Slowly, slowly these pieces of wood, panels cut along certain lines, frames cut from lumber, get screwed and glued together and begin to become something that is not entirely un-boat-like. If that is a real word.
Since we are not building a “Bolger Box” (named after the late and great Phil Bolger, who designed extremely simple and effective plywood and epoxy boats), there are all sorts of angles that come together to make the various parts fit together in ways that are not entirely intuitive. So we are measuring and remeasuring lengths and angles (“Measure Twice, Cut Once” as the Rastafarian space trucker from Neuromancer says), sawing at non right angles, planing edges and trying to make sure we do not work ourselves into a reversely angled corner. I am not sure that Bolger Boxes are entirely empty of such angles either!
In case you are wondering: we are not undertaking a Bolger design because the whole idea of stitch and glue is, to me, a little bit too close to GRP boat building. On the other hand, the wood we are using has been treated with some kind of resin and high pressure treatment*, so it is almost wood reinforced plastic (WRP?), so perhaps the distinction is moot…
Right now we have added the chine pieces and frames, added supportive parts across the bulkhead and pre-bored the fore and aft transoms.
Now the glued and screwed parts are drying as we try to get our heads ready for the next stage: assembling the sides, the fore and aft transoms and the bulkhead to form the shape of the punt.
Oh the anticipation!
Let’s see what happens next…..
*: Postscript. The wood is a plywood treated with Phenolic Resin, which is, as far as I can tell, a form of Bakelite, the first artificial resin/plastic. It seems that there are no great dangers with its use, but we should be careful about inhaling the dust from sanding it.