Friday, August 13, 2010

navigator outer stem (and binge-drinking trees)

The outer stem seems to be optional on this design, I've seen some cheerful bows without them, and on the other hand some thick and emphatic ones that also look well. The designer has drawn a particularly lovely line here, I think. When first considering the build I was tempted to give it a nudge towards the vertical, but in tracing the inner stem line I became aware that this was a sophisticated sort of curve, neither swept nor plumb. A beautiful line. When you find one of those it has been my experience that they are best left as they are, and I have tried to do it justice in attempting that course.

I opted for an outer stem in order to further define that curve, but also for the practical purpose of covering all that vulnerable end-grain. So mine is only four laminations thick and I will try to let a certain crispness emerge from it because some lovely shapes radiate from it at the forefoot.

The photo above is of the laminated piece just sitting on the hull, suspended from a single clamp to ascertain the little high spots that needed refining before the glue-up. As it happens the fit was pretty good, with a little bit of spring built into it for snugness. But it is certainly a little wobblier as a line than it will be when glued and tidied up, I hope.

We had a little drive around some spots on the Barwon River that have flooded from recent heavy downpours. Nothing at all compared to the huge floods in the Northern Hemisphere, these used to be the sort of flood that occurred on a regular basis before the rivers got all tidied up with weirs and irrigation schemes. In fact our strange Australian ecology developed to rely upon inundation, and many species are currently in peril because the ebbs and flows have been evened out and reduced in intensity and frequency. We both are lovers of the River Red Gum, a sort of Eucalypt that needs to get its feet very wet on a regular basis. A forest of these things is a sight to behold. Most commonly they are found in the Murray River basin, but we also have stands of them along the Barwon and other rivers. Below is a pic of some babies that are probably having their first proper drink, and they are much happier at it than the fences are...

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