Laminating the stem

Introduction

There is a benefit to laminating the stem of a small dinghy, as it produces a very strong and stable structure and this is  commonplace in small boat building. Traditionally the stem would be made from a piece of timber with the stem's shape matching the grain flow as best as possible. The pros and cons of both methods are covered in this section.

The techniques  demonstrated can be applied to any laminating requirement such as knees, frames, deck beam etc.

Procedure

The process is demonstrated in the accompanying video clips with a step-by-step guide. The conversation with the boat builder, in this case, Marcus Lewis is unscripted and covers the technique from his experience.

Video Clips

Part 1

Stems ~ grown and sawn compared to laminated ones

  • Step 1 ~ preparing the laminates
  • Step 2 ~ removing the prepared laminates from the jig


Part 2

  • Step 3 ~ prepare the jig
  • Step 4 ~ gluing up the laminates
  • Step 5 ~ laying the stack of laminates around the jig


Part 3

  • Step 6 ~ clamping the laminates up in the jig


Part 4

  • Step 6 ~ clamping the laminates up in the jig continued
  • Step 7 ~ removing the laminated stem from the jig
  • Step 8 ~ getting the first side of the laminated stem flat


Part 5

  • Step 9 ~ thicknessing the stem
  • Step 10 ~ cleaning up the stem
  • Step 11 ~ marking the centreline


Part 6

  • Step 12 ~ checking that the stem is square
  • Step 13 ~ transfering key information from the stem pattern to the stem


Part 7

  • Step 14 ~ setting up the router to cut the rebate on the stem
  • Step 15 ~ cutting the rebate on the stem
  • Step 16 ~ marking the shape of the stem


Part 8

  • Step 17 ~ shaping the stem
  • Step 18 ~ completed stem structure
 
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Tools Required

  • Stem design (drawing or pattern)
  • Stem jig
  • Suitable plastic sheeting
  • Clamps
  • Mixing container
  • Band saw
  • Planer
  • Level
  • Square
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Pencil

Materials Required

  • Suitable wood