Boat Frame Part 2  
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Initial frame assembly on stringers

The clamps are holding the frames in position in preparation for installation of the clips that will hold them in place on the motor stringers.

The individual frames are held on the stringers with "clips" which may be made of with either wood or aluminum.

The aluminum brackets seen in the photos are the motor stringer clips. I used 1.5x1.5x1/8" aluminum angle stock for the clips. The clips are used to fasten the individual frames to the motor stringers. The motor stringers are the long pieces that run the length of the boat on the inside.

The bolts are stainless carriage bolts. The heads are pounded down into the holes drilled in the angle stock. This holds them securely and keeps them from turning. The nuts should be acorn nuts to make them "toe friendly". Use regular nuts at first, and then cut the bolts off to correct length for the acorn nuts. The stringer clips should have all edges (especially the tops) rounded over to prevent injury later.

 Pre-coat the frames and stringers with epoxy prior to assembly.

rough frame layout

The door in the background is the exit for the boat. The boat will need to be tilted to a 45 degree angle to fit through the door. Both door panels are to be removed from the door frame to allow the boat to pass.

I held the largest frame up to the door to verify the fit! Of course, the first question asked by everyone, when told that I am building a boat in the basement is: "How will you get it out? " Next is: "Are you sure?" I even had 2 offers to lend a chain saw to enlarge the opening.

First batten fitting

Initial placement of the battens.

The first fitting of the battens is being done at this point. 

It is easier to work with 8 foot sections at this point rather than the full length battens. Note how the second batten from the keel curves to miss the motor stringer clips. The first clip from the transom had to be cut down to allow the batten to pass over it. I then bent the batten to just miss the next few clips.

This was my first inkling of how every piece of metal that is used in construction will come back to haunt me at a later stage. It seems that the clips, staples, bolts and screws have a habit of lining up in positions where I will eventually need to cut, plane or chisel. At this point, the clips and the frames are not glued to the stringers. They are simply bolted in allowing for removal, modification and reattachment.

Initial fitting of the chines

In this shot the chines are being test fitted on the frames. The next step is to cut the beveled ends on the chines where they meet the stem. Much of the fitting of the chines in the notches is a successive approximation. I started out with relatively square bottom cuts initially and then progressed with greater bevels as each fitting showed the errors. After 5-6 passes the fit was good and the chines were ready for gluing.

I used a saw to cut a series of kerfs in the bottom of the slots and then chiseled out the remainder. A short stiff saw with teeth that have no set is best. I used a Stanley "Short Cut" tool box saw. This saw has aggressive teeth, much like a Japanese styled saw. No set and very sharp. This does cut on the push stroke, unlike a Japanese saw. A conventional cross cut saw is too long, as with it, I am continually hitting other pieces. The lack of tooth set makes it easier to get neat sides on the notches.

Test Fit Chines

Next:  Long Pieces

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This page last updated 10/16/04                        2000-2004 Mark Bronkalla