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February 24, 2003 - Assembling the Bottom PlanksNow that the cradle is built and all of the boat parts have been cut out, it's time to start assembling the boat!  First, I put up several horses to hold the bottom planking.   Next, I went to my pile of parts, found the bottom planks, and moved them to the horses.

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The planks were placed on top of each other and aligned so that they match as closely as possible.  I took decking screws and screwed the planks together in three places. Next I took my plane and faired the sides of the planks to make them match exactly.  While doing this I was careful not to create any dips or swoops in my lofting lines.
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Half way through the process I took a few minutes to sharpen my plane blade.  I use Japanese wetstones to sharpen my  plane blades.  The next step is to mark the chine sew lines for the keel seam.   I did this with a compass and made the line 1/8 inch wider than the thickness of the planks, or 1/2 inch.  This line goes around the top and bottoom of the plank, but not where the transome will be attached.
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Once the chine sew lines were drawn, I marked where the holes through which the planking will be wired together were to be drilled.   The marks are spaced 2" apart for the first foot on each end of the plank, and 6" apart in the center section. After the marks were in place I used an 1/8" drill bit to drill the holes through both bottom planks.
bevel1a.jpg (14694 bytes) wire1a.jpg (15531 bytes)
I removed the screws, flipped the planks, and put a 45 degree bevel halfway through the planking on the insides of the bottoms of the planks.  This will allow more of a "wetted" surface for the glue when the planks are joined. Next, I made up a wiring kit.  I used rebar wire and made a few dozen 6" segments.
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The wires were put through the holes in the keel seam and twisted together to the point of being snug, but not drum tight. The fully wired keel seam.

My next job will be to prepare the side planks so that they can be "sewed" to the bottom planks.

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