Construction and Design Journal – 14ft Dory for Rowing and Sailing – Part 6

by Roy Heberger - Boise, Idaho - USA

NEW EPOXY, SCANTLINGS, and GUSSETS – February 16, 2004

Early today, I went online for a source of West-System resin and hardener.  It turns out West Marine is one of the biggest suppliers of the stuff.  So, I ordered a gallon of 105 resin and .88 quarts of the 206 hardener (20 + minute pot life).

I decided to use the RBC for all the chine logs (hull and cabins), gunwales (inwales and outwales), seat risers, gussets, and perhaps the knees at the stem and transom. I’ll need to think on that.  I’m having a three-dimensional problem that is literally keeping me awake at night.  So, I ripped tongues and grooves off the larger stock.  I plan to rip the chine logs to 3 inches and the seat risers and gunwales to 2 inches, but I’ll look for economy here as well.  If I can get two boards from my existing stock I will, if it makes sense from a strength perspective.  I began lifting lines for the gussets this evening, but tired and lacked focus by 8:00 p.m.  Long day!  So, I will go back at that task tomorrow.  I hope to begin cutting the gussets and ripping the boards then as well.  I will wait on the new epoxy to glue the scarf joints on each piece, but I will likely begin the scarfing sooner.

Lastly, I did make a run to purchase four new, 6-inch c-clamps this morning.  They’ve already come in handy for planning work on the aft and fore edges of the laminated oak stem.

GUSSETS – February 17, 2004

Came up with an idea for a standard gusset for most of the frame joints where the obtuse angle is only slight – a full, half-moon shape where the curved portion lies against the hull.  So I made about 30 or more of those using my jig saw and belt sander.  They are stacked and ready for use as are the frame members.  The RBC is tough stuff.  Jig-saw blades need to be sharp!

Before I close, boat building is about making parts – lot’s of parts.

Fitting Starboard Garboard

Both Garboards Screwed and Glued

BEVEL MONSTER – February 19, 2004              

Well the monster has returned.  I’m part of the way through the process as described by Gardner.  His description was for a slab-sided dory, not the Swampscott.  But he says it will work for the multi-chined or round-bottomed boats.  So, I’m holding forth.  Right now I’m so frustrated that I could hold a fifth.  Ha!  I think I’ll get there tomorrow.

The West-System Epoxy and pumps arrived today.  No excuse for not starting on the frames now.

Time out – one of the pumps is broken, so I sent an e-mail message to West Marine informing them of the situation.

BEVEL MONSTER, Continued – February 20, 2004

I awoke early today to go at the transom bevels fresh and got it.  I’m still making occasional mistakes and so will be sure to check my tick-stick work on the squared images on the lofting board carefully before applying the results to the wood.

No reply from West Marine on the broken pump.

STEM and STEM BEVELS – February 22, 2004

Today I measured along the aft portion of the stem on the lofting board and marked off six-inch intervals.  I struck lines perpendicular to the aft transom line to the bearding line and beyond.  Measuring from the aft transom line to the bearding line at each of those points, I lifted those measured lines and points to the oak stem wood.  With Merine’s help I struck a fair curve through the points, thus establishing a bearding line on the wood.

Having done that, I applied Gardner’s transom expansion approach to three points along the bearding line.  Note – since the bearding line is a curve, none of the expansion lines are parallel to one another. Near the top of the stem, I struck a line to the sheer.   At the middle and near the bottom of the stem I struck lines to the knuckle.  I then ticked appropriate profile and half-breadth measurements, applied those to a new base and center line established for the stem expansion and drew in the lines from those three points to the bearding line at its intersection with the baseline.  From those new lines I had my three bevels from near the top, middle and bottom of the forward stem – I think.  I will check my work on another day.

I received an e-mail message from West Marine.  A new set of pumps will be in overnight mail on Monday, February 23.  So I should be able to fastening the parts of the frames together shortly thereafter.


All of the rounded, standard gussets (RBC) were specialized to a specific frame joint today by lifting lines off the lofting board to each individual gusset and cutting out the wedge indicated by the intersection of those lines at the centerline of the gusset (directly over the joint).

The futtocks will straddle the inner keelson.  So I found the center of each futtock, clamped all the futtocks together (2-6) with the center lines aligned, and measured from the center to where the edge of the inner keelson will rest on each side of the center line.  I struck a square line perpendicular to the futtocks across each futtock on each side of the center line.  Using the pull saw, I cut along each line to a depth of 3/4 inch.  With hammer and sharp wood chisel, I removed all of the wood between the two cuts while the futtocks were clamped and in my bench vice.  I finished the job with my low-angle plane.  The futtocks are now ready to accept the inner keelson.

I plan to construct laminated knees from the RBC.  So today I used the table saw to make the lumber for that task.  I will glue and clamp the knees, allowing them to cure overnight.  Note – when I refer to glue in this document, it will refer to two-part epoxy.  I have yet to sand the varnished side of all of this wood to remove that finish, and I am not sure that I prepared enough RBC for the two knees.  The sanding to remove the varnish from the RBC takes quite a lot of time on the belt sander.

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7 – Part 8 – Part 9 – Part 10

Part 11 – Part 12 – Part 13 – Part 14 – Part 15 – Part 16 – Part 17 – Part 18 – Part 19


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.