Notes on the Plan


(to start of project)

Visible progress is entering a slow phase as I take on a couple of tasks that require a lot of mental horsepower. Sometimes I get tired and just have to sit and think, or take a break from thinking, and then interesting things start to happen. Continue reading “Ruminations”

Mast Step



(to start of project)

Little parts take just as long to make as big ones. This is a disconcerting fact of woodwork. Some, however, take a really long time to make, especially if one has a propensity for making things more complicated. It took the long holiday weekend – four days in fact – to almost finish making just one little part for each boat: the Mast Step. Two of those days were spent just figuring out how to do it. Continue reading “Mast Step”

Imaginary Adventures


Stepping in for the second first time


(to start of project)

We had a little fun the other night. With the interiors starting to take shape, you start to wonder what it will feel like sitting inside them. I couldn’t resist.

It felt good.

Continue reading “Imaginary Adventures”

First Frames

Fitting Frames (by T)

(to start of project)

Figuring out the framing is making my head hurt. Chapelle doesn’t give any details about framing other than thickness of the timbers. Barto’s plans show approximate locations, but but they seem more like suggestions up for discussion.  Not that it would make much difference if the plans were specific. The interiors are where these boats will most deviate from the plans anyway – centerboards instead of daggerboards, enlarged cockpits, a forward hatch – so the framing has to move around to accommodate the changes. Moving one thing seems to affect seven others. After hours of head scratching, there comes a point where you get the basics covered and have to just forge ahead and make it up as you go along. Continue reading “First Frames”

High Summer

Wine Grapes, Jefferson Vineyards


It didn’t get truly hot here until recently. Until now it’s been a cool, wet summer, good for growing things. The vineyards are fat, and the hayfields are well on the way to a third cut of the season. Continue reading “High Summer”

Sheer Clamps

Sheer Clamp clamped


(to start of project)

When you have to be away from a project like this, even for a few days, it’s always difficult to get started again. When you’re away for a full month, returning to it is like walking into someone else’s shop. Tools that once came to hand automatically, without looking, now hide from me in plain view where I last laid them down. The sequence of building steps, once carefully arranged and ordered in your mind like planes queued up on a runway, becomes as confused as a flock of birds. What comes next? And then after that? I can’t remember. Even my notes need translation, like they were written by someone else. Continue reading “Sheer Clamps”

Left Coast Expedition

Pigeon Point Lighthouse 


(to start of project)

 San Francisco (maybe California in general) is not what the rest of us think it is. Well, maybe a little – the way the Santa in the mall is a little like the real one. Like most places outside our imagination, San Francisco has continued to evolve, slowly becoming something else, while our snapshot of it has remained static since the 60’s and 70’s. But I didn’t know this before I went there. Real places, like real people, are far more complex than the cartoon shorthand we sometimes use for them. Continue reading “Left Coast Expedition”