Finishing the Inwales

If you remember from previous posts, I divided each of the inwales into three segments.  The two oarlock pads serve as the dividing point between the forward, middle, and aft segments.  When I left the last post I had glued on the forward segments of the inwales.

The aft segments come next.  Compared to the forward segments, they’re shorter and don’t have as much curvature, so they are easier to install.  The procedure is the same as the forward inwales; butter up the mating surfaces good with epoxy thickened to almost a peanut butter consistency, use a hammer and small block to make sure the joint at the quarter knee is tight, and have plenty of paper towels handy to wipe up the blobs of epoxy.  The paper towels I’m using have prints of the Minions on them, which has to help. Like the previous installation, as soon as the port side inwale is glued and clamped into place, do the same with the starboard side to keep the stress equal on the boat.

2017 07 30 Gluing on the aft inwales.

The photo above shows the aft segments in place.  The cross spall is at the oarlock location, so I’ve inserted a piece of wax paper at this point so the spall isn’t accidently permanently glued to the boat.

Finally I can glue on the middle segments.  These segments are between the two oarlocks.  I used butt joints rather than scarfs to join the inwale segments.  The joints are at the oarlock locations.  They each have a long spacer to reinforce the butt joint, and will be covered later with the oarlock pad, so the butt joint won’t show.

With the middle segments glued and clamped, I can start thinking about shaping the inwales.  The inwales need to be sanded smooth with the breasthook, quarter knees, spacers, and need to be flush with the sheer.  I decided that using power tools to do the shaping would be faster, but would also give me a better opportunity to foul the shape of the sheer.  Slow and steady was my preferred approach, so a wood rasp and a sanding block (and lots of elbow grease!) were put to use.  By the end of the day, I had sanded the port side forward inwale and was pleased with the result.

2017 08 06 Inwale sanded to mate with shear and spacer blocks.

In the photo, you can see the glue line where the inwale joins the breasthook, and the ply sheerstrake also shows plainly.  Under several coats of varnish, the assembly should look nice.  The outwale looks narrow compared to the inwale, but this is only the permanent outwale.  Towards the end of the project a sacrificial outwale will also be attached to beef up the thickness of the outwale.

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