Laying Out and Cutting a Stem Rabbet
Cutting the rabbet—the notch cut into the sides of the stem to receive the ends of the planks—is one of the essential skills of boatbuilding. The angle of the rabbet varies along its length with the angle at which the planks enter the stem. In this episode, instructor Greg Rössel shows how to use the lofted plan view of the stem to cut the stem rabbet.
Greg explains the anatomy of a rabbet using a cross-section of a piece of stem. He then works out the spacing of the bearding, middle, and rabbet lines on the lofting and transfers them to the stem stock. Following this, Greg demonstrates how to do all the required cutting on the workbench, using hand tools: a sharp chisel; a wooden mallet; and a small block of wood called a fid,” the same thickness as the planking, which serves a gauge.