Building the Stem

I thought it would be interesting to show all the steps in the process of making this piece all the way from rough cut planks.

I bought my Iroko hardwood as sawn planks, i.e. straight off the saw table, fairly rough. You can buy timber cut and planed to finished size, but that, of course, is more expensive, especially when my time comes for free. The picture below shows the sawn planks I start with.

I cut the planks to slightly oversized width to straighten up the planks and to give less work to my little thicknesser.

Running planks through the thicknesser
Running planks through the thicknesser

Having reduced the plank thickness to the finished size of 19mm, the next step is to use the same machine set up as a planer to give the planks a straight and square edge.

Giving the planks a straight and square edge

That provided me with 5 finished pieces.

With the help of my trusty little bandsaw, turn the “finished” planks into the components needed for the stem

Which all need to be glued together. The picture below shows 2 of the 3 layers.

The stem, all glued up.

The next step is to start the shaping of the forward edge of the stem where the strip planks fit. A lot of the shaping is left until after assembly.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a straight bow, so got out the laser level to line everything up.

And here it is screwed and glued in place.