Blah, blah, blah......lets get to the boat stuff! With all the frames complete, station 34 being the last, it was time for some reflections on the process.
|The bolt box is empty!|
Next up was leveling the keel athwartships. Generally I was pleased at how we were able to take most of the twist out of the keel with the use of the super clamps. However, it still wasn't perfect, particularly at the very aft and very forward sections of the keel. It only took a few passes with the power planer to remove the high spots and give us a completely flat and level surface to continue building up the rest of the keel. In hind sight I probably should have done this with each sub-assembly but this method worked as well.
With that job complete it was time to install a few drift bolts. I was completely unfamiliar with drifts until I began this project. They are just big nails. The ones I purchased where 1/2", hot dipped galvanized, 18" long drift bolts with a hex head. The install process is pretty simple and involves drilling out holes for each bolt at opposing angles to each other. You start by drilling out 1/3 of the required length to the full thickness of the bolt. You then drill out the remaining 2/3 of the length of the bolt slightly undersized, in my case by 1/16". I then coated the full thickness part of the bolt with some asphalt based "tar" and pounded them in with a sledge hammer.
It takes some real muscle to pound these things in and you need to be careful not to bend the drift. Even though my lower keel is completely glued together into one solid timber, these drifts provide additional security that those boards will never come apart.
Labor day weekend is coming up so I'll be taking a break from the build to enjoy the final days of summer with the family. As I look back on the summer I'm pleased with our progress even though we did not complete as much as I had hoped for. I'm learning that things in this project just take longer than I expected. Our goal continues to be accuracy and not speed.
The fun continues, thanks for following along on our project!