Hawbuck Update - I


Hawbuck Update
(see original post)

Hey Chuck,

The Hawbuck is starting to fair out nicely. I "roughed" it in with a belt sander and then turned it over to Matt with a 12" sanding board. He probably sanded for three hours today - don't say anything, but he's actually doing pretty good for a grasshopper (if only he would sweep!). Once the fairing is done we'll transfer the shear lines from the forms and then slide her forward a foot to have better access installing the last couple of strips on the bow shear. The Bear Mountian Boats' strongback is an excellent design, but in hindsight a 14 foot strongback would probably be better for a 16 foot canoe (maybe they said that somewhere in the Canoecraft book and I missed it!).

After the last couple of strips are in place (only a few inches long) we'll scribe the shear and rough cut it. Then it'll be time to shape the outer stem (steamed ash laminate) and start unboxing the epoxy. I'll send another update once she gets a layer of glass.

But, before I go, I'd like to make a comment about the woods we are using (in case anyone was wondering). Cypress seems to be a reasonable substitute for Western Red Cedar. It cuts well, routers well, sands well, and by the time we were into the planking I had full confidence in moving a 16 foot strip without fear it would snap. The grains look very similar to pine to me (not a wood worker) which gives it nice variation, but it does create a challenge making scarfs (we scarfed about 20 strips). We ended up identifying planks by their grain pattern, "Hand me a tiger stripe". Ash is a great wood for unskilled people. If you've ever sanded softwood a bit more than you intended you'll appreciate the ironlike consistency of ash. I'll tell you right here, I'll never use another piece of red oak on a boat - save that stuff for a bookcase to hold your plans. Ash does have a tendency to turn black where it is not protected, but most of us mummify our boats in epoxy and varnish and then they are lucky to get wet twice a month.

So I guess you can call me an ash man!

Larry Pullon