Hi everyone, I'm just getting started.  I've gathered all the tools, read Fletcher's book about 6 times (so great), and read quite a lot of these posts (also great).  I've decided to build a 17x54.  Went to the lumber dealer in town, and decided i'm definitely going to use the Hydrotek BS 1088 6mm for sides, and 12mm for floor.  I'm going to use Mahogany for the Stem.  I'm planning to use Port Orford Cedar for the frames, and was thinking i'd match that with White Oak for the rails/chines.  I hope to have the boat for the rest of my life, and while i want it to be the most beautiful boat ever built, I truly want to use materials that will last and be effective.  So, first question... Instead of White Oak, anyone ever use Port Orford for rails?  It seems like the color would be similar to White Oak, but i wonder about durability as a rail.  appreciate any insight you might have.

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You can scrape, and plane a good bit of it off then sand the rest. But luckily if you're glassing the exterior and epoxy/varnishing the enterior you just have to get it smooth and not worry about the discoloration as it will disappear once the whole panel is epoxied

In regard to cutting scarfs, I picked up a John Henry Scarfing Jig.

Have yet to use it, but I am told it works well.

Judging by James' scarf cut, I bet it works well.   I don't think it is possible for me to get the scarf cut that clean with a belt sander.  Btw, I'm building a 17x54  and yours is much like what i'm hoping mine will turn out like.  Beautiful Boat and well done.  I just gotta locate some port orford so i can begin cutting the frames.


did you epoxy/glass the outside of your panels, and oil the inside?  if so, are you happy with that?


Check out this out.  I good explaination on the use of the JHSG.  Also a couple of other methods shown after the John Henry bit.



One thing about using epoxy, it gets into inconvenient places where it hardens and sticks wood together that would normally come easily apparent.  Waxed paper makes a convenient non-stick barrier as needed.


Clear packing tape works well also. You'll find that dried epoxy can be worked with a plane or sandpaper quite easily. 

To avoid re-sharpening the Plane's blade after messing with epoxy beads and such I have used a sharp chisel to cut the beads that are sticking their nasty heads above the wood joints.  I have most times switched the chisel to use it as a scraper to get rid of the small stuff on the surface or sandpaper.

I don't like to mess with non-wood stuff with my planes which take a lot more effort to sharpen than a common chisel.

Anyhow it worked for me.


I agree with Phillip it takes a lot of time to resharpen a planing blade. So if your looking for speed and are daring i put a dado cutting bit in my router and adjusted it to a zero tolerance on top of my table saw and locked everything down and put two strips of masking tape on both sides of the bottom and make a pass and they pulled off one strip on each side and did it again and then used a scraper to get it even, just a thought

that makes me so nervous, but is really tempting.

Got back in there on Saturday and finished gluing the last scarfed piece to complete the 17 foot length needed.  Looks good to me.   I cut out the sides and laid out the rib locations with pencil.  I'm planning to clamp the two sides together and use a hand plane to make them match perfectly.  Is that a preferred method?  It seems like the Hydrotek is fragile on the edge.  A little worried i could gouge it up with a hand planer.


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