Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In a hurry, so I'll take my time

I don't particularly like the person I always associated with that phrase - he always had more hot air than elbow grease - but the idea is a sound one. When you're pressed for time, don't rush - slow down. You'll avoid the idiotic mistakes and also having to repeat or re-do things later down the road. Good advice, and free to you, brave reader, today only on your local Dockyard Blog.

Last night and again tonight my attention is turning to the fine-tuning of the full-sized drawings. A large part of this involves laying out the planking-backbone interface known as the rabbet. The rabbet is a very precisely cut groove in the keel, stem and sternposts that allows the planking to lead fairly up to and against it. It is a rather sensitive thing, and is only partically depicted on the lofted lines as printed. That means my evening last night was spent with a little scrap of wood cut carefully down to the width of the planking, holding it against the plans at the angle of planking intersection and tracing the outline. This produces two lines (the rabbet is already drawn, as the lines are set to the outside of the planking) - the bearding line and the middling line. Both of these have to be drawn on the plans before proceeding. When finished, I'll draw in the scarfs and fasteners, and take the whole mess to the copiers, where they will make several copies that I can cut into templates that I'll glue directly onto the timbers.

I hope to get all of this squared away in time for the weekend, when we can turn our attention to laminating the timber keels, stems and sternposts. The completed pieces will then be treated as solid timbers, being assembled as closely as practicable to the orignal methods. Still not sure about those curved scarfs - they give me the willies just looking at them.


One recent delivery of note is a shipment of cannon powder for the 3-pdr gun. Some time ago, my counterpart at the Danville Arsenal began shopping for it, with some limited success. You can imagine my surprise when walking into the shop late Sunday night I came across 52 lbs of the stuff in a box marked DANGER EXPLOSIVE on the planking workbench. Ummmm, yeah. I'm pretty sure that's enough to light up the entire Dockyard should anything happen to it, so needless to say we've already requisitioned the proper magazine and containers to store it all. For now it can live in a 20mm ammunition can in the Lofting Bay. At some point before December, we'll have to begin making it up into blank rounds for the gun.


Stand by for a great hideous rant, in a few hours.


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