Basement boat-builders new best friend

I have previously extolled the many benefits of the humble popsicle stick and it is now time to praise its much more advanced cousin – the tongue depressor.  This tool has the usual and expected function of spreading epoxy and giving a beautiful curve to fillets but it also as a firm role in the correction of errors of measurement and placement.  After I had carefully measured (more than twice) the placement of the thwart cleats and fixed them in place and dropped in the thwarts for final fitting I discovered that they weren’t quite level and worse still different thwarts tilted in different directions.  Not perhaps discernible to the naked eye but an offense to the builder none-the-less.  Enter the tongue depressor.  At 1/16″ each it is the perfect shim and they can be built up to give the perfect filling.  And the price is right. I have a lifetime supply, 500 sticks for a cost of about seven dollars. I look forward to finding new uses. At a last resort I can always use them as firestarters for the fireplace!

The seats are now firmly in place. Tacked down loosely with galvanized 1″ nails and filleted in to give a water-tight joint.  I have also filleted a nice smooth joint for the bits in the corners where the sides meet the transoms.  When these have set it will be time to turn the boat over once again to continue the smoothing and fairing.  For the time being I have decided not to build water-tight compartments under the seats. I will get a little experience before deciding what to do there.  I can always fill the space up with styrofoam or other floatation if it threatens to be a problem.

Another tip I have stumbled on – fenders are a great way of keeping the boat steady when working on it, Simply kick them into place. They are easily adjusted or removed and after my experience with saw-horses I need something more reliable.

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