Final week of LoftFest 2016!

The Lofting must go on!

First, apologies for the lateness of this post. I had some issues with the internet connection and have also had trouble uploading the videos for this week... Yes, videos! I have split the video up in hopes of being able to actually upload it. This week there is a video about the last week of LoftFest 2016 and then a bonus "Show and Tell" session where I show you all the templates for the Wherry and a whole load of my woodwork from the first few weeks. Also, a brand new blog and video will follow not too long after this one!

This week was the final week of lofting and mould making. For the Christmas wherry this meant marking a few bits of information on the moulds, re-checking them and cutting out a hole for the centre board to sit in as she is being built around it. She will be built upside down to start with so we will be putting in the centerboard case straight away and attaching it to the keel panel before attaching all the planks to the keel panel. Consequently the moulds need to be able to have the case running through them. Apart from that I was mainly helping everyone else with their moulds which was really fun as it was great to get to know the other boats that we will all be building. After all, these boats essentially belong to all of us and are all our responsibility until they leave the door of the Academy on 23rd November.

One of the other things that needed to be done was creating a list of every singlebit of wood that will be needed to build the wherry. It took a whole day of looking at her plans and her lofting, measuring everything and thinking really hard about every detail of her construction. Once again I have got to know our girl on a whole new level! The really exciting thing was that I hadn’t fully appreciated that there will be a beautiful aft thwart which will be the perfect spot to eat sandwiches. I think having a picnic spot is essential on any boat. As the Christmas Wherry was designed and first built in 2003 there aren’t many photos online of other boats of her kind (her sisters). In fact all of the photos that I have found seem to have been taken looking at her transom. I mean she does have a beautiful transom but that meant that the aft thwart had been completely hidden from view as it is on the other side of that gorgeous wine glass shape. My bench buddy and I were looking for some inspiration from similar wherries as we needed to think about the final finish that she will have and I found a photo of on of Duck trap’s other wherries which has this lovely aft thwart. Sure enough, there on the plans I saw the beautiful lines of the Christmas wherry’s aft thwart. I AM SO EXCITED! She still has these little surprises up her sleeve... It has been really useful to get a bit of time doing some other things and then come back to her once again with fresh eyes. It’s feels like every time I say hello to her she reveals a little bit more to me. I am so looking forward to meeting her properly, I think it will feel like meeting an old friend.

On Friday we tidied the whole workshop and finally our bench was cleared and we reclaimed our territory and removed the blocks from under her legs so that she was back to being short and usable. After that we actually had some time to work on a few of our outstanding projects so I made my bench buddy and I a little tool to hold the short blade used in a spoke shave so we will be able to sharpen it. Our instructor has one of these so I drew around it on a piece of scrap mahogany that I picked up from the bags of waste wood down in the big machine workshop, cut it out and planed and sanded it into shape. Then we put a slot in the end that will take the blade and it works perfectly! We both knifed our initials in to the handle. This is the first tool that I have made and I feel really proud. In exchange my bench buddy made me a little wooden holder to keep my chisels in on the work bench, she made herself one first and we made an agreement that I would make us both spoke shave blade holders and she would make workshop bench chisel holders. It was a really lovely and relaxing afternoon and it felt really, really good to be using tools again. What a joy!

This week has also seen some crazy April weather. There was one lunch break where, sheltered under the eves of Grampby’s hut on Monmouth beach, we endured weather that went through blistering blue skies, torrential downpours, hail and then back to sunshine. Here are some more lovely photos of Lyme during this period. Oh! We also went and did a bit of fossil hunting on Charmouth Beach which was much fun and I was able to take a few back with me. Hurrah!

Finally the videos uploaded! Hurrah! Here is my video all about this final week of lofting...

And here is the "Show and Tell" video where I show all the templates we have made for the Wherry and also the woodwork that I have completed over the last few weeks!