Sunday, April 07, 2013

On the other side of the studio ...

DH's latest boat building project is a replica of the African Queen, totally inspired by this gift of a hand tooled miniature steam boiler.  (Hope I am using the right terminology.)  This miniature steam boiler was made/tooled by John, a friend in Iowa - a master craftsman in his own welding shop.


All those dimensions?  I'm not sure what they are for, but John and DH know.


Sometimes DH starts with a purchased kit ($200-$300 or more!) and sometimes it is "scratch-built" - started from NO written designs.  Many of the kits are made in other countries, and often descriptions and instructions are curious, ridiculous and waaaay wrong.  Even kits need many more parts, ideas, calculations, tools, etc.  Each boat takes about 300 hours - like our quilts.  He couldn't sell them for what is in them, like our quilts -- they are only labors of love.  This project is scratch-built, but sometimes he can find draftsman drawings.  One time he had to order the entire set of real drawings, full size, from the manufacturer of a real tugboat, the original REAL tugboat made for my sister, and he had to sign legal documents he would NOT make a real boat from the drawings.  Of course, everything had to be rescaled.  Not an easy project to have plans for a 56 ft. tugboat, rescaled to an 18 inch model.

Planks and decking are added one piece at a time.  He has his own wood "stash".  Most of his tools are small, simple hand tools, and only recently, he added a small bandsaw that stays in the garage.

DH owned boats in San Francisco Bay and he is "in" each of his boats, knowing where all parts belong, are needed, and how they should be situated.  Talk about an escape!  8-))

(BTW, we are in DRY western Nebraska, the worst of the U.S. drought area -- far from water.)

We both work in a small "studio" about 11'x 12'.  (I've said this before) - if we each roll our chairs back at the same time, we bump.  I get wood dust in my quilts, he gets threads in his boats - we got over it!





7 comments:

LynCC said...

Hey! This is so familiar to me. ;D Scott's working on a model bi-plane on the other side of the room from my sewing machines! It's companionable. I love it.

Impera_Magna said...

That is indeed a labor of love...

Lynn said...

Looks like another great boat - love the movie too.

Janet O. said...

Fascinating. What an amazing hobby. At least he understands your passion for a craft, and the need for tools and a stash. My DH has NO hobbies, but he is very supportive of mine, so I shouldn't complain. : )

Vivian said...

That is one of my favorite movies!!

Your post reminds me of how much boat building (or any constructive hobby for that matter) mirrors the quilting process. Your DH resizing those tugboat plans reminds me of what we go through to turn a quilt pattern with 12" blocks into a miniature quilt!

Back in 2010 I read a NY Times article where a retired execcutive talked about his (full-size) boat building hobby. I so related to his viewpoints about creative process that I keep a copy of it in my quilt journal. Both you and your DH might enjoy reading it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/jobs/10pre.html?_r=0

SubeeSews said...

I love that movie...Kathryn Hepburn and Bogie together...
I have all the units for Jamestown Landing in a plastic box...yes all the string units too.
You do such beautiful work!
XOXOXO Subee

Ruth said...

I sounds very complicated! Good that he has a hobby.