The Time Team folk commented that when on a shoot they normally work much longer and harder than anyone they are filming and they had never filmed a team working so long and so hard, in fact they had to leave whilst we were still at it.
It’s a funny thing two months ago camera’s made me feel self conscious but after a while you just forget they are there and get on with the job.
Mastic down the central joint is topped by laths and compressed by wedges hammered across. In the original they used moss rather than mastic and ours will too when it goes into the museum but not for the test launch.
Hammering home the wedges to hold the stern end piece.
At 1am we found that the holes cut for the transverse timbers were too tight and would all need re-cutting, 6 of them, around an hours work. It had been impossible to test them before as the side planks had been in place. The transverse timbers are cleft oak and go through the cleats and through a hole in the central rail one timber through 4 holes stops the two main base timbers sliding against each other.
hammering a transverse timber home.
This shot shows the collection of wedges and transverse timbers that hold the two main timbers together. The wedges just go through the two central rails, it is important they only wedge sideways not upwards so as not to split the rail. They do not go in parallel but skewed to each other so once they are all home its impossible to pull the two pieces apart.
and now at 2am we can start stitching on the lower side planks. Had we given up at this stage it would not have been ready for launch 36 hours later. There was still so much to do but it seemed just about achievable.
The stitches are tightened with a Spanish windlass then an oak wedge driven in to lock the stitch. This was about the point the Time Team crew called it a day or a night.
4am both lower side planks are fully stitched in place, time to pack away the tools and head for home, we need to be up at 7am for another long day to try to finish the boat tomorrow.