The Bow and Stern Structures
The handful of wooden pieces used to construct the bow and stern were pre-cut for us. All are flat except the tongue-shaped piece second from the right in the picture above – it’s hard to tell, but the tip (off the table) curves up on that piece, matching the profile you see on the piece at the far right. Here’s a better view of those two pieces later in the process:
Back to the beginning: We started with the two aft section parts (one with a big hole, the other a curved piece in the middle of the bottom row). Find the center line of the face of the curved piece, and line that up with the center line of the edge of the hole-piece.
Mark, then chisel-out the overlapping area, allowing you to slide the curved piece at a right angle into the notch of the larger piece.
Once this is complete, fit the two pieces together.
Moving to the stem…
…line up the oddly shaped piece below the smaller curved piece, then mark position for two dowels and six holes (no strict rules on placement – just consider strength).
Now mark a center line for the shared edges.
Where the center line hits the dowel lines, you want holes. Start with a pin to ensure you’re centered.
Then drill – first a pilot hole, then with the full-sized bit, to a depth of 5/8″ on the edges. Lashing holes go straight through with the pilot bit, and slightly counter-sunk on each side to smooth the edges.
Now you have holes! Cut two dowel pins to just under double your 5/8″ measurement (we used rectangular cross-section chop sticks!).
Tap the dowels into the edge holes.
….aaaand assemble! Next grab your handy router and clear away some of the edges.
When that’s done, it’s back to the stern assembly for some edge rasping (with Japanese rasps – my first experience with these very nice tools).
Sand smooth, because these edges push against the skin.
Mark lashing holes around joining, and drill
Re-assemble these two stern pieces and begin the lashing process with 60# waxed twine. Leave a foot of twine for tying off at the end.
The lashing hole on the vertical piece we called “home.” First go through home, then either up or down the horizontal piece’s hole, then “marry” (tie) with that initial foot of twine in a double-overhand. Finally, back through the home hole.
Whichever way you went through the horizontal piece, now go through the other direction, and again through the home hole. That’s one full cycle.
Make three full cycles (no need to marry anymore), then begin the tie-off process. use your straight needle to create a gap, and an upholstery needle to make simple half-hitches gathering the two bundles of twine into one.
Continue a few times, then finish with two half-hitches just around the top bundle of twine.
When you’re finished, you should have a strong join between the two pieces.
Now repeat the process to join the bow pieces.
And when they’re tied off, you have finished for the day.
Thank your assistant, and get some food.