Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Checking for Symmetry (Episode 14)

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Louis Sauzedde is feeling the love from his fans and is plugging away at getting the skiff completed. We are releasing these videos at almost the same pace as the skiff build, which allows Lou to address some of your questions in the videos themselves. In this episode, Lou gets right to addressing your concerns over what exactly was making his drill put on a smoke show in Episode 13. Once he consoles you and your power tools, he checks to be sure that the side planks of the boat will not influence attaching the bottom planks. Lou’s biggest concern is that the skiff is being built symmetrically – and he takes the time in this episode to check his work thus far. Twice.

Enjoy! And leave your comments and questions for Lou below. We always pass them on and try to answer!

Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Time for Planking (Episode 13)

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Finally, it’s time to join Louis Sauzedde in his workshop to attach the first planks to the frames we saw him hang in last Friday’s Video of the Week. last week. With more of his special tricks up his [cut off] sleeves, Lou and Andrew carefully clamp, pre drill and attach the beautiful wooden planks to the frames.

If you recall from Episode 1, these planking boards were among the first steps of the build, chosen right away for their grain characteristics. This commitment to plank quality proves that Louis really does consider every inch of the boat, from the screws to the color and grain of each plank.

Welcome back as we get into the meat of the planking with Lou in Episode 13 of Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff.

 

Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Hanging the Frames (Episode 12)

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In Episode 11, Lou showed us some clever tricks for cutting the frames that will be attached to the side planks. Episode 12 finds Lou using the metric tape-measure to mark along the boat and divide it up so he knows where each frame is going to be attached to the side planks. He then begins installing the frames using a plumb bar to level them so he is certain that they are straight up-and-down. And finally Lou will install them along the length of the boat, at each marked location.
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Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Attaching the Frames (Episode 11)

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Lou heard the cries for a longer video and you’re about to get it! The TotalBoat work skiff is really coming together and Episode 11 finds Lou very busy working on the many frames that are so important to the hull shape and structure. With another vintage tool from his shop, Lou uses his tried and true drill press to make holes in the frames that he then cuts out to make the frames fit around the chines.  He shows us how he divides down the length of the boat to find where the frames will be installed and then levels and attaches the frames to the chines and side plank.

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Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Preparing the Frames (Episode 10)

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Louis Sauzedde has built many work skiffs in his career as a shipwright. He knows which materials and tools will help build a boat that will work hard and last, and he has the experience to cut corners, use heftier tools and make cuts that most of us might measure more than twice! In this latest installment, Lou uses the chine log as a guide to cut along the first plank, giving the bow it’s 4-inch rise which will give the skiff a better ride.

Lou then explains where and how he will be fastening the multiple frames to the inside of the skiff, in an order that might seem backwards to many who are used to planking on top of frames set up as stations.  But as the comments in the video suggest, Lou’s vast amount of boat building knowledge gives him an advantage (and us) as he has multiple methods of getting a job done, sometimes in a funky order, but always with good reason.

Ask your questions about the process, tools and Lou’s tips in the comments below and we will get you answers from Lou, himself.

 

Sourcing Timbers at Mystic Seaport

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Wooden boat building can be as much about the materials you have access to, as it is about the skill and labor of building wooden boats.  If you’ve been watching our Skiff building series with Louis Sauzedde, then you know a good boatbuilder will go to great lengths to find the perfect timber. The species, grain appearance and age of each timber for your boat matters greatly as it is the heart, the core of your vessel. Build a boat from balsa wood and enjoy your handiwork for minutes, not decades. Select the right timber for the project and you’re good for a lifetime.  Continue reading

Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Bedding The Chines (Episode 9)

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This week we are back with Lou in his workshop, and he is bedding the chine log that he cut and fit to the skiff last week. Again, he has created a special tool for the job at hand – a jig that helps him perfectly line up the screw holes with the chine log that is hiding behind the plank. Lou’s techniques follow, as he put it, the “Old Man’s Method,” and as such we have to remind you that while Lou might not exhibit approved safety methods in his shop, we urge you to use common sense and err on the side of caution when using saws and blades and power tools. We prefer the “new school method” but Lou’s been at it a while so we trust his hands know their way around the saw blades. Enjoy!  Continue reading

How to Build the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Installing the Chine Logs (Episode 8)

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Everyone seems to be loving Louis Sauzedde and his skiff building and finally the planks and chines are coming together and the project is beginning to resemble a skiff. Lou has plenty left to do, but this is a big step as the chines and chine logs are vital to the shape and structure of the skiff. These first chines will dictate the placement of the rest of them, which will be attached next. Fitting the chine log in is tight, but it’s imperative that it be a secure fit, and of course Lou has some of his “tricks” up his sleeve to get these pieces into place easily and with a perfect fit.  Continue reading