QT Skiffs - not really building,
but not really not building, either.
February 16, 2013
First off, I have to apologize for forgetting the G****N SD card
for my camera. I got to make a trip out to Siletz Lumber Company,
my favoritest sawmill ever. It's on the backside of Siletz, on the
way to Logsden. In case you couldn't read between the lines: It's
out there on the edge of humanity. Kurt an Kevin run the place and
they take logs - whole friggin' Oregon logs, and make lumber out
of them. It's just as well I couldn't use my camera - pictures can't
explain it. I don't even think you can experience it without knowing
a good deal of the culture.
Anyway, that's where I got the wood we were going to be turning
into wales for the Family
Boat Build this year. With luck, I'll have a functional camera
next time I visit them.
The first order of business was getting a layer of topcoat on the
QT Skiff. We had some leftover exterior latex, and in a surprise
that could have knocked me over with a feather, a little more help:
Shawn, who had been a volunteer during the early stages of the Mollyhawk
build, showed up. He's a good guy - I hope we see more of him.
Planning out the work sessions is a real skill - painting has to
be done with a minimum of dust, but cutting wood makes LOTS of dust.
We did the painting (and worked on the Clark
Fork Drifter) on Friday evening, then got to making some sawdust
on Saturday. We need gunnels, inwales, and skids, all 1x2s (actual
dimensions .75" x 1.5" or nearly so) 14' long. I'd picked
up a bunch of sticks - some nominally 2x2s but most 1x2s - with
an average length of 10'. The next step was to mill them to the
Step 1 was to rip them to .75" thick by 1.5" wide, then
plane 3/16" off the rough edges - so the sticks are actually
1x2s in concept only. This is fine - wales don't really need to
be thicker than 1/2". I really like our DeWalt planer - it's
a very nice piece of equipment.
I feel really bad about this process of turning big sticks into
little sticks - when selecting this lumber, I specifically selected
cast-offs and short sticks because I was trying to make use of their
excess wood. I told the guys at Siletz Lumber my personal concern
and they laughed (in a particularly lumberjack-y way) "That's
all we do: Turn big sticks into little ones!" Context is everything.
The next step was to convert the less-than 14' pieces into more-than
14' pieces, and for that, we scarf. You'll notice I don't show you
my scarfing technique, and that is for a very specific reason: It's
friggin' fast and friggin' dangerous. So dangerous I lost the tip
of my thumb to it a couple years ago, but so friggin' fast I can't
help but use it. As an ode to Mr. Schideman - my 7th grade shop
teacher - I shant pass this particular technique on.
And there you have it - a LOT of work to get half the 1x2s we need
for the Family Boat Build. Select - rip - plane - scarf. Next will
be run 'em through the router to knock the corners off. And we still
need another (14) 14' sticks to pull it off. Preparation is the