Tuesday, December 10, 2013

January: Our Custom Designed 20 Foot Catboat Takes Shape

January 2013: A Review
The progress in one week is phenomenal. Ten days after starting the strips, the crew has laid out the first layer of Spanish cedar veneers. We’re trying a new technique that Brian had learned at the Landing School. It was a huge time saver, eliminating the tedious spiling that I’d always done. While satisfyingly quiet, spiling each veneer is a sequence of cut and fit. Get it right the first time and you can move on. Screw it up and you’re spending untold extra time on a piece of wood that no one will ever see!
This method relies on a good straight cutting bit, a small trim router and a veneer stealer for each space.

We did this on both halves twice: two layers of 1/8” veneer. It was a hot topic too. I’d spoken to many builders and each one had a different take on strip planking a hull. To sheath or not to sheath? Three layers of veneer or none? Sheath with 1708 Biaxial or veneers? We were awash in opinions and testimonials. Finally, I made the call: we sheath with two layers of cross diagonal Spanish veneers topped off with two layers of 10oz cloth. But first there was still so much to do. The images at the right illustrate the sequence reading left to right and top to bottom. The hull finished out at 3/4" including the 1/2" strips and two layers of 1/8" veneers; perfectly strong shell for a 20 foot catboat.


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