Building the Backbone: Part 1

The backbone of a boat is the keel, stem, and stern post. These three timbers will be the key pieces that will support the entire boat, this is why they are referred to as the "Backbone". 

The stem and keel are made out of laminated douglas fir, with the grains book matched and set in towards each other. This will give the timbers very good dimensional stability and strength.

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Most stem-keel junctions are either butted or connected via a gripe. I decided to further strengthen this connection by adding a finger joint. 

The bottom of the stem was cut to match the front of the keel. This will give me a lot of surface area where glue can act to hold the joint in place. The joint will be further reinforced with bronze fasteners. During the next few stages of construction, the keel and stem will be left over sized, allowing us flexibility in scrubbing wood that is not needed at a later point in the construction process.

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