clinker boat under construction, dragon with new cedar deck, solid cherry unit, large solid cherry

clinker boat under construction, dragon with new cedar deck, solid cherry unit, large solid cherry
We handcraft beautiful wooden boats and furniture.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Making wooden boat models with children at Rosscarbery school

As part of the CRAFTed initiative organized by the Crafts Council of Ireland, Anke has been doing a 5 week project with 5th and 6th class of Scoil Naisiunta Mhuire in Rosscarbery.
The enthusiasm and energy of these girls is just amazing!
Using a technique inspired by the "bread and butter half models" ( a 3D modelling technique used by boatbuilders for hundreds of years), they laminated thin pieces of wood into "floating objects.

Even though I had cut out about 200 lozenge shapes ( inspired by the Broighter Boat) of various shapes and sizes - it was difficult for the children to find the exact shapes they wanted.
Spokeshaves were used to shape the pieces. I made special bench hooks to allow easy clamping.
The following week, the models were shaped up using spokeshaves, rasps and sandpaper. this was pretty hard work! The most sought after tool was the spokeshave. We only had four for the whole class ( 22 pupils). I had plenty of rasps and stanley surforms, but the spokeshave was definitely the most effective. For future projects I would definitely invest in more spokeshaves. They are such a great tool for kids!

I made angled clamping sticks onto which the models were screwed.But, I had underestimated the backset of the metal structure under the desk tops - this made it quite tricky to clamp the sticks onto the desks properly. I'll have to work on that one.
Oiling the models at the end of the two hour session was like a well deserved reward for everyone!
Once everyone had oiled their pieces and we had cleaned up the mess ( amazing how the classroom can look like a crazy woodshop in only one hour !) we layed the pieces into a fleet and talked about where we see ourselves in the "class fleet" - sailing in company.
 Designing rigging and sails was the next challenge!

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