Archive for the ‘Eva Too’ Category

Name Boards for Canoes – conclusion

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Not that I’m a slow worker or anything like that… The name boards, carved nearly a month ago are on the canoes. They are finished to match the canoes. Two coats of Cetol Marine went on first. That prevented paint, applied to the incisions, from running in end grain. A third coat of Cetol sealed them.

Placement varies from what the Brits use, smack in the middle of the sides, because those are spots where these boats ride against each other when being transported. Instead, I found relatively flat spots away from the middles. I also used some Dolfinite bedding compound on the green boat because those boards were being placed with attachment holes drilled into the flotation chamber.

The best thing about them is that they will usually be seen while the boat is bobbing around, and one can’t see both sides of a boat at the same time.

photo of bedding compound being applied photo of the green canoe with name board photo of the red canoe with name board

Name Boards for Canoes

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Learning Lettercarving – parts 2 to 376 have been cancelled. It’s not that I’ve quit Chris Pye’s course. I’m just continuing over in a dark corner of the shop and won’t bore you with details.

Needing to break out of the Practice, Practice, Practice regimen, I decided to actually make something. Long ago, I gave up on making name plates for the two canoes, not wanting to resort to die-cut plastic letters or something else equally dull. Now, I have a better alternative, carved “Name Boards.” On larger craft they might also be called “Quarterboards.”

(As always, click on the pictures to see the full / larger views.)

photo collage - sawing, planing, etcI always resort to the scrap pile for first of a kind projects … erm, prototypes. That way, if they turn out poorly, they’re still scrap! The scrap pile is fresh out of old growth mahogany (the preferred material for name boards), or any growth mahogany for that matter. The pile did include off-cuts from the cedar planking used on Eva Won. Voila! Light weight material that might actually finish up nicely. These were pieces already dimensioned to about 5/16″ thick, and there were enough of them to easily make 4 boards, two for Eva Won and two for Eva Too.

Prep is easy. Rough cut the length. Rip to desired widths. Plane the long edges smooth. Cut the curvy parts with the curvy saw. Cleanup the broad curves with the dreaded sanding block.

photo collage - layed out boards and carving with mallet and chiselLayout took a lot more time than wood prep, not unusual I guess. A double course of borders, each about 1/4″ defined the space remaining for lettering. I drew up paper patterns for the lettering, primarily so I could fold them in half lengthwise to find the center of the text. Not being as clever as Kari about making a transfer tool, I just used dividers to pick measures off the paper and then drew the letters directly on the wood. A small shop made straightedge, shop made square and a bevel gauge made this work easy despite being tedious.

The lettercarving is done with chisels and mallet in the classic incised style. With cedar being very soft, there were many areas where the mallet wasn’t really needed. However, here’s where extremely sharp photo of completed name boardsedges really matter. The cedar’s texture runs from imminently carvable to imminently crushable. In places it is soft and stringy and only a slicing cut will work. So, cedar has become the new test bed for my chisels and gouges. After sharpening, I always test the sharpness with a couple of plunge cuts and a couple of cross grain slices. If those cuts can be made smoothly in this cedar, the tools are sharp enough for self-apendectomies.

Once the letters are carved, some pinwheel ornaments are placed around the future screw holes. Then, the borders are lowered in two steps.

photo of helicopter toysNext, finishing. Just checked; there’s no gold leaf in the paint locker.
Finishing and mounting on the boats in another entry.

P.S. Also made good use of the off-cuts from these pieces. We’ll be visiting a swarm of grandkids soon. Some low-tech “helicopters” might entertain them a few minutes.

Secondary Stability

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

picture of a meter showing "Very Stable"One of the factors for selecting the Mill Creek 13 for the Eva Too build was stability. The CLC Boats site had this confidence inspiring meter showing the boat to be very stable. That really appealed to Eva.

We’ve had both boats out several times recently and have gotten used to their rolling nature. Yesterday, I had no water sensitive electronics aboard, so I tested “secondary stability.” That’s the kind of stability that a hull exhibits (or doesn’t) when rolled off of its normal keel. My tests were simple and didn’t go all the way to a complete capsize. I simply leaned over until it felt as though I was about to fall out of the boat. Each boat behaved very nicely. They rolled over onto one of their planks and remained stable. I was able to roll to the point of having a rub rail submerged.

In the end, we need another notch on that meter. It was harder to get the Fiddlehead over to rub rail submersion than it was the Mill Creek. I think one would literally fall out of the boat before either one rolls enough to capsize.

Eva Too is Launched

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Compared to the launch of Eva Won, this one was dull and boring.

photo of Bob in the boat on the waterThe wind was up pretty strong on the lake today, so it wasn’t the right day for a long ride … and it was cool enough for long sleeves too. The boat moves along quite nicely. I even made good speed heading directly into the wind. I don’t know whether that’s because of the boat, the new double paddle, or me the novice rower. I suspect it’s a little of all. The boat handles well and tracks straight. I even slid up to the dock like an old hand. No crashes, no unintended bumps, no unexpected swimming. A very pleasant launch.

Eva Too – Propulsion

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Making paddles is easy. Some say even children can learn to make them. So, I enjoy the childlike satisfaction of paddle making. The great thing about them is they can be done in a matter of a few hours, not days, or weeks … unless you really want to drag out the making, and the enjoyment.

photo of book coverMy general guide is “Canoe Paddles” by Warren and Gidmark. Enough variations exist in that book to keep a paddle maker occupied for a long time. While the book focuses mostly on single paddles, there are a few pages about double paddles, and plenty of information about a variety of construction techniques.

photo of paddle and toolsThis is my third double paddle. I take the simple approach, using western red cedar, no fancy laminations, no exotic woods. Today, I’m learning. I anticipate fancier paddles later. This paddle is 7 feet 6 inches long and has straight blades. The construction is a lamination of the loom and four blades. The loom is oval in cross section, and measures 1 and 1/8 inch by 1 and 1/2 inch. The oval cross section fits easily in the hands making blade orientation automatic. The thick part of the blades is 1/2 inch thick, tapering to 3/16 inch at the edges. Keeping things simple, I do not add reinforced tips. Those will come another day.

My long bench and its leg vise make work holding easy. The tools are simple. An old Stanley spokeshave does most of the shaping. The two tools in the foreground are Snell and Atherton leather shaves. They were originally cobblers’ tools for boot making, but work extremely well with soft woods. I use them for the concave areas in the throats where the blades blend with the loom. That little French curved sanding block is really handy for final smoothing.

Paddle making is much like sculpting. It’s all curves, gently shaping and refining, feeling the wood constantly. I find it very enjoyable.

Finish is tung oil, the real stuff, not the blend of oil and varnish often found at the Borg.

This completed paddle will show up in the launch day picture(s).

Eva Too – Coaming and Backrest

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Some time ago, I showed some “small stuff” that was done while waiting for epoxy to cure.

two photos of fabricating the coamingphoto of gray splotches on the coamingThat work was creating and dry fitting the coaming parts. I needed to turn the boat over again to finish painting the bottom, so held of on installing those parts. Back to them now. It seems an simple job: epoxy them in place, clean up the excess, and move on. So simple …

Unless of course, you botch it. My mistake was cleaning up with some contaminated white vinegar. I had degunked a cabinet rasp in the jug of white vinegar. That discolored the vinegar mildly, but not enough to set off warning alarms the next time I picked up the jug.  The contamination settled out as gray stains on the freshly installed coaming. Of course, it wasn’t immediately visible. The next day brought out the dreaded sandpaper and (with tedium) the stain was removed. You can still find remnants if you know where to look.

photo of backrest and a bit of coamingWork with the backrest went much better. The rest itself was assembled some time ago. Now with the actual width defined by the completed coaming, the job was to make the blocks, trim the crossbar to fit, reshape some for pleasing appearance and dry fit  it in place. Then, of course, remove it so the coaming, and the deck can receive a few coats of Marine Cetol as the finish that provides UV protection for the epoxy.

That last finishing is underway now. Pictures later.

FWIW, Sikkens advises re-coating Cetol after 24 hours, and NO sanding between coats. They do that (1) because the stuff isn’t cured enough for sanding after 24 hours (or 48, or 72 (dahik)), and (2) they want to be sure you apply a full 3 coats, not 3 diminished coats, to get the protection they guarantee.