Friday, December 14, 2012

Cleaning Up the Seams

Things have been a little slow in the boatshop these past couple weeks. After working hard to get the planking finished, I had to devote some energy to catching up in other areas of my life. Visits from out-of-town guests and Thanksgiving holiday activities filled my schedule. I also have a day job that requires me to do, you know... work.

...And... we signed on a new crew member. He made his mark on November 26, with a rating of "Ship's Baby." This has, among other things, thrown off our normal schedule of watch keeping.

I've been getting back to work in the shop, though, and cleaning up the glue seams at the plank lands. I was not diligent about taking care of this as I went along, and so now I have a job before me. I cleaned up one seam with a chisel, spreading the work over a couple nights. It went well enough, but was tiring for my fingers and wrists.

Tonight, I had the thought of using my rebate plane. I took off all the guides and cutters, so the plane blade can cut cleanly into a right angle corner. I finished a second seam without difficulty. Some areas need more attention than others, and I'm still trying to get the hang of it, but my basic approach is this: (1) clean up the bottom edge of the upper plank, which is facing up, since the boat is upside down, (2) use the edge of the plank as a guide for the plane while working away at the squeeze-out, (3) gradually change the angle of the plane until the blade is parallel with the lower plank. Moving along in this way, the job goes pretty quickly.

I'll try to get some photos after I work on this technique a bit more. I've done two of twelve seams. I should be an expert just about the time I finish.