First a word about tools.
I have not always been a tool guy. When I was younger, my father would buy me tools using words like “son, these will last you a lifetime if you take care of them”. I would stare blankly at the tool, then gaze off across the room and begin dreaming about backpacking gear. In fact, I sold several of the tools my father bought me in exchange for backpacking equipment. Then, in my late 30’s the latent tool gene kicked in. All of a sudden I found myself in sales for a living while doing nothing with my hands. I felt little value in my profession; it seemed like nothing I did was of lasting value. This left me feeling empty and hollow inside.
Then, it happened. I decided to build something. I saw a maple tool chest in a Tool Smith magazine. It looked smart, efficient, clean with sharp lines. I showed my dad the plans. They gave him great pause…remember, I hadn’t built much in my life. To him it didn’t look like a beginner project. But to me it looked heavenly. We went out to Home Depot and I purchased several shop tools. A table saw, jointer, band saw and drill press. With these core tools, I built the maple tool chest.
It has proven to be very helpful in organizing my tools and served me very well. After that came a tool bench and multiple other wood working projects.
My interest now is more centered in good quality hand tools. I find them very enjoyable to use and very effective at accomplishing different tasks. So, when you see the hand saws above, don’t think I’ve always been a tool snob. No, instead I’ve grown to love hand tools after many hours of using cheaper tools. Christopher Schwarz offers the best advise I’ve found regarding the reasoning and effective use of quality hand tools in his profound book entitled, “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”. Worth the money if you are serious about investing in quality tools as opposed to quantity of tools. He describes and presents 50 hand tools worth every penny you spend on them for general wood working. I bought every one of them and have never looked back. The total cost of all these quality hand tools was far less than the cost of a single four wheeler.
Now, on to boat building.
I trimmed the bow panel down flush with the bow cap rail using a block plane and shinto rasp. It was extremely fun to watch the panel come into compliance and take shape. This is one of those moments I had been waiting for…to see the defined bow of this boat. It is stunningly beautiful and reminds me of a battleship.
The bow cap rail and gunwale needed to be shaped at their forward end.
The first cut was with a fine toothed panel saw.
I then used a fine toothed rasp and hand sanding to blend the lines.
You might notice I created a little different shape with the cockpit coaming. I planed stick #5 down to 5/8″ as opposed to the 3/4″. This created a bit of a reveal between stick #4 and stick #5. I liked the handrail look this dimension created. I also ran #4 & #5 a bit forward of the designated stop point. I’ll shape this forward end once the epoxy is fully cured.
The great thing about wooden boat building is the chance you have to make little changes to the boat which make it uniquely yours. This is indeed half the fun of the building a wooden boat. Take you time, get it the way you like it and have fun. If your not having fun, something’s wrong.