My Backyard Boats:

The Piccup Squared

Lofty work comes first

    06 May 03: I did all the lofting onto the mondo piece of plywood I pieced together the other day. By using a 4- by 8-foot frame that I had left over from the Harmonica project, placed atop my workbench, I was able to spare my back on what proved to be a long day of good work.

    First came the sides, which the plans divide into 12-inch stations. I put a nail at each station point and used spring clamps to clamp a batten to the nails. After cutting out the first side, the plans called for laying out the bulkheads on the remaining plywood while there was still a straight edge to use in the lofting.

    To cut out the bulkheads and the sides, I used a power saw set just over the 1/4-inch thickness of the plywood. This is my first time for that; before I have used a hand jig saw, which is not nearly as accurate, as it turns out, which accords with the advice of many people in print.

    The pieces are warped and floppy, but the cuts are accurate, though I did have some trouble with the bulkheads and a jig I made from a piece of poplar to use as a saw guide. My cuts were right on top of the lines, but the problem is uniform, and amounts to 1/16 to 1/8 inch, so I'm going to live with it. The fairing process will even up the differences, and I usually have tended to cut on the line instead of beside it anyway, so I'm still doing things the same way, but with a new tool choice -- power saw instead of jig saw.

    Time spent so far: Add 8 hours for today's lofting and cutting out work, for a total so far of 10 hours.

    Cost so far: Holding at $83.93.

In the beginning, a 4- by 11-foot sheet of 1/4-inch bc pine plywood. The blue object is the plans.
Closeup of the plans shows the boat and its sail in profile, with the spars drawn to the right.
Spring clamps hold batten to the curve of the sides of the hull.
After drawing the arc of the bottom on the side piece, I cut it out with a power saw set to a light depth of cut.

At the end of the day the mondo sheet of plywood had yielded the sides and bulkheads and bow transom.

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