Friday, August 10, 2007

Making Bulkhead Templates

With a round of summer colds hitting our crew we switched from grinding and sanding to making templates, a job we could do without wearing masks (except when cutting the wood).
We ripped 4x8 sheets of 1/8" mahogany plywood into 2" strips and then used the chop saw to cut them into various lengths; 2", 3", 2', 3', and 5'. Using a hot glue gun we spot glued the longer strips to the basic shape of the bulkhead and then glued the 2 & 3 inch pieces to those strips to form the complex curves. Using this method the bulkhead templates are formed quickly and easily and without the use of a tape measure, pencil, etc. The templates are then carefully popped loose and carried into the workshop and laid onto 1/2" OSB (oriented strand board /chip board). The shape is drawn onto the OSB and cut out with a jig saw.

The OSB bulkheads are then carried into the boat and fitted and adjusted as required. The OSB is only seven bucks a sheet and allows us to make adjustments and changes on an inexpensive piece of wood rather then going directly to a $165 sheet of marine plywood and risking a mistake.


Jeff said...

Howzit Don!
What a terrific project. And you're "doin' it right" my friend! Can't wait to go sailin' on her! Aloha, Your Buddy (Menehune Man)

Don said...

Thanks Jeff! I can't wait to get her in the water and do some more sailing with ya!!

Samantha said...

Reviving old thread's can be instructional. I happen to be replacing a bulkhead as well and I like your template method. Beats hell out of using a joggle stick or story board. I have one question, however. Why did you use marine plywood for the template pieces? Wouldn't a cheaper wood be just as effective for something you'll probably throw away?

Don said...

Hi Samantha,

A cheaper wood would be fine.
In the area I live its hard to find a sheet of 1/8" plywood. Neither Home depot or Lowe's carry it in this area. The only vendor that stocked it carried 1/8" mahogany at a cost of just over ten dollars a sheet. You get a lot of template stock out of a sheet so its still cost effective.

Cheers, Don