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Alma - San Francisco Bay Scow Schooner

 

April 23, 2015

I've restarted the project by continuing to install the decking. I'm applying black construction paper to one edge to simulate caulking. I'm not quite sure what the decking wood is. I can't identify it and after all these years of not working on the boat, I no longer recall where I got it. It's perfect for the deck in terms of color though. It's kind of a light brown, which is just the way the real deck looks. I won't be applying any stain or finish to it. It's a relatively slow process, so I expect it will take me several weeks to complete.

Decking
Decking
Decking Finished
Decking Finished (mostly)
 

May 27, 2015

The decking is largely complete now. There's an area in the stern where a large chunk of wood sits. The main sheet horse is attached to that block of wood and the block sits right up against the bulwark. Because the bulwark is a complex shape (multiple planes) I want to get the bulwark on before I shape that block. Once the block goes in, I can finish decking around it.

If you've ever sailed on Alma or have seen pictures of her, you may be thinking to yourself, "Hey - I thought the deck planks were nibbed into the covering boards." Well, you'd be exactly right - they are on the real boat. And it was fully my intention to do the same on the model. Unfortunately, I discovered that somehow, all those years ago when I started the hull, I just wasn't careful enough with my measurements and the hull turned out to not be perfectly symmetrical. That error made it impossible to do the nibbing and have it come out matching on both sides. I thought and thought about some way to correct it but in the end realized there was no good solution. So I did what I could do and tapered the planks instead. It's not right and I wish it hadn't happened, but it is what it is and I wasn't going to start over.

Next step will be to make the bulwarks.

Decking
Bulwarks
Decking Finished
Main Sheet Horse
 

June 27, 2015

I started installing the bulwarks as soon as I'd finished the deck planking. I pre-bent the bulwark pieces by soaking them in water then clamping them to the outside of the hull. That helped to get them close to the right shape. But I knew they had to be positioned exactly on the covering board and they would be too hard to hold by hand and glue and no real way to clamp them. So I decided to use brass pins to hold them in the correct locations. The pins were located in holes drilled in the covering board. Once the bulwarks piece was in the right location, held by the pins, I was able to raise it enough to get glue under it. It worked very well.

The main sheet horse was quite a little project that took me about two weeks to complete. I first had to make the block of wood from three separate pieces to account for the different sections of the bulwarks. The cleat was carved and the horse itself was all made from scratch from brass. (The little rubber bumpers are pieces of a rubber O-ring.) I did purchase the little hex nuts from Scale Hardware but bought some small dies so I could thread the rod. The rod on the inboard side is 1.6mm thick. The one on the outboard side is 1mm thick. I know it looks messy underneath all that iron work but the boat is going to get weathered eventually, so I'm OK with the mess. I think it looks realistic. Once the main sheet horse was completed, I was able to finish planking around it.

As of now, the bulwarks are on and painted. I'm slowly making the 14 additional cleats that I need to go in various places on the bulwarks (tedious!) and I just soaked and clamped the cap rail stock to the bulwarks so I can start working on all the rails.

July 3, 2015

Finished the rails as well as the catheads at the bow.

Decking
Rails Forward
Decking Finished
Rails Aft

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