How to fasten our frames on Hawila?

    After being cut to specification, each frame futtock is dry fitted in position: the final adjustments can be made before the futtock is fastened to the other frame.

    Before fastening, all future wood-to-wood contacts are painted with anti-fungal paint, and later coated with putty mix. This putty, also known as linseed oil putty mix- is a homemade blend of linoilkit, pine tar, linseed oil, and hemp fibers. The putty is used to smooth the irregularities remaining between new and old frame futtocks and also act as a strong anti-fungal agent.

    To fasten the frames together we use treenails: a long wooden nail made of dry oak and wedged on each side. The concept with treenails is to use the expanding properties of the wood to fasten pieces together. We use well-seasoned timber with a moisture content below 14% to make treenails of 25,4mm (1 inch) diameter. We then hammer them into a 25mm drilled hole, and finish by wedging each end. By using green timber for framing, our treenail will expand to stabilise at a higher moisture content, ensuring additional friction (measured timber moisture content in Hawila’s bilge is stable at about 18-20%). This technic has been used traditionally as a reliable fastening on all kind of ships and construction and from our experience, presents a longer lasting fastening solution than galvanised bolts in oak.

    To produce the treenails, rectangular lengths of 26x26mm are cut from well-seasoned oak planks, following the grain and avoiding knots and cracks. The wood pieces are then planed, thicknessed, and the edge of the square pieces are cut with our Felder table saw and a homemade jig. The treenails are rounded to 25,4mm using a drill with welded metal support and a Veritas 1″ tenon cutter cut at the end.

    Before inserting the nail, we coat the holes with pine tar to lubricate the insertion and act as anti-fungi.The new futtocks are now ready to be faired!

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