Chine fitting of planking  
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Fitting of the planking is relatively straightforward. I started in the approximate middle and planked downwards one day and then upwards the next.  Over most of the length of the boat the side planking overlaps the bottom.

A difficulty arises at the bow end of the chine. The planking changes from overlapping the bottom edge to abutting it. The transition took some time to figure out.

1. Plank the bottom with the strips running long.

2. Trim the bottom strips flush with the sides stopping ~18-24" from the bow. 

3. Fit the planks on the sides going upwards until the last plank is to be fitted.

4. Trace the top edge of the plank on the bottom with a sharp pencil. The bottom planks may need to be trimmed somewhat to get the final side plank in close enough.

5. Cut on the pencil line with a sharp utility knife. Take many passes until the mahogany bottom pieces are cut through. Chisel out the scrap and if possible use a rabbet plane for finish the cut and taper onto the sides.

At right is shown the completed cut. At the glue blob, the transition is complete between overlap, taper and abutting.

Take care not to overdo the taper cut and ensure that it is in the plane of the side, otherwise there will be an ugly gap to fill.

Here is the final plank fitted in place. 

Now these strips are ready for glue.

The planking is now completed.  The bottom was partially planked with mahogany in the areas that will show above the bottom paint and boot stripe. The joints between the plywood and the mahogany are scarfed. The plywood which is applied first is spiled to fit the strips. Trace the strips onto the plywood and either saw a groove or cut with a utility knife. Then chisel out the scrap.

The plywood ends can be scarfed either before application or with a chisel after being placed. Scarfing in place with a wide chisel actually seems easier. 

The right side of the boat has been rough sanded with 40 grit on the belt sander. The left side shows the stapling strips and the glue squeeze out. The epoxy was filled with wood flour, micro fibers and a micro spheres. The micro spheres are used for color matching rather than as the bulk of the filler. This way the joints are nearly the same color as the finished wood and the joints should be nearly invisible when the boat is finished. 

Again an extra strip and staples is used at the stem to pull the curved planks tight.

The stapler seems to be on its last legs. The mouth is getting enlarged, with more frequent jams. It seems the flat bottom (not pointed) stapes jam less often.  So far we have gone through 18 boxes of staples (>20,000 staples).

Now the finish sanding is in process. There are also 3 voids in the bond of the outer plywood layer to fix. I tried reducing the number of staples and strips at the behest of the staple pulling crew. It was not a good idea. 

To find the voids, tap the planks with a small (8-10oz) hammer (dead blow preferably) every few inches. The sound will change from "ringing" to hollow or snapping at a void. Simply rubbing over the surface and listening will not find all of the voids and the sound changes as much form surface texture as from the void.

Right side after initial rough sanding of the side and bottom bow area.

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This page last updated 04/27/01                        2000, 2001 Mark Bronkalla