he previous installment of Getting Started in Boats appeared in WoodenBoat magazine No. 191 (September/October 2006). It featured the construction of the Lumberyard Skiff—a 14'6" flat-bottomed boat built of pine and cedar planking. In this issue, we show how to build a set of oars, how to paint the skiff, and how to attach a painter (bow line) permanently, using an eye-splice. Let’s get to the oars. The Plans Here are plans for a pair of 7 1⁄2' oars. Either ash or spruce is an appropriate wood for this project. Ash is much heavier than spruce; the choice comes down to personal preference. Laying Out the Oar Pattern Using a Pattern Begin making your oars by laying a plywood (doorskin) pattern of the oar’s profile on a 2" board of appropriate length and width. It’s common for a board’s ends to split during drying, so you’ll likely need a piece that’s over-length, to avoid these splits. Making the Most of Your Stock To maximize the yield of your wood, nest the shapes of the pair of oars together as shown. If you can’t locate sufficiently wide stock for your oars, you can glue cheek pieces to a narrow board in order to make up the needed width for the blade. Use epoxy if you do this, and follow the gluing instruction for the side boards of the Lumberyard Skiff in Vol. No. 1 of Getting Started in Boats. Cutting & Shaping the Oars 1. Cutting the Rough Shape Cut out the oar. You can do this on a bandsaw, or you can use a saber (jig) saw. You can even use a handsaw if your arm and stamina are up to it. The choice is yours—although a bandsaw is best if you have access to one. 2. Refining the Shape Now it’s time to begin refining that rough oar. To do this, lay a doorskin pattern of the oar’s taper, taken from the bottom drawing on the plans, on the rough oar’s edge. Trace all around it with a pencil. 3. Using a Bandsaw or a Drawknife & Plane As with the previous cutting operation, a bandsaw is best for removing the bulk of the excess wood. But it’s not the only tool for the job—you can substitute a drawknife and jack plane if you don’t have access to a bandsaw. If you do this, and you’re new to hand tools, take things slowly. A drawknife removes lots of wood quickly. Use the drawknife on the oar’s blade, and the hand plane on the shaft (which is also called a “loom”). 4. Refining the Shape After you’ve removed the bulk of the excess wood, further refine the oar’s shape with a spokeshave. A detailed description of how to use this tool appears in WB No. 186.   5. Marking the Looms Now it’s time to make round the still-square looms. To mark the cuts for this operation, you need a marking gauge. Step A. Begin with a doorskin pattern, 1 7⁄8" square. Using a compass, draw a circle tangent to this square. Step B. Using a combination square, lay off two 45° lines tangent to this circle, as shown (dotted lines). Step C. Select a scrap of softwood for your gauge, and transfer points A, B, C, and D to it, as shown. These points will be the centers of holes. The two outer holes (A and D) will accommodate 3⁄8" dowels that bear against the rough oar as the gauge travels along its tapered length. The two inner holes, B and C, will hold pencils that leave lines as the gauge travels along. The diameters of the holes will depend upon the exact diameter of your dowels and pencils. These items should fit tightly in the hole

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