Shaping the stem

We’re finally making actual bits of the actual boat, which makes a nice change from building ourselves a workshop which seems to have been taking weeks!

Work has started on the spine of the boat, from the stem and apron at the front, down the keel to the transom. These parts will all be made out of massive planks of oak that have been slowly seasoning in the main workshop.

Norman and Poppy marking out the shape with carpet tacks

It starts with laying carpet tacks on the outline of each part on the full-size plans, then pressing a thin piece of plywood onto it. This is then cut out to make a template.

John and Dave cutting the oak

Then we laid the templates on top of the oak to get the best fit and waste as little wood as possible. It’s a good plan to try to get the grain of the wood to follow any curves in the templates. And no, John hadn’t cut through all that oak with a handsaw, we used a handheld circular saw to get through most of it, it just couldn’t cut deep enough to get through the plank in one go.

Rough cut stem parts with their templates

Next job, get the parts planed down to the right thickness and start cutting them out accurately.