My Backyard Boats:

The Piccup Squared

All but in the water

    04 July 03: I've been working hard on the Piccup but not on the updates. This is a roundup of the work done in the past two weeks.

    The oars were a big job -- about 15 hours of work -- but well worth the extra effort that I put into them. They're lovely.

    The spars and mast blanks are all glued up from spruce construction-grade 2x4s from the home store.

    Hatch covers and combings are done and look great.

    Two coats of varnish on the gunwales, decks, hatch covers; two coats of 50-50 mixture of turpentine and linseed oil on the interior of the hull.

    Ditty box for rowing seat done; looks great.

    Mast partner and mast step cut out and installed.

    We're taking the boat up to the canal later today for a row.

    Cost so far: Total so far of $371.16.

    Time spent so far: Add 11 hours for the work on the oars and 20 hours or the other projects mentioned in this post, for a total so far of 141 hours.

I did the work on the oars in the basement to make use of the big power tools. I used some Gorilla Glue that I had. Elmers would have been fine. The Gorilla Glue, like all poly glues, is a holy mess. The squeeze-out looks like foam. No complaints about its strength; it's just a mess, especially if you get it on your skin.
I swear ... it took an hour to clean up the excess glue.
The oars are spruce and fir; here they show results of shaping and rounding.
The combings were a challenge. I tried to make them with some fir I had, but that just reminded me why I don't like to work with fir if I can use pine instead. You have to pre-drill all holes for nails and there still are splits. The combings on the boat are pine, and the hatch cleats are spruce.
After 15 hours of work, the oars are ready for varnish. I work slowly because I want more control over the removal and shaping of wood. I could grab a more aggressive power tool sometimes, but I'm making enough sawdust as it it, and I hate to waste good wood by going too fast.
Ditty box/rowing box. I modified the box to use shock cord instead of a rope bale.
With some poplar that I had on hand I made the mast partner, using the bandsaw mostly.
The two spars and the mast are all glued up, waiting for final shaping on the table saw. This is the yard spar, made up from two trim pieces of spruce. I like to laminate as many parts as possible, because that controls the grain better than making pieces from stock, which often will take a sudden bend as soon as it is clear of the saw blade. And since the glue line is stronger than the wood, usually, that is a plus, too.
It took a bit of work to bevel the mast step, also made from poplar, so that it would conform to the curve of the hull, which is severe in the forward portion of the cockpit.

Copyright 2002 - 2008 Herkimer & Perkins

 NOTICE: To reach us by email, cut and paste this address into your email client -- jonrg@verizon.net