Traditional & Modern Oarmaking
August 26 - September 1, Wooden Boat School
There are few projects more thoroughly satisfying than oar making. Making your own oars engages all the senses—the sweet smell of spruce, the feel of the plane peeling off a perfect shaving, and the sound of hand tools at work. The “tricks of the trade” that make crafting an oar truly enjoyable are not easy to pick-up on your own, but will be generously shared in this course. After a week in a pile of shavings, you will leave this course with a new knowledge about oars and rowing, along with your very own set of beautiful oars.
Clint Chase brings years of experience as a boatbuilder and oar maker and has designed this exciting course to guide students through the fundamental steps of making and finishing oars: milling the blanks, choosing a pattern, tapering, rounding the looms, shaping the blades, and tuning the oar. Clint will teach his techniques for counterbalancing each set of oars with cast-lead “slugs”. Each student will choose the spruce oars they want to create. Some will choose flat-blades or spoons. Others can choose laminated-plywood blades or Carbon Fiber. Whether you choose traditional or modern, you will learn the crucial methods and knowledge required to craft a lightweight, strong, and balanced oar, making rowing a great pleasure.
On Saturday morning, Clint will teach you how to leather your oars, make the collars, and students will go home home with fancy leathering kits, finishing instructions and resources for further learning. Most of all, each student will head home with a beautiful, functional set of oars to prove it.
Clint Chase is an exceptional teacher; patient, thoughtful, clear, and very organized. He demonstrated important oar and paddle crafting techniques, reviewed our progress each day, and clarified our understanding of the process. His course was incredibly challenging and rewarding.
---C.M., Norman, Oklahoma
Strip Composite Construction
August 19-25, 2012, Wooden Boat School
(excerpted from the WoodenBoat School on-line catalog)
Portland, Maine-based boatbuilder Clint Chase is known for his beautiful, high-performance, open-water rowboats, pulling boats, and sailboats up to 30′ in length using best practices in wood-composite construction. In this exciting six-day course, Clint will lead students through the strip composite construction of a legendary double ended rowboat, the St. Lawrence River Skiff. We will build Annie, a striking 18-footer, and an ultralight, cartoppable 14′ version.
After reviewing the 3D CAD models and construction plans for each design, students will get busy setting up and fairing the molds, laminating stems, laying a keelson, and beginning the planking process. In one week, you will use square edge and bead-and-cove strips, see how three different strip patterns can be employed, and be able to weigh the pros and cons of each method.
During the course, Clint will lead discussions on the choice of materials for strip-composites, clamping techniques, strip patterns, glues, hull-fairing techniques and the unique joinerwork needed for these great boats. You’ll also explore various options in keeping designs like these both lightweight and strong. Once both hulls are planked and faired, you’ll learn how to do a professional sheathing job using lightweight fiberglass cloth on both the inside and outside of the hulls. True to the plans, mahogany gunwales will be added to these two beautiful boats to finish the shells of these classic rowboats.
As a bonus, Clint will lead the class in two morning rows, teaching some fixed-seat rowing techniques and discuss how to properly fit oars and oarsman to a boat. At the end of the week, students will not only have what it takes to strip-plank your own boat at home, but everyone will leave with a clear view of what makes a pulling boat truly exceptional.