Bluenose Canadian Schooner
April 23, 2017
With the dory prototype complete, work began on building the four dories that will actually go on the ship. There will be some small differences from the prototype based on the lessons I learned, but the basic construction will stay the same.
Since I have to make 4 of these, I started by lightly gluing together sheets of basswood and gluing my template to the top. This way I can cut multiple copies of each part at once on the scroll saw.
Having multiple sheets of wood glued together also makes it easier to cut the tiny pieces for the frames. The extra thickness gives the piece more stability as they are being cut.
The pieces for all four boats are cut, cleaned up and sanded.
The pieces were assembled just like the were for the prototype.
At this point, I installed the cleats, which I forgot to do on the prototype. These are just small strips across the bottom of the boat between the frames. These were glued in, then snipped to length a pair of shears.
I used my scroll saw to cut all the planking for the boats. Each boat requires 4 narrow pieces and two wider pieces of planking. All the planking was made from 1/64″ thick birch.
Planking was done just like it was on the prototype. The extra supports at the bow and stern were added using 1/32″ strips. The horizontal strips that form the thwart (seat) supports was swapped out for some thinner wood and placed a little lower than it was on the prototype.
The rails were made from the same 1/64″ birch sheet material that was used for planking. This is thinner than I used on the prototype, and it should look better. To make the rails:
The rails on these dories should be flush with the outside of the hull. That’s hard to get exact when cutting and gluing, so I made these a little bigger than necessary. Once they are glued on, I’ll trim and sand off the excess to get it nice and flush.
With the rails painted and glued on, I used a pair of flat edge snippers to trim off the excess material. The outside edge was then given a quick sanding. I’ll touch up the paint right before I finish the dories.
You can also see two white dots on the bottom of the boat. This was how I identified the different boats. I used dots to indicate which boat was which (1 dot, 2 dots, etc.).
The splash rail was made from 1/32″ square strip wood. The pieces were cut to length and one end was rounded off. The other end was cut at an angle where the two pieces would meet.
The spray rail pieces were glued on, and some filler was applied to the spot where they meet. Once dry, the rails were sanded and painted.
Next up are the thole pins. Each dory has 12 of them – 6 on each side of the rail. I’ll be using 1/32″ brass rod for the pins.
The first step in making the thole pins is to drill the 48 holes. This was done with a pin vise, one-at-a-time.
With the holes drilled, I moved on to making the pins.
I cut 40 or so short pieces of the brass rod using my snippers. I didn’t try to make them an exact length, and I left them about twice as long as needed. These pins are so small that the extra length will be really helpful when I’m trying to pick one up and glue it in place.
One by one the pins are installed. Each pin is picked up with a pair of tweezers, dipped in CA glue, and inserted into a hole. I tried to position them so the amount below the rail was the same.
After the glue dries, I’ll use my snippers to trim the tops to the right length.
After the thole pins were finished, I added the little rope loops to the stern of each boat. I drilled two holes in the back of each ship and ran some brown rigging line through the holes. The line was tied into knots, forming a loop.
And that completes the four dories!
The next step will be to make the dory kids (racks that hold the dories on the deck) and the oars.