Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When you can't fall back on Christmas

Last night I cleared away the Framing Bay and moved the Hornet model into position in preparation for Wednesday's working session. I then layed out the rough shaped spars and spar blanks that have been made so far, and sharpened my planes, drawknifes and spokeshaves. I'm working on a better way to cut the four-sided blanks down to eight sides and realizing that I need better tools. I mean don't get me wrong, our tiny little band saw is great and all, but I need something with a bit more heft to it. Likewise the table saw - that thing makes me nervous sometimes. Christmas is a long way off, so going on a buying spree just isn't going to happen, especially with the caliber I need.

In times like this I go to my couch, pull off all the cushions, and gather all the spare change I can find. If it shakes out to be $1.50 or better (more than likely), it means I can go to the Navy Woodshop at Naval Station Norfolk! For 150 cents of your lost pocket change, they'll let you use all the great tools that I'll bet came off an old tender somewhere - they're just too massive and nice, in a 1950s sort of way. They run like champs, cut like butta and have all the bells, whistles and jigs you could hope for. Plus, the helpful staff there knows so much more about woodworking than I do - even if they don't have a clue what we're making!

So, anticipate a few trips there to knock out the spars and associated gear: masts, caps, tops, crosstrees, yards, poles, gaffs and booms (its not as bad as it sounds - famous last words) for the model. We'll also get a jump on blocks and deadeyes while we're there... and if you thought spars were fun, wait for the sober tedium of making these bad boys! Should be fun... maybe.


Working sessions are Wednesday and Friday nights at 7 PM - come on out and lend a hand on the model as well as our real boats. Monomoy No. 1 is undergoing a routine cleaning, scraping and painting and installation of a new leeboard in preparation for Conquer the Chesapeake 2011.


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