14 February 2020

Woody build phase three

14th February starts with some steam bending and sticky stuff gluing a couple of joints that failed and inserting wooden dowels along the chine and hog.  The slideshows gives you an idea of this early formative stage

12 February 2020

Grandads Woody Runabout Stage 2.

The basic frame is now almost completed and I expect to be adding the gunnel strakes next week and to begin to lay down the first layer of ply skin by early March.
 The video below shows how restricted for space I am in my man-cave little garage 9' wide x 22' long. 


I intend to lay the ply on the frame in strips. Diagonaly with three layers on the bottom, two to the sides and two for the decking. The floor may be fitted as a false sealed void - undecided so far. I may also fit side chambers forming extra flotation chambers. However, initially the need is to calculate whether that weight is justified. I am building strength but without too much weight penalty.

5 February 2020

Grandad's woody Runabout

Runabout build.
Following the moulded ply dinghy built last year, I now have a more sporty type of craft on the stocks that will be quicker on the water. At 12' 8" long and 4'9" beam for a 20 hp outboard motor.
The half mould 1/8th scale model was made for offsets to be taken along a centre line which is common practice.
Eleven sectional moulds are mounted along a jig. The jig is set on three support trestles with castor wheel feet to give mobility within a confined garage area. With my own design there is no instruction guide to work from and inaccuracies to the model are magnified eightfold once scaled up. Before the build can commence the truing up process has to be done and a pleasing shape will soon emerge.
Two or three layers of ply will enable  compound curves in the area of the bow and stern.
Transom upside down on jig
Bouancy chambers will be incorporated with a bulkhead forward of the dashboard and narrow side tanks. A stern bulkhead/false transom will provide a rear buoyancy tank and a well for the outboard motor.
My ideas are taken from features of various designs, including Albatross and the rib type of craft that have strakes and spray rails along the
An outboard of 20 or 30 hp will be required to ensure that this craft will be capable of planing at approx 20 knots.
February will be taken up with fitting the keel, chines, stem and strakes onto the eleven cross section moulds. Only then shall I be at the point of laying down the ply laminations. Much like the cold moulded craft made previously, except that each of the strips will be up to twelve inches wide and approximately five mm thickness. A waterproof pva type glue is being used but for the laminating Cascamite will be used instead.

Stem showing bulkhead at station five which forms bouancy chamber

23 October 2019

Some Bees doing well - One colony perished

For late October I found me Apiary very busy yesterday with plentiful amounts of pollen being carried in. Ivy forage is plentiful and very beneficial just now. and is in close proximity. To a varying degree the top inside each hive was heavy with condensation. I raised those slightly to give better ventilation but today will be checking again to gauge if its working. The lost colony had been struggling through the summer and I had hoped I might feed them through the autumn but perhaps I left it too late. Now the job of cleaning up and disinfecting everything remains. The bars are to be scorched and washed in hot soda solution. Likewise the hive itself will be thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected.

Come December I intend to treat all three surviving hives with oxalic acid vapor against the veroa mite, the same treatment as done the previous December. 

19 October 2019

A wartime Baby

My arrival was not the best time to be borne. During the second world war when my dear mother worked in a munitions factory nursing the injured machinists prone to having small fragments of metal shed into their eyes. The diet at the time was meagre and for me included dried banana and powdered egg. To buy any food at all required the ration book to be shown and I believe there was something like four ounces of butter or margarine allowed per week. My father was working away from home surveying. Bonding with his first son never took place. My first and second brothers arrived at three-yearly intervals with a fourth brother arriving when I was twelve.
In the early years, my mother made soft toys to supplement the family income but soon after war ended their first home was bought close to the seaside. After a couple of years, it was sold in favour of a larger house on the seafront but the cat ran away and I was ill with tonsilitis.
Another move took us a mile or so back from the sea, but it was another victorian terrace and not well heated. I remember several winters sharing a bedroom with my two brothers and that room faced north. Frost would often form on the inside of the sash window.
Those were not the happiest years of my life, with parents often squabbling for reasons I could not fully understand. I was maltreated by this unpredictable father and felt some resentment even towards my mother for tolerating his behaviour.

My early education was unsatisfactory as well, due to the fact that I was sheltered from mixing with much of the rough and tumble to be found in the community. My father believed he was a cut or two above the rest, so I was put into a tiny little private school of seventeen boys, under the one proprietor/schoolmaster, who had his favourites and had put his retirement on hold. The rest of us boys were less well encouraged to learn anything at all. I learnt to make pea shooters and cotton-reel tanks.
Consequently, I failed my 11+ and reached secondary school, but the woodwork master and music masters both saw that I had potential and I was entered for the 13+ to grammar school to be further educated.

By that time the family had moved a few miles down the coast and I had built my first canoe as well as many a balsa wood model aircraft and a model boat or two. Tools were hard to come by and I remember frequently cutting fingers on the makeshift razor blade tools I could find.
I taught myself a rudimentary kind of ballistics, having access to spent cartridge cases and black powder or propellant gleaned from fireworks.  My father made his own cartridges for his punt gunning sport. Today I would probably be locked up for my exploits.
At this time cars were fewer on the roads and children would happily run off to explore the countryside or seashore without any worries.
At seventeen I obtained my driving licence at the first attempt and within a couple more years acquired my first MG two seater. It was a barn find at £45 and driven back from Pipers Pool in Cornwall.
That sports car was later sold to be replaced by a better MG open sports model which absorbed all of my savings.
To a greater or lesser extent, I suppose I am today re-living those years, albeit with a lessened vigour, but undiminished in terms of enjoyment. My mother always said enjoy yourself while you are young - they are the best years - I found her pessimism to be unwarranted.