Today was one of those days when we actually achieved my unrealistic, wildly optimistic hopes: We got the transom firmly attached to the chines, and we got all 20 floor ribs (joists? frames?) milled, cut, and attached. And that was before 5p.m.!
What was most amazing was that when we set a level across each floor rib, they were level. And the hull seems to be straight and symmetrical too. Even more bizarre, I bent a strip of plywood around the chine to see if the garboard (the first side-plank that attached to the floor) was even conceivable, and it fit too. Hmmm. We’re waiting for the big shoe to drop. But ’til then, celebrate!
Tim Cooper wandered in for the night shift and we selected the only two cedar boards I had that were long enough to form the center boards for the floor. We planed them down, cut them straight, and clamped them in place to see how the bend looks. Pretty darned good. The other four floor boards will be a bit easier to find in my pile since they’ll be quite a bit shorter.
A lot of the really hard thinking is coming to a close now that the frame is created, and we are moving more into assembly with the planking of the floor and sides. Not that we won’t have to scratch our heads a bit in days to come, but getting this far is pretty exciting. For the moment we are done with white oak framing and moving into northern white cedar planking. Milling the cedar is oh so aromatic—it smells like a cross between a cedar chest and a pencil sharpener. And it’s pretty with a coat of oil-turpentine-varnish:
* A note to fellow boatbuilders. Most boats are built sides first, bottom last. Makes it a lot easier to work on a damaged bottom. But the original Edith was built floor-first, then sides. So it’s not that we’re crazy—we’re just trying to replicate the way the original was built. But why are we replicating this goofy method? Mmmm. Okay. We are crazy. Fine.