Friday, July 13, 2012

A bunch of stuff

With one Whitehall entering the ISM small boat fleet, and another nearing completion, the team is returning to work on the other projects waiting patiently in the shop.  The final step for Puffin, our carvel planked Whitehall, was bottom painting, which was completed by Bruce and the CHAD kids in 90 plus degree heatOnce instructed, the summer interns made quick work of it, working through the process with a roller followed by a brush, from stern to bow, and from keel to waterline, as taught by Professor MacKenzie. 
Bruce gives a lesson while eager painters watch and learn.
A roller man, a brush woman, and a supervisor/cheerleader, all hard at work.
Inside, where one could work in air conditioned comfort, volunteers and staff worked on the remaining parts of the second Whitehall project -- a bit of sanding here, a little gluing there.  Once they get their final coat of paint, the thwarts, floorboards, and seats will be fastened in place, and the boat will be flipped, sanded, and painted. She will be ready for the water before you know it.
A rare moment with no one picking, poking, or painting.

The interior has been oiled and is ready for floorboards and seats.
A good look at the beaded edge of the sheerstrake, and some fine planking,
 At the other end of the shop, work continued on the 1929 Richardson, "To 'n Fro."  A few last minute repairs needed to be completed before priming the hull, but the varnish coats are already beginning to build up to a deep glossy beautiful look.
Some of the many square feet of brightwork on the Richardson, "To 'n Fro"

A small bit of rot around a steel screw in the waterline plank at the transom needed to be dug out, cleaned back to good wood, and a new piece of cypress scarphed and glued into place.  
Block screwed over scarphed patch in plank. When glue is cured, the block comes off.
 A small area of bark inclusion was detected in the new stem when it was given its final shaping after it had been cut and installedWhile it could have been patched with filler, we went to the extra effort of cutting out the bad area, and scarphing in a new white oak block.  A fine old boat like this deserves the best possible repair.
The stem repair -- once the glue dries, it will get a final shaping.
A rowing program needs two things:  boats (we've taken care of that) and oars, on which we had some work to do.  Leathers need to be put on the fleet's oars, in order to protect them from being damaged by rubbing against oarlocks.  
That work was begun.  A rectangle of steer hide is cut to size, holes are punched every 3/8 inch on both edges.  Then the leather is soaked in hot water.  After that, the wet leather is molded around the oar and stitched into place.  As it dries, the leather will shrink to a very tight fit.
Leather cut to shape, and stitched onto oar shaft.
Bruce applies the final seizing at the end of the stitching.
 Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet's oars needed more varnish, because when dealing with boats, oars, etc., you NEVER have enough coats of varnish.  Christian was the varnish man today on the oar project, and a fine job he did of it.
Christian and his varnish.  He remembered not to start with the oar nearest him.

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