Stitching

The titanic struggle to make flat pieces of plywood achieve a graceful shape begins with measuring and drilling holes along both sides of the planks at equal distance from the centre bulkhead line.  This is not without its own challenges as I consistently mis-measure and discover the lack of alignment only when the pieces are stitched together.  A few of the planks resemble swiss cheese as I discover that the holes are simply in the wrong place.  The first three planks on each side lace together without extreme trauma but when I try the centre bulwark it simply won’t fit. The sides are too close together. Have I tightened the cable ties too tight? Will I have to go back and start over?  The mystery is resolved when I note that as laid out on the basement floor there is no rocker to the bottom plank and that has pulled in the sides. Once I set the hull up on a couple of saw horses and put some weight in the centre of the boat to force a curve the sides relax. Still it will be a tight fit and I may have to stitch the centre bulwark in to make sure each plank is in the proper place.  There are also a few overly-wide gaps between the planks where my rip and tear sawing technique has lost the smooth curve of the plans.  Still – nothing that a really thick epoxy mixture and some brute strength won’t address. I may have to make some kerf cuts to ease high spots and if worse comes to worse insert a few fillets in the major gaps but even at this early stage it does look a little like a boat.

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