Torturing plywood and myself as well

Well finally got all of the chines, battens and inwales fitted; so it was time to start sheathing the bottom with the 3/8″ ply. I had expected the bow panels to be difficult to fit as the plywood has to twist through 90 degrees. Not an easy thing to get plywood to do. It wasn’t going too bad making the templates and indeed getting the ply to fit loosely seemed doable and I left them like that for 2 days, to take the shape and they did.

Planking so far

Planking so far

But when I started to clamp it down into position that’s when the fun started with slipping clamps and more than once I got a slap in the face as the ply sprang out from under a clamp and I broke a panel, it went off like a gun shot. After struggling like this for way too long I decided to go for it an glue and nail the panel into place. The first one was actually okay to do but when I was half way through the second one it decided to explode. You can take it for granted that at this stage I was trawling through some pretty rude sailor talk to come up with an expletive I hadn’t used in the previous two days. Anyway back to my fine mess of glue and broken ply. I just had to call it a day. I walked out the workshop door and I realised that more than once I looked at the solution. It was a plain as the nose on my face but not as ugly. Rotate the ply by ninety degrees so that there were more veneers with the grain parallel to the bend than against it. That simple. And it was that simple. I redid this on the broken panel and it went in no bothers. Well I suppose it was the third or fourth time I had done it. The rest of the bottom planking went on without much fuss at all. I’ve started planking the top sides today and have the motor well framed out. As bob the builder says Yes we can.

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


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