And I know so little about it.
For example, I've set my heart of building a new set of wooden blocks for the Blue Moon. They look simple, but building a block involves a vast array of skills, from wood working, to choosing the right goops, to intricate rope work.
My first attempt was functional, but a bit too big and clunky to actually use on a small boat, so I started on the block-maker's perennial quest to build smaller...
|Mark I Block|
|Mark II Block|
|'Master' for Mark I and II blocks|
In the interim, I'd also built a set of oak cheek blocks. I loved the look of those, so was pretty much fixed on building my next block from oak.
Luckily, I picked up a beautiful scrap of white oak at the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic this year. The cost was right -- free -- and I could practically see a complete set of oak blocks and cleats hidden beneath it's rough, grey surface.
|The raw material -- white oak|
I had a number of new ideas for the Mark III:
- The cheeks would be thinner. The 3/4" thick cheeks on the Mark I and II blocks were total overkill.
- The spacers would have the right grain orientation, so the glue joints would be long grain to long grain, instead of long grain to end grain.
- The whole block would be scaled around the size rope I planned to use: 3/8".
- The sheave would be recessed into the bottom spacer.
I decided not to do too much shaping of the cheeks, as I'd done with the Mark II. All that trimming and smoothing is quite time consuming and I was hoping the new block would be small enough, even if I didn't drastically slice it's corners off.
With all that in mind, I drew up the following design:
|Mark II design|
I had my oak, my design, and a bit more experience than the last time, so I was ready to go.
Now, if only I could figure out how to cut the basic pieces out of that rough oak plank...
>>> Next Episode: Micro Joinery