README.htm Plywood-README.htm Green-one.htm white-buffaloboat.htm wood-Buffaloboat.htm Chine-Patching.htm
Straighteninggusset.htm gussets.htm front.htm sides.htm rear.htm sidepanel.htm part-one.htm part-two.htm part-three.htm part-four.htm
Material list: gunwales2) 5/8" x 1-1/2" x 12" Inwale stock 2) 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 193" Outwale stock 2) 1-1/8" x 2-1/2" x 4" Oak or ash oarlock blocks 12) 1-1/8" x 1-1/2" x 2" redwood or cedar spacer blocks 4) redwood or cedar tapered spacers. These spacers are 1.5" high, 24" long, and they taper from 1-1/8" at one end to 0" at the other end.
Gunwale installation--general summary of eventsNow you are ready for the gunwale assembly. One way to make gunwales to install them so they are bolted into place, but not glued. The first step in this gunwale assembly is to remove all of the strongback stations. In order to do this, you will need to cut the fiberglass that is covering the six screw heads (these screws are located just below the gunwale edge of the hull) that are still holding the stations in place. You should have pressed some candle wax into the phillips head slots of these screws in an earlier step. Cut away a small circle of fiberglass and back out the screws. When you take the stations out the boat will collapse inward a little, losing some of the beam it had before you removed the stations. But don't worry about it. You will regain the shape of the boat in a future step. Before you can mount the gunwales, you will have to put the stations (loosely) back into the boat. These stations must go back in order to regain the shape of the boat before you install the gunwales. But before you put these stations back, you have to cut a notch out of the top corner of each station in order to make room for the inwale. You can't reuse the screw holes at the top edge of the boat (the wax filled screws that you just removed) because these holes are about to be covered with the gunwale. But you don't have to fasten the rib stations at this point. Just pushing the ribs roughly back into place will hold the shape of the boat long enough to get the gunwales installed.After the gunwale installation has been completed you have a dilemma of sorts. You need to take the ribs out again, for the last time, to make room for the seats and other interior parts. The gunwales you have just installed have stiffened the boat considerably, but it will still relax somewhat, and lose beam width, if you simply remove the ribs. The easiest way to hold the shape of the boat at this point is to cut two (roughly) 62" 2x4's and jamb them in place from side to side, between the gunwales. This will hold the width of the boat, allowing you to remove the ribs and build the interior parts. Once the front deck, rear seat and rower's seat have been installed, the boat will be stiff enough to hold its own shape. At that point you remove the cross-gunwale braces and prepare for paint. Here is a summary review of events:
- 1) tie the ends of the boat together with a rope or wire (details below)2) take out the stations
- 3) fillet the inside chine corners4) fiberglass the inside of the boat5) knotch the top outside edges of the trapezoid stations (to makeroom for the inwale)6) push the stations back into the boat, but don't fasten them4) install the inwales 5) install the outwales6) install the temporary cross-gunwale braces7) pull out the rib stations--for the last time 8) proceed with the interior construction 9) paint the boat
Install the final layer of "inside-bottom" fabricOnce these fillets have been made it is time to apply a second layer of "inside-bottom" fabric. This second layer of fabric should lap the chine and "roll up" the side of the boat about 1-1/2". You will have to cut small slits in the fabric at the corners of the transom and at the corners of the stem to keep the 1-1/2" rolled edge from puckering. Now break for the day and let the resin harden.Gunwale installation Inwales The first step in the installation of the gunwales is to knotch the top outside edges of the rib stations (to make room for the inwale) and then to push them back in the boat. You don't have to fasten the ribs. Just push them back into place and let them float there for the next few steps. They help to stiffen up the boat and hold its proper shape, while fitting the gunwales.Each inwale has two compound angles, one at the bow, and one at the stern. To make these joints, measure the distance along the top inside edge of the boat from the top inside edge of the transom to the top inside edge of the stem. This distance should be just a little less than 12 feet, but of course it varies slightly from boat to boat. The general strategy (whenever fitting a difficult piece like this) is to make it a little long, and gradually wear down the ends, until the inwale fits nicely at both ends--without making it too short (cut the damn board three times now, and it's still too short!). Mark the distance along the edge of the inwale stock that will mate with that side of the boat. Then use a bevel square to mark the compound angles at each end. These compound angles each have a horizontal and a vertical component that are not given in the plans. Hold the bevel square right on the ends of the boat, first in the horizontal position and then in the vertical position to determine these angles, and to transfer them directly to the inwale stock. Once you have made the inwales, and hand fitted them, clamp the inwales into place. You can, if you want, screw the inwales in place, in a few spots, with 5/8" screws, screwing in from the outside of the boat. These (optional) screws will be covered by the outwale in the next step.
OutwalesOnce the inwales are in place on both sides, you can proceed with the outwales. Keep in mind that all gunwale tapers, spacer blocks, and oarlock blocks are placed between the outwale and the outside of the boat. Start on either side by screwing an outwale right to the stem. Have a helper hold up the rear end of the outwale while you drive another screw about 16" from the first one. Walk around to the other side of the boat and repeat on the other side. Once both outwales have been started with two screws near the front end, it is time to slip the first tapered gunwale spacer into the triangular slot formed by the junction of the outwale and he side of the boat. The sharp point of the gunwale spacer starts just to the rear of the second gunwale screw. Use a C-clamp to pinch the gunwales tightly around the spacer. Place this C-clamp two inches toward the stern from the fat end of the taper. Then bore a 1/4" hole right through both gunwales and the fat end of the taper. Use a three inch bolt and a nylon-ringed nut (a "nylock" nut) to hold all three pieces together. Then replace the two screws near the stem with 1/4" bolts and nylocks. Then move back toward the stern twelve inches from the fat end of the taper and pinch the gunwales together around one of the rectangular spacer blocks. Bore a hole and fasten the spacer block with a 1/4" bolt and nylock. Keep working backward, putting a spacer block every twelve inches, alternating from one side of the boat to the other, until you get to the first oarlock position, which is the dead middle of the boat, roughly 6' (along the gunwale edge) from either end of the boat. You should have made two 1 1/8"x2.5"x4" oarlock blocks in an earlier step. Before you install the first oarlock block, you'll have to bore a 5/8" vertical hole through it to receive the actual oarlock. After boring the oarlock block, it can be mounted in place between the outwale and the side of the boat. Place the oarlock block in the middle of the boat, 72" from either end, along the gunwale edge. Use two bolts for each oarlock block, on either side of the 5/8" hole. Keep working back toward the stern, placing a gunwale spacer every 12" or so, until you reach the location of the rear gunwale taper. The sharp end of the rear gunwale taper should be placed about six inches forward of the rear end of the boat. Use a hacksaw with a course blade to cut the 1/4" gunwale bolts flush with the tops of the nylocks. Then smooth off the jagged ends of the bolts with a metal file. That's it. The gunwales are installed. Screw down the two cross-gunwale braces and you are ready to remove the strongback stations for the last time. Place one cross-gunwale brace in the middle of the boat, and the other one eighteen inches toward the bow from the middle.
Here is a summary review of events at this stage of the game
- 1) fiberglass the inside of the boat
2) install the gunwales
3) install the rear seat
4) install the front deck
5) install the rower's seat gussets, rails, and rail bottoms
6) build and install the rower's seat7) install the front seat pedestal
8) purchase and install the front seat (get a nicely padded front swivel seat)
9) paint the boat
Before you begin work on any of the interior parts of the boat, it is important to establish an approximately level reference in the boat. To do this, you must first locate and draw a line across the bottom of the boat, from side to side, that marks the middle of the boat. Station #2 was located on the 60" layout mark. Draw a line across the bottom of the boat that connects the two 60" layout lines. This line marks the middle of the boat. Place a four foot spirit level on the floor of the boat, parallel to the long axis, so the bubble in the middle of the level is directly over the middle line marker that stretches across the floor of the boat. Now shift the boat forward and backward on its cradle as necessary until the bubble in the spirit level reads level. This is approximately how the boat will float in the water when it is unloaded. The front deck, the front seat, the rower's seat, and the rear seat are to be made level to this reference.
Interior partsThere is no one interior design for any boat. In my plans I try to give specific instructions for the simplest, most bare-bones interior layout possible. But I never build a boat the same way twice. I do often stick to one of several well-known hull shapes ( I like to experiment with new hulls too ) but hull experiments are a lot of work. It takes a long time to work out new hull dimensions. Interior parts, on the other hand, can be made in an infinite number of ways. The easiest way to build a rower's seat, for instance, is to make a 1x4 rectangle about 16x45" , cover it with plywood and mount it on semi-triangular cleats glued to the sides of the boat, right below the oarlocks.But you can make a fancy rope cusioned seat too, or maybe make a much narrower seat, if you want, and mount it to much wider left/right dry storage lockers. I have always wanted to build a sliding rower's seat, like the ones found in rowing sculls. That way you could row off your legs, instead of only with your arms and back. I will definitely do that on my next boat. So read the interior parts section below as a way to get familiar with the seat-building process. And then let your own design ideas mold a boat that's just right for you. Bare Bones Seats 1) the rear seat, has a flat, trapezoidal top and a 1x4 front edge, at right angles to the top. This photo, by the way, is of an ancient Buffalo Boat I built in 1983. I recently bought it back from the original owner I built it for. I'll add more photos eventually, when it's restoration is complete. 2) front deck, also built from a flat trapezoidal shape, but without the front lip support, because its front edge gets a curved cutout to make room for standing at the front of the boat. 3) rower's seat gussets. 4)The rower's seat The (above) rower's seat is made from a 1x3 mahogony frame, with ¼" plywood underneath to form the tackle pockets left and right of the roped rower's seat.Two 1x3 x 45" pieces and four 1x3x16" pieces make the basic frame. The front 1x3 gets dished out to make room for your legs. The tackle pockets have a ¼" plywood bottom (shat should be fiberglassed, to prevent checking). The top outside edge of the seat gets a horizontally oriented 1x3 flange that sits on top of the side mounting rails. The following photo shows the mounting brackets.The rope that forms the seat is woven back and forth around a 2x2 piece of fir, that bolts down through the bottom of the seat, so it can be pulled downwards with wing nuts, so to provide a tensioning mechanism for the rope seat. The most important thing to remember about building a rower's seat this way is to wait until after building the side mounting brackets before building the actual seat. This way you can custom fit the seat to fit snugly between the side mounting rails.
- 5) front passenger seat pedestal, made from 4 pieces of left over plywood. This pedestal is 12" square and 20" high. You will have to angle the bottom of the pedestal some, so get it to stand straight up when mounted on the curved, rocker-bottom of the boat. The front edge of this 12" square starts 20" back from the front edge of the boat, where the boat bottom meets the front transom. A front standing and casting platform is an optional but luxurious addition.
- 6) You'll have to wing the front deck. I don't have a pattern for it. The basic trapezoid is approximately 52" at the back, 27" at the front and 24 deep, from front to back. Make a pattern out of cardboard first, to get the fit, and then transfer the edges to plywood.
Straighten the rear end of the boat. Hand-fit the rear seatWhen you take out the strongback stations, the rear end of the boat invariably twists a little. But don't worry about it. You can straighten the rear end of the boat with a pair of C- clamps and a nylon clothes line. Once you have the rear end of the boat pulled back into square, you can install the rear seat. The rear seat will hold the boat square thereafter. To straighten the rear end of the boat, place a C-clamp at the corner of the transom that is twisted furthest away from the front of the boat. Place a second C-clamp on the opposite gunwale about four feet from the transom. Connect these two clamps with a stout string, and pull tight on the string until it pulls the boat back into square. Tie off the string and then proceed to hand fit the rear seat. You should have the main rear seat piece on hand at this point, rough-cut to size and fiberglassed top and bottom. Use a pencil scribe and a sharp block plane to wear away at the edges of the rear seat until it drops down tightly into place. The front corners of the rear seat should contact the sides of the boat at a point approximately 24" from the corners of the transom, and one and a half inches down from the top of the gunwale. The back end of the rear seat should be approximately 5" down from the top of the transom. The seat should also be approximately level. Once you have fitted the rear seat, nail it temporarily in place by driving finish nails into the edges of the seat from the outside of the boat. Don't drive the nails all the way down. Once the main rear seat piece has been fitted, you have to make and fit the rear seat cross-beam. This cross-beam is merely a 1"x4" vertical support that forms a right angle with the front edge of the rear seat. The compound angles at the ends of this cross-beam are not given in the table of angles. You will have to hold a bevel square onto the corners of the rear seat (first in the horizontal position and then in the vertical position) to determine these angles.
You may want to eliminate the rear seat cross-beam, and run a new piece of plywood from the front edge of the rear seat down to the bottom of the boat to form a dry storage locker. You would then cut a hole in the top of the rear seat and make a hinged lid for the locker. Any rear passenger would then sit on the hinged lid. To build a rear dry storage locker that really stays dry, you will have to "raise" up the edges of the locker opening at least a half an inch, and then fashion a contoured lid that fits over the raised edges of the locker opening. Or, instead of a hinged top lid, you can cut a hole in the front of the locker, round off the edges and leave this space open. This makes a convenient place to put life jackets.
Rower's seat assembly
Once you have completed building and fitting the rear seat parts you can install them now, or set them aside and go on to fitting the "rower's seat assembly," which consists of three parts on each side of the boat the gusset, the gusset rail, and the gusset rail-bottom. The gussets are made from 3/8 or ½" plywood. The rail-bottoms are made from ¼" plywood.The rails are made from 1"x4" boards that are approximately 48" inches long (but start with longer, 60" stock, to allow for fitting). The rail has a square cut at its front end, and a compound angle at the rear end where it meets the side of the boat. The vertical component and the horizontal component of this compound angle are given in the table of angles.
The first step in the assembly process is to locate and hand fit the two gussets to the side of the boat. The front edges of both gussets are mounted approximately 2" forward of the middle of the boat.Once the two gussets have been fitted, you can jamb them temporarily in place by clamping a scrap board from one gusset to the other, about twelve inches off the floor of the boat. Then go around to the outside of the boat and drive a finish nail through the side of the boat into the edge of each gusset, but don't drive the nail all the way down. Now that the gussets are in place, it is time to work on the two rails. Cut two sixty inch 1"x4"'s from fir, mahogany, oak, ash, or maple. Use a bevel square to layout and cut the compound angles at the rear ends of the two rails. Your first attempts won't fit well. But you made the rails 12" too long, so you can adjust the bevel square and recut the angles many times, until you get it right. The two gussets have a 1"x4" notch cut into their top inside corners. These notches are there to receive the two rails. Place one of the two rails into the notch in the gusset, and slide the rail backward until the compound angle at the rear end of the rail slides into the side of the boat. Hold a spirit level on the rail to help locate the rear end of the rail. The length of the rail should be level with the top of the rower's seat gusset. Repeat on the other side. At this point it is usually necessary to re-adjust the rear end positions of both rails slightly to insure that both rails are the same length, parallel, and level. Use the block plane to make any necessary fitting adjustments to the rear ends of the rails. Re-mark the two rear end positions of the rails, and screw them temporarily in place with drywall screws that are driven in from the outside of the boat. The exact distance between the two rails is not critical as long they are parallel and level. When you make the rower's seat in a later step, the seat will be custom made to fit tightly between the two rails. Once the two rails have been located and fitted, it is time to fit the two pie shaped "rail-bottom pieces." It's easy to see that these pieces fit into the pie shaped spaces left between the rails and the sides of the boat. These bottom pieces are fastened to the bottoms of the rails.
Reach under the rail with one of the two bottom pieces and hold it up onto the bottom of the rail. Scribe the curved edge of the bottom piece where it meets the side of the boat. Use a block plane to hand fit the curved edge. Once the curved edge has been fitted, run a pencil along the edge of the rail (the edge closest to the middle of the boat) to mark the straight edge of the bottom piece. Cut tight to the line. Repeat on the other side. The two rail assemblies form a parallel raceway on which the rower's seat is mounted, and on which it can be adjusted forward and backward as needed for different payload conditions in the boat.
The rower's seat gussets