Steamed frames

68 days

Having got down to the last two planks per side it was time to fit the steamed frames.
There are 50 of these and they are made out of green oak (1 3/4" x 1 1/4"). They spend a bit over an hour in the steam box before a rapid transfer to the inside of the hull where the team attempt to bend them into place as quickly as possible before they cool down. Some have fairly gentle curves and bend in easily, others have more extreme curves and break ! This requires some clever tricks to get the oak to cooperate. Some breaking is to be expected so we'd allowed for this when ordering the oak. We fitted the fifty within the week, which with the sunny weather was hot work.

At the moment they're held in place by a few temporary screws, some cramps and a few copper nails. Next week we have to fasten them with copper nails rivetted over roves (these are dished copper washers). Each of the frames has two fixings per plank. There are 50 frames and 54 planks, I'll leave you to do the maths, but that is a lot of fixing ! Oh Hell! as I write this I think that I may have only ordered enough nails for one side ....................... better go and check.