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Great Lakes Boatbuilding's winter class


Greg Luckett
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I have wanted to take classes from or apprentice to an experienced boat builder for years and finally there is a class close enough to home. Great Lakes Boatbuilding's winter class has started up again for the first time in several years and my Beginning Boat Building class starts today. It is on Saturday until the end of March. We will be building a Bolger 18' Lobster Skiff. It is a plywood lapstrake construction. Needless to say, I am excited! :D

If interested, the link is:

http://www.greatwoodboats.com/index2.htm

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What an opportunity! I learned some from my dad who was a loftsman and pattern maker during WWII. He was working on minesweepers and some PT boats which were all wood. Lots of scraps and cutoffs came home to make tools and mallets, etc.

I was the recipient of many of his reference books and some tools and great Sitka Spruce battens. Interesting stuff and a good background to have.

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Greg : I am real happy you are getting to go to the school. Take notes for us poor old guys that live out in the sticks and can't go. We need someone in the know to ask. Have fun. :) Y'ALL COME Cap'N Bud.

I often look at all the schools available in New England or the northwest coast with envy. To now be envied myself is unusual for me :lol:

I discovered this class by accident several years ago. It makes me wonder how many other boat builders there might be scattered all over the country that we never hear about but which would offer training. My suggestion is to begin an on-going search in your local area...you might get lucky :) .

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Greg: I live so far out of the beaten path that I am the Guru here,and I don't know doodely squat about it. I'm still working with a chain saw ax and a sand rock. Please take notes and from reading some of the post I don't think I'm in this boat by myself,Take the notes please. Y'ALL COME Cap'N Bud. :)

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Bud,

I have heard about places like that. Isn't that somewhere close to the end of the sunshine pipe :lol: ?

I will be happy to relay whatever I can that I learn, but we already have some excellent experts on these forums. They have taught me a great deal over the years too.

I had recently received the newest edtion of "The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction", and really started looking at it this evening. It has many exciting things for boat builders and not just about epoxy. There is a section on lofting which seems well written. I am using it to re-inforce what I learned yesterday.

Greg.

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Yesterday we finished the lofting process, transferred the stations from paper to make patterns from Luan 6mm plywood, then took those and made station molds, which we then mounted on a strongback we made from lumber.

This class is great :) . I am learning how to make boats which are not limited by the panel characteristics of plywood and to hard chined boat designs. Here are some pics from yesterday.

post-65-129497645836_thumb.jpg

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post-65-129497645856_thumb.jpg

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Greg : I am real happy you are getting to go to the school. Take notes for us poor old guys that live out in the sticks and can't go. We need someone in the know to ask. Have fun. :) Y'ALL COME Cap'N Bud.

Bud, have you gotten the VHS films from Stevenson on building a Weekender? That is a well made film.

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Greg: Good stuff thanks. I have Stevensons vhf I have built two boats since then but you know about this disease there is no cure only therapy make more saw dust. It is always bigger better quicker slicker you know. what if I do this. Thanks for your very best post 7 in the yard, I read it to my wife from time to time. I'm down to 4 sold one, invested the money in a new (to me) 4 horse johnson and a new gas heater for the tool room it's not big enough to call a shop. Y'ALL COME Cap'N Bud. :)

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What a great idea. Have a boat building school, charge the students a tuition to attend and do the work,sell the sail boat,and go on down the road to another school. Aren't Americans great I think that is called capitalisum. Only in the good old U.S.A. Y'all Come :wink: Cap'N Bud.

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Ray,

You are probably correct.

An added advantage for Kiefer is the training of potential helpers. Several prior students help make boats there. He has the opportunity to learn the strengths and weaknesses of his students and then knows who he may rely on later. All in all, a smart business man.

Greg.

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Saturday, 1/21/06 was another great day of boat building class. The snow wasn't bad enough to block the roads but was hazardous walking on it carrying materials and tools. I forgot my camera at home, so no pics of this day's work.

I learned the value of using a jointer. Mine has been sitting out of the way for a couple of years now but not for much longer. We jointed and planed Cherry S3 lumber to layout and glue up the stem and transom. That Cherry is really pretty.

My new block plane (Stanley 12-960 low angle plane) was throwing me for a loop until the instructor took pity on me and used it as a class training aid. This is a low angle plane which is great for all sorts of work. I used it to practice making a scarf joint....not that I did a very good one, but it is my first.

We spent a large part of the morning going over tool usage. The instructor is a pro and taught us to think of speed as essential if possible and that waste/rework is expensive. Lots of work around mistake techniques too. I am not sure which of the students did it, myself included, but some of the errors in layout were probably caused by starting the tape reading at the one inch mark rather than the very end. As I think about this I wonder. :? Anyway, I am darn grateful to have a chance to learn from a pro.

We expect to cut out and install the stem and keel and transom next week and start the planking. Lots of scarfing for the planking and I had better practice before then.

Thats all I can recall at the moment.

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Greg: Thanks for the post on the school,sounds like you are having a blast hope the weather will lay off of you . The cherry is nice lunber isn't it. I have a friend that saws some every once and a while I try to buy what he cuts and put up to dry. I use it for trim on some of my boat fixing and it looks nice. thanks again for the post. Y'all Come Cap'N Bud :)

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Ok, the dummy reporting about this forgot the camera again today :oops: There is another person recording everything and I can post or provide pics to interested folks later. :)

Today was busy. We cut out the stem, keel, keelson, transom, and then mounted all of it on the mold stations. This was after making the floor timbers and installing them first. The shape of the boat is really starting to show. We expect to start planking the Saturday after next....no class next Saturday. The garboards were made by ripping 12mm Merianti BS1088 into 8ft. strips, then scarfing them into 19 foot planks. Lots of sanding, shaping with power planers and belt sanders. We cut the mortise on the stem with hand chisels then really cleaned up the mortise with a power grinder/sanding wheel. The rest of the stem shaping was done using the belt sander. We are gluing using West 105 and wood flour.

Thats all I can recall for the moment......I am really tired this evening. :D

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