrected for curvature with a few swipes of the block plane. If I had tried to do that here, it would have made a mess. 

Figure 181: Aft seat riser showing gap with the curved hull

So out came the steambox again. I made a jig to hold and clamp the seat risers (which were already beveled). The little block in the middle is notched to keep the centre of the risers from splaying apart -- I wanted bending in one plane only. The risers were steamed for 35 minutes and then I clamped them with a slight over-bend and left them overnight. 

Figure 182: Steam bending jig for risers

Figure 183: Clamped and over-bent

Times like these are good for taking care of some of the less savoury parts of the process. After I got the clamp on my seat risers, I went around the hull and sanded, then taped off everywhere I plan to add a structural fillet. Each of the floors and seat risers will be receiving one, along with the transom knee. I don't plan to fillet the gunwales (even though plans call for it) because I used mechanical fasteners as well as glue. Not super important to know, but it's the reason images for the rest of the images in this post show green tape all over everything.   

These were left overnight and came out looking pretty good. One of them took a slight twist and had to be corrected, but the curvatures were just about perfect. These were then dry-fit while attached to the seats and glued to the interior of the hull in the same manner as the main and fore seats (discussed a few posts back).

Figure 184: Aft seat risers ready to go

One of the final construction items to tick off were the seat posts. Both fore and aft seats are supposed to be connected to the keelson in the plans. In the originals, this takes the form of a dowel or fancy lathe-turned rod of some sort. I had some of my gunwale stock left and decided just to make them square. I made 2 brackets -- one for the bottom of each seat -- and cut square mortises in them. The keelson received matching square mortises and the posts have a square tenon cut on each end. The bandsaw makes very short work of the tenon cutting -- would recommend using this instead of trying to hand-saw and chisel them out.   

Figure 185: Midships and forward seat posts / brackets

Getting post lengths right was very much a fit-in-place type of thing. I mounted the brackets to the bottom of the seats and attached the seats to their risers. Using the try square I lined everything up as best I could and marked lengths on the pots before cutting the final tenons. 

Figure 186: Matching hole in the keelson

Figure 187: Going togeeeeeethhhhherrrrrrr......

I like the fit-in-place method. It's a bit finnicky and you always wish you had an extra hand, but it does produce good results if you're careful. The posts went in and fitted perfectly on the first try. I think I'm getting better at this finally....

Figure 188: ....aaaaaand clunk. Complete midship seat post

Figure 189: Complete forward seat post

I thought it looked good with just the gunwales in place! Putting in all the seats really makes it look complete. I admit I climbed up into the boat at this point and pretended to do some rowing, in both fore and aft positions. FUN!

Figure 190: Completed seats, looking aft

Figure 191: Completed seats, looking forward. Saran-wrap to prevent seats sticking to risers.

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