Transom Framing (and Mast Covers)

Day 46.

Now that I’ve decided on the sequencing of construction, I’m ready to dive back into working on the ship.  The goal is to get the top side of the ship ready for the bulwarks to be planked.

But first, a quick diversion – let’s get the mast slots covered.  The ship’s masts will sit in holes that extend below the deck.  These holes are currently just ‘slots’ in the keel.  We need to add material to the sides so they become proper ‘holes’.   The Model Shipways Bluenose plans give two different ways to do this, either using flat pieces (and later trimming the bottom of the masts to have flat sides), or rounding the pieces so the mast doesn’t need as much work.

Photo May 15, 9 16 43 AM
Blocks are installed around the mast holes.

I just used flat pieces.  The pieces were thicker than required, but this was the wood I had handy.

On to the next thing…

Now I need to frame the transom.  This is the area at the back of the ship.

The instructions and plans show how to properly frame this out using a number of pieces.  The practicum takes a simpler approach, using one big piece of wood glued on the back.

Let’s try to do this properly…

This involves installing a couple curved laser-cut pieces at just the right angle, then adding a couple additional support pieces.

Photo May 15, 9 46 32 AM
Laser cut pieces are installed on the transom to create the curved corners.

The back of the is angled – the angle was created when we installed the stern blocks – so we need the transom to continue that angle.  To make this easier, I clamped a straight edge at the right angle.

I cut small notches in the stern blocks to accept the ends of the laser cut pieces, and glued them in.  I did the same thing for the two support pieces that make up the rest of the transom framing.

Photo May 16, 8 09 04 PM
Completed transom framing with both the laser cut pieces and the two middle supports.

The next step is to form the transom tumbles.  The sides of the ship have a flat top, while the back is curved.  This requires a shaped piece to transition from the sharp angle to the smooth curve.

To make these, I cut pieces of the right size, then traced the shapes of the curve onto them.  I used a Dremel to shape them into the right shape, then glued them into place.  Final sanding brought them into a good alignment and created a smooth transition.

This completes the transom, so I moved on to the bow.

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