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Strongback and stations progress, Corky's Winisk

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  • charles.k.scott@dartmouth.edu
    I had a week off for the holidays and spent some time in NJ visiting the in-laws and most of the time home in Vermont working on the stations and getting them
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2006
      I had a week off for the holidays and spent some time in NJ visiting the in-laws and most of the time home in Vermont working on the stations and getting them attached to the strongback.

      I'm making the station forms out of CDX partical board. I wanted to use that because it's dimensionally very stable and is also very flat. But it is extremely heavy, especially in the 3/4" thick 4'X8'sheets.

      It was all I could do to lift one of the sheets off the floor and onto the saw horses. For the next sheet, I decided to lift one end at a time onto the saw horses. That worked much better in terms of me not straining something.

      At this point I have all the forms cut out and stations 1 through 5 installed with bolts through the station blocks. A number of other forms are temporarily installed using C clamps just to see them in place. I can't tell you how long I studied the plans to make sure I got the forms lined up to the marks, but it seems like I spent hours trying to interpret the plans.

      You can either put the station forms forward of the station line, aft, or centered directly on top. The plans state that forward of the center of the strongback, the forms should sit with the front face to the rear of the line. Aft of the center, they should sit forward of the lines. They said that laying things out this way makes tapering them much easier. I'm not sure I understand, but I followed the directions anyway.

      I ended up putting the mounting block opposite what the plans called for but I don't think that matters as the mounting blocks are out of the way from any construction. I put the mounting blocks on the other side of the line from the forms so that I could clamp them in place and then drill through them and the strongback to bolt them solidly in place. Once that was done, I could install the station form to it and know that it would be right against the station line.

      So the mounting blocks were all pre drilled for the station forms. Once they were all mounted to the strongback, I removed them one by one (or at least I'm in the process of doing this) and clamped them to the station form, then used the predrilled hole through them to guide the drill to drill the holes in the station form. Once that was done, I moved the mounting block over to the drill press and widened the hole from 3/8" to 1/2". This is to allow minor adjustment of the forms once all are installed. You just loosen the two bolts and make the minor tweak needed to get the forms centered. The bolt hole through the station form remains at 3/8", so the bolt fits snugly in the station form, and a bit loosely in the mounting block. Washers at both ends allow it to be tightened nicely.

      Speaking of the bolts, I happened to have a box of 3/8 bolts that I'd used for a house project and wanted to use them as they were otherwise just sitting around, but they were too long by about 2 inches. That's what tap and die sets are for and I was glad I'd bit the bullet and purchased one a year ago. It takes 38 half turns to cut threads to the point where the bolt can be used. I counted them.... So I'll have to do this for all the bolts used, that's 16 pairs of them. Once the threads were cut, I snipped the extra length off on my metal cutting band saw. Being a collector of tools sometimes has it's rewards.

      At this point, I still have to remove the forms and do the final sanding so that they conform as closely as I can make them to the station templates, and are smooth. I used a jigsaw to cut them out, and went through 6 blades doing so. The blades didn't stop cutting, but after cutting out five or so stations I found things went more smoothly if I replaced the blade with a new sharp one.

      I took a photo of the situation at that time, and have added the bow stem form and have to get a shot of that too, and put them on the website.

      Speaking of the stem form, I slightly modified the holes you cut out to use for clamping the stem around the form. No biggie, but I flattened the sides of the holes facing the outside edge so that the C clamp had a flat surface to clamp to. The holes now resemble a D. Not necessary but I had the jig saw fired up and thought it might ease the process of clamping the stem sections a bit.

      I also accepted a load of rough cut cedar, which I'm somewhat unsure about. It's Eastern White Cedar, cut locally from a woodsite where "every other tree seems to be cedar". It's a local guy who has a personal saw mill on his property and offered to cut as much as I needed and slice it up for me and deliver it.

      I accepted, but it is rough and I do mean ROUGH cut. Some of the boards taper in thickness significantly and I can see that I'll have to do a lot of scarfing in order to get clear lengths. I can get Western Red Cedar nearby in longish planks, and I would like to have some of that on hand as well so that I can vary the look of the hull.

      Finally, in order to outfit the shop for the canoe build and future use, I bought a planer from the Grizzly folks. It was on sale for the holidays and will be big enough to handle the widest boards I have. Considering the accute tapering of the cedar planks, it's going to get a lot of use eventually. They aren't all tapered in thickness, but about 1/4 of the pile has some "dimensional discrepancies." ;-)

      This weekend, weather permitting, I'll be traveling to a house in Massachussetts to pick up a disk/belt sander that a widow wants to get rid of. Then I need to fabricate the router table and I'll be ready to begin milling strips, when the weather moderates and the bathroom renovation allows me to spend time.

      Corky Scott
    • Scott & Jane
      Hi Corky, It sounds as though you are making a super strong strong-back and form set-up. I just used sheet rock screws, ½ shop plywood and chunks of scrap
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2006
        Hi Corky,



        It sounds as though you are making a super strong strong-back and form
        set-up. I just used sheet rock screws, ½ shop plywood and chunks of scrap
        2x2 for the blocks and all worked out fine.



        For my planks I bought Very rough cut western red cedar 1 x 8 x 18’. They
        varied in thickness about an eighth of an inch. I ripped the strips out at
        a thickness of about 0.310 and ran them through the planer to get the 0.250
        – 0.260” thickness. Looking back, I should have planed all of the planks
        down all to a uniform 3/*4” thickness before I started ripping the strips.
        It’s not noticeable now unless you look closely from the bow or stern. The
        raw planks were by no means “Clear” but out of 8 planks I had over 60 clear
        strips, more than enough to do the canoe with plenty of kindling left over.
        I am building a 17.5’ Redbird and have almost completed the hull stripping.



        Happy stripping!



        Scott Carroll

        Redbird

        San Diego, CA

        _____

        From: cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        charles.k.scott@...
        Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 10:24 AM
        To: cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Cedar Strip Canoes] Strongback and stations progress, Corky's
        Winisk



        I had a week off for the holidays and spent some time in NJ visiting the
        in-laws and most of the time home in Vermont working on the stations and
        getting them attached to the strongback.

        I'm making the station forms out of CDX partical board. I wanted to use
        that because it's dimensionally very stable and is also very flat. But it
        is extremely heavy, especially in the 3/4" thick 4'X8'sheets.

        It was all I could do to lift one of the sheets off the floor and onto the
        saw horses. For the next sheet, I decided to lift one end at a time onto
        the saw horses. That worked much better in terms of me not straining
        something.

        At this point I have all the forms cut out and stations 1 through 5
        installed with bolts through the station blocks. A number of other forms
        are temporarily installed using C clamps just to see them in place. I can't
        tell you how long I studied the plans to make sure I got the forms lined up
        to the marks, but it seems like I spent hours trying to interpret the plans.

        You can either put the station forms forward of the station line, aft, or
        centered directly on top. The plans state that forward of the center of the
        strongback, the forms should sit with the front face to the rear of the
        line. Aft of the center, they should sit forward of the lines. They said
        that laying things out this way makes tapering them much easier. I'm not
        sure I understand, but I followed the directions anyway.

        I ended up putting the mounting block opposite what the plans called for but
        I don't think that matters as the mounting blocks are out of the way from
        any construction. I put the mounting blocks on the other side of the line
        from the forms so that I could clamp them in place and then drill through
        them and the strongback to bolt them solidly in place. Once that was done,
        I could install the station form to it and know that it would be right
        against the station line.

        So the mounting blocks were all pre drilled for the station forms. Once
        they were all mounted to the strongback, I removed them one by one (or at
        least I'm in the process of doing this) and clamped them to the station
        form, then used the predrilled hole through them to guide the drill to drill
        the holes in the station form. Once that was done, I moved the mounting
        block over to the drill press and widened the hole from 3/8" to 1/2". This
        is to allow minor adjustment of the forms once all are installed. You just
        loosen the two bolts and make the minor tweak needed to get the forms
        centered. The bolt hole through the station form remains at 3/8", so the
        bolt fits snugly in the station form, and a bit loosely in the mounting
        block. Washers at both ends allow it to be tightened nicely.

        Speaking of the bolts, I happened to have a box of 3/8 bolts that I'd used
        for a house project and wanted to use them as they were otherwise just
        sitting around, but they were too long by about 2 inches. That's what tap
        and die sets are for and I was glad I'd bit the bullet and purchased one a
        year ago. It takes 38 half turns to cut threads to the point where the bolt
        can be used. I counted them.... So I'll have to do this for all the bolts
        used, that's 16 pairs of them. Once the threads were cut, I snipped the
        extra length off on my metal cutting band saw. Being a collector of tools
        sometimes has it's rewards.

        At this point, I still have to remove the forms and do the final sanding so
        that they conform as closely as I can make them to the station templates,
        and are smooth. I used a jigsaw to cut them out, and went through 6 blades
        doing so. The blades didn't stop cutting, but after cutting out five or so
        stations I found things went more smoothly if I replaced the blade with a
        new sharp one.

        I took a photo of the situation at that time, and have added the bow stem
        form and have to get a shot of that too, and put them on the website.

        Speaking of the stem form, I slightly modified the holes you cut out to use
        for clamping the stem around the form. No biggie, but I flattened the sides
        of the holes facing the outside edge so that the C clamp had a flat surface
        to clamp to. The holes now resemble a D. Not necessary but I had the jig
        saw fired up and thought it might ease the process of clamping the stem
        sections a bit.

        I also accepted a load of rough cut cedar, which I'm somewhat unsure about.
        It's Eastern White Cedar, cut locally from a woodsite where "every other
        tree seems to be cedar". It's a local guy who has a personal saw mill on
        his property and offered to cut as much as I needed and slice it up for me
        and deliver it.

        I accepted, but it is rough and I do mean ROUGH cut. Some of the boards
        taper in thickness significantly and I can see that I'll have to do a lot of
        scarfing in order to get clear lengths. I can get Western Red Cedar nearby
        in longish planks, and I would like to have some of that on hand as well so
        that I can vary the look of the hull.

        Finally, in order to outfit the shop for the canoe build and future use, I
        bought a planer from the Grizzly folks. It was on sale for the holidays and
        will be big enough to handle the widest boards I have. Considering the
        accute tapering of the cedar planks, it's going to get a lot of use
        eventually. They aren't all tapered in thickness, but about 1/4 of the pile
        has some "dimensional discrepancies." ;-)

        This weekend, weather permitting, I'll be traveling to a house in
        Massachussetts to pick up a disk/belt sander that a widow wants to get rid
        of. Then I need to fabricate the router table and I'll be ready to begin
        milling strips, when the weather moderates and the bathroom renovation
        allows me to spend time.

        Corky Scott



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      • charles.k.scott@dartmouth.edu
        ... It sounds as though you are making a super strong strong-back and form set-up. I just used sheet rock screws, PI shop plywood and chunks of scrap 2x2 for
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 4, 2006
          --- You wrote:
          It sounds as though you are making a super strong strong-back and form
          set-up. I just used sheet rock screws, PI shop plywood and chunks of scrap
          2x2 for the blocks and all worked out fine.
          --- end of quote ---

          The strongback itself is made from 3/4" plywood that I found laying against the side of a barn. The plywood had a sign next to it saying "free". So I grabbed four sheets of it. I ended up having to wash it several times as it apparently was the floor of the barn and many cows had layered it with "compost". ;-) Never did get the smell entirely out of them. But was free, and I sliced up the plywood into 11" strips that I then put together in overlapping sections to make the strongback. Where I connected one to the other, I put in a 1 1/2" pine bulkhead. The strong back is very stiff and relatively light, compared to what the plans called for. The plans wanted a 17' long layered "T" that used a total of five sheets of 3/4" CDX particle board. I have great difficulty lifting just ONE sheet of that stuff. I can't imagine what five of them put together (including the three layer legs)would be like to try to move around!

          I knew that the strongback had to be stiff, I just didn't think it needed to be that heavy. I left the bottom off the strongback so that I could drill through it and attach nuts to the bolts that held the section form mounting blocks.

          Before I mounted the section forms on it, I told people it looked like a coffin for a boa constrictor.

          Corky Scott
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