Laying Out the Patterns

Freehand transfer to wood using carbon paper and a tracing wheel.

The patterns for the 32 plywood piece parts were printed on full size paper sheets measuring 3′ x 8′. The plans called for cutting out and tracing the larger parts, or transferring the shape to the wood by punching through the paper with an awl. I devised a method using carbon paper and the dull back side of a razor knife as a scribe. This allowed me to very accurately mark the wood with the use of a ruler or a star wheel for the curves.  (Thank you, sewing lady.)

Using soft pack SCUBA weights to hold patterns in place

Transferring straight line with carbon paper using the back side of the knife blade.

For accuracy, I found that a small cut through the paper transfers a well placed mark on the wood below.

Transferring a long line with a slight curve using a straightedge to guide the blade.

Straightedge placed at ends of line, using ruler to guide blade away from the ruler to follow the arc.

Transferring freehand curves.

Freehand transfer using a tracing wheel.

Patterns transferred to wood, ready to cut.

Laminate trim router with 3/16″ dado bit.

I used my small laminate router with the bit set a few thousandths of an inch shy of cutting through the wood.  A razor knife was used to trim out the pieces from the sheet when all of the cutting was completed.

I was concerned that it would be difficult to control the close tolerance using a router, but this method proved to be incredibly accurate and very easy to control.

A LED reading light was attached to the router and a small table fan helped to keep the sawdust clear.

One of the roughest router cuts before sanding

It took very little planing and sanding to true the edges to the lines.

Note: the small block plane in the background is one of my favorite tools, a Japanese wood block plane. It is adjusted by tapping on the end of the blade or on the block, and costs less than $10.

I found this used Harbor Freight drum sander on Craigslist, a great tool for smoothing internal edges.

I used a hole saw to cut a notch in the bottom of the bulkhead.

The frames all have limber holes to allow water to flow to adjacent compartments above the boat bottom.  I used a drill press and hole saw to form the cuts, making them slightly larger that specified for quick easy drainage.

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