Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wrecking, Wrecking, and More Wrecking

Greetings again,

I promise to get another crew member to write one of these soon. In the mean time, I'll write another post because it has been a week since the last one and a lot has happened.

I can speak for the crew without reservation on this one: there has been a lot of hard work this week! The shipwrights have been working us hard, and it has been educational and fantastic. They have had us wrecking planks, removing fasteners, and chipping concrete with a hammer and chisel (the latter being what I did for 4 hours yesterday).

Chipping concrete where, you ask? In the forepeak. The shipwrights need to see the stem of the boat. So, we were charged with exposing it. Adam started, I continued, and our new friend Jay finished it off today.

Meanwhile, we have all taken turns wrecking planks off the boat. Fasteners stick out here and there. They are no match for our pry-bars, 2 pound mallets, slide hammers, and brawn. We modified the slide hammer so that it could be secured around the head of the fasteners, then hammered out of the ship.

Today was especially cool because we removed the port chain-plate. The chain plate is what the shrouds are secured to. You can see in the picture it coming out of its hiding place behind the pin rail. The majority of the plate rests inside the ship--pinched between the frames and the planking. The top portion sneaks out above deck and rests snugly against the inboard side of the bulwarks, which is where the shrouds attach. It was fun to help the shipwrights get it out, then learn from them afterward.

Shipwright Brad started making patterns of the futtocks today. A futtock is a curved piece of wood. Many of these pieces are put together to make a single frame. I learned that this is called a sawn frame, as opposed to a bent frame where wood is steamed and bent into place. We took the patterns to the purple-heart wood and cut out manageable pieces, which were then planed down to the appropriate thickness. This was great fun!

As the port side restoration gets into full swing, there are still many regular maintenance projects to be done. We have been doing things like servicing and painting the blocks, overhauling the Edson Patent Gyber (which I mentioned earlier), removing the halyard deck eye-bolts, and more. Cameron, a regular aboard the A, is with us this week and has had the pleasure of cleaning the lazarette. If you are interested in volunteering, we can put you to work too!

That is all for today. Your homework assignment is to look up trunnels. Apparently, they are a way to fasten without using metal.

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