Preview: BONNY BRIDE Progress — Restoring a Wooden Lobster Boat, Part 3

January 4, 2014

Walt Ansel

I spent a lot of time the last month thinking about the cockpit reframing. While the 1 x 4” flat frames may look easy to bend at the turn of the bilge, it’s the other bend that re-curves into the shaft tunnel that adds a whole other worry to the process. If you’re trying to save most of the planking, you don’t have many places to put clamps for pulling in the hot replacement frame.

Experimentation has solved many boat rebuilding problems for me in the past. You can’t really imagine what’s going to screw up a process until you give it a try….

With that said, I hustled up some local green oak frame blanks from Thompson’s Saw Mill in Hopkinton RI. As luck would have it, the mill was doing a big run of 4/4 oak and they let me pick out clear pieces for the shocking price of a buck and a half a board foot. Some of this oak had a pink tinge…OK, red. But BONNY BRIDE already had been repaired with this sort of oak, which still seemed to be OK. So I bought the new stuff, and added about 30% more to allow for breakage.

wooden lobster boat restoration - My $200 steamer

wooden lobster boat restoration - Boiler to steambox via a hose

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