My Backyard Boats:

The Quark

Stem looking good in poplar

    19 March 03: I cut the stem out tonight from a piece of select-grade poplar 2x4 that I had lying around the shop. It looks great, and I like everything about poplar except the smell, which isn't all that bad but it's just that I love the way pine smells. Poplar and pine cost about the same in select grade. This Quark boat project is as much a test of poplar as anything else, since it really may be too small for an adult to use. We will see on that. The poplar will get a test when I rip the pieces for the external chines. I'm seriously considering using poly glue, the kind that kicks when one board surface is wet down before applying the glue. Since this boat is for experiments, I'm going to consider using cheaper glue for the initial bonding, then use epoxy fillets on the inside and a coat on the outside, with glass tape on the chine joint.

    I cut the stem out with the table saw, after removing the saw guard and setting the angle. It was a bit tricky but went well. The saw guard was not setting right, which made me think that the saw would actually hit it, so I removed it for the operation. I don't like table saws and I don't like to work without the guard, but I don't like living in fear even more, so I did what I did, carefully.

    Time spend so far: 1 hour at the home store, and 5 hours in the shop yesterday, and an hour today, for a total so far of 7 hours.

Stem wood is pretty in poplar -- 2 x 4 x 15 inches.


I used a pen to line out the cuts.
The finished stem. It is within a 64th of the plan dimensions. That's pretty good for my table saw.

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