My Backyard Boats:

The Quark

Elmer rewrites the hull story

   21 March 03: I had two surprises today -- Elmer's new woodworking glue with wood flour added and the Quark hull looking like its big enough for an adult.

    I was excited about both of these things.

    I used Elmer's woodworking glue (exterior) and ringed bronze boat nails to assemble the sides of the hull for the Quark and also to install the sheer clamps. When I got the sides in place, and the stem and transom dry-fitted, I noticed that I was off by one-half inch when I strung a line from stem to stern. After putting on the sheer clamps, the hull trued up. I used an extra stringer clamped to the sheer clamp on one side to pull the hull into alignment, and it worked.

    The next step is to nail the external chines to the sides and then nail and glue on the bottom.

    I ripped a poplar 2x4 into strips for the clamps and chines. I set up my cuts so as to have the grain parallel to the sides, which helped in the bending, and will give more strength than if I had cut the strips as vertical grain pieces. The poplar is probably 25 percent heavier than pine, and it warped as soon as I cut it, but for clamps and chine that is actually a plus. I probably could have driven the boat nails without drilling pilot holes but I did anyway because I had a nasty split early on when I was dry-fitting the transom.

    Time spend so far: The total going into today was 7 hours. Add to that today's 6 hours of work, for a total of 13 hours so far.

    Cost so far: Going into today the coast was $124.06. Add $3.60 for 8 ounces of the Elmer's glue, for a total so far of $127.66.

The first step was to attack the temporary form to the sides with deck screws.

Rope is used to make windlasses to pull the sides together while the stem and transom are dry-fitted with deck screws. This is a tricky part of the process; it is important to pull both ends in; the bevels don't seem right if you don't. It helps to have a helper, if you like to work with anyone else around. I don't, so I persevere, and use rope.

Form, stem, and transom in place, held with deck screws. Although the deck screws are self-tapping, I drilled pilot holes to avoid splits.

To make sure than the hull isn't twisted, you run a string from the centerline on the stem to the centerline on the transom. I like to use a stick upright on the form's centerline, rather than a plumb bob. The stick doesn't have to be held; it's always there for reference.

To apply glue, back off all the deck screws but one. I used a throw-away paint brush to apply the glue.
One of the sheer clamps in place. The line indicates that the hull is way out of alignment; I used an extra clamp on one side temporarily to put the hull into alignment. It was a half inch off until I fixed it.
At the end of the day, the hull and sheer clamps were done. Next step is to nail and glue on the external chine stringers and the bottom.

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