Saturday, October 27, 2007

Interesting sub-milestone

The next BIG milestone is when we finish planking (the eagerly anticipated "whisky plank"). We hit an interesting point in the planking today, though: we fit the two longest planks on the hull. Because of the way the hull curves, the plank that crosses the top of the transom (in other words, since the hull is upside down, the plank at the lowest point on the transom in the pictures) is the longest one on the boat.

It worked out well; we scarfed up just enough really long planks to finish that bit. From here on, the planks will get shorter quickly, because of the small angle at which they cross the sheer.

Um, that's all for now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

As promised - pix of more planking

The planking, it continues. Took the weekend off and went to Toronto to see Ron Hawkins and Mick Thomas, and to visit Courtney's brother & fambly. It was a pretty good time, you damn betcha.

As you can see, we're getting on with the planking; it helps that we can go away and Buster keeps working! Looking something like a boat at this point.

That's about it really, just wanted to post some pictures of the planking progress to date. The next exciting and fiddly bits will come when we plank over the hog, which is currently obscured by planks waiting to be applied. But we're getting closer to the whisky plank, and the Dalmore Black Pearl is ready and waiting!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Planking continues

...but we have no pix for you. Haven't done any work since last weekend, either, because Courtney and Tara were in Toronto for some Ron Hawkins/Mick Thomas gigs. Before that, Wednesday's planking session was canceled 'cause Buster had to take Dooley the Dog (the Wavey Creek springer) all the way to Saskatoon for emergency eye surgery. Sadly, Dooley lost her eye, but we don't expect that to slow her down any!

Oh, and further to the polyurethane glue we've been using, I wanted to highlight this comment from Ron: "You can add that the drippy bits chisel off real easy-like; it actually does come out of a wool garment, and offa the arm hair even after setting up." Yep, we like it.

This week, MOAR planking, with pix!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Planking pictures!

Here are some pictures of planking progress to date. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled plankers. We've got about ten planks on each side now, so we're making good progress.
If you look at the close-up shot below, you'll see how the glue we're using (polyurethane, AKA "Gorilla Glue") foams up and fills the cracks between the planks. We like it better than epoxy, 'cause it's easier to work with, and it's waterproof (well, so is epoxy), and it doesn't smell bad, and it sands pretty easily, and it makes a nice strong bond. Highly recommended if you're used to planking with epoxy!

The plank scarfing jig

As our devoted readers will know, planking involves some kinda long pieces of cedar. Around 18 feet long. Since available cedar boards were, well, less than that, we had to scarf strips together. Sometimes two scarfs per strip, even. The first picture shows some short strips waiting to be scarfed. That's a LOT of scarfs, so a handy jig is a good thing. tells us that a jig, in this sense, is "a plate, box, or open frame for holding work and for guiding a machine tool to the work, used esp. for locating and spacing drilled holes; fixture." We're after something that helps us line up, clamp, and glue multiple scarfs.

Turns out an open U-shaped box lined with polyethylene is just perfect. Add strips of poly between each scarfed pair of planks, and it's slicker than a really really slick thing!

Once the scarfs are glued and stacked and tapped in from each end (not too hard, just enough to press the angled ends together firmly without undue overlap), we clamp the jig. We clamp the sides together, then insert a block to spread the force and clamp from the top as well.

It's a modest little production improvement, but it lets us scarf seven planks at once. No scarfing bottleneck in this operation!

Oh, and for those of you what are still waiting for the Plank Scarfing Jig, Courtney hasn't written it yet. Too busy playing actual shows to have some quality time with a mandolin!