Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bolts Out Trunn'ls In

So..... because of the unavailability of bolts that we need for the planking for Lena Blanche and because secretly we have wanted to plank the vessel without bolts, keeping the vessel as close to authentic building practices as possible, we have decided to use treenails (trunn'ls) to fasten the planking. What are treenails (trunn'ls), you may ask. Good question.Trunn'ls are wooden nails, as the name suggests. They are as strong or stronger than iron bolts because they become part of the hull and, as a bonus, they don't rust. Black locust and juniper (hackmatack) are what are traditionally used for trunn'ls. Those woods are very dense and non porous and they swell in the drilled hole to make an excellent fit in the hull of the boat. They will be 7/8" in diameter and various lengths depending on where they go through the hull. The red oak that we used to frame up the vessel cannot be used for trunn'ls because they ARE too porous. You can actually make a 10" dowel with red oak and then blow bubbles with it in a glass of water.
Now that you're back from blowing bubbles.......
About a week ago we put the word out that we were looking for black locust and this morning we got a call from David Lee at Atlantic Arbourists Ltd. He said he had a few black locust logs for us in Hantsport. So we jumped into our trusty ole one ton and headed in his direction. He certainly did have a few logs! Many huge, beautiful logs. We couldn't fit even half of the logs on our truck. David and his crew graciously cut them in half so that we could get some of them on the truck and then chained and cinched them. He's got a great professional bunch of guys on his crew and we are much obliged to them.

Now we will have many happy hours making trunn'ls with our new dowelling gear.