This first week has been about setting up the base frame and making the harpin.
The base frame is made up of two parts. Firstly a box frame which has to be level and square, then fixed to the floor, and second on top of this a framework on which the harpin and the molds sit. This top section has to be set at precise heights for each station and each end of the cross beams has to be angled correctly to receive the harpin. We are using a self-levelling laser to get the correct heights.
The harpin is an 18mm by 100mm strip of douglas fir that the decking sits on and which follows the sheer line. I should explain that we are building the boat upside down, so at this stage the harpin is the first part of the structure to sit on the base. It has taken a fair amount of time to achieve the correct shape – initially it involves taking nail impressions from the lofting (which is why we have the lofting sheets out again in the photos below), then cutting the wood with a bandsaw and finishing with various planes. We have to joint these pieces because of the length and curve involved, so there are five halving joints in each side. We will use a router on a jig, to create the joints.
As of last night (Friday) we still had half of the the top framework to finish and the joints for the harpin. We’ll be in on Sunday, and hopefully will get this done so we are ready on Monday to glue the harpin joints, lay the harpin on the base and set up the molds on top of these.
Here’s our work area at the start of the day on Monday with some elements of the base frame set out.
And here’s mid-week with a section of the harpin in a vice on the right which I was working on (and you’ll see the lofting sheets are temporarily laid on the base for us to take nail impressions for the harpin and seat risers).
And this is where we were at the end of the day on Friday.
Finally here’s a shot of the three of us resting between strenuous bouts of boat building (Sam on the left, then Wilbur & me).