We ran nine to nine today and got the danged gunwales on. Oh My God. There’s really no other day in small boatbuilding like getting the gunwales on. No more startling or gratifying moment than when you stand back and look at the finished hull in all its glory.

Oh–first things first: and no more terrifying moment than settling on the final sheer line and cutting it. Sheesh.

Heather preparing to prepare the walnut gunwales: rout, sand, oil.

Then it’s all hands on deck and nobody remembering to take pictures. Making the grueling inner gunwale cuts. Making sure it is properly seating all along its length. Getting the outwale clamped on. Then bolt by bolt, trying to get them on just so. Then the marathon belt sanding, routing, sanding, sanding, vacuuming, oiling and rubbing down. Then standing back and wondering how it got to be nine o’clock at night.

Like I said yesterday, like framing a fine painting. Like I said yesterday, POW.

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  1. Unknown June 25, 2016 at 5:26 am - Reply

    Man I wish I could get gunwales on in a day. I'm going on 3 1/2 weeks now of slowly training to bend, waiting on sikaflex to dry, and slowly futzing things to fit until I screw up and cut too short (every one) . I've broken most of my crappy harbor freight clamps in the process and am down to 2 jorgensons , 7 Irwins and a couple crappy c clamps. Nice work, wish mine last ones that good and installed in a day.

  2. brdfrd June 25, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Dang. That sounds miserable. Helpful hints from here:
    Highland Woodworking clamps. Good and cheap. I have about 100 of them.
    Bye bye Sikaflex. It's not good as an adhesive, but it's too strong for reversible caulk joints. Epoxy for gluing up gunwales; LifeCalk for caulking boat joints.
    Steam-benders are cheap and easy to make. Big burner (I got mine at goodwill–a redneck turkey cooker); five gallon can; wooden box. Makes those gunwales bend on right now.

  3. Unknown June 27, 2016 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Yes! Just got my gunwales on also, so sexy I can't stop stareing
    That is beautiful little boat, those must be lam bent ribs…

  4. Jon Snider June 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Beautiful boat Brad. Thx to you I now have a nice stash of Highland clamps – light years better than the Irwin et al ones.

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