Making Time

Outside looking in. Where’s Spring? 


(to start of project)

Between doing taxes, borrowing a planer (Thanks G!), snow storms, birthdays, and working late at a real job, a little still gets done on the boats: more sanding and scraping, and some work on the keels.

Most people use a high quality mahogany plywood for this part, and there’s much to recommend that. It’s pretty wood, and easy to use, though you’d still have to scarf two sheets together, and laminate two 1/4” sheets, to get the full length and thickness necessary. In my case, it’s the only place where mahogany would be used, so I think it might seem a bit out of place – if possible, I’m trying to use only woods that would have been available locally.

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March Snow



It came down all day and all night, whistling in the chimney, blowing in under the eaves, onto the porch and woodpile. And down collars. The wet kind, that sticks to limbs and bark and poles and wire.

The maples are already in bud, and the narcissus and daffodils are up, now all pushing up snow.

Only three weeks ‘til Spring.

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New Favorite Old Tool

First pass at smoothing 


(to start of project)

I’ve begun to dislike power tools. Must be an age thing.

The bows are closed up. The only thing left is the troublesome “football” section. There are several ways to finish off the transition from the hull to the keel, and I’m still undecided on which way to go. To give myself time to think it over, I figured I’d start smoothing the parts of the hulls already done. It’s contemplative work.

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Rogues Gallery

 “Mug Trio” from The Smoking Gun


(to start of project)

It’s possible some of the information below is full of half-truths, exaggerations, or outright lies; it’s difficult to say. If no current photo exists, a reasonable approximation is used herewith.

This is a partial list, in no particular order, of ‘seedie people and places. I’ll try to update it from time to time.  Some of these folks have useful or interesting links associated with them. Some links are not to people, just useful links. Some are just interesting people.

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Slow Stripping

Weekend’s work – half hulls 


(to start of project)

I am the Bungie King. With wooden fingers.

Bungie chords in different lengths, and with lots of places to hook to, seem to apply the right amount of flexible pressure, over large areas, to pull the strips together snug. Since I plan to finish the insides bright, random staple holes would be unsightly, otherwise you could just use more staples. Also, the bungies ease the strips most of the way flat without breaking them. Bungies with large plastic hooks don’t mar the wood. The wooden fingers, with a spring clamp applied, hold the strips flat against the form. Fast and easy to apply. Problem solved.

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Fast Stripping

Clamping improvisation


(to start of project)

Put on 24 strips in seven hours today, which is pretty good, cooking right along in a groove. Then I hit a curve, came to a stop, and decided it was a good time to quit for the day.

Cedar strips bend very easily in one direction – back and forth – which is what makes them so wobbly. But they don’t bend much at all in the other direction. Add a twist and it really gets fun. The first twelve strips up the hull are pretty much flat runs, bending in the easy direction, so these went up quick.

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Snowy Hills

Morning Snow on the HIlls


Snowed last night.

It’s funny, the hills and Blue Ridge spend all year a hazy blue-grey – sometimes more grey, sometimes more blue. There’s a brief period on clear days in Spring when they’re mottled greens, and in the fall there’s a week or so when they’re rusty. But after fresh snow is when they suddenly stand up and want to be noticed.


Treeline, Old Field