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Thread: Commander 147

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Brooklyn, NY
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    467
    Don't forget to account for some flatting out of the tiller's curves when you take it out of the form.

    All the work you've done on your boat is first class.

    Ben

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    Thanks Ben

    From what you have shown us so far I expect the same from you. With these 45 year old boats we get plenty of opportunity to prove ourselves don't we?

    BTW when I released the tiller glue up I only got about 1/8" spring back which surprised me. I expected more.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    If at first you don't succeed.....

    Well, after playing with several incarnations of the tiller template this is the one I finally settled on. I am 5'11" tall and when I sit on the cockpit seat with a cushion the top of my knee is at 23" above the cockpit floor. I wanted the tiller to clear the top of my knee by a comfortable margin so the bottom of this template is 24-1/2" above the cockpit floor. The original one I made is behind the one I will now need to build. Because I am making a tighter curve I will need to make the strips I glue up thinner to take the curve. So that means I will need to make one or two more strips. That's a project for tomorrow.
    Attached Images  

  4. #64
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    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    It's a Carpentiller... finally...

    We have had the coldest winters I have experienced in Florida and I have lived here since 1977. But we finally got a 70 degree day so I could use the resorcinal to glue up my tiller for Destiny. I glued it up yesterday and today I shaped it and did the initial sanding. It is made out of alternating pieces of mahogany and white ash. I had very little spring back when I unclamped it which you can see from the template laying on it before I shaped it.

    The tiller is 3-1/2" above my knee and it easily goes over the top of my leg when I'm sitting in the cockpit. The end that I hold is close to horizontal which makes it an easy resting point for the hand doing the steering.

    For anyone who is interested I made a layout so it could be duplicated.
    Attached Images      

  5. #65
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    Nov 2009
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    Brooklyn, NY
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    Beautiful! I was wondering what was going on with your tiller. I like the ergonomic thinking that you have put into your design.

    I also like seeing your cool workbench.

    Ben

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    720

    Thanks ben

    I built the workbench back in march of 2004. Someday it will belong to my oldest grandson. My youngest grandson loves tools so I will build a top and bottom tool box that will someday be his.
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  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    grand rapids mi
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    91
    Thank you for the drawing! The tiller on mine bears a very strong resemblance to to a $5 home depot wheel barrow handle.....

    Been sitting in the cockpit reaching for an imaginary tiller to try and come up with a design to build (On warm days anyway!)


    Very nice bench. The levers lower the wheels through a cammed end? and when fully down, what locks them? a simple over-center design?

    Ken.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
    Posts
    720

    You are right on both counts Ken...

    The wheels are lowered with a simple cam and there is no need for a lock because in the down position the cam is past center and it stays down on it's own.

    I attached a PDF which should make the drawing easier to read if you print it out.
    Attached Images

  9. #69
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    Apr 2008
    Location
    Forsyth GA
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    396
    Have you had time to check your PMs yet? Carl

  10. #70
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
    Posts
    720

    Carl sorry I had not seen your message...

    I tend to forget all about checking for private messages. But I have replied back to you now.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Posts
    58

    Nice work

    Nice work, and thanks for the layout drawing. I may be doing much the same myself soon, but there is one thing I wonder about. Why do the laminated build up? It seems perhaps they were original to the boats, but I always thought laminated tillers were a bit inferior in appearance to solid shaped. It looks like the pattern could be got out of 5-1/2" stock with just a band saw and then shaped up. I have seen a few herreshoff tillers that were really lovely. Plenty strong enough in the right wood, I imagine.

    Just a question, not a critique, it looks really lovely.

    -Frank

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    Hi Frank...

    Perhaps laminated tillers are inferior in appearance. This is why I plan to make a second tiller out of all mahogany which will look more like one made from solid stock.

    But the laminated tiller is significantly stronger than one made from solid stock. The grain pattern of the individual strips follows the shape of the tiller which by itself adds strength. Think of wood like a bundle of plastic straws. If the straws are running close to perpendicular to the length of the tiller it is easier to break the tiller in between the straws separating the bundle. But if all of the straws are running the entire length of the tiller it is much more difficult to break it because now you have to actually break the bundle of straws in half and not just separate them from the other straws. Does that make sense or have I had too many beers tonight???


    The reason I used the white ash in this tiller is because white ash resists bending and twisting much better than mahogany. So by mixing the two I get the strength of the white ash and the appearance of the mahogany all in one.

    But as I said earlier I plan to make another spare tiller (which might become the primary tiller) out of all mahogany. And while I believe it will be strong enough to handle the forces applied to it I learned long ago that I am not able to over come the urge to over build everything I make. I know that if I build it stronger than it needs to be then I don't have to worry about it anymore.
    Last edited by Commander 147; 02-25-2010 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Copied from a Word doc and formatting needed changing
    JERRY CARPENTER - C147
    A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiam.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    3,613

    short and runout

    Jerry's 2"X2" diagram of the tiller layout in post #64 also works to show what would happen if you laid out the tiller on a nice plank of mahogany - or any wood.
    It's easy to see the short grain in the tapering of the tiller to its end. Just follow the horizontal grid lines through the slender handle. That's short grain.
    Easy to imagine it cracking there the first time you leaned on the tiller by mistake.
    And there is too much runout in the grain where it approaches the tiller head.
    Same result, and compounded by the side loads a tiller takes in use.
    It would be dangerous at the end of the tiller where you have 3 closely grouped bolts holding the tiller onto the bronze tiller head - if there was any slanted grain there.

    You could have a solid NON laminated tiller if you took your pattern out to where a locust tree had fallen - and tried the pattern on various limbs, then
    cut your tiller out of that single curved piece of wood. They used to carve out floors and knees for wooden ships by chopping out curved pieces of tree crooks, crotches, limbs coming out of trunks, roots, and such. Curved limbs for frames.
    Seem to remember the term "grown knees".
    So if you found the perfect limb and carved out the tiller - you'd have a grown tiller, by gum.
    And if you had the right wood (Honey Locust would be good) it would definitely be stronger than a laminated job which is only as strong as its glue.
    Last edited by ebb; 02-25-2010 at 08:43 PM.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
    Posts
    1,823
    I think the shape is perfect. I like how the handle end droops down so it becomes level when installed.

    You probably wont find a stock tiller shaped like that. Usually the handle end points up. Not terrible, but it could be better. The drawing is helpful, and H & L could build one based on that for the non-carpenters here

    The worst is a tiller that is too low. Not only do you bang your knee, you end up having to lean over while steering. Becomes uncomfortable

    Nice job

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
    Posts
    720

    Thanks Commander Pete...

    I'm not sure who H & L is but I'm guessing they could build it cheeper than I could because they probably have a lower cost of materials and labor.

    Not counting the time it took me to build the jig or make the template I'm guessing it takes me about 6 to 8 hours of labor to make one of these. By the time I set up the bandsaw and resaw all the strips and surface them in the planer, then glue everything up and shape it afterwards and sand it I would not be surprised to have that much time in it.
    JERRY CARPENTER - C147
    A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiam.

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