I began this project by first marking out the positioning of the two gun ports and tiller port on bulkhead #1. Sizing and positioning were based on the scale plans provided.
Since this was relatively thick plywood materials, I pre-drilled holes at all port corners, then rough cut the openings using a small saw. Final shaping was accomplished using a combination of sandpaper and filing.
Ports also needed cut from the curved bow filler piece as shown. These were a bit tougher to mark out as you can imagine given the curvature of this piece. I positioned their height based on the heights of the gun ports in the hull plans provided.
For some reason, several of the windows were not pre-cut from the pre-fabbed wall pieces, so I went ahead and cut these out as well, just to get them out of the way.
While I was in cutting, drilling, and sawing mode, I went ahead and marked out the details of the stem. I went ahead and cut the slot needed for the gammoning to come much later in the project.
With the major cutting complete, I went ahead and sanded the slots for the bulkheads and frame so that each fit easily into position, and aligned with the deck. There was substantial warping present, especially in the main frame. I’ll address this later.
Speaking of warping, bulkhead #1 – the one with the gun port cutouts shown below was substantially warped as well. I found that steam ironing it using a standard clothes iron helped substantially. Any remaining warping can be addressed when I attached it to the framing. I spent substantial time sanding and adjusting each of the bulkheads along with the framing pieces so that everything fit together comfortably.
With the bulkheads in place, the pre-fabricated decking plywood needed sanded to accommodate each of the bulkheads. I realized that if I did this carefully, I could use the deck pieces to correct the warping present in the main frame.
This being the case, I very carefully began sanding the slots in the first deck piece to accommodate each of the bulkheads, working from bow to stern. At the completion of the first deck piece, I was able to adjust the bow filler pieces for dry fitting.
With each deck piece properly sanded to accommodate the bulkheads, the main frame was gradually forced straight. In the end, sighting down the length of the frame revealed very little remaining warp. Any warp remaining can be fine tuned using filler pieces between the bulkheads.
It is extremely important that the main frame be made as straight as possible before planking the hull. Luckily, the deck pieces assisted me in what would normally have been accomplished using filler pieces between the bulkheads. As I sanded the slots in the deck pieces, I was careful to measure the distance between the bulkheads at the main frame. Then, when widening the slots in the deck pieces, I propagated these same measurements down each side of the hull to continually ensure that each of the bulkheads were parallel to one another, and perpendicular to the frame.