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20170627_210550_New Quay Court

Finished posts, coated with tung oil

Well progress is definitely happening.

20170622_185235I cut out my blanks for the samson posts on the bandsaw.

20170625_184644_New Quay CourtThe time consuming part was shaping the top of the post. I had made a pattern for this.

There are a variety of ways of cutting a concave curve. The method I chose is essentially the same as making a housing, but using a gouge rather than a chisel.

20170626_170958_New Quay CourtHaving marked the pattern all round, I cut down to the lines with a tenon saw. Then I cut out the waste, trimming carefuly down to the line. Having down this on two opposite faces, it was simply a matter of removing the waste between the finished lines.

The second pair of curves were effectively marked with the saw cuts. So I just drew in the curve and repeated the exercise.

The rest of the process was the same basic technique as spar making. You turn the square octagonal, then 16 sides, then sand smooth with 60 grit paper.

Of course it all takes time, and care, smoothing out bumps and getting curves that feel good. But really, like so many things, the path is simple if it is done in the right order.

Finishing off I used my favourite tool the cabinet scraper, which saves hours of sanding.

I had to glue an extra piece on the flare at the back, because the timber stock I had available was not quite wide enough. This was only a thin taper. But it is worth mentioning that when this kind of thing happens, the extra piece should be kept chunky and oversize. It is much easier to glue on a decent thickness of wood, because it remains stiff. If I had shaped the thin taper first, it would be very hard to glue it on and would bend all over the place. Glued on oversize, it was just a matter of planing flush, band sawing off the excess, and planing the taper.

The finished posts look well. I have oiled them, and tomorrow I will dry fit them. Then they will be varnished before going in place.

20170627_210550_New Quay Court

Finished posts, coated with tung oil



20170618_164409_New Quay Court20170618_164405_New Quay CourtFor years my lovely gaff cutter has been hanging around next to our massive houseboat project, sadly neglected.  Time to find out what is going on.

I knew that the starboard side deck and after deck had rot, so off they have come, revealing the bones beneath.  It is a painful thing running a circular saw across your boat’s deck.

Well, it’s not too bad.  The eyebrows had to shoot up at the timber selection of some of the deck beams.  My goodness, some serious grain run out, to the point where a couple of the half dovetails have parted.  Still these will be fairly simple to replace.

A bit more thought will have to go into a section of the carline, which is certainly rotten at the top edge.  I’m not yet clear how far it goes, but it may be a case of scarfing in a repair.  I certainly want to avoid replacing sections of it.

The samson posts on the aft deck have decayed sufficiently to weaken them at deck level,  One problem was insufficient clearance between them and the transom, so water has been trapped.  I’ve made a new design that gives me  a bit more clearance.


The timber I have to hand does not quite fit the new pattern, but I’ve found some that’s close enough and I can get away with a small shim to make up the extra width.

It’s always fun searching around for timber that fits a shape, and then revealing the inside.   This piece is a 5″ thick board of oak I have had hanging around for about twenty years, and the grain matches quite well to the angle between the sloped transom and the more vertical post.  My lovely Sedgewick planer and bandsaw will do the rough work…20170622_185235The worst rot revealed by lifting the decks was unexpectedly in the port quarter block, a sizeable chunk of timber that connects the beam shelf to the transom, provides corner strength and holds one of the large iroko davits.  This is sufficiently decayed to merit complete replacement, so I’m fishing around in the wood pile for something that works.

Deck plywood has arrived from Robbins, and bronze nails, so I’m really looking forward to quick progress!

We’ll see…