Well, I got bored last weekend and realized I haven't made anything in the shop recently--my last project was almost every evening and almost every weekend for over 4 months building a custom queen sized bed with incorporated foot trunk, two shadow box end tables and a shadow box coffee table. (a paying project) So, after a month long hiatus I was getting the itch to build something new.
I didn't want to get too involved with something I would have had to commit serious amounts of time to, but I knew I wanted to experiment with something I've never done--building some sort of water craft. I figured I should start small, so I decided to mess around with some hand boards. I started going through my racks of scraps and cut-offs and pulled out some OG Heart Pine, Black Walnut, Quilted Maple and Wenge. I commenced with re-sawing, dimensioning, planing and joining and wound up with some stock I could make a couple blanks from. While they were glued up I sketched out a fat fish-like template on cardboard and cut it out with an exacto knife when I was satisfied with the lines.
(I will go ahead and apologize in advance for the crappy pics taken from a dusty cell phone)
One one plane I went with a classic offset stripe using the OG Pine for the majority, a smaller strip of Black Walnut and finished off with some Quilted Maple. The other one is dominantly Quilted Maple with a Wenge "stringer."
I'm trying to incorporate as many variables as I can to see if any make a difference in performance, so I decided to do the Pine one as a deep stepped single concave with two incorporated skegs at the tail and the Maple one with a single vee throughout most of the board and deep double concave. Since I'm experimenting I just drew reference lines on the boards, broke out a router, stuck a 1 1/2" fluting bit in it and went to town:
Now that I had the boards fully roughed out it was time to get down to what represents over 50% of carpentry... sanding.
This is where I realized I should have been a little more careful in routing the concaves when stepping the bit down. My lines turned out fairly straight and uniform, but leaving those harsh transitions doubled my sanding time.
I sanded my rail profiles on the bottoms then flipped the boards over, threw a 1/2" round-over bit on the router and did the same on the top, fairing out the noses and slightly rounding the tails with more considerable sanding. Then I filled some knot voids with epoxy and that's pretty much how they sit right now. IMAG0076.jpgIMAG0078.jpgIMAG0083.jpg
I'm leaning towards finishing them with Helmsman spar urethane but will probably start using epoxy in the future.
I still haven't figured out what I am going to use for the hand straps and exactly how I'm going to attach them to the boards. I'll probably go a quick and dirty route on these then upgrade on the next ones I make.
That's it for now, I hope to get some more done on them over the next few days. I hope y'all enjoy!