more bronze age boatbuilding….

I am back from my Dover boat building project and have a bunch more pics to share over the next few blog posts. It has been quite a ride and folk that have been following the UK news may already know the outcome. I’ll start where I left off with the four main base timbers in place, that is as much of the original boat as survives so from here on in we were making it up as best we could. We had one half of the the end joint so could work out the end piece from that.

 Having rough carved the end piece and trial fitted I had to scribe and trim to get the best fit I could.

 Trimming the top surface of the end joint

 and the underside, at times I would rough out with steel tools followed by surfacing with bronze.

 making wedges to hold the joint

 test fitting wedges

 The downward slope of the wedges effectively creates a sort of tensioned draw bored joint as the wedge rides up over the equivalent hole in the end piece.

 The front end piece in place for a test fitting.

 next we started work on the upper planks here Rachel is scribing to get a good fit to the lower planks

and I am trimming to the marked line.

The original stitches were twisted yew withies but we used synthetic cord and died it. This will be replaced by easily available willow withies when the boat goes into a museum.

 This was the point at which I really was not sure if we would finish in time. Thursday around lunchtime, Trevor has been struggling for over a day to get a good fit between the upper plank and front end piece. Everyone has an idea how to make it work, even the Time Team crew have dropped camera’s and are trying to help out, the boat has to be on the water in 48 hours and as yet no two pieces have been fixed together only trial fitted.

and now we are into the long home run, Martin the sound man is on the red bull Phil Harding has arrived early for Friday’s filming and is getting stuck in. Next post is the longest day I have ever worked, one of the hardest and most rewarding.

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