The final strips on the port side are left to extend beyond the centerline of the boat. The strips will be precisely cut to the centerline before the opposing strips are brought in to meet in perfect, centered harmony.
The Stern Strips are Cut
Trimmed tight to the transom so we could close the shop door
Only 7 Strips to Go
John Struckman Tells Parks How it is
Trimming the Fat
I draw a centerline on the strips. Using a backsaw I cut away most of the excess before cleaning up with a variety of chisels and planes
The Butt, The Bench and The Pare
Different chisel styles have different roles and blade angles.
Block Rabbet Plane
With a blade that rides flush to the side of the plane, the block rabbet plane excels at getting into the corners.
Parks and I
The String Defines the Center
The string line marks the center of the hull. Corresponding strips will hand cut to meet in the center of the newly cut line.
Flush Cutting the Plugs
I use a flush cut saw to trim the plugs on the transom. A paring chisel refines the cut and brings everything flush. Always cut across the grain when paring your plugs...it avoids tearout.
Flush the Plugs
Additional Plugs are added to the Bow
Good little Soldiers
All in a line
Scrap Sapele Cutoffs become material for the 180 plugs required to cover the screws, fore and aft.
Hand Cut Angles
The opposing strips are beveled and angled to meet in the center of the hull
Closing in On Itself
Gaps and Imperfections will be covered by the Keel to be added Later
Starboard Bow Plugged
Flush Cut Plugs
Ready for the Whiskey Strip
The last plank (or strip in this case) is known as the "Whiskey Plank". It is traditional to toast the plank with finest libation
Milling the Whiskey Billet
The Whiskey Strip is made up of two sapele strips glued together. I eliminated the tongue side of the strip on the table saw and glued a scrap tongue into the cove side to create a billet with two flat edges. The billet will go on to be shaped to the hull opening in the next steps.
I mark the opening at one inch intervals and number every 10 marks. I made corresponding marks on the sapele billet
Measure at the Intervals
I measure the opening at each interval using a compass, and mark the measurement on the billet at the same interval
Measure twice...cut once
You'll notice the opening has the cove sides cut off to create a flat surface for the whiskey plank to slide into. A small groove from the cove is left as a glue channel for the whiskey plank to come
Mark the measurement on the Billet
I center the measurement at each interval on the sapele billet
One inch Interval Measurements
Connect the Marks
Using a flexible batten I connect the marks at each interval to outline the shape of the hull opening
Shape to the Lines
I use my standing belt sander to shape each side of the whiskey plank, making sure to leave the lines
Test Fitting-Fine Tuning
Tight spots are brought down with my Lie Nielsen Bronze Block Plane.
Slowly Brought to Shape
Testing and retesting the fit, I slowly bring down the sides to a perfect fit
I slightly bevel the bottom side of the plank to allow a proper fit
Testing the Fit...Carefully
Lie Nielsen Low Angle Block Plane in Bronze
Ready for Glue
Proud Pretty Plank Provides Picture of Patience and Precision
The Shapely Sapele Strip Simply Sits Snugly
Ready for Epoxy
It's Hammer Time
Actually, my dead-blow rubber mallet "persuader." Epoxy is applied to both sides of the strip and the hull opening.
I use a block of wood to bring the sides of the whiskey strip flush with the hull
Checking for Flush
Tapping and feeling by hand...careful not to overdrive the plank.
We toast the new hull with a couple of shots of bourbon. It's tradition...who are we to argue?
Parks Stands Proudly Admiring the Fit
Trimming the Ends
I start the process of trimming the end grain of the bow with my Makita power planer. I will follow-up the rough work with a belt sander to bring the ends flush with the top of the inner stem.