Finishing Out Small Boats
Creating neat woodwork and joinerwork.
- John Brooks —June 16–22
Note: This is a six-day course ending Saturday afternoon.
Note: Woodworking experience, including experience with routers and floor machines, is a requirement for this course. John’s course on Glued Lapstrake Construction is an excellent prelude to this particular course.
Here’s a week that promises to be a fulfilling and challenging one, with plenty of opportunity to learn—with brains and hands—how to build the intricate parts and finish out small open boats. The joinerwork of a small boat is particularly exacting because there is nowhere to hide slipshod work—no burying rough joints under decks or in cabinetry. John will teach you how to make elegant parts and gorgeous, tight-fitting joints for a boat you’ll be proud to varnish.
The course is designed to be a follow-up to all of John’s glued lapstrake hull building classes and very useful to anyone completing a small boat. Many of the skills and techniques you acquire can be transferred to big boats as well. Your instructor will start the week describing how to organize a project as complicated as a boat. Students will learn how to work from boat plans, drawings, or the lofting board. John will explain the versatility of various types of patterns and show you how to make them, as well as, how to use them. He will also show you his special method of shaping complicated pieces, using routers with the patterns, that allow one to make accurate, duplicate parts easily and safely.
You’ll learn about making curved parts such as a laminated outer stem and steambent floorboard frames. John will demonstrate methods for measuring and layout in the hull to accurately position interior parts and pieces. He’ll also explain how to accurately scribe and fit parts such as the breasthook, quarter knees, bulkheads, half frames, floorboards, mast steps, and daggerboard trunks. And you’ll learn how and where to use epoxy and other glues, sealers and bedding compound; and to become familiar with woodworking in three dimensions with no right angles in sight.
Working both at the bench and in the boat, you’ll refine your skills with a wide array of boatbuilding tools, from planes, spokeshaves, scrapers and chisels to the tablesaw, band saw, and router.
By the end of this busy week students will know what to do after finishing the planking of a new hull—understanding not only the technical details of building the pieces and joints properly, but how to create fine, distinctive shapes and details that make a boat beautiful and truly yours.