Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to Work

Christmas and New Year holidays are over, staff have come back from using up accumulated vacation, volunteers are back, and students have returned to school.  WoW, which was a very quiet place for a few weeks, is now bustling again with multiple projects underway and lots of people.

Dave took advantage of the lull to sort through and organize the hand tool cabinet.  He's the "new guy" so he is not ready to admit that keeping WoW volunteers, staff, and students organized is a no-win proposition.  However, in the short run, the shop has never looked so good.

Don't touch those screwdrivers!
. . . or the pliers!

It has been cold outside, especially for a few days at year's end, and the Delaware River and the basin have been fascinating to watch as they iced up and then de-iced.

Ice on the river with Ben Franklin Bridge in background

There will be less scraping needed this spring on Gazela's hull.
Poor lonely Suzy waits for spring.

We are moving along on the Beetle Cat volunteer project.  Only four frames have yet to be replaced.  Different groups of volunteers prefer different techniques of replacing frames.  Some like to steam and pre-bend the frame on a jig, while others remove the wood from the steam bag and clamp it in place in the boat directly.  The most interesting variation is a gadget Lee found on the Internet.  It allows you to capture the contour of the hull and transfer it to a board to position clamping blocks, all in a single step.

Lee's "gadget."  If it doesn't work for boatbuilding, it could be a prop in a horror movie.

One way or another, with many active hands, frames are getting replaced and the hull is getting stronger and more stable by the day.

John works inside, positioning a frame while. . .

. . . Larry and Joe screw the frame to the hull from outside.
The Harbormaster skiff strongbacks are beginning to look like devices on which to build boats, as molds are beginning to sprout from them.

Hmm.  Might be a boat!
The kids are working on other projects designed to teach them basic woodworking skills.  

Drilling, and . . .
. . . planing, and . . .
. . . clamping.
Dave is working to stay at least a step ahead of the school groups.  He is cutting out transoms for the skiffs from white cedar boards.

Dave cuts out a transom.  Wow! Straight lines!
Newt is continuing to work on Misleading Lady, painstakingly matching stain hues, sanding, and varnishing his way around the topside.

Newt wipes stain on the coaming trim.
Charles labors on with his engine and power train installation on the 22 foot Oughtred Grey Seal.  Controls were installed, fuel hoses clamped in place, and work is now underway on the shaft and propeller installation.

Water lock mounted behind engine, control cable in foreground.
Fitting the cutlass bearing. The hole above will be extended into a prop aperture. 
Bob worked on rebuilding a set of blocks from a vintage 15 foot sneakbox. This entailed disassembling the blocks, boring out the sheaves to accept an oil impregnated bronze bushing, pressing in the bushing, and reassembling the blocks.

Bob drills out a sheave for a new bushing.

Good for another few decades of service.

New volunteer Robinson tried his hand at leatherwork, preparing and installing some whaleboat oarlock leathers to replace the seizing that did not hold up well.

Nice work, Robinson.