I use my portable power planer to remove the epoxy squeeze-out and true the sides of the inner stem.
Finishing the Stem
After initial cleanup with the hand planer, I run the stem through my dewalt thickness planer and mill to the finished 2" width.
Cutting the Transom
After a false start trying to cut the transom on my bandsaw, I switch to my scroll saw to complete the job. I purchased a 5 pack of hardwood cutting blades and broke three before the end.
Follow the Line
Slowly and carefully, I follow the layout line and cut off the excess. MOST of it fell safely on the floor, and not on my feet...ouch!
I sand the inside curves on my oscillating spindle sander. Its the right tool to get in close and smooth the curves to silky perfection.
Transom Edges Half-sanded
For the outer convex edges, I switched to my standing belt sander and brought everything down to the pencil line.
Stem Temporarily Set
I use blue painters tape to temporarily hold the stem to the stem mold. I then drove a counter-sunk screw to hold it in place.
Stem at Station 2
I needed to notch the Station 2 mold to accept the stem profile. The stepped-end, will be trimmed prior to planking
Stem Awaiting Bevelling and Planks
The stem set in place
The transom jig is attached to the Station 7 protrusions and will provide clamping surface for the transom. Here I sight the centerline of the transom jig against the center string line of the molds.
Center line String
My line of sight making sure everything is nice and straight
I always wear dust protection when sanding...especially hardwoods which create fine particulates that would otherwise occupy my pink bronchial passages.
Raise the Grain
After a thorough sanding with 60 grit, I wet the surface of the transom with water. After drying , the transom is again sanded with 120 grit to eliminate any spikey protrusions created by adding the water. This creates an incredibly smooth surface ready to accept the fiberglass cloth of the next step.
Fiberglass the Transom
I apply fiberglass cloth to the inside of the transom prior to mounting to the transom jig.
Fill the Weave
West 207 Special Epoxy is applied in multiple layers to build up a smooth epoxy surface and hide the texture of the cloth
Shape the Stem
I start shaping the stem by first finding the center line. I mark this with a ball point pen. I then use my wheel marking gauge to measure 1/4" off of either side of the center
A Line to Cut to
The 1/2" area inside the lines will become the leading edge of the inner stem
Shape to the Line
I used a variety of block planes and spokeshaves to shape the stem. I used a piece of oak as a batten to help me find the angle of approach from station No. 1.
I broke out the big gun to rapidly shape the stem.
Clog the Throat
The sapele stem cut beautifully but I was still forced to stop occasionally to clear the throat
Find the proper Angle
The extra long handles on my spokeshave helped to find the angle. I just pointed the end of the handle towards the edge of the No. 1 Station and went to work.
Shavings on the Floor
Shaping the stem with hand tools minimizes dust and creates beautiful shavings.
Once the proper angle is achieved, the strips mate to the stem in gapless perfection
Bevel Both Sides
A complimentary bevel is added to the opposite side.
Stem Ready to accept Strips
With rolling bevels added to both sides, the stem is ready to accept the sapele strips
Transom attached to the Transom Jig
The transom is centered and leveled on the transom jig. The previously fiberglassed face becomes the inboard side of the transom. The Transom should be level with Station No. 5.
Bevel the Transom
I scribed a 1/4" line along the outside edge of the transom and shaved the edge to a perfect bevel.
Test the Fit
Here I use a batten to test the angle of the bevel
I CAN'T HEAR YOU!
The 1st Strip is Laid
The first strip is aligned to the shear marks of the mold and fastened to the mold with brads. The ends at the stem and transom are attached with countersunk 1 1/4" bronze screws. The screw holes will be plugged later to hide the attachment points.
I made that strip my Bitch
The thin sapele strips had to be twisted and bent to meet the leading edge of each station mold.
A corresponding strip is added to the opposite side
The strips are longer than the hull and will interfere at the stem. I choose to alternate the long and short sides. The strips will be cut flush with the stem as we proceed up the mold
The Bead and the Cove...better than the Birds and the Bees
A thin bead of thickened epoxy is applied to the cove of each strip. The bead side of the mating strip is squeezed into the cove and leaves a tight seam.
Mind the Gap(s)
Tape and clamps provide inter-mold gap protection to keep things tight at the seams
To keep the strips tight to the mold, I switch to #6 square drive wood screws. The plywood strips act as protective washers to keep the screws from marring the sapele hull.
#6 Square Drive is the Bomb
Sturdy enough to drive the strip to the edge of the mold, but small enough to leave a minimal hole, these #6's get the job done.
3 Strips Down
5 Strips In...
Intermediate clamps keep things tight.
5 + 5 =10 Strips down
7 Strips Down
Things move quickly up the mold.
She starts to take shape
Bronze screws line up nicely at the transom like good little soldiers. These screws will be hidden behind sapele plugs to come.
11 Strips per side
Lowering the Mold
I have reached the point where the height of the mold is too high to work comfortably. I place the mold on temporary sawhorses and remove the legs. I cut 2 ft off each leg and reattach the leveling feet (shown here)