Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Stone Canoe

Trying to get the threads at a
consistent height.  Nobody will
care, but I like the look.
Ok, that sounds like a totally useless item, but hang in there. . .

I've got a stone boat.  A nice, big one.  A really nice, big, heavy one.

The head is cast iron, with a fresh coat of paint.  Southern yellow pine planks, outfitted with painted, chamfered and planed battens.  It's heavy.  And a little too nice to leave outside in the elements.  (I store it inside, but how I get it there may be the topic for another post down the road).
Sometimes, I find myself wishing for my old, beat-up stoneboat.  The head was a plate steel that was obviously farm-made many years ago.  I found it in the weeds at my farm when I moved there years ago.  Sturdy, but not too heavy.  I bolted a few scrap boards to it when Zeus and his partner Hermes were just calves.

2 minutes with a block
plane adds a gentle chamfer.
 It was hideous, but other than a terrible mishap when we first hooked to it years ago (again, probably another post someday), it worked well until the boards fell apart this spring.  If only I had some scrap wood. . .

In early summer, a friend of mine was discarding some very lightly used 16-foot 5/4 deck boards (my favorite price) so I cut them into 4 foot lengths, ripped one a little narrower to fit the width of the head - 32 inches - and bolted them together using new 1/2 inch carriage bolts and a little Phil Wood waterproof grease.
I try to grease every nut.  Cheap insurance.

Since I had the boards all ready, I gave them a coat of oil-based stain in my favorite shade of blue.  I think it was called "I-have-this-on-hand-from-another-project-maybe-the-ox-cart" blue.  It generally coordinates with the "Ink Blue" Rust-Oleum spray paint that was on sale for $3 at Meijer this week.

Finished up: Around $20, weatherproof, sturdy, lightweight, but smaller than a stoneboat.  It's a stone canoe.  Because stone dingy just sounds silly.

Too bad it turned out so nice.  Kind of a shame to leave it outside. Maybe I should be on the lookout for another stone boat head. . .
A little small for big Brutus, but he doesn't mind.

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