After two weeks of holidays break, we are all back at the shipyard! The carpenters of the framing team started their work right away on the many frames that need to be replaced.
Our frames are made of several oak futtocks. On Hawila, some of the futtocks are still in good shape -even after 85 years of use- and some have been replaced more recently. Therefore, we replace the ones showing rot or structural damages due to many years of service.
One by one, the fastenings are removed and the futtocks are taken out. The old surfaces are cleaned and planned to welcome a template that will be used to represent the new futtock. The plywood template is placed against the remaining frame and cut at the right dimensions. All the necessary measurements for the new frame are written on this plywood template (angles, length of the piece, frame number, location in the ship etc).The template is then used to find a suitable piece of oak from our timber supply, we also check to ensure that we have the desired grain in the wood ensuring strength. We then can mark the contour of the frame as well as the edge angles on the fresh timber piece before cutting.
We use a chainsaw mounted on a jig allowing us to change slowly the cut angles along the frame cut line. The chainsaw jig was welded by Sam using scrap metal from the yard, inspired from the jigs utilized by the ships Ceiba and Tally Ho. The cutting process is done by a team of two: one pulling the jig and following the cut line, the other adjusting the angle along the way. After that, the final frame surface is planed more precisely in the workshop according to the same angles reported on the template. The piece is now ready to reach its place in the ship where final adjustments are made.
Next chapter coming up soon!