Fastening the Transom

With the transom dry fitted and a proper fit verified, the time to permanently attach the transom board to the sternpost had come. The sternpost is 2.5 inches wide, offering plenty of space to hold the bronze wood screws that would be driven in. 

If the screw holes were all set down the center of the transom, the combined force of the screws would cause the sternpost to split! To avoid this, the screws were staggered across a one inch span, alternating their position. To do this, I marked the centerline of the transom board and then marked one half inch to either side of the center. Using a straight edge, I then traced a straight line that runs down the off center lines. These lines will serve as the guide for the pilot holes. The pilot holes were drilled along this line, spacing them out evenly along the transom board, producing a regular and pleasing to look at pattern down the middle of the transom.

The holes were then countersunk by running a power drill in reverse at high speed. The drill will not dig in as the drill bit is spinning in the wrong direction, instead the heat will slowly cause the the drill to burn into the holes while the soot is whisked away by the passing drill bit. The procedure only takes a few seconds and will produce an even counter sunk hole with no tearing or damage to the surface of the wood you are working on. 

With plenty of bedding compound on the screw holes, stern post, and keel rabbet, the transom was screwed into place with bronze fasteners. Excess bedding compound that spilled out of the screw holes was attempted to be cleaned off with acetone but it ended up just spreading it everywhere. Once it cures fully, it will be sanded off and removed before the transom is varnished.

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