Frame Fastening

The dinghy will be finished bright, meaning that all the wood will be varnished and oiled and no paint will be used. This means that all the small details will be visible for years to come and won't be hidden away under a coat of paint.


The floors and frames, along with their interfaces will all be visible and therefore needs to be finished in an aesthetic way. The frames and floors were all cut out and test fitted, making sure that the flare on them was appropriate. Now the sanding begins!

The frames and floors are first run on a belt sander to take off all the saw marks and pencil lines. Once the surface is smooth and flat, I transitioned over to hand sanding where I was able to round off any hard points that will project into the hull. The faying surface that will face the planking and keel was left sharp, as these areas will be adjusted later as the build process continues.

The frames and floors were lined up in the squares and pilot holes were drilled through the frames and into the floors. Bronze fasteners were also driven in to verify proper alignment and fitment.

Once everything was dry fitted and tested, it was all disassembled. The faying surfaces had a liberal amount of glue applied to them and the frames were then screwed on. Clamps were not necessary as the force from the screws provided enough clamping force squeeze out any excess glue and intimately mate the faying surfaces. Glue was also placed down the screw holes, further locking the fasteners into place.

For finishing touches, all the screw heads were oriented vertically. There is a debate about the proper orientation of the screw head, if the slot should be vertical or horizontal. The argument for vertical and against horizontal is that the horizontal slot can collect and hold water, where a vertical slot will let the water run right out.

This is very nit picky, but I chose to orient all the screws vertically. More important than the orientation of the slot is that they are all uniform. When the screw heads are all haphazardly arranged, the entire construction looks disorganized and chaotic. Orienting them all in the same direction makes everything flow better and feel more at ease. It also looks like the craftsman took the time to make sure all the details are covered. 

Excess glue was wiped away and allowed to cure. Now the floors and frames are united and ready to be mated to the keel. Construction of the dinghy is progressing quickly!