Steve's Tolman Project 10th page...

Saturday, May 4,2002

Saturday was a good day. The goal was to get the transom mounted and glued to the shelves and to get the bowstem mounted and glued to shelves at the bow.

I tackled the bowstem first by double checking the angles and making very sure the bowstem was plumb. Just last week I was scratching my head due to my confusion about the angle of the bowstem on the mounting beam vs the angle of the bowstem at the shelf. Somehow I'd gotten the measurements reversed, no doubt due to my "shallow reading". Renn straightened me out. The angle of the bowstem at the beam is indeed 55° and the angle of the bowstem at the shelves is approximately 50°. All angles and measurements checked out.

I re-sanded the top of the shelves where they join at the bow to make sure that the glue would stick properly and then used my worm drive to cut away equal amounts of wood at the tips so the shelves would join properly. This worked out perfectly and took only a few minutes. Then I coated the ends of the shelves several times with unthickened glue and after they refused to soak in any more, I mixed up a batch of glue thickened with microfibers, slathered on a bunch and clamped, then screwed the shelves together.

Next up was the task of glueing up the bowstem to the shelves. I positioned the bowstem carefully, but found that my cutting was a hair off in terms of the edges not perfectly matching up. Not to worry I thought, since I'll be fairing this area anyway. So off I went and coated everything with unthickened glue, let that soak in and then slathered on more of the thickened microfiber mix. I held the shelves into place temporarily with some twine and then screwed the shelves and bowstem together.

Sunday morning started out in a mellow way and rapidly turned into something, hmmm shall I say, a little less mellow? I'd just made myself a giant latte and sat down to my computer to check for Tolman Group messages. Stinky the loving cat she is tried everything in the world to get into my lap, including knocking the brand new steaming hot latte over and into my lap. I screamed bloody murder, especially when I noticed my Mac's keyboard was completely soaked in a sugary, milky coffeeness.

What exactly does this have to do with building a Tolman? Well, for one thing I was in a foul mood for the next few hours, Stinky is now a CalicoCatSkin hat that ole Daniel Boone would have been proud to wear and I don't know... I just had tell someone.

Anyway, after the pissing and moaning ended I got to work on building the stringers support device, installed it and then held my breath as I placed the first stringer. It didn't fit. Had to widen the starboard cutout using a sharp chisel. A few minutes later it dropped into place, a tiny bit low, but very close indeed. Me thinks I'll shim into place with a whittled down matchstick. The port side stringer was the same story, just a bit too tight. A little adjusting and it too dropped into place. Yay, stringers in place and everything is still plumb!

Next I diverted my attention to the bowstem. I'd already had a bit of concern with angles on this thing, but after having run the info by Renn, I felt reasonably confident that all was fine and dandy. Well I took a straight edge to the bowstem to see how well the joint would be between the sides and the bowstem and just about had a conniption fit. The angle of the shelf was all wrong as compared to the bowstem. I remembered that the bowstem would require some adjusting, but this just seemed too far off. The bowstem is at a 55° angle and the shelves were cut to a 21° angle. The shelves fit perfectly at the transom and required only the smallest amount of fairing. But up here, I was suddenly breaking out in a cold sweat. I measured, remeasured and quadruple checked every angle. Everything looked like it was correct. Well, I sent a note and even a drawing to the Tolman list and to Renn. Folks were helpful, but it wasn't until Renn replied that I felt a wave of chagrin and relief. Renn kindly pointed out to me that if I'd carefully read the section (page 118) then I would have known that not only did I need to fair the bowstem but I'd also need to fair the shelves to an increasing angle the closer I got to the point of the bow. Okay, my face is red. I'm a dingbat and a bonehead. But I sure feel better now. Later this week: Place the bottom on the jig so I can come up with the final length of the stringers...

next installment...