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.

Views: 9842

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


Assuming the frame is secure in the boat I'd cross drill (horizontal) a couple-three 5/16 inch holes and place in a wooden dowel of the same material.  But before you place in the dowel split it and make a couple of short tapered (12:1 ratio) wedges, 3/8 long from a dowel of the same material/diameter.  Make the dowel a bit longer so you have material to trim off and sand smooth on both sides.

Now place the split dowel in the hole and then tap in the wedges from each side to secure the dowel.  Slather the dowel and wedges with epoxy and this will stabelize the frame. 

These are called Trunnels.  If you have watched The Sampsom Boat Company's videos, in the early stages Leo used trunnels to fasten and secure the Futocks creating his frames.  Leo gives a great description of this method of fastening.  Also I have used them on my build posted here a few years ago.  It's a nice tool to have in your "tool box".



Absolutely, Dorf.

Dusty, I'd probably also tap a chisel or wedge into the top of the crack to slightly spread it, pour thin epoxy (warmed slightly in the microwave...but be careful, this drastically reduces pot life) into the crack, pull the wedge, and loosely clamp.  You can both seal and bond it.

But the adjacent grain may be weak, so here's where I agree with Dorf that a wedged trunnel would help bond the frame together over time.  Plus they look pretty.

As an aside, "trunnel" means "tree nail" and they used to be made from branches of the right diameter.

Dorf, would you slather the split dowel and wedges with epoxy just before inserting?  or insert, and then slather the outside of the dowel/wedge?  I'm inclined to slather first, but wanted to make sure i wasn't missing something.


After the pieces are all ready to put into the holes as a final act wet them with epoxy.  The warming of the epoxy might be a good idea as Shawn points out.  

After every thing is set up (overnight) trim the excess and sand the surfaces fair.  It'll look pretty cool too.


Isn't it fun to pass on acquired knowledge?


check out the trunnels!

This seems like a dumb question, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.  I pre-beveled the inside of the frames when i made them --  to receive the rail , but now that I'm about to install the rail again (after the failed joint) I'm questioning if I should notch the frame so that the inside rail is exactly parallel to the outside rail?  As it currently stands, the inside rail would be tilted a bit, following the frame angle.  I'm assuming that Tilt must be fine because my Don Hill plans make no mention of notching the frame.  Any insight?  (or let me know if I'm not being clear enough.

Yes, get two pieces of 1 1/2 angle iron to clamp against either side of the frame. Then sand or plane the frame down to those edges. That’ll make the inside frame bevel equal to the angle of the curve of the hull at that station.

that's a great idea.  Thanks Bennett.

No problem that’s how Mike Baker told me to do it

Bennett (& Mike), thanks for sharing that tip for notching the frames.   Made it so easy.

Inside rail #1 successfully installed!  (thanks to Guy for shipping me his drill jig, it was super helpful)


© 2023   Created by Randy Dersham.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service