It's spring and we're back in the shop again. Actually we did some work on the vessel during the winter but cold weather gives me the shakes and it's really hard to hold the hammer.
We finished more of the rigging blocks and they're ready for irons. As you see above all of the frames are finished behind the deadwood. (14 full sets of frames)Some of these frames much resembled an "S" so they were a challenge to get into place. There were a few that didn't make it through the process. When you hear that crack as your bending an inch thick by four inch wide piece of red oak into an impossible shape your heart falls to your boots and you grab something to hang onto so that you don't fall forward. It cracks fast and completely. Just 8 of those impossible shapes per complete frame and your all set. There are 32 sets installed now and there are 68 sets total- still a ways to go yet. The midship frames are so much better to install. The curve is not extreme and so they can go in a lot faster.
We sawed the heavy spruce timbers for the bilge stringers and shelf and clamp (gunwhale) which support the ends of the deck beams. We also sawed the oak for the floors and knightsheads. The floors are heavy timbers that join the ribs across the keel on which the keelson lies at 90 degrees. The knightshead are the uprights at the bow that fill it in solid for strength and to support the hawshole fittings (ropes that tie up the vessel or anchor).
Sadly, at the beginning of March, we said good bye to Warren's Mom, Lena Blanche, for whom this vessel is named. She was a wonderful woman, mother, mother in law, sister, aunt, grammie, daughter, and friend who will be greatly missed. She took a great interest in this boat building project. Her ancestry was filled with shipbuilders and ship Captains. She had many stories of spending time in her grandfather's boat shed as a child, playing in the shavings and chipping at wood with her grandfather's tools. The ocean was a great part of her life for her 92 1/2 years. I hope that this vessel is as strong and noble as she was.
Work is continuing on the frames and we hope to finish sometime in May.