Friday, July 30, 2010

Notches and Oars

Today I worked on making oars most of the time. The first thing I had to do was cut the oar out from the template on the band saw. After that I had to plane down the sides of the oars. Also I got to take video of every one else working on making notches in the boat mold and that is all we had time to do today.
-Cody Seekins

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Body Molds, Oars, Video and White Oak

Today we worked on the jig. We started to chip away the boat molds and repositioned the mold. We're almost finished. Also, we worked on the oars. We have four done but we need six more. Plus, I took video today of every one working on the jig and I can't wait to come tomorrow to build, hopefully, some parts that are going on the boat.
-Cody Seekins

What an incredibly productive video day for Kelsey, Mike and Amy. Amy uploaded two new videos and Kelsey and Mike each made their first ones, They did a fabulous job on these. Congrats filmmakers.

We also had a visit from Fred and Sue Beaman from Georgetown, who cut a white oak on their property for the shipbuilders to use in the shallop. Their tree will be put to great use. Here they are next to the pile of boards from the tree.
Ship builders chose woods based on availability and characteristics, matching species to the needs of the vessel. Keel, beams, and frames, or ribs of the ship are best made with white oak. White oak is hard, strong, relatively inflexible, and rot resistant. More common red oak isn’t as good for shipbuilding because it is not as rot resistant as white oak. --Penobscot Marine Museum

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finishing the Body Mold

Today, we finished putting up the body molds, which shape the skeleton of the boat. We had a support beam put on it at the wrong water line (the lines parallel to the water) so we had to make another. It was glued too high, and the beam was glued into place. We had to make the replacement beam so a strip of wood could be put through the middle, adding structural stability. Another body mold was taken down yesterday to make changes, so we had to put it up again. The remaining three body molds were put into place today.

We also began construction on the oars for the boat. It involves gluing two pieces of wood together with poly-urethane glue, which is watertight, and clamping the pieces of wood together. Traditional wood glue is only water resistant. These blocks of wood will be cut into the shape of an oar. Because we have to use most of the clamps to hold the long strips together, we can only do one oar at a time.

The wood for the keel arrived today!

Shallop Ship Building Student,
Peter Kosakowski

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Ship Skeleton

Today in our boat building group, we continued to work on our molds, the skeleton of the ship. The molds are almost completely set up, at this point. We attached these molds on to three planks of vertical wood. It could get cramped for the people that were in between two close molds, because they had to move their hands backwards to screw in the screws. It turned out that a couple of these molds had been facing the opposite direction as they were supposed to, and we had to turn them around. Hopefully, these will be done by the end of tomorrow.
Shallop ship building student,
Wesley Blum

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Popham Colony

English explorers and would-be colonists came to present-day Maine in the 1500s and 1600s for various reasons: some out of curiosity; some in the fruitless quest to discover a new "northwest passage" to China and the Indies; some in the vain hope of locating gold and silver, which the Spanish had earlier found in Mexico and Peru; and some to control fishing grounds and to trade for furs with the Indians. All expected to better themselves, even to get rich or become famous, but few did so. Both these early arrivals and the government back in England were eager to claim territory for the crown in order to forestall encroachment by the Spanish from the south and by the French from Quebec and Nova Scotia. -----Read more about the Popham Colony.

See a Slideshow of Artifacts --images by Orman Hines.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jig and Shop

Today we continued the construction of the jig. The body mold two is completely assembled and has been secured to the jig. Numbers 1-11 except for number two are under construction and will be finished by next week. Almost everybody has finished their half models and are beginning to take the duties of the shop. For example, the docent, who greets the visitors, the film crew, and the blogger of the day. The shop is finally beginning to look like one and there is a place for everything. The boat is beginning to take shape and come together with the help of volunteers, students, and instructors.

Maine's First Ship Student
Aaron Doughty

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Body Mold Steps

Today we worked on the body molds. To create these molds, you start out with two pieces of wood, that when placed together, create part of the boat's hull shape.

Next, you create another copy of these pieces. Once you have the copies of the shape cut out, you put the shape together and create a new piece that joins the two parts of the body molds together.

Next, you create two corners that will fill in the rest of the shape of the mold. To create the rest of the molds' pieces, make another copy of the center and corner parts of the mold. Now that you have all of your pieces you should screw them together. Once you have your mold put together, you shape them with either a spokeshave, block plane, or chisel.

Lastly, you sand down the edges of the body mold.

Amy Franklin
Maine's First Ship Student
**Just added to the Friday, July 16th blog is a video made by Amy. Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Planing Pine

Today in the boat shop, we started planing pieces of pine that were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ingmundsen of Woolwich, who had it milled after it was struck by lightning in their yard. We have planed it 3/4 inches thick on the thickness planer so we can make our molds.

There are certain steps you have to go through to plane your pieces of wood. You start out by telling everybody to put their ear protection on and check your surroundings. (So you do not trip over anything.) Then you get your piece of wood ready to send through the thickness planer with help from other workers. Then you are finished and are ready to make a part for the mold.
What some of us are doing is: cutting the pieces on the bandsaw to make the shape of the mold, planing the wood to the line making sure to leave the line, and also sanding it to make it smooth.
Fortunately, there are only two people working on their half models now. What they are doing is using tools like: files, chisels, planes and sand paper to finish their half model and back board. So far, everything is going GREAT!

Written by
Mike Corbett,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bud Warren and Half Models

On Thursday, most students had finished their half models. We finished half models by sanding them with a fine grit sandpaper. Then we beveled cut backboards out of pine and put a linseed oil finish on the models. Those who finished their models started building a jig or a ladder. A jig is a copy of the lofting surface but the jig is elevated so we can build the shallop on it.

On Friday, those who finished their half models completed the jig. We leveled the jig out and secured it to the floor. Other students finished their half models. We broke early today in order to listen to a lecture about the Popham colony by Bud Warren. He gave us detailed information about the history of the area and Ft. Popham.
Matt M.

The video crew had a busy day on Friday, completing the last details on a video and uploading it to You Tube. This is the first, all student filmed and edited video, of the Shallop project. Great job, Amy. You will see this video on Monday's blog entry. The crew then prepared to video our guest speaker, Bud Warren with three cameras. Cody was in charge of the audio and mid-level distance, Amy videoing close-ups and Brianna was videoing the audience and setting. The batteries in the microphone went dead half way through the lecture but this was just another "lesson learned". On a long video, make sure the batteries are brand new- or fully charged. PI

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Half Models and Thanks

Another busy day down at Maine's First Ship's new boat shop. Most half models of the shallop are finished. Students completed their final shaping and sanding. Students used clear pine purchased at Hammond Lumber yesterday evening for the backboards to hold the half models. We all learned from Will how to put a proper bevel, by hand, on our backboards. Once the half models and backboards were finished, they were screwed together and oiled using boiled linseed oil. The oiling process came with a lesson on proper disposal of linseed-soaked rags, which are able to combust when left in a ball.

For the students who finished early, we continued the process of converting BFC Marine's fright shed into a proper boat shop. Aaron made racks to hold chisels, carpenter squares and bevel squares. Nick and Matt filled the new lumber racks and created a rack for our new bar clamps as well as all of our extension cords. Speaking of extension cords, we received a large box of GFI certified extension cords, donated from the nice folks at Bath Iron Works. Signboards are nearly completed and ready for busy Front St. We learned how to properly whip the end of a line to keep it from fraying!

Mrs. Chapin provided the Girl Scout Cookies for our snack and we finished the day with a big shop clean-up and journaling. We had to pack the shop up for rain, as we still lack a roof. However, we have the roof materials (thanks to Howie Kirkpatrick of BFC Marine) and a potential roofer to get that taken care of in short order.

The last two afternoons have been wonderfully productive as well. WE NOW HAVE A TIMBER FOR A KEEL! Thanks to Tom Hoerth, Bath City Arborist, who found a nice piece of white oak behind his mill. We will get it milled into a usable piece in the next week, with any luck. Will and I also picked-up a new (loaned) band saw from Orman Hinds. Now Will can stop complaining about my little band saw. Thank you Tom and Orman!

Tomorrow we will work on the jig and start building the molds on each station. This is all very exciting and I thank all members of the Bath community who have made Maine's First Ship's shallop project a wild success so far!

Respectfully submitted,
Eric Varney
Shallop Project Director

Monday, July 12, 2010

Plane, Shave and Sand

Today we have continued to plane, shave and sand our half models. They are starting to take shape and many people have finished theirs today.

After we complete the construction and sanding, we then use boiled linseed oil to preserve and create a visual attraction to our hard work.

The final step is mounting the half models onto a backboard that we will create tomorrow. The main tools that the group has used are planes, spoke shaves, wood rasps and sandpaper. We are on the right track and hopefully coming closer to starting the shallop that we are anxious to get started by the end of the week.

Maine's First ship Student
Aaron Doughty

PS. We also started interviewing students for the upcoming "How to Build a Half Model" video. Peter will be working this week with Amy and Cody on video projects.- PI

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Half Models and Workshop Materials

The weather cooled today and there was a nice breeze in the boat building shop. Today was filled with the cutting and planing of the water line on the half models. When students were finished with their work and others were still working, Cody and Amy took video of their fellow boat builders. When Matt, Max and Aaron were finished, they began working on projects to improve the shop floor such as building rail posts for a barrier to separate the guest area and the work area of the shop.

Volunteers were busy setting up displays and cutting wood for shop improvement projects. Check out the boat builders in the following video.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Safety and Half Models

This day began with a talk on the making of half models by shipwright, Will West. The students then cut out shape patterns for their half models.

Around 9:00 Laura Mathison, Director of Environmental, Health and Safety at BIW , explained the proper use of the equipment that BIW donated to the project for the safety of the students building the shallop. We had many visitors today from the press, BIW, Superintendent Shuttleworth from RSU1, a rowing crew that came off the Kennebec to see how the program was progressing, along with many other special guests and board members of the Maine's First Ship.

After the safety talk, the students went back to making their half models of the Shallop. First, they made other copies of the patterns, then traced around the patterns on wood in preparation for cutting the 5 wood pieces of the half model. Some even got started cutting out the slices of the half model. Enjoy a video summary of the day filmed by Cody Seekins, Amy Franklin and Patti Irish