Friday, December 30, 2011

The Mold and Backbone

Once the overall plan is decided on every complex project, such as a boat, is broken down into manageable tasks. On any given day the big picture goal isn't to set off on some voyage or even to launch the boat. It is to finish making the boat part du jour.

At the start there is a big push to finish the full scale drawing that is lofting. Sore knees and back and a brain freezing up from compressing three dimensions into two are worked through and the drawing is done. Then there are patterns and mold stations to construct. These are scattered around the shop until the long awaited day when an actual 3D shape becomes reality. The crew gets a moment to stand back and contemplate this first glimmer of what the finished boat may look like then every effort goes into the backbone pieces. These are the stem, stem knee, keel, centerboard bed logs, stern knee and transom. While we're at it the the centerboard case and skeg get started.

But once again the desire to see progress in some form other than alot of curved pieces of mahogany scattered around the shop takes over and the backbone is finally assembled, ready or not. And so it goes until there is finally a whole boat standing in the shop, about to be launched, ready or not. But we're not thinking about that. There are frames to make.

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