Monday, 26 November 2007

Wood you believe it

I visited my timber merchants today. Not the one I will use for the boat fitting but the one I use for my bow making. There are many exotic woods available at the yard and I found some Indian rosewood that had been cut with a mortise and tenon joints. Slightly baffled, I asked Barry, the timber geezer, what these were for.

“Have you had a job lot of seconds.”

“No they're picture frames”."Picture frames. They are six inches thick and 2 metres long."

“Aahh!” said he. “To export it from India the timber has to be shaped into something. These were exported as picture frames and these”, he held aloft another enormous piece of timber, “are rungs for a ladder.”

They were obviously for a giant's ladder and not for mere mortals like you and me.

Anyway got me to thinking about wood. The timber used on the boat will be all ash. Ash faced ply for the lining out and solid ash for the coamings, mouldings and frames. Most people would buy in the coamings and mouldings but these are extortionately expensive. My plan is to make my own from ash planks. I already have the machinery to make the job easy and am used to working with blank timber. The thicknesser and the router should pay for themselves. My newest tool is a biscuit jointer to make the furniture. Never used one before but think it will be very useful. I'm not a real carpenter and as such can cheat as much as I like. No dovetail joints on this boat. Lisa wants a country style galley and I think that mortise and tenon joints would suit very well to give that chunky, country feel. Although a well made galley may be several months down the line. We may initially have to be content with an Ikea table and a single cold tap.


Bruce in Sanity said...

You'd find a harder wood like oak better for the cappings and horizontal surfaces like shelves and work tops. Boating involves a lot of bumps and bangs!



Pete said...

Hi Bruce - I appreciate that ash is not as hard wearing as, say oak, but we are after a certain feel and an all ash interior will give that open, clean ambiance that we are after. I have seen many pictures of interiors and I have in my mind what we think we want (but we might be totally wrong).

Also I want to have everything easy to remove to aid ease of maintenance if any damage is done it can be easily rectified.

Bruce in Sanity said...

Fair enough. Have you thought about what varnish to use? The Epifanes yacht varnishes are tung oil based, so are high quality and wear resistant, but colour a bit as they mature, giving a honey glow on ash, which may or may not be what you want. The Ronseal Diamomd, otoh, stays clearer and is of course quicker to apply, being water based, but isn't quite so durable.

I can't remember what you use on long bows (we used to do a bit of archery with the Gwynedd Bowmen, but with recurves, not bare bow)

Pete said...

For longbows I use teak oil followed by Ronseal Hardglaze. I can't even confirm that we will use varnish at all and may just stick to oil. We can always varnish later if we want.