With a lot of this boat-building stuff to-date, I seem to fearlessly blast ahead relying on the experience I've gained in the cabinet shop and on the job site back in the day. Oh yea, and the web site here helps a good bit too in terms of confidence...
Not to say I'm a master woodworker (or even close), just plain fearless and quite possibly stupid.
That is, I was fearless up until I had to put in the chine logs. Let me tell you, that stuff flat out scares the bejeezus out of me and I not feeling much better now that I'm done with it. There is no piece of furniture on earth that could ever require the contortions I saw that chine log make. Unnatural is what it is.
With a lot of grunting, sweating, and swearing the first log made it into place. Got the second within about a centimeter of being seated, and all of a sudden....cccrrrrraaaaaakkkkk, POP, riiippp. Not sudden enough to scare you, yet too quick to do anything to stop it - kind of like the semi slow-motion of a car accident. It broke right in-between frames 8 and 9 and when it went, the part I was not holding onto, ripped a good sized slash in the 1/4" ply side. Ahhhh - the Humanity!
Now, I'm sure the experienced crew building frame-style boats has had this happen many times before. However for those making stitch and glue boats and especially the new boat builders like myself, who have not had this pleasure, let me explain - and maybe in doing so, it will be therapeutic for me...and hopefully not scare you too much in the process. For as a first time builder I want(ed) everything to be so so absolutely (and possibly unrealistically) perfect. And of course, seeing this kind of carnage on a project that was going so well was just devastating. Let me describe the torrent of emotions:
Absolute disgust: I just wanted to leave the shop, drink 24 beers, throw up, and go to bed. Unfortunately, I had the additional treat of having to clean up the 5200 smeared all over the place (talk about insult to injury). I couldn't even look at the boat for a whole day.
Recriminations: Then the thought process turned inward for a couple days to figuring out why...Why me god? Wondering, why did I pick that piece? Did I miss a defect? Did I not look closely enough? Why didn't I have it facing the other direction - then the weak spot would have been at a less severe bend? I swear, I actually wished for a time machine.
Coping: I finally came to realize, well, what's done is done. Since I have to go on, I will begin with small steps - build some floor segments, maybe work on the rower's seat, and finally- repair the damaged section. I cleaned out the tear in the 1/4" ply, epoxied it up real good and sandwiched it back together between two pieces of ply - I can do this, I've done it on many things wood.
Acceptance: In the end It worked. In fact, it worked real well. I'm probably the only one who will ever notice the hairline scar. And, I've even gotten over the whole "it has to be perfect" thing. Even if it seems a bit silly, I love the boat again. It is really great that with a little epoxy and a lot of sanding, the world can be made right. Best argument ever for making things out of wood.
Now, don't get me wrong, I was still scared to death putting in chine log #3 (Alright, actually it was the 4th one at that point - I was so rattled from the experience, I cut the replacement chine 1' short). Never the less, old "#4" it found it's way into place; and life and the boat are perfect once more.