Cutting, scarfing, and Planking!

We have been trying to keep at it and finally get some planks hung. We are getting so close! The sheer plank is the top plank, and also the first plank to install. Unfortunately it’s also the most time consuming… The reason is this plank has to follow a perfect curve along the sheer determined by the lofting. If it doesn’t your boat will look lumpy and ugly… Also I am extremely talented at convincing myself to do more work than is necessary because it will be “better that way”… I have my doubts… I think…

Anyway I have decided to scarf the sheer plank together into one ridiculously long plank. That way it will be super easy to lay the plank into a perfect curve… At least thats the theory!


DSCN6421 Cutting planks down.


DSCN6444 Cutting the scarfs is actually super easy. I thought about making a jig, but I think I could cut all the scarfs by hand in the time it takes to build a good jig. I just draw some lines, run a bunch of saw cuts, knock the chunks out with a chisel, then hit it with and planer. It took about 45 minutes to do the very first one, but I think I can knock that down to 30 minutes. 18 inches would suffice for a 12-1 scarf, but I felt like 24 inches was more appropriate…

We are hoping to get all these cut and ready to glue up by sunday. The only thing thats kind of a pain is that we will have to build a little heated tent around the planks to cure the epoxy, but that shouldn’t be to difficult.


Thats all for now!



We have had some beautiful weather lately, and we were able to get over to our neighbors mill to cut up some of our planking stock! Im not sure if I went into much detail about what we are doing on the mill, so i’ll fill ya in. We got a great deal on some awesome fir for planking, but it was all 2” by 10″ . Our planking only needs to be 1-1/2 so it needs to be cut down. It will be cut eventually to 3 ish or 4 ish inches wide and 1-1/2 thick. I could easily cut it down to width, but I don’t have a saw big enough to cut it to thickness. The other option is to just send it all through a thickness planer and be done with it. Not a bad option, but I couldn’t stand to see so much of this beautiful wood turned into saw dust. This is why we have been waiting so long for the mill… By using the mill to rip the lumber we end up with a 1/2″x10″ off cut of gorgeous CVG fir which can later be cut into strips and used for trim! Pretty stoked…

DSCN6247 Our ridiculously cool neighbor Jim and his bad ass saw mill!

DSCN6250 I couldn’t believe what an accurate, clean cut this thing made! If anyone is looking to buy a little mill I definitely recommend Wood Mizer!

DSCN6252 1-1/2 on the money the whole way!

DSCN6268 Could it be… Holy s@#t IT”S PLANKING!

DSCN6271 All this wood actually came from spending hours sorting through construction grade piles at big lumber yards! The majority of it is CVG at least 20 rings per inch! Buehler boats get a lot of flack for speccing construction grade, but what people don’t understand is that  1 no one is forcing you to use construction grade if you don’t want to, and 2 that doesn’t mean you go to your local lumber yard and grab whatever wood is at the top of the pile!!

The majority of the stuff is junk, but if you have more time then money ( like us!) you are willing to spend hours looking like a weirdo sorting through a massive pile of lumber to get to even one good piece. We have some “construction grade” fir that is VG, around 30 rings per inch, and completely clear for at least 14 ft!  No one can call that stuff junk…

On the other hand one of the reasons we spent so much time sorting through construction grade to save money is so we could afford to spend the money where it really counts…on planking… Since we are planning on sailing to the tropics I am only willing to use the highest quality fir we could get for our planking, seeing as we don’t have 5 years to spend slowing sorting and gathering piece by piece from construction piles we had to pay the price!


It shouldn’t be long before we are wrapping planks around the hull!

Thats all for now!

Garrett – 0… 2×4 – 1



I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. When you here something right above you falling towards your head… Don’t look up… Luckily it was so cold my face was numb, so I hardly felt a thing!

Other than using my face to catch large objects We have been making a little progress on the boat, and we are ( drumroll please) officially ready to plank the topsides! We are still on the weathers schedule for using our neighbors mill, but as soon as we can get our planking stock trimmed down we will be good to go! We did some test fitting with a couple clear 2×4’s We had lying around just to get the hang of things, and to see how hard it will be to bend the planking into shape. We used some clear flat sawn pieces, and they went in without to much trouble, which is really nice because our planking stock is all really nice tight, clear, quarter sawn lumber, so it should bend in even easier!


DSCN6137 Here is the first test plank.

DSCN6131 This shot gives you a good view of how much sheer will be in the bow.

DSCN6133 I am pleased!

The boat shed looks pretty crazy these days with all the scaffolding built. It’s a pretty tight fit with a few spots so narrow a person can barley squeeze through. Hindsight being 20 20 I probably would have built the shed a little bigger…



Wish us luck that we will get some good weather soon to mill up our planking!



Cutting the rabbet.

The rabbet is a groove cut into the keel where the frames and keel meet. This gives a solid footprint for the bottom planking to seat into as well as providing a caulking seam. On a Buehler boat this can be done very easily before you attach the frames by running a skill saw along the rabbet line you have marked from the patterns. The angle won’t be perfect the whole way, but because there is little change in the angle of the frames this can easily be corrected later with a chisel. Unfortunately I made it much harder on myself… When we built the keel we bought lumber that was supposed to be nice and dry, but that turned out not to be the case. Since the lumber wasn’t as dry as it should’ve been the keel developed a slight twist in the back where all the timers are stacked high. Because of this my paranoia persuaded me  not to cut the rabbet before attaching the frames fearing this might cause the hull to come out funky… Instead I decided to attach all the frames to there predetermined position with clamps, check the hull with battens, levels, and eye. That way we could correct any issues before bolting them down. Well that was the theory… It turned out the hull was fine. The twist in the keel was so insignificant it made no noticeable difference, which is good but now I have to cut the rabbet the old fashion (time consuming) way.

DSCN6098 I start by bending a batten along the rabbet marks to get an outline of the rabbet. Next I cut a small section of the rabbet at each frame. This gives me the correct angles and depths.  Then I cut in the rabbet between frames using the notches to help me eye the cuts as I go.

DSCN6113 It’s a slow tedious process, but were chippin away…

DSCN6112 Thats it for now!