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  1. #1
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    Default Building a Storer Rowboat

    In November 2005 I announced to the world that one day just maybe, Storer would come up with a rowboat design and when he did, I'd build one.

    Daddles was a co-conspirator at the time, and I was going to start in early 06, honest I was, until Mik and I got a bit distracted with PDRacers for a bit, and well, time flies when you're having fun. The full story of the development of the plans is here on Mik's website, including some pics of a quickie model I built when it was just a glimmer in our respective eyes.

    Now I am under threat of things worth than death if I don't finish the Eureka soon, but it's been a bit of a hobby and therefore didn't matter till my beloved decided it was HERS. A few (hundred) others have been completed in the meantime, so the urgency was taken out of building the prototype as well.

    Undeterred, the rowboat will commence over Christmas, and as is my custom, I'll start posting progress right here for all to see.

    I have actually had the gaboon ply in my rack for about two years, ($150.00), the epoxy and related bits were bought at least a year ago at Boatcraft Pacific ($150.00) and today I paid a visit to John Whitewood's place in northern NSW to pick up all the scantling timber I need (about $170.00)

    So less than $500.00 over three years isn't going to make an expensive boat, I've had the Gaco rowlocks for a couple of years ($25.00) and the oars are about half complete.

    I reckon another hundred will see it painted and pretty.

    Watch this space over the coming weeks!

    Pic 1 - a load of Paulownia ready to be turned into a rowboat, in front of part of Whitewood's Paulownia plantation. The stuff is so light, I had around a quarter of a cubic metre on the racks, (for a couple of other projects as well), and about 70 kg total I reckon.

    Cheers,

    P
    ____________________________________________________

    Post Script - added much later. Now two more Rowboats being built. One in Maine, one in Adelaide


    The Compass Project Youth project building the MSD rowboat is here - Maine

    And now

    Daddles building a Storer Rowboat (same plan as above) has started in Adelaide here

    MIK
    Last edited by Boatmik; 24th Apr 2009 at 10:55 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Ohhh my goodness!

    I've just seen the knot on the front rope! Don't worry kiddies, it's not actually a bunch of spaghetti, under that mess there is a very tidy, truckies hitch with two half hitches and a thing the name of which I've forgotten but looks like a bow for quick release.

    The left over bits were macrame'd into a tea cosy before we left.

    Cheers,

    P

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fraser Coast
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    Hey Midge,

    I am looking forward to your build on this one mate. I have been playing with the idea of building a very nice row boat for a whle now.

    Also, Thank you for posting the link to Whitewood. I have been wanting to get my hands on some good paulonia for some time. If you don't mind my asking, If you are going to use gaboon ply on this boat, where on it do you plan to use the paulonia?

    Another question - sorry - How do you think, paulonia would work as shear clamps on a decked kayak?

    regards,

    Mick

  5. #4
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    Mick,

    The boat construction is notionally a derivative of the "instant boat" structure, which has basic framing to stiffen the ply or to form landings for glueing meeting pieces together. Paulownia is the lightest timber that will do the job. I used WRC on my Goat Island Skiff.

    By time it's milled, there might be 30 kg of timber in the boat. Paulownia is a little more than half the weight of hoop pine for instance, so that's close enough to 30kg I won't have to lift or propel, which is a lot of kilos. It's not a terrifically strong timber, but given it's use in this context it doesn't need to be. Here's a nifty summary of comparative specs of a few common timbers: http://www.privateforestry.org.au/camwp_4.htm

    Have a look at Mik's photos of building the Goat Island Skiff to get an idea.

    I can't see why paulownia wouldn't be fine as deck clamps.

    John's timber is very good quality, and well priced. The only caveat is that he hasn't got a simple delivery arrangement in place for lengths over 2m. For us, the drive down was a pleasant distraction, and probably cost less than delivery anyway.

    More about how it goes as the work progresses, starting with getting it down to size next weekend!

    cheers,

    P

  6. #5
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    Sep 2002
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    Minbun, FNQ, Australia
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    Default



    Now... that ducting.
    Cliff.
    If you find a post of mine that is missing a pic that you'd like to see, let me know & I'll see if I can find a copy.

  7. #6
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    Really the question isnt when are you going to start... but... what the blazes have you done with daddles? I mean the blokes been MIA for some time now... so give over Midgey one what the heck have you done with the young fella?
    Believe me there IS life beyond marriage!!! Relax breathe and smile learn to laugh again from the heart so it reaches the eyes!!


  8. #7
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    Daddles, last time I spoke with him, was alive and well and living in a bicycle.

    I will give him a hoy! It's time he rejoined us I think.

    As for the ducting, well Cliff m'man, I have this son-in-law who is all keen to see it done, so while I'm building boats, I'm hoping he'll be hanging ducts!

    We'll see.

    Cheers,

    P

  9. #8
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    Jul 2005
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    'Delaide, Australia
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    Cool!

    Will it be finished by the time I get up there on the 16th of next month?

    I will be spending the whole of the 16th sipping Taiwanese Lemon Green Tea in Brisso's Chinatown if that gives you more time ...

    Actually - I think the timber is an overestimate - 30kg is a lot!!!! The whole boat won't weigh much more than that.

    But the difference between a light boat is dramatic - there is just so much more pleasure in it - when you pick it up - when rowing or sailing - it just feels completely different.

    I'll be watching this forum with interest.

    When I get time I will put up some of the article I wrote for Amateur boatbuilder about the rowboat.

  10. #9
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    Well my first mistake was to trust my own maths! Crikey you lose a lot of volume of timber when you dress it!

    I haven't started yet, but in theory, here's the volume of scantling timber, and a nice little schedule that shows you how much (or how little) weight you'll add by changing the species of timber)



    Cheers,

    P

  11. #10
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    Day 1.

    First day of the Christmas Break, Bright sunny, hot and humid.
    Got up at 3.00 am and decided it was too early to start. Read for a bit then slept till a very civilised 7.30.

    Being a few days before Christmas, I knew I wasn’t going to get a great run at it but if I’d managed to clear a work space in the garage and get the plywood out before 9.30 when I had an optometrists appointment, I’d have done well.

    I did well!

    Back into it by two, and by the time I’d read the instructions and made the usual quota of minor errors, I had all the bits set out by 6.30 ish. Probably less than four hours work, and I don't know if that's fast or slow. I was a bit distracted from time to time, and most people could easily do it in that time working alone.

    Working at a low bench height is the worst thing I can do to my back, so I was pretty glad to have that over.

    I’m trying to spend a bit of time proof-reading the planset for Mik as I go along, so that meant a few interruptions for a chat on the phone too!

    pics:

    1. BS doesn’t stand for British Standards! The middle sheet of ply (which I’ve had for nearly two years) turns out to be a bit of a dud, and the shops are closed till the New Year. There are filled cracks on the veneers on both sides of this sheet! I’ve slightly rearranged Mik’s layout to work around it, but there’s not much to spare.

    2. Since my eyesight isn’t perfect anymore and it’s easy to make a mistake, I often mark the dimension I’m using (specially when I’m using the same one a few times) with a bit of electricians tape. Saves counting all those little millimetres more often than one has to!

    3. Mik’s standard setout drawings make it all a bit easy, just draw a series of parallel lines across the ply 300 apart, then measure the offsets straight from the drawing. Double check each dimension when you’ve finished, and you won’t have any troubles.

    4. Spring clamps and heavy weights make it easy to work by yourself. Once the offsets are marked, tap in some panel pins on the intersections, and clamp a fairing batten to them. Mark the lines!

    5. I use the chalk to ensure I don’t accidentally work over the top of another part. If you follow the plans that can’t happen, but... well see the first pic! My tolerances are even less than the plans and it's easy to get confused when staring at a mass of little black crosses on a sheet of ply. If you look carefully, you’ll see the faired outline in red on what will be the starboard side of this bottom panel.


    Tomorrow, we cut!


    WOW! Looks like we've got the World's biggest thumbnails now!

  12. #11
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    Default

    Looking good, Midge. Look forward to watching your progress.

    I like the electrician's tape trick.

    The big thumbnails mean you almost don't need to open the pictures!
    Cheers

    Jeremy
    If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly

  13. #12
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    G'day Midge,

    Mate do you mind if I ask questions as you proceed with your build?

    I spoke with my lovely wife yesterday about the potential of a lovely wooden row-boat for romantic afternnon picnics at out local lake and she has given her blessing for just such a project!!

    I haven't built any of Boatmiks fine boats yet and am real interested in the methodology as well as this particular boat.

    Looking at your panel mark -out, have you scarfed the complete panels together before marking out? or are they just sitting against each other while you mark them out?

    Oh yeah,

    I really like your tape on rule idea and the pin nails in your reference marks.

    Please keep the piccies coming mate. I am learning a lot here.

    Merry Christmas mate.


    Mick

  14. #13
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    Mick,

    The more questions that get asked, the more useful this thread becomes.

    It's interesting to me, because it seems that no matter how many similar pics there are on the web there are always people seeing them for the first time, and this forum gives them the opportunity to ask!

    The ply isn't scarfed, it will be joined with butt straps (hopefully later today!).

    I marked out the grids for the panels on each sheet with them on a table to get them up at a bit more sensible height for working, then just butted them together on the floor.

    I used a strip of packaging tape to make sure they didn't move, although that's probably a bit "belts and braces".

    From there, it's easy to fair the curves across both sheets. The plans are very clear in terms of how to do this.

    Here's hoping I get this one together a bit quicker than the canoe, or you'll be too old to use yours if you wait!

    Cheers,

    P

  15. #14
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    Day 2.
    Magic! Another day I woke up!

    I made the first cut, and in what seems something of a tradition for yours truly, made a mistake. Not a bad one, but it made me wonder why I made all those chalk marks to remind me where to stop the cut!

    For those who havenít yet made one of ďmyĒ layout/cutting tables, stop what you are doing and make one now. They make handling and cutting of sheet goods so easy, youíll wonder why you never had one before. Just use a cheap ($20.00) set of folding legs, and any old timber. My top isnít very flat anymore, and one day Iíll make another one, but this is more than ten years old and still working hard.

    When cutting with a circular saw, I use a straight edge and set the blade so that it chops just below the sheet into the ďsacrificialĒ top. I think Festo have something similar now!

    If course with a jig saw, it will support both sides of the cut, and keep the sheet flat at the same time. Great stuff!

    Oh, and the twelve year old el-cheapo jigsaw was wandering all over the place, and I decided to do something about it. Itís never been good, but since I only ever use it for cutting out boat panels I put up with it.

    Well I couldnít any more. Iíve always been peeved that the thing was so cheap that the blades never sat against the roller-guide, missed by a millimetre or so. I figured that it was just typical junk (B&D at the height of their cheap phase).

    Anyway, after breaking a blade for reasons that I cannot fathom, I decided to pull the blasted thing apart to try to do something about it. The first body screw I undid, was.... the ADJUSTMENT screw for the roller guide!

    Aaaarrrgghhh!

    What a great jig saw it is now!

    Pics:

    1. The first cut and allís going perfectly well.

    2. Oops! Itís pretty clear what I intended to do: Stop at the chalk line! No harm done this time, but a timely reminder to stay awake!

    3. This pic shows two things: Note how the pieces are just sitting there self-supported? Thatís because of the Magic Table. 

Notice also all the ghastly chipping. Sometimes this happens with Gaboon, and there are a few things that can be done to minimise it. Cut with the grain, use a finer blade (I have used a hacksaw blade in the past), I have also had some success by cutting through masking tape, or epoxy coating the ply before cutting, but in this case I know Iíve got cleats or chinelogs to go over the chipped bits, so Iím not too concerned.

    4. Hereís the table. You can see how easy it is and how it holds any shape for cutting. Itís a bit gnarled now, but itís earned itís keep many times over. It was built entirely from studs rejected from a building site because they were too twisted. I cut them down to about half size using my Skill-saw in the days when I had no machinery, and flattened them more or less with the only plane I had, a Stanley #4

    5. Speaking of Mr Stanley, heís a very handy tool round boats, and is just the thing for planing cut plywood down to the line. Make sure itís razor sharp, or your end grain ply shavings wonít look this good!

    6. While Mr Stanley is all you need, if you have a low angled block plane, youíll probably find that better than anything else, specially if you have a slightly concave line to work to. I use the Stanley to do the big chewy bits, and the block plane to finish. They both need sharpening every couple of lengths of ply. The glue in the ply seems to be incredibly hard on the blades!

So here we have a side panel in need of just a shave more. I tend to use a thickish felt marker line so I can see it when cutting, leaving a bit more planing than necessary, then plane the line till thereís just a whisker of it left.

  16. #15
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    Heya Midge,

    some great tips there mate. I really like your magic table idea.

    Re trimming down to the line (or 1/2 the pencil line) have you tried a belt sander? with the panel lying flat and using the sander on its side.

    Works a treat for me.

    To avoid the splinters in the gaboon, I have found that by cutting to about 3mm of the line and then trimming with the belt sander, most of the splintered bists are taken off.

    A cordless circular saw is also very handy at this stage. Much faster than a jig saw and works real good on slow curves.

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