Friday, February 11, 2011

Row your boat - Intermezzo

Okay, I might have called it an "Interlude" but I'm a musician by birth so Italian it is, what can I say...

I'll trust you'll agree that the time waiting while paint was curing (before it could be sanded) could be spent a lot better than just watching it dry. Much like watching grass grow, it is not a very constructive activity. Besides, this being a winter project, I am intending for the boat and all main components to be ready for launch by March 21 lest my project turn into a spring fling.

I was actually quite concerned about this particular task since I have never done any needle work. Circumstances demand that this would-be shipwright learn a new trick.

The task?

Make traditional leather oar collars.

Rather than purchasing a set of those cheesy plastic oar locks, I opted for the leather route and purchase a kit in order to construct salty-looking oar locks. The kit came with tiny bronze nails. These were to be nailed into the oar to keep the leather in place.

I did not like that solution and decided that I needed to find the proper waxed Dacron twine, a leather hole punch and take a crash course in Herringbone stitching.(of sorts).

YouTube served up some reasonable directions and CLC provided a good link for some basics. For example, I learned that if you want an nice tight fit, you have to soak the leather, let it stretch, measure the proper width but then trim it 1/8" shorter so that you can tighten up the stitches for a perfect fit.

I could easily see myself procrastinating on such a task. But the thought of letting time go a-wasting while serious paint was drying caused me to take the plunge into leather.

As you can see, the actual oar locks have to be on the oar before nailing in the collar into position because once that is done it will prevent the oar locks from slipping off.

I am pleased with the tight fit of the leather and the overall appearance. I started out with some mink oil but will provide regular tallow treatments for the protection of the collars.

No comments:

Post a Comment