Shearwater 17: bevels, puzzle joints

Greetings Folks,

New builder question: I'm working on a Shearwater 17 and am ready to start beveling.  The manual gives the angle of bevel for various areas but doesn't really specify a beginning or end point for a given angle.  Am I missing something or is just eyeballing the diagram and cutting the bevels via the TLAR method acceptable?

Also, I got my first major error done, so I no longer have the pressure of building a perfect boat. ;-) I managed to let one edge of a puzzle joint sneak out of alignment and it hardened about 1/16" from flush.  The good news is it's a bottom panel.  Is this something that can be repaired with a lot of sanding, or should I start planning my Viking funeral?


Tim in SC

3 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Shearwater 17: bevels, puzzle joints

air dog -

Indicated bevels are guides, not absolutes. Each build is a little different, so bevels may change a little along the parts that need them. As a builder you get to decide where they begin and end according to how they "fit" with the other parts of your build.

As for that misaligned p-joint, don't dispair! And DON'T SAND! That much misalignment means you'll sand through the veneer layer(s) trying to flatten it.

Better path to flatness is to recognize then employ the fact that epoxy, when warmed, becomes soft. With care, and maybe a c-clamp or handscrew for pressure, if you get yourself a heat gun (like those meant for removing paint) you can carefully warm that joint to a point the epoxy will become soft enough for you to push the faces back into prioper alignment.

You'll need to protect the joint as you would when gluing it up in the first place with plastic sheet or packing tape protecting the flat bits of wood you'll put on both sides against which the clamp will put pressure enough to flatten the warmed joint.

Leave it clamped tight for a couple of hours to cool & you should be happy with the result when the clamp's removed. Worst case would have you warming then separating the joint so you can clean away enough epoxy so you can make a second attempt - this time using clamps - to make it right again.

RE: Shearwater 17: bevels, puzzle joints

air dog,

just to build on what spclark said, the way to address it is with a heatgun. 

i have done this quite a bit and would offer the following tips:

  • practice on a scrap piece of okoume just to get the temperature set - your big risk with the heat gun is burning/browing/blackening the wood.
  • you might need a pair of kitchen mits to help handle the wood.  you want it hot and its important to keep the heat gun moving to not burn the wood....but to get it hot enough to soften the epoxy will be hotter than bare hands typically can handle
  • heat the wood from both sides to soften the epoxy (both side of the joint).

on the bevels....they role into one another so there is not a clean break between the different angles.  these don't have to be perfect.  it will just be a lot better than no beveling.

the picture of the shearwater above, which i built, was a 'rescue' boat.  somebody had started it and the panels were misaligned similar to what you described....and they also got the bevels all wrong....then gave up.  they then sold the partially assembled kit (all the panels misaligned and beveled wrong... as described)

i ended up using the heat gun to take apart all the panels, and i reglued them....then i took care of the bevels and then proceeded on to finish the project.

i would say that learning to use a heat-gun to 'undo' something was one of the most valuable skills i have learned in boatbuilding.


RE: Shearwater 17: bevels, puzzle joints

   Thanks to both of you for your thoughts.  I used the heat gun to soften the epoxy as suggested, and the joint is now aligned.  Now, on to the bevels.

I'll post again with my next error.  Shouldn't be long. ;-)


« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.