Restoration taking shape

Shaped and primed breast hook timber.

Shaped and primed breast hook timber, with new deck beam in background.

This shot was taken in the marine shop a few days ago. We have been shaping and preparing some of the timbers we need for the restoration work. The primed piece in the foreground  lays down flat along the inside face of the first few frames of the ship up in the bow. The hook shaped piece on one end of it will, (hopefully) fit into a corresponding hooked piece that is attached the other side of the bow.

In the photo below and on the right, we are drawing the new timber into the existing piece. There was no where to put a clamp so that we could draw the two pieces together. Danny had the clever idea of putting the claw of his hammer into the narrow open space as something the clamp could grip against. He is looking into patenting the “hammer clamp.” Look for it in your local hardware store soon.

Shipwrights need to be clever sometimes.

Shipwrights need to be clever sometimes.

Two new frames on the starboard side.

Two new frames on the port side.











On the outside of the ship two new frames have been fitted and are fastened in place.





Stern planking going back on.

New stern planking being fit and fastened.

While one crew is fitting frames another is re-planking the stern now that corner frames are in. The plank ends that are covering the gun door space will be cut off flush with the square opening when all the planks are in place.

Another long plank being fitted on the port side.

Another long plank being fitted on the port side.

The shipwrights have lifted a very long and heavy plank into place on the side of the ship. Before fastening they have to test the fit to make sure it is neither too big for the opening, too small or the wrong shape all together.

I guess it goes without saying the fit is important here.


Driving int he plank end.

Snugging up the plank end.

Tony, the lead shipwright for Fairhaven shipyard is contemplating the fit of the new plank. While he is holding a sledge hammer in his hand the work is being done carefully. Really it’s a matter of scale. These planks are nearly 3″ thick and this particular one is over twenty feet long.

Another neighbor moves on.

Another neighbor moves on.

We mark the passage of time in the shipyard by the boats that come and go on the railway next to us. No, really, I am happy another ship is ready for the season.

Mayflower’s day will come!



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