Friday, September 28, 2012

Building Frame

This is a student run blog documenting the building of a St. Ayles Skiff.  The students are part of the Bayfront Alternative Education Program in Erie, Pennsylvania. Students are building the boat during their Maritime class and will be blogging about the boat progress during their Language Arts class.  The BMC St. Ayles Skiff Project is part of WoodenBoat Magazines Boatbuilding and Rowing Challenge, BARC.

BMC received a grant from Erie Community Foundation to purchase 2 St. Ayles Skiff kits.  This is the beginning of a community rowing program in Erie, and the first St. Ayles Skiff on the Great Lakes.

The kits are from Hewes and Co. in Blue Hill, Maine.  While waiting for the kit to arrive we started on the Building Frame.  We used dimensional lumber (2x4s) to build the frame and ran them through the thickness planer on edge to take the radius off of the corners.  This made it easy to level each corner of the frame and check the strongback for squareness by carefully measuring the diagonals across the top.  Even though we have a laser level, we prefer using  a water level, because they are more accurate.  Plus, it's a good science lesson for the kids!  

  We weighted it down to keep the strongback from moving while the glue was drying.

There are heating pipes in the concrete floor in the BMC shop so bolting the frame to the floor was not an option. We used Liquid Nails to glue the legs down so the frame would not move during our building process.  Once the legs were adhered, we made a mark on a steel column near the building frame and used the water level to make sure the rails were at precisely the same height. The floor is not perfectly level in the shop, so we did not measure anything off of it. Once we were satisfied with the height, we screwed the frame together with drywall screws and reinforced each leg with another 2x4 that fit under the rails and crosspieces of the frame.

The students designed gussets on BMC's CNC machine to reinforce the corners of the frame to keep it square.  

We installed the gussets and bolted brackets on. This frame may be overbuilt, but we want to make sure it will last through at least 2 skiffs.

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