A bit of a tool.

SQD”” build project, second post.

Pre-build week 2.

Workshop and tools.

Blog time : late March 2021 and iv’e just built a ‘boat’ in my drive to give me a visual estimation of the space i need to outside of the workshop where i will do the actual construction and therefore how much space i need to cover. Making a crude full size ‘model’ of sorts this morning then allowed me to mark out an approximation of the covered space and from that i can check that i’m not going to run into any problems with planning regulations….to some extent there is a slight problem but only really a height problem as the structure will be a lean-to car-port like structure and the limit is really the eave height which is 2.5 meters.   As i understand it the build process is to first make a whole load of parts, bulkheads, frames, bow and transom etc and only then to set up a strongback arrangement and start setting up the frames and bulkheads on that.  My intention is to mark up and cut out all of the frames , bulkheads and so on inside the workshop or more likely out on my garden bench which iv’e often used for laying out sheets of plywood for previous projects.    What iv’e mainly been working on this week though is stripping, cleaning and sharpening the tools that i’ll need later on and working out the best tools to buy for the first stage of laying out and marking up the various parts.


You wouldn’t believe it if you watched me working but i actually had a basic classical education in woodwork although that’s so long ago i really don’t remember much, if anything, of what i was taught ; i don,t for example think that slowly cutting dovetail joints has anything to do with building something that is all curves.             One thing i did remember was sharpening chisels and plane irons on an oilstone way back in the woodwork classroom so i figured out that maybe doing some cleaning and sharpening of tools would be a good place to start.  It doesn’t help that my workshop is a cold and damp space or that many of my tools lived in a bag under the bunk flat on my Hunter Liberty WABI”’ and must have been exposed to damp and salty air under there.   I remember being taught how to strip down and set up a smoothing plane, and i have one, although my favourite small tool for many years has been a little block plane and iv’e never fully taken that one apart ….only taken the iron out once in a while and ‘sharpened’ it : i never knew , for example, that the front shoe can be moved in and out to alter the space where the blade (iron) sits….or that underneath mine was a whole mess of gunge and wood chips !.

I had obviously forgotten the stages of sharpening a plane iron (blade) and had to do a quick search on the net first : i do actually have a set of waterstones in not great but usable condition so ‘job on’.   My chisels were in a pretty bad state too with lots of surface rust on their back flats and at least 2 of them were badly chipped, i think from working through glass and epoxy resin rather than wood.     At some point on the boat i obviously needed a chisel, didn’t have one and must have gone out and bought a cheap ‘DIY’ set of Draper chisels and used them straight away on a job……those chisels as i look at them today are hardly even finished as they all have huge grind marks obviously from where they have been shaped on a grinding wheel.  Each one took more than an hour to even begin to get anywhere near a flat bevel and another half hour to get a working edge on them.

The old chisel at the top is totally shot, that one got used for the gate project and is not much more than a throwaway……the rest have edges again !


I thought for this post that i would do a complete review of the workshop and the tools that i have but as this post goes live i’m still working on workshop organization and a mere list of tools is no fun either. As i write this post i’m taking a break from moving my bench mounted pillar drill once again and this time hopefully into it’s final position (for now), that done and for the first time in the life of the workshop i’ll have a clear bench and space to work next to it as well. As of today i’m waiting for a quote back from the timber merchant for the first batch of materials , my first 2 new tools arrived and iv’e spent a few spare hours working on some old deep cycle batteries so that i can extract the lead and cast some ingots for my first job within the project.

Next post….working on the first job – casting some lead weights for the centerboard.

1 Comment

  1. The construction frame or ‘strong back’ is a very useful workbench for marking out frames on full sheets of ply and a first rate glue up bench Maybe think about making it first. Don’t fit the bottom sheet profile boards until the boat frames are complete and you’ll have a large and flat work area.


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