Saturday, 13 December 2014

I've cut wood on the narrowboat...

Well, having cleared the decks (a bit) I found that I had  33" on my bench for a 33" boat!  So drawings were made at 1/48th scale based on details gathered at the boatbuilder's yard a couple of week's ago.  Just as well I did them then as the yard owner sadly died suddenly last week and the yard has been closed till further notice.
I photocopied the plans up 200% and transferred them to some 3mm plywood, for the base plate. The model is to be made as a waterline, so the baseplate had to be drawn as half way up the hull.  Since the boat was afloat in a rather tight dock at the time, some of the shape is eyeball.  No option unfortunately.  The bandsaw came in useful here.  Then the bulkheads were marked from the drawings onto a piece of Foamex to use as a pattern.  The first four bulkheads are all the same, only changing as they rise up at the rear and also narrow to the "starn end".
These were all cut and glued on over the kelson, or backbone, which is there mainly to keep everything nice and flat.
Finally, stripwood is glued in between the bulkheads to provide something to glue the sides and roof against.  The wood was cut from a plank of 3/16th spruce, as my "model shop" locally had run out of strip, but spruce is nice and strong, so once again the bandsaw was called into service. It actually cuts a pretty good straight line once you get the hang of it.
The centre section of the bow was bandsawed out and glued on the centre line.

So, here it is so far, folks.  There is a little extra stripwood protruding from the frames aft to allow a slight fair curve to be planed into the straight sections.
In my tiny workshop, it's difficult to photograph a 3 foot hull in one piece, but here's a shot on the back of my chair.
Next, the hull sides in 1/16th " ply.


  1. Looks a very nice job so far, Martin. I wouldn't know where to start with a job like that. Are you not working in the new shed?

  2. Thanks, Iain. I tend to just play it by eye really.
    No, the new shed has the lathe and bandsaw in it, but is too cold to work in this time of year. All my care to insulate it made little difference!