Preview: Boat Shop Talk – Building Boats by Hand and by Eye, with Jim Tolpin

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Listening to an expert talk about their craft is always a treat, but to be a fly on the wall when four of them get together to talk shop … well … that can be priceless.

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18 Responses So Far to “Boat Shop Talk – Building Boats by Hand and by Eye, with Jim Tolpin

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    Eric Takakjian says:

    Great discussion about symmetry and building by eye. Long ago my dad showed me hand span tricks, which I still use today. My hand span is roughly 8″ and my thumb is roughly and inch wide.

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    Larry Eifert says:

    I’m a landscape painter and muralist for the National Park Service, and I think there’s a close comparison to what these guys are saying and how to paint. You could put the bird anywhere in a painting, but there’s only ONE perfect place to put it to make it a great painting instead of just a painting. A pleasure to watch this.

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    David Anderson says:

    Beautiful boat, beautiful details. Something that caught my eye is how beautifully the riveting was done. I’d love to connect with some tips on riveting techniques, especially when working alone.

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Good idea David. We’ll put that on the list.

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    David Dickson says:

    I love the way these artist, craftsmen, builders, look at the important stuff….the details. Learned a lot from this film.

    I’m so happy to be back at OCH watching these beautiful little films.
    Thanks for all the hard work put into a top quality product

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    Tony Simmonds says:

    I’ve never seen an architectural drawing that specified the location of every finishing nail, but I can’t tell you how many times, renovating an old building, I’ve driven a nail through a piece of new trim and had it bend because it landed squarely on the sawed-off end of the nail driven by another finishing carpenter a hundred years ago.

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    David Owens says:

    If building a structure is like classical music, building a boat is like Jazz.

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    Jos Verbaken says:

    Having migrated to Tasmania 3 years ago, a highlight has been 2 Wooden Boat Festivals and seeing this magnificent work up close. Not having a workshop I built a model of a skiff on the kitchen table. Using store bought dowel for the mast offended my eye and so I spent quite a few hours with a spoke-shave and sandpaper to get an acceptable taper. I agree whoeheartedly that you do not want to be constrained by the dimensions of store stock. In some previous projects I have contracted a local joinery to dimension stock. Great video as always, keep them coming.

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    Love this! Appreciate how you zoomed in on some of the details they were “seeing”… Appreciate everyone’s comments, those different perspectives. Gotta add heart to by hand and eye;)

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    Robert Gibson says:

    Another outstanding video leaving you wanting more. More please. I could spend a day being that fly on the wall so to speak.

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    Ants Uiga says:

    The details of craftsmanship – feel free to post more and more…..

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    Robert Webber says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jim at the the Wooden Boat Boat Festival in Tasmania this year during one of his demonstrations on hand planes. A TRUE gentleman who left me wanting to jump on a plane to join one of his classes in Port Townsend.

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    Geoffrey Simon says:

    Invaluable video for furniture makers as well as boat builders. Dimensional lumber need not define all of our designs.

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    Mark Adams says:

    This was wonderful! I have had this discussion may times with like minded mates, I think the thing left out of the discussion is the information we gather from the material that we work with while it is still vertical, tapers, curves, proportion, ect.

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    Morgan says:

    this video helps you to stop and look around you, not just boats, but everything. Take a good long look. Thank you again, OCH crew.

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    Albert Larson says:

    Wonderful video to watch as I remember the beautiful work at WBS. Developing that “eye” takes years and those builders have it. It will be something to work on as we plan the next project, be it a boat or a piece of furniture. Thank you.

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    Philip Myer says:

    Four wooden boat gurus at the bottom of the world, a master class in aesthetics .


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