Preparing station forms

January 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tracing and cutting the station forms is when the canoe building project becomes real.

This step requires tracing the forms onto plywood and then sawing them out using a jigsaw (or bandsaw, which I unfortunately don’t own <yet>). The forms need two sheets of plywood. 1/2″ is probably okay, but I prefer 5/8ths.

To transfer the template to the plywood, I need carbon paper. This is actually the first time in 30 years in which I’ve used carbon paper. I was amazed that office supply stores still carry the stuff. I see its continued existence as a sign that the almighty is smiling upon my project. The kids are amazed by the stuff for about 10 minutes, at which point they return to their video games.

Two sheets should just about cover the whole canoe. In addition to the outline of the forms, I mark the center-line and the waterline (for reasons to be covered in another post). When I’m done, the stations look like this:

canoe building: tracing station forms

And some noise and sawdust later, the forms look like this:

canoe building: station forms

I’ve more or less cut toward the outside of the line with the intention of sanding down any rough edges later. It’s remarkable though how often the jigsaw seems drawn to the line, thereby transforming any useful reference into sawdust.

After cutting the forms, I invite everyone in the house to admire my stack of plywood. After all, this is the beginning of a great adventure. At this point, I’m excited. It’s the first of many milestones. My family rolls its eyes. They’ve heard it before.

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