A renown naval architect, Howard Chapelle, advised that every boat shop needs a “moaning chair” where one can sit and look at a problem and think about how to fix it. It’s moaning chair time. Woodworkers often lament the way wood behaves when it is cut. Just after cutting the elliptical openings in the bulkheads, s-p-r-o-n-g! They both turned into curly things.
Several attempts to reflatten by steaming and clamping did no more than delaminate them. The resolution was to remake them using thicker boards. Then after all the cutting was completed, I milled them to the correct thickness.
This is one of those areas where it’s good to learn the lesson on a model. It turns out that builders of the 1:1 version have reported similar problems making these bulkheads.
The extra parts in the picture are for the hatches in the bulkheads. The bulkheads are intended to be watertight, providing a flotation chamber in each end of the boat. The plans define a hatch which uses a screw mechanism and gasket to close the opening. Or, one can buy a ready made closure from a boating supply outlet. I chose to mimic the one in the plans.
This made a good excuse for doing some refurbishment of an ancient Unimat lathe. It will never be a good metal turning lathe again, but it’s good enough for this task.
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