Exquisite Corpse
Show Me The Wood!


Keel1Well because of the fantastic response to my DVD I’ve been super busy running back and forth to the post office to fill all the orders, so I was happy to find some time the other day to get back to work on my boat.  Thanks again to all of you who placed orders and I hope you enjoy the videos.  By the way, they make great gifts too so don’t forget your friends now that the spring paddling season is approaching.

Here are some pics of the keel installation on my Joel White Pooduck Skiff.  The keel was the last major structural component I needed to install before painting the exterior hull

First I made the keel pattern out of scrap plywood.  I marked a centerline on the outside of the hull then set the plywood vertically along the line.  A few 2x4 blocks hot-glued along the side of the centerline held the pattern in place with drywall screws.  Then I marked the "bottom" edge (actually the top edge, but the boat is upside down) of the keel pattern to follow the shape of the hull using a black Sharpie pen duct-taped to a block of wood.   I unscrewed the pattern and placed it on the floor to mark the “top” (actually bottom) edge.   Marking the edge really just followed basic lofting techniques described previously: taking measurements from the plans and transferring them to the wood using those long wooden battens that boat builders always have handy. 

After I cut out the pattern with a sabersaw, I placed it on the wooden board I reserved for the keel.  The wood is meranti, a tropical hardwood I found at Edensaw.  By the way if you are looking for marine lumber Edensaw has just about any kind of wood you would possibly want.  And if you don’t know exactly what you want, just drop by and browse among their stacks.  Just the sight of those beautiful boards will get your creative juices flowing!   I was even able to convince them to give it to me wholesale because I am a Center for Wooden Boats member. YESSSSS!

I chose meranti for the keel because it was half the price of Honduran mahogany and came in the right thickness (if I can save time by not planing lumber down to correct thickness, I will).   I marked it up using the pattern and cut out the keel, then attached it to the hull using 3M 5200 bedding compound and 1 1/2 inch silicon bronze screws (from the inside and the outside) and a single 6 inch long 1/4 inch diameter machine bolt through the widest part of the skeg.  The whole thing was clamped down tight against the hull with nylon Thule straps to get good “squeeze out” bead of bedding compound.   Then I scraped off the bead.  After it’s completely cured in a week I can finally start painting the hull. 



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