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Wood boats and signs

As The Wood Chisel Carves:

Hi! as the wood chisel carves is a new feature I hope to update daily or weekly about sign making or wood working in general.

This weeks issue is about an old wood boat I once had here in Florida in the late seventies. I bought the boat from a church group here in Florida. The church had bought the wooden 40 ft Chris Craft Conqueror with the idea of using it for a retreat but they really didn't have an idea of what it would be like to maintain a wooden boat here in florida. Soon the boat was in total disrepair and the church had to unload it before it drove them to the poor farm. I happened to be around when it went up for sale and I snapped it up for next to nothing. Being a Pennsylvania boy with lots of wood boat experience I thought a wood boat down here was going to be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong! I soon found out that down here in Florida wood was a good food for just about every living organism. The bottom wood was good food for toredo worms and I soon found that some of these worms had made a snack of a few mahogany planks in the bottom. I had to haul the boat out of the water rip out the bad wood and then fit out some new planks from that gloriously expensive honduran mahogany lumber. The frames were made of white oak and the whole thing was held together with thousands of silicon bronze fasteners. The next thing I found out was that down here in Florida we have some of the healthiest termites in the country I swear they must work out to keep up that ravenous appetite they have. I found a small amount of them running around in a plywood area of the deck so I had to replace a part of that too. Some times you have to wonder about the logic of putting about a couple thousand pieces of furniture grade exotic lumber into water for long periods of time but I did it and maintained it for a couple of years. I think the hardest part of the restoration was the realization that i was going to have to replace the 10,000 silicon bronze fasteners that held the hull together because they had been ate away to nearly nothing by electrolysis. But being a wood boat lover at the time I proceeded to do it and I think I made Jamestown distributors a little richer in the process after buying those many boxes of no 10-2 and no 10 1 1/4 screws. I plum wore out two screw guns and I think I did in a drill too. But my girlfriend at the time thought the boat was romantic so I guess that made it all worth while if you know what I mean. When I was all done with the painting and varnishing and the vessel was looking pretty good I decided to cap it all off with a nice carved mahogany sign plaque on the transom. In fact it came out real well and it gave me an Idea Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Talk to ya again soon!



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