Smoothing the Transom

In the steps leading up to this point, there has been very little regard for keeping the planks fair to each other. They were jointed and surfaced with no regards for a plank thickness. When the dowel holes were drilled, they were positioned in the middle of the plank with no regards for uniform thickness or edge leveling.

The reason fairness was not a concern during the construction process is because the planks are way thicker than they need to be, so scrubbing off a bit of wood won't cause any detriment. Not being concerned about the fairness of the planks makes the construction process proceed very quickly and much more easily. If I had stressed about fairness in the planks, I would still have needed to do some final fairing in the end anyways. To make my life easier and the construction process speedier, I disregarded obsessive concern for fairness in the interim, while keeping everything more or less even as assembly progressed quickly.

The irregular plank thicknesses are grossly apparent between the planks and the assembled board is too large to fit through the bandsaw or the jointer, so I am left to fairing the surface smooth with hand tools.

A Stanley No. 4 Plane served to remove the gross amount of wood and bring the planks down to a close match. I then ran a jack plane diagonally across the board to fair everything up and make the entire assembly uniform. Setting the long jack plane on its side demonstrates any high spots that need extra attention. These areas could be reduced with the No. 4 plane and then faired in with the jack plane. Once everything was very smooth and level, I began sanding.

The board was sanded using a straight board wrapped in sand paper. The paper took down any last imperfection and blended the entire face together. The end result was a smooth and uniform surface on one side. 

After one side is smoothed to perfection, the board was flipped and the same procedure was carried out on the other side. This left us with a very smooth transom that is ready to be cut to its final shape and fitted to the stern.