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Had two full-on days so far on the week-long Traditional Restoration course in Lyme Regis. Plan was to blog everyday about what I've been doing, but I'm afraid red wine and sleep won over last night!
Driving down towards the Cobb in Lyme Regis takes me back to sailing here as a teenager and more recent fossil-hunting family holidays and is always a happy place to come back to. Such a lovely spot.
Met at 9 for welcome from Academy Director Will, who briefed us on house-keeping then introduced us to Mike, our genius instructor for the week. Straight to the classroom where we were given blue folders with notes for the week's course and more. The morning was a classroom session, starting with the obligatory round of introductions. Including me, we are 3 women and 6 men, with many different reasons for doing the course. Some have been before, and some are using the week as a taster to see if they want to do a longer course. Really lovely group and very relaxed.
The morning was a speed course in hull construction methods. From clinker to carvel, cold moulding to strip planking, Mike took us through the rough principles of each method. We covered stresses and forces, Llyods rules and regulations for hull construction and some terminology. The sole is the floor and the floors are wooden uprights inside the hull that look nothing like the floor. The camber on a deck is a portion of a true circle which makes it stronger to resist the force of a big wave. So many things to learn.
We moved onto tools after break, and how to sharpen planes and chisels. Grinding with water to 25 degrees, then adding your honed edge. Using the oil stone and then the leather pad to remove burrs. Never knew that '80 grit' paper meant that 80 'grits' would fit through a given size hole versus 1200 smaller 'grits' fitting through the same hole...hence less gritty paper. Who knew that?!
Mike talked about planks and all the things that can happen to them....cupping, winding, bowing, and how to square your timber when all these things have happened.
Lunch - little walk in the sun to the Good Food Cafe, BBA discount on pasties and sitting in the veranda looking out to sea - perfect.
PM - Time to use some tools! We all have a bench, and a tool box for the week. Short version....
Squared the timber, and started to make a feather scarf joint. (Long version another time)
Woke up to an amazing sunrise...beautiful views out to sea from roof-top rooms.
Ally from Practical Boat Owner joined us for the day, to write a feature on the BBA and find out more about their diversity strategy...and to get practical in the workshop.
Mike started with wood, which was fascinating. Different bits of the trunk, how to saw it, how to dry it, types of wood, issues with wood. Google 'ships worm' and go to images and join me in getting hypnotised by the 5ft black ships worm video. Then bending, adhesives, ply construction, epoxy and into the workshop for a lip scarf demo.
Lunch....pasty in the sun obvs.
After lunch was fastenings, corrosion and cracking on with the lip scarf.
So much learnt already. Mike is making it all look easy, and is very patient!