Blades of Steel

Yesterday’s boat building adventures informed me that my circular saw blade was totally hosed. Rather than cutting through a 2×4, it was burning its way through… Not good.
That meant another trip to Home Depot. Of course, I can never just pick up exactly the one item I need and leave. It seems that the mental list gets longer while I’m at the store:

  • Circular saw blades
    • Framing
    • Plywood
  • Jigsaw blades (I didn’t trust the one that came with the jigsaw to be fine enough.)
  • More clamps!
  • A long thin strip of pine to mark the hull shape

This brings the total closer to $150, if we’re counting tool costs. Still fairly reasonable. I’ll be happy if it stays under $200, which gives me about $50 to spend on paint/finish.

Back to the building process; the station lines that give the shape of the hull had already been measured out. Since this design requires full length airboxes, I clamped two of the 1/4″ plywood pieces together, placed nails at the station marks and clamped the thin strip of pine to the nails and traced the curve. This method produces a nice rounded shape which was then jig-sawed out, producing 4 hull pieces. These are now ready to have the chines glued to them. The scrap from the middle of the boards will be used to make the top of each airbox.

This shows the shape of my hull. To the left of the pic is the bow, right is the stern.

This shows the shape of my hull. To the left of the pic is the bow, right is the stern.

Yesterday’s screw-up:
After deciding where to make the cuts for the airboxes, I had chalklined the planned cuts. Since it was an 8 foot long cut, I came up with the brilliant idea to take a strip of 1×2, clamp it to the sheet of plywood and use it as a guide. Pretty smart, eh? Only problem was I didn’t measure against the chalk line along the entire length. As it turned out after I made the cut, there was about a 1/4″ bow right in the middle. I didn’t even notice the curve until I set the piece on the ground and noticed it was rocking. Damn it.

Fortunately, there was plenty of scrap left. A couple of quick measurements, new chalk lines, and two cuts later, new and perfectly suitable airbox tops had been created. Hooray! Up next: gluing the chines to the hull pieces, and determining airbox size.

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