PLANKING WEEK! WOOP WOOP!

Here we are again! Apologies for missing a week but the week before last was the first of our City and Guild Assessments so it was a little bit stressful and as it is an assessed thing I thought it best not to go into it in depth. The week after that (last week) was much more exciting as it was... PLANKING WEEK!

 A Gerald from the side

A Gerald from the side

 A Gerald from the top

A Gerald from the top

It was so much fun! Basically we spent the whole week going through all the different planking methods. My Bench Buddy and I measured, cut and fixed a whole plank on the glue clinker setup. This was particularly exciting as the Wherry will be made using glue clinker construction. We did a lovely scarf joint that was pretty much invisible from the side and I really liked the look of glue clinker so I am even more excited about using this building method. We also learnt how to Gerald. This is when you shaped the ends of the planks on a clinker boat, in particular the bits that go into the stem or onto the Transom and in even more particular Geralding is done where the planks overlap. It is done so that the ends of the two planks kinda meld into one. There was also a traditional clinker jig so we had a go at lining off the planks (attaching battens down the length of the boat to check that the moulds are all fair and that the planks will fit nicely, this can be seen in the pictures in the first gallery) and steaming in a garboard (the planks that attached to the hog of a boat). Traditional clinker is pretty much the same, in terms of construction methodology, as glue clinker. The only difference is that glue clinker is built upside down and traditional clinker is built with the boat the right way up.

We also learned how to do carvel planking. This is a really ancient technique and is when the planks butt onto each other edge to edge. To do this you have to transfer the shape of the plank that your plank is joining onto your plank and shape it so that it fits exactly. You also need to shape the side of the plank that will be sitting on the ribs, so you may need to hollow out the whole plank so that it fits nicely around the boat. It is really labour intensive but also really fun! After you have done all the shaving you need to do the caulking. this involves hammering caulking material, usually cotton, into the gap between the planks and then this would be covered with something like tar to seal the gap up. OH! There was also lots of riveting which was great! I also learned to love the spoke shave. A very important step for any boat builder to take

 I also found a tool to put my initials on all of my tools! Huzzah!

I also found a tool to put my initials on all of my tools! Huzzah!

Finally we learned how to do cold moulding. This is where thin veneers are cut to shape and attached to batons that make up the exact shape that the boat will be. You have multiple layers one on top of the other and remove the staples as you go, gluing the layers on as you go. We made a little tool to help transfer the shape of the edge of one veneer to the next so it was super simple and easy to get the hang of.  It is a very, very quick building method! So quick nd simple in fact that I forgot to take any photos of it... Another quick building method is strip planking, in fact it is so simple that we just got told about it really and will look at it when we are working on the strip plank construction canoe that one of my course mates is making. She will be a beautiful canoe.

All in all it was a really chilled and awesome week. It feels so good to be doing actual boat things! The time for our group to move downstairs is drawing closer and closer... it is so weird how time is flying! In fact the launch day for the course ahead of us will be on 9th June so come on down if you fancy a fun day in Lyme and if you would like to see a few boats take their first taste of the ocean. Here are some more pictures on beautiful Lyme Regis to tempt you all to come to the launch day!

Here is the video for this week! As well as talking about planking week I also explain where the phrase "the devil to pay" comes from. Enjoy!

And finally... here are some photos of Lyme Regis on the day that the heavy misty fog came in. It was magical being out on the Cobb, it was like the whole world had disappeared.