Thursday, October 13, 2011


Tonight I'm gonna play catch-up (I like that better than ketchup, which one is Heinze?).

Follow ups will be on the folk fest, the Point Pleasant Boat show, the Independence Seaport Museums wooden boat festival AND the Homebrew Club's visitor Ben Potts!

I hope to see you tonight!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Philadelphia Folk Festival, my pics...

My introduction to the Philly Folk Fest:

In need of a vacation, I had not the money to go surfing with Corky Carroll at his paradise resort in southern Mexico and was looking for something to ''get me out of the city". I was listening to WXPN and they were chatting up the folk fest and I remember my uncle telling me how fun it was in the late 60's early 70's and I even knew a few people who still go so I got on the horn and talked to my buddy's brother Joe who is a volunteer there and I am so glad that I did! I don't think I would have survived without his advice. I'm pretty industrious at times but from 6AM when I drove through Harleysville on my way to Schwenksville the confusion started. Well actually the makeshift roadsigns were actually spot on and really helpful, just that everyone and everything else was not from the time that I pulled up to the main gate, or "Point". And not to bust their balls or anything, I mean the whole shebang is run by volunteers on a shoestring budget so there is going to be communication breakdowns. No worries, it all worked out really well and I made some really good friends. Hopefully they will read this and shoot me some of the awesome pics that they had taken of all of us so I can introduce you to them.

Thursday, 6AM, Schwenksville: On a tip from my buddy Joe I got there early. The ride was dark and rainy and my windshield wipers on Moby were streaking making sign reading just a bit tougher for a 40 something with waning eyesight. I drive straight up to the "Point" or main gate without a hitch (I took that off Moby so I didn't bust my shins on the monstrous piece of metal in the center of Moby's bumper. That was a play at humor. Let me know if it worked or not). But I really did remove the hitch on my truck, just so you know, because it will devastate a naked shin. I ask what the ins and outs of this waiting to get into the show thing was and they had no clue. So I drove up to the next gate, same deal, completely oblivious to knowledge of such questions of Life, the Universe, and Everything. One girl does tell me of a staging area for incoming camper traffic up the road so I head that way, the gates are closed so I park in front of them. After a few hours I see people at the entrance to the staging area and think they are letting people in. NOPE. Just volunteer firemen to run the staging area, so I go back to parking in what later will be the exit to the staging area and shoot the sh!t with a couple of the volunteer fireman for a while and eventually they send me on my way to go park in the local firehouse. { HINT #1 } If you get there early, park there. You will know where it is because they send everyone early on this loop to keep driving around until they open that area. Well, it was still raining hard and I found the firehouse while the rain eventually faded.

9:50 AM Thursday: Moby roars and we get on our way...into traffic. LOG JAM! It was now the waiting game to get into the staging area for campers. 45 minutes it took to get into the staging area and then another 45 to get into the camp.

11:15 AM Thursday: I start packing up my wheelbarrow {HINT #2} a wheelbarrow or other sort of cart is MOST important because you have to hoof all your gear by foot to your hopefully available campspot...Thanks once again Joe for this awesome tip. But of course, I do this wrong and try to get into the camp without getting my bracelet first, but of course, they don't know where to send me to get one! LOL OK. Industrious Sean listens to other campers making fun of people like me and I eventually hoof my crap up to the main gate in the swelter of heat and humidity created by the sun and the rain. {HINT #3} Bring one of those sun shade things! There is NO shade to be had, you will need one for over your camping spot and tent too if you can wing it because the sun is going to wake your hung over butt up in the AM by 8AM!!!

So I get my spot, one of the last ones in the area I might add, and all of a sudden the area is jammed up with hopeful campers. My tent is a little out of line as I was hoping to have some space around the tent, but I was taking up space for others and that is how I met Paul, Warren (Bandana Santa as he will later be referred to by some would be partyers), Thom and Lori. I moved my tent a few feet for them and Voila!! they were able to fit their tents in too! So were were right on the painted line in which you weren't allowed to camp any closer, we had a view of the parking lot, but most important, we had space AND a view of the lightning storms that rolled over camp just after everyone got set up! The weather was awesome!

Well, we were all set up. I made a bite to eat, the only time that I would have to cook thanks to the gracious hospitality of my neighbors, a story that I will soon get to. Red beans and rice with some canned organic chicken. Oh, yeah, peas too! YUM!

Things have mellowed out, camp was set up, my belly full so I walked around to check out what is going on the day before and I landed some good pre-party and pre-muddy pics of the local campers and musicians:
I think this was a group of thespians. I have no idea, I never saw them do anything, not because they didn't do anything, but it's just that there is SO much going on, it is difficult to see it all. {HINT #4} The party starts well after midnight and all the stage shows, and on Sunday it didn't start until 2:30 AM and there is MUCH to see and do!

I was keeping my eyes out for cool tie dye ideas, this was an excellent home made tie dye! There were sooo many good tie dyes that I felt inferior. I recently gave tie dying a go and messed up the chemistry some how. I'll figure it out the next time someone gives me a lot of free t shirts. LOL

A lot of people came in light camping. My buddy Joe the volunteer has pictures and video of people racing to get in the gates with all their gear flailing and falling down getting trampled just to get a good spot. Crazy.

The PHiladelphia Jug Band. You gotta look these guys up. They aren't playing here at the time, but they were later that evening. This mostly looks like family and friends, but the band has banjos, geetar, hammer dolcimer (I think that is what it was, it was described as the precursor to the piano that the Knights Templar brought back to Europe and invented piano keys instead of the the drumstick type hammers they used to use playing it, losing some of the flexibility of the hammers that keyed pianos just cannot reproduce), jews harp, Jug (of course), and a fellow who played a saw blade with a violin bow! Great stuff! I have to look them up online and see if i can find some tunes!

This was the Pig Fockers encampment. They seemed to be playing Beatles type tunes most of the time when I would walk by and stop for a listen. This is still Thursday so they weren't playing yet, but later that night....

Bottom Feeders had one wicked flag up! Me loves catfish!

Another encampment with a cool tie dye. I think they were playing music as well. Who wasn't? Me! LOL

So that was the scene Thursday afternoon before all the mud, before all the partying. I went back to camp, then came the rain!

6:30 PM Thursday: A storm is a brewin'! To the southwest we all back at camp could see it. It came on us fast like they would for the rest of the event. Next door Warren had gone home and Paul was there by himself. I didn't think much about the other camps, I just wanted to keep my stuff dry so I moved everything into my tent. I love my tent. Thank you Tammie Painter for giving me the impulse to buy that tent so many years ago because it's really good in heavy weather. The storm hits, first the cooling winds, then they get stronger and are accompanied by large raindrops and mega lightning bolts which indicated to me that it was high time to get inside my tent with my chair, my beer, etc... What I didn't know is that Paul was outside the whole time holding his sun shade down from blowing away in the lightning blasts! I was very comfy inside.

After an hour it passed and my new friends and I sat and watched the lightning blast away at Philadelphia to the east. It was nature's light show! I did a tour of the campsites again on my way to the show on the campground stage, which was lame. A young fellow tried picking me up. That was different. I knew his game, I wasn't down. He walked off, I listened to the music until it went over. It was Funk and it was like taking medicine when I was younger. I walked around camp and some people were jamming, but I was kind of tired and then my buddy Joe calls and says to take a nap and come back out around 2AM. I woke up and 4:30AM and thought it was too late and had no intention of going out. I should have, it was party central!

I went to bed around 2:30 AM just after this, what looked to me to be a flying burning paper bag floated over the encampment from one end to another about 300 feet in the air! There were 3 that night! They were some Japanese flying candelabras or something. I didn't think anyone would believe me the next day so I took a picture. They didn't really believe me until Friday night!

The next morning I awoke to cursing of the heat of the sun at 8AM! Hence the need for a shade canopy, so you can get some sleep! LOL

So that was my first day at the Fest. It was very wordy, but for good reason. The rest of the event was just that, event after event after event and I will have to give that a thorough going over on my next post. Maybe, I will get some pics from the others to comment on as well.

more to come....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Laminating the Hull

For a good portion of the summer it was too hot and humid to do any fiberglassing because of the finicky nature of epoxy and the shop isn't climate controlled, but I bet we could have hopped on this if we had to. I've been reading up on the topic and you can pretty much epoxy in most conditions. I've just been scared since the catastrophe that happened to the Wormhole fiberglassing her. We had a span of good weather for about three days last week and took advantage of them. There were some disappointments with some discoloration of the wood and we really can't track down the cause. It's a streaking and a lightening of color from one epoxied section to the next, possibly due to the epoxy aging in the cup even though it is still workable. The use of laquer thinner may have prevented that, or may have hastened it, I'm not sure. Making a fresh batch of epoxy for every section may have prevented it as well. Like I said, we aren't sure. It's not overly noticeable and when the varnish gets on there it will hopefully be even less noticeable. Either way, we stuck to our guns and got it done. Perhaps we can get her in the Philly wooden boat show this fall (OCT. 8).

She has since been sanded down again and is getting ready for fiberglass tape down the keel and stems for structure. Basically we laid out the glass and painted on the epoxy to laminate the board by wetting out the glass with the brush, we then squeegeed off the exess epoxy so the glass didn't float in any epoxy puddles creating waves that might get sanded off and create a weak spot in the glass if it gets sanded through. That Lam coat leaves air pockets in the weave below the glass and above it so the next coat (which we did in two hours while the first coat was still curing to have that chemical bond between layers) fills in those gaps, and is called the fill coat. The next coat (also done in less than 2 hours) plops a layer on top of the glass and can be sanded (if need be) without sanding into the glass itself. We had some lumpy spots and dry spots so we even did a fourth (Hot coat) really thin within the two hour time frame again. Then the next day we sanded with the longboard and 100 grit paper. It needs more sanding before we get to the fiberglass tape runner and then another full coat of epoxy. There are probably a half dozen different ways to approach what we did and we will figure out what works best for us along the way.

Pretty cool bucket sculpture. Look at that color of the wood on that boat! NICE!

Hah! You get to see what it looks like right side up!

My dad is pretty proud of the boat. We haven't come up with a name yet. I was tossing around the idea of Kindred Spirit. Kinda too pretentious maybe.

And here are some of the other fruits of summers labor! Those feckin tomatoes are incredible!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Toms River ACBS Wooden Boat Festival July16, 2011

So like not only did I win once by getting a prize for my surfboards, but I win twice because I found out how to post more than one picture on here (took me long enough)! I was completely surprised at getting an Honorable Mention for the surfboards, my Pop didn't have the camera ready so no pics of me actually being handed the plaque. Either way, WIN!

The stand sans Nulls. My dad was off on walkabout and I just took an early morning pic of where we were located which was kind of off the beaten path, but we had a good bit of shade and were more than happy with the hundreds of people that we talked to!!

We got there around 8AM and the family boat building class was already in full swing. A well known local fella Timo was running this one and I had the chance to talk with some of the students and they were really enjoying themselves and all looking forward to getting their little rowboats in the water next week! It is a 7 or 8 hour class on building then they just paint the boats at a later date and voila! Timo, I apologize for not remembering your last name, it's only the tenth time I have met you!

George Kerr from Sedge Island Skiffs and his beautiful Melonseed duck hunting sailboat with his own retractable dagger board design! George is a great guy and his boat is awesome you should look him up! He also does repairs and restorations. He is in Toms River #732-618-4014

He is also a fellow homebrewer and I hope to get together to taste some of his grog!

Liberte' !!!

My favorite ship! This motorsailer is my dream boat!!!!

Check me out all smiling and such. even better check out the rocker difference of my two boards!

All in all, this turned out to be a very nice surprise and my dad and I are soooo glad that we took the time to come to this show! The amount of boats there was less than last year and they really need your support to keep the show alive so please, if you are a wooden boat owner, take your baby down to Toms River next year! I will! I might actually have 4 entries for next year if we finish restoring the Peterborough racing canoe in time! See you there!

Mystic's Boat Show, part two, part two. LOL

The last pic from the show that I have. I wanted to note the beautiful woodwork around the cabin. There was talent in steaming that wood and not having the knots pop on them! Gorgeous! I'm not sure of the process of doing that, but I can guarantee that it wasn't easy! NICE!

Mystic's Boat Show, part two

Only one thing stinks about being in the show as opposed to going to the show is that you don't get enough time to walk around and enjoy the entire show!

I did get to leave the stand and walk around a bit with my father, but not as much as I wanted. Nor did we get a chance to hop a ride on this steamship! We also wanted to go to the sub museum, take a sailing trip and eat more ice cream, but we did manage to take in a few of the sites as well as have an adventure in weather on the way there! We met a ton of cool people, it was a great time!

Here is Phoebe, one of my favorites at the show, perfect size!

I don't know the name of this beauty, but she was worthy of a photo for sure!!!!

A beautiful ketch rigged boat out enjoying the incredible weather, not much wind, but enough.

Does anyone know what this hull is designed for? Just curious.

Well, only 5 photos can be posted at a time for me. I have to look into a photo expansion program that allows me to load 6 into each of the 5 slots allowed. Not sure how to go about that.

Hey, I've taken another interlude and I'm going to plug Thomas Armstrong's above blog for his excellent photography skills and commentary on the events of Mystic Seaport's Woodenboat Festival! Here are the two pics that he took of my boards.

This first one is the fin done by Greenlight Surf Supply's Brian Gagliana. Excellent work Bri! It's made of renewable bamboo! Brian's wife has a clothing line which is based solely on bamboo fabrics. I believe it is called Barefoot.

Please pay no attention to that beautiful Adirondack Guide boat behind my two lovely surfboards! LOL That fella built a guide boat that I swear could fetch a million dollars! It is absolutely perfect in every way! So make sure you check out Tom's blog for all the greatest pics from the Mystic boat show and whatnot. Come to my blog for the details on all the best parties in Mystic. LOL

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maritime Merriments in Mystic, from Menhaden to Morgan part. 1

Since my father was a little kid, he's been going to Mystic to see the square riggers, but life happened (four times in the form of four sons) and he didn't get to see the tall ships as often as he liked. We've been trying to make up for lost time and you can see the smile on his face in this picture as we are about to depart early Thursday morning for what was going to be a weekend of fun and adventure!

I love blogging about this sort of thing, but there is one tiny downfall in that I can only upload 5 pictures to each blog, so I chose five pictures from that of which my father took that give a general feel for the show and then in the later parts of the Mystic blog will be just tidbits from here and there along the way. Unfortunately we did not shoot any of the other folks entries in the "I built it Myself" section of the show, the one we were in. I don't know what we were thinking. I suppose that we were too busy to understand that we were part of, in my opinion, the heart of the show. Sure the larger yachts and sailing vessels are magnificent in every way, craftsmanship, ingenuity and beauty with countless hours of blood, sweat and tears were poured into them but there is something different to the hobbyist who is doing it out of fun, or "therapy" as many of my neighbors in this section describe it. It's a minute difference, really, but significant. I sound like a politician. Ha ha ha. Truthfully, I can't put a finger on it. But lets get to the meat of the story....

I had bought the tickets for our room at the Olympic Best Western about a month ago with the idea that we might be finished the canoe and bring it along to the show in some capacity. Well as the days passed and we knew that it wasn't going to be, we abandoned the idea of bringing anything with us. I have these two wooden surfboards that I had made that are in different stages of finishing (as I find the finish on a wood craft to be daunting) and wasn't real sure if I even wanted to bring them. Two massive heat waves followed by mega humid days put the kibosh on any varnishing ideas and to tell the truth I wasn't keen on more varnishing since getting it right was eluding my attempts. I gave up on the idea of bringing them and decided to just hit the show for one day and the other day go to the submarine museum. My Dad was totally down with this plan because he injured his knee while working on the canoe really hard one day and wanted to take it easy. But then it hit both of us at the same time to bring the surfboards and show them off, what the heck! He could just sit there with ice on his knee while I talked to interested visitors. So a scramble ensued to get the boards ready. The Wormhole surfboard is finished with an epoxy that is supposed to be UV protected, but it's not and I wanted to get that done somehow, but time was running out and I had no ideas or time to ship any products to my house let alone the money to buy it with, so I just decided to polish it as best I could. My best was not good enough. I was wet sanding and building a huge milky latte froth up (it looked quite tasty honestly) and couldn't get out the scratches. I had wet sanded for 30 years, but never more than to a 400 grit shine because most of my polyester surfboards were fine with 400, they looked great! But this finish did not. My uncle dropped by the shop like he does at various times and usually catches me at some stage of working and I am glad that he caught me then because he set me straight with how to use wet dry paper with just enough time for me to finish the night before the show. Don't make a latte with the material!!!!! Use a ton of water and rinse it often. This method extended the life of my sand paper by about 20 minutes as well. Thanks Uncle Rich! Where were you 30 years ago? ha ha ha... The Rainstick, my other surfboard is a varnished one. It's more like a varnish experiment in progress. I've been having trouble getting one complete side of the board done due to the varnish pulling too soon. I actually got pretty good at doing sections of the board, but you can still see the brush marks and was at an impasse so I decided not even to attempt another coat until I learned a little more about it. So I learned a little about it this weekend! Thank you Woodenboat Show!!! Well I got the boards ready, washed out my board bag which was encrusted in wax and sand and sat back and had a few home brewed beers as I made a few tie dye shirts to wear to the show. I hadn't tie dyed in 20 years and something was amiss with that endeavor as well, but the shirts were given to me for free, so it was a neat experiment. I plan on delving back into that hobby as I was pretty good at it at one time and I really like doing them! Besides, it's a good way to enjoy a home made porter! Speaking of which, Sailor Jerry is calling my name. BRB... Oh that's tasty!

In the above picture we see an unsuspecting Cork Null with a huge smile on his face. I greet him similarly as well as we pack the car. Indeed I looked at the weather last night and gleaned that there was a 30% chance of precipitation in Mystic and everywhere along the route to Mystic so, I packed a long sleeve turtleneck shirt to deal with any weather eventualities. I laugh as I write this as the prediction for precipitation was only 30% in reality 75% of our trip was in complete and utter deluge keeping the speed of travel on our route to about 20 MPH. We took the Pallisades PKWY for the scenery, we got torrential rain! I have these little air valves on the surfboards that I keep open when travelling, etc... basically all the time they are out of the water, well I had forgotten about them, but when it started with the deluge it finally dawned on me that they were open. YIKES! That could be problematic in a worst case scenario, but no water entered the boards, and probably wouldn't have even if I didn't close the valves. So when were weren't dodging a billion habanero sized raindrops, mudslides, rock slides and hydroplane danger zones, the other 25% of the time we were stuck in gridlock on route 95. My poor Dad had to white knuckle it the whole way while the raindrops lulled me to sleep. We were on the road for about 8 hours! Luckily it gave me time to call the good people at Woodenboat Magazine and find a spot to put my boards! A special thanks goes out to Sandra Turner, Patty Hutchinson and Ray Clark for coordinating with each other and getting me settled! Thanks so much guys, with my dad's hurt knee we were unsure for the last week leading up to the show that we were even going to go. Wednesday night I was about to cancel the hotel room as my Dad's knee looked pretty bad! You guys made it happen for us, thanks for letting us participate in one of the coolest events that we have ever been to!

Well, it all payed off. We got to our hotel, lugged the surfboards inside, got showered up and headed off to the Harp and the Hound which if I were to have a pub, this is how I would do it. We go there every year and the owner John has a smile for us and cold pints of Smithwicks. The menu is perfect for a publican. Shepherds pie or bangers and mash. Simple and elegant! It is a nice quite place to have 3 pints or more on a Thursday night, shoot the shit with Tim Quick from the museum and just chill. A great place. I look forward to it every year. With a good buzz and a light sprinkle in the cool misty air we headed out for a little walk around Mystic. The shops are mostly closed, we didn't care, we head to the waterfront areas and look at the boats, dream about sailing and just living on board for the rest of our lives and then head back to the room a little clearer minded from the walk in the fresh air.

Thursday morning found us a little too early around 7:30. I had no interest in getting up but I can't sleep knowing how amped my Dad is about starting his day and getting to the show so he does his morning thing, I do mine, and we go eat our free hot brekkie at the hotel. I will tell you, a nice hot breakfast sure does wonders!

We get to the show a little late which worked in our favor since most everyone was already unpacked and we had a nice area to unpack our gear at the vendors gate. Having small surfboards I think we were able to get away with a little more than those with the larger craft which was kind of cool, but I didn't want to hold anyone up so I went into high gear to get our spot set up and was a little rough around the edges in dealing with my Dad. He just wants to mellow and have a good time and I was in "gotta get there" mode. But it's like water and a ducks feathers with my dad. It's all good. We got settled in amoungst a great group of people with some really fantastic boats and embarked on a truly memorable time surrounded by good people and good stories! My dad loves telling stories and I like hearing them! Some I have never heard before like the time he sprung one on me on how he built a model nuclear reactor in the sixties at a R&D job that he had with the Franklin Institute! NO. WAY!!!!!

I tell ya, we were so busy for the three days that we didn't really have the time to fully experience the show. We would go for walks at separate times, sometimes together and leave the photo book that I had documenting the construction process with the surfboards, which really was pretty helpful in explaining the process. I'm glad that we chose to make that! I mean the blog is really cool and helpful, but at the show, photos are where its at and it helps to have them in good order!

Friday's show was a blast! It was mellow and all of us had time to bond and tell stories. The weather was overcast and cool which reminded me of how much I miss Oregon because I truly like that weather. The day went off without a hitch and later that night we hit the Voodoo Grill for some of thee best Cajun food I have ever eaten. The place isn't large, but the atmosphere is. The building it is in is a former manufacturing complex I bet built in red brick and it is perfectly preserved. It has a red brick interior which I enjoy, a small bar, which I also enjoy, about 15 or so tables and a a small outside area. Number one on the menu, always consider the chef's specialty even if you can bank on one of your favorites being good. In this case my theory paid off when I got the Shrimp and Mudbug etouffee. My dad got the tried and true pulled pork. He then died and went to heaven. Much merriment ensued. Sailor Jerry was passed around. A one man band deserted by his fellow band members played You Don't Know How it Feels by Tom Petty and a cool buzz followed once again. Again it was followed by the walk around town to ogle all the nice boats moored and at dock. I may have shed a tear a few times here and there in a dark part of a dock somewhere as Sailor Jerry built up in my bladder. You can take the kid out of Philly, but not the Philly out of the kid. Meh, it was raining anyway.

Saturday! Now Saturday was one heck of a busy day at the show! Sunday heard many complaints of my neighbors losing their voice by the end of Saturday. Wow, I don't know what the turnout of the show was, but we sure were busy! OMG we met some really cool people from all over the world! It was just amazing! I never knew how many surfers there were. It seems like most of the sailors were surfers. I'd have to say that meeting Glenn Gordinier from the museum was the highlight of the weekend. That guy is the word cool. It just so happens that we both surfed the same spots in Jersey and some in Oregon and know some of the same cats some that have passed on with much regret. Man I could have went on and on about how cool George from Surfers Supplies in OC, NJ was. That guy would leave surfwax out on his shops doorstep for my brother and I because we needed it well before the store opened. I was coming to him for my polyester resin and advice in 1985. Man, those were the days of surfing for me. It wasn't crowded yet. Ocean City was more so than Atlantic City and my brother Keith and I soon found ourselves there accidentally as we missed our exit on the AC expressway in the middle of a blizzard and never went back to Ocean City. AC was golden! Glenn brought all those memories back. He's got a book called Cold Water Surf Stories or something of the like soon. Be sure to catch that book, it's guaranteed a good read! The events of Saturday night were more subdued. I found myself at Zhang's with my father. Zhang's is next to Voodoo Grill and much more mellower. I fell in love with the Vietnamese waitress, ahhhhhh such beauty, and I fell in love with the Crispy Spicy Tuna Rolls that were on special. OMG! OMG! OK, I have sushi like 4 times a year maybe??....???? But I tell ya, a california roll battered in tempura, topped with tuna paste, salmon eggs and that special hot sauce is something to cherish. Add a nice wad of wasabi to the mix and you will not have a better plate of sushi! It was the perfect combination for me! All my favorites in one bite! That is a must have! I was off my game though. The rum punch did me in and I didn't make my move on the waitress. I tell ya, if there weren't the beauty of Connecticut, the ocean, the ocean air, the majestic boats and ships, the friendly nature of the locals and the fresh air I would still want to marry her and move to Mystic! I never listen to rule number one: never fall in love with a waitress or bartender! After that we went to the Harp and the Hound for a round and I was regretting leaving Zhang's the whole time!

Sunday was mellow again at the show. Nothing notably stressful happened. Chewed the fat with John Allegra again. He's the livery guy who runs the horse and buggy rides. He is a truly genuine guy. His sense of humor is reminiscent of a Philadelphian in some ways so he was easy to get along with. He got a kick out of our father and son duo like so many other people did I think. He was just another one of the people that made our stay at the show fly by too fast. And it did. I wish we had more time!

The real meat of the show for us was the exhibit that we were in. But we did manage to get out and see some of the sights and chat it up with the other exhibitors.
Some of the things that caught my dads eye behind the camera were sights like the massive hull of the whaleship Charles Morgan. You really don't get the magnitude of the hull and of the project from this picture but just take a look a the size of the guy next to the lift and you might get an idea. You really have to see it up close. It's HUGE! The steambox for the planks is like 40 feet long! I tell ya, those bow planks must be a bugger to replace! The curve in them is unimaginable!

Here is an Indonesian fishing vessel built recently by a local tribe there and adorned in all the traditional art. It's pretty cool to see the similarities of design that developed between cultures so far from each other!

Got Tillers? Some of the real education at the museum is in the teaching of sailing to younger students. I'd say that they have a few boats for a few students wouldn't you? It's just a cool picture and my dad saw it. He knows what he's doing that guy.

This pic is what it's all about. Kids are getting out there and getting involved in something that is sometimes completely alien to what they have lived and learned and it really opens their eyes to a future that they never thought possible. Nature has a way of doing that when we are exposed to her. And what better way to be exposed to nature than on a beautifully crafted piece of art that glides across a beautifully crafted body of water?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mystic, Conn. Woodenboat 20th Anniversary show

OMG, I just got home from the show and me arse be draggin, but my Dad and I had such a great time and met so many cool folks and I learned sooooooo much!

I will update you all further on the adventures!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Stems, very woody!

Alright! June 20, 2001 already! Time freakin' flies! In 3 days my Pop and I will be in Mystic, Conn. at the biggest wooden boat show on the East coast! We will just be shopping around, and passing out business cards for myself. I'm gonna bring one of my boards along and see if anyone is interested in my work. So I have been out in the shop polishing "The Wormhole" for the show so she looks pretty, only to sand her again later and spray varnish her for the next show! LOL I'm never happy! That blush in the epoxy is pissing me off! All that work and it's cloudy. LOL

Okee Doke, well, while Im upstairs, my dad is downstairs putting the stems in. Here he's got the stem on the vice and he is planing the stem to a 3/8" wide point that will eventually be covered with 1/4 round brass strip.

Here he is fitting the stem in place, we made a few few errors that will cost us some points on looks by overplaning the flats for the stems. We sort of did it while we were still planking the hull to make room for the newest glued planks. Oh, well, lesson learned. Basically we filled the gap with epoxy and sawdust, that was too dark, but alas, it will look OK I'm sure.

Using a 3/4 rounded chisel so the stem has a rounded end entering the hull. Looks kind of nice. We are a little further along now than in this post, and it is starting to look pretty nice.

So, what we did is we epoxied them in place once we got the surfaces to match as best we could. We drilled pilot holes before we epoxied them so that we could screw them down tight with a round head screw dipped in wax, as to not break off in the tough oak. We put a layer of epoxy on and let the end grain of the strips soak it up, then added a layer of epoxy with the sawdust filler in it, screwed it into place and let it dry for over 24 hours. We then removed the screws, well, my dad did all this actually, and bored out the holes with 1/4" (?) drill. We cut bungs from a 1/4" maple dowel rod and tapped them in (pre-glued of course) with a hammer. We tried to match the grain direction for looks, it didn't work because the grain was masked by the saw blade marks, but it doesn't matter, it's getting covered over with brass. If we weren't using the brass we would have made bungs with oak and done it correctly. Since this step, the stems have been sanded down roughly and are looking really nice!

A nice pic of the roughly sanded hull. Looking good!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On a Boat!!!

Dat's right! The strap clamps are off and Robin and I admire it's asymmetrical shape which is really noticeable in this pic! Incredible! I love it!

We are all so happy that the "Football" is looking great!

Stern view...

NO rest for the weary on a hot day in the shop! Robin and I waste no time before we dig in to planing the high spots! And dig in we did! The grains were all over the place!

We found that planing on an angle across the planks was one method that worked really well. But alas doing this also leaves hills and valleys, but just not the length of the canoe. Next up: Sanding Galore!!!!

One Step Closer!!!!!! Hell Yes!

Do you see those three strips already glued together? One of the steps along in the process of stripping this side of the football was half way through, about the 6th strip in, you stop and make up the last piece (shown here) from the last three strips that are going to make up the football in the center. They are glued in place, 3 at a time but not glued to the 6th strip, just glued together so that they hold the curve of the football as it is essentially the same at strip 6 as it is at strip 11 (as these strips are strip 12, 13, and 14). The strips did not hold their shape perfectly as the glue is not rigid and you don't want to just assume that the curve will be perfect when determining your centerline on the piece. Since the curve did not hold, it wasn't the same as the previously laid strips, so the centerline could NOT be drawn as straight. So in this instance you lay the piece next to the football hole (what I was calling the smile).
Laying the piece lined up with the intersection points as best you can make marks every two inches or so in the same place on the cove of the piece and top of the previously laid strip. You then measure the distance from the previoulsly laid strip to the centerline cut on the upper lip of the smile and then take the compass and mark the distance on the corresponding mark from the cove of the piece. Do that at every mark.

After you have measured each and every mark, you connect the dots and you have your centerline! Notice that it is slightly curved? Now you plane down to the line very carefully leaving an 1/8" along it, or more if you are escared like me. Basically we fit one end, tweeking it along the way by planing it down carefully in like 8" sections until we had it planed the whole way and snapped it into place, eventually with glue!

Removing the top cove with this device that my dad made really made fitting the piece into place much much easier and allowed the cut piece of cove to remain intact so that it could be glued back in when the piece was glued in. It worked really well and the gap that would have been there at the cove top is filled! Awesome!! He effin made that shiznit!!!

Great work Cork!!!!!!!!

A Tight Squeeze

I used to dig that band Squeeze! TMI Sean.

So, welcome to the last plank on the boat before the final stage of the football is complete. This is the last time that we use and clamps and wedges, other than the strap clamps for the last piece. As you can see, there isn't much room to work and it was pretty tough getting clamps in the space to work, but we managed alright!

Looking like a boat more and more!