Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Hi, first time builder here. About to start building, as soon as I prep my garage / workshop a little. If I'm going to spend 120 hours in there I want it to be at least somewhat tidy and well-lit ...

I'm building a NE Dory and I'm wondering about the sawhorses suggested on this site: They're 32 inches tall, 24 inches wide. Is that wide enough for the dory? 

I see the very first thing to do with the dory is to glue together the bottom of the boat and the manual suggests building a temporary table for screwing it down. Would it make sense to build a crude table out of 2x4s and plywood for the build? Would that be more stable when sanding than the sawhorses? 

Or I could buy a couple of folding / extendable sawhorses, which I could use on other projects, but would they be less stable? Thoughts?

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RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Good questions JC
24” isn’t going to cover it when you flip the boat for bottom work. I added auxiliary cross supports to my shop stands to span the rails when flipped. Think they’re 38” or so. You don’t want to have to place the stands too close to the ends, you loose stability that way.

The temp table can be pretty ghetto and still work fine for this build. We used 2x6s but we’re kind of nuts that way. We spanned the 18’ table across three stands for better center support. There’s no real need to have it super aligned for this build. We’ve used the super cheap plastic things from the home cheapo and they work just fine. Have been much happier with actual shop stands though. You’d probably rather be building a boat more than stands.

Walking around the lake last night I was thinking about what I would have done differently on my build. The only thing I came up with was that I wish I had struck a fore and aft center line on the inside and outside of the bottom panel before the boat was stitched up and glassed. Would have made locating rudder, dagger board trunk, mast step and just about everything else easier. Interested in hearing what the better builders have to say about this.

The transom can be a bit fussy. Don’t hesitate to add a couple of stitch holes if you need them.

Also, do a search for user Moonchaser. He has a link in some of his posts to a great set of pics of his build.  

You’ve made a great choice. Don’t think I’m the only person here to think what a satisfying boat this is.

RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

I am a first time builder as well and I am a good way into my build. Last week I painted the underside, I am estimating that I have about 3 more weekends of work and I will have a functioning rowboat. Then start on the sailing components.

I did the same thing you are doing, get my garage in shape before the build. I used the CLC sawhorse plans but I lengthened them out to 32 inches wide. This has proven to me an adequate size, if I were to change one thing it would be to make them about 6 inches shorter. Mine turned out to be 33” tall, that puts the Dory at its highest point about 4 foot off the ground. I am 6 feet tall and it is a stretch to reach into the center of the boat. I often find myself standing on a stool while sanding or applying epoxy.

Once the Skeg is installed I had to cut a notch in one sawhorse to accept the skeg.

As far as a table is concerned, I assembled all my puzzle joints on the cement floor of my garage. Lay down a layer of plastic so the epoxy does not bond to the floor. I used buckets full of calcium chloride (Ice melt) that I had on hand to weight down the joints as they cured. Oh yes and bricks, I had a bunch of landscaping bricks stacked up in the corner.

I do have 2 tables, one is a folding craft table, I use this as a glue mixing station, once again draped in plastic. The other is a quickly banged together table of a pair of 2x4 sawhorses and an old hollow core door. This is my sanding/varnishing station for thwarts and other stuff.

One last hint, get your hands on every clamp you can find! You can never have too many clamps!


RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Hi -- It's been a while since I've been on the forum but thought I would add my two cents.  For supports for my dory build last winter, I did the usual sawhorse thing but found I got easier access to the bottom if I fastened temporary 2x4's fore to aft, screwed into the bulkheads.  Then I could use narrow sawhorses to support the boat by the bulkheads. Pad the ends of the sawhorses -- I did put a ding on the interior side of the boat when lowering the boat on to the sawhorse. I also rigged a sling to help flip the boat when I needed to.  Here's a link to my build album.

Dave M.


RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

I posted the wrong link above -- try this one.

Dave M.  

RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

When I made my Skerry, I used a couple of "Burro" brand wooden sawhorses from Lowes.  They were sturdy, and not expensive.  I did have to add a couple of 2x4 crosspieces across the tops, to make them wide enough to hold the upside-down boat.  I also added small pegs at each end of the crossbars, to keep the boat from sliding off sideways.


BTW, until I added the seats, I had no problem flipping the boat by myself.  I just reached over into it, grabbed the center bulkhead, lifted it over my head, and lowered it back onto the sawhorses.


RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?


   Don 't forget leg support. Your legs. I already had some interlocking 2' x 2' foam support by my workbench but bought enough to go all the way around the boat. You will be surprised how many hours yu will spend sanding, epoxy and painting/varnishing. A good sound system or set of blue tooth headphiones for ypur iPhone is also a good additions. Did I mention books on tape?

Good luck and do pllenty of research on this forum before every step to select what will work best for you. Like inwhales.


RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Thanks for all the advice! Just an update, I've got my garage (wait, no, it's a workshop!) in good shape now. Haven't sorted out the sawhorses quite yet but here's a look at my first day of building. It's a whole day of work compressed to a one-minute timelapse:

RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Figured out how to do a link on this board: watch a timelapse of the first day of bulding a NE Dory. Four bulkheads and the transom, clamped down.

RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Very cool timelapse.  I look forward to seeing more!

Dave M.  

RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

If you frame something like a table, saw horses, etc out of 2x lumber and/or plywood use a screw gun (drill motor) and screws. That way you can take it apart and reconfigure it.    

RE: Best support for building a Northeaster Dory?

Thanks for your thoughts. A few questions / comments about the above: 

@Mike re. your sanding station I wonder if something like a vice or Black and Decker workmate type thing would be handy.

@Silver Salt are you suggesting drawing a pencil line down the centre of the boat? Would that be visible if I varnish the interior?

@Dave M. Thanks for posting the gallery. It looks like you found a way to prop the boat on its side? Was that stable enough for working? Sounds like it'd be good for my back. What does the name of your boat mean? More timelapses to follow!

@Doug B: I'm all about portaging canoes! Any idea of the final hull weight? I'm really hoping it'll be around 100lb like the brochure says.

@DonOne I was wondering about foam pads, but also don't want to create a tripping hazard. Maybe some nice spongy Crocs, like the dental hygienist wears.... I love podcasts and talking books and I have the excellent UE Boom speaker (recommended!). Wonder if there are any good boatbuilding podcasts? 

@Grumpy: I might just use those cheap sawhorse brackets, they're like 5$ a pair.

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