Nearly there

Several more hours on planking today.  We started by pulling yesterday’s staples.  I really wish the plastic staples would penetrate the plywood, but they don’t.  Sigh…  I think there’s a heavier gauge of staple I could have bought that might have been better for plywood.  There’s a huge difference between going through a 1/6″ solid wood plank into a solid wood stringer vs. a 1/4″ plywood plank into either plywood end-grain or just plain plywood.

Anyway, once the staples were out it was off to the races on finishing the port side’s second layer of bottom planking. The second layer was a LOT harder to install than the first due to the direction the planks lie on the hull, and what that means to the curve.  With the first layer they were moderately concave and easy to hold in place.  The second layer ends up with a deceptively sharp curve to form over up toward the bow.  This problem is made trickier by the fact that you have to lean pretty far over to work.  But … well … mission accomplished.  The port side is done, and we put the four planks on the starboard side that we were able to install before we ran out of room and had to wait for the port to cure.

As he often does, my friend Shawn stopped by this afternoon to check the progress.  As I’ve mentioned before, he is a very talented artist.  Anyway, he made an observation that never would have occurred to me when he noted that the little plastic tabs we shoot the staples through so they can be removed have an artistic quality about them.  He’s right.

I’m currently accepting commissions if you’d like your own version to hang at home.  Alternatively, you can just go to Home Depot and scavenge a bunch of strapping that lumber comes bound up with and staple it to a piece of plywood with a staple gun.  But if it makes you feel better I’m happy do it for you and charge you a bunch for the privilege.

-Ben

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