Finishing up the horn timber

The horn timber comes up from the top of the shaft log and forms a curved backbone all the way to the transom. The timber has two solid sections, one forward of the rudder post, and one aft. These two sections are joined together by long flat sections that run along either side of the timber. The forward section of the horn timber needed to be replaced, along with the side sections. Here’s what you’d see of it looking up below.


And the view from inside the boat.


The two side pieces are still in place, but much of the center section has been removed.

With the old timber and side pieces removed, Walt and Trev can now pattern out the shape of the new timber. Here they’ve got new pattern stock fastened in the location of the horn timber.


They will draw out the shape of the new timber on this, along with the locations and angles of all the things that connect to the timber.


The side pieces go all the way to the back of the boat, but we only needed to replace their forward sections. Trev has cut the original sides at an angle so that the new parts can connect using a strong scarf joint. You can see the lighter pattern next to the cut side here.


Since this is aft of the rudder post, the original horn timber section will be preserved in this area. That timber is the red wood just on the other side of the pattern.

This odd shaped pattern is the profile of the new forward horn timber. Walt and Trev have attached it to a large piece of stock to begin roughing it out on the bandsaw.


It begins to take shape.


You may recall that the horn timber is tenoned to the top of the stern post. Trev has laid out the matching mortise and cuts it out with chisels and a slick (a type of large chisel).

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Here is the mortise and tenon as Trev and Walt are lining up the new horn timber for initial fitting.


Sliding carefully into place

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and down.


Clamps hold everything securely for the next operation.


Plank ends butt up against the horn timber in a curving, changing angle. The area where the planks join the horn timber is called the Rabbet. The rabbit spans both the center horn timber section and the side pieces of the timber. This is handy, because the old side pieces can be set back in place and the old plank intersection angles taken directly from them.

Here, Walt has marked off the edge of the rabbet, made initial cuts with a chainsaw (the vertical lines) and is now removing stock with an adze.


Trev cuts the vertical wall of the rabbet (called the Back Rabbet) with a portable circular saw.


Moving right along.


And here’s what it looks like on the port side.


Walt using an adze to fine tune the rabbet.


The finished rabbet, now with the old side piece removed and a pattern for the new side piece in place.


Using the pattern, Trev is now able to make new side pieces that go along the outside of the horn timber. Doing this allows him to accurately locate where the frames (arrows) intersect the side piece. The ends of these frames will be replaced, and the new frames will socket into the side piece.


Here he’s cutting the sockets before final fastening.

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Everything primed, and ready for installation.