skerry: cutting gains

am 1st time builder quiet intimidated by the process of cutting gains (p 51 manual). Is it possible to achieve the degree of precision called for in the manual ? Am attempting to approach the job using a newly purchased Anant rabbet plane and frankly, the plane does not seem up to the job. Hate to destroy all those beautiful panels so have been staring at them for over a week. Do there exist tutorials on the use of this tool ? By the way, does this plane normally have a "fence" ?  thanks all..     

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RE: skerry: cutting gains

Anant makes a couple of different rabbet planes, some have fences, some don't. If you have the small one, one iron, no fence, no chipper it's still possible to cut the gains. If you've never cut gains get a scrap piece of wood, mark out the same size gain as required on the Skerry and have a practice run, maybe two. I have the small Anant and with a bit of practice have been able to cut rabbets and gains fairly accurately. The most important part of cutting the Skerry gains is making sure you put them in the right place. It's possible to end up with all lefts or rights, that's when you have a real problem. The finished depth is important as well as it will effect the appearance of the bow and stern. If they're cut too shallow you'll have to sand thru the outer layer of veneers to get a fair hull. Still not a big deal as you'll probably end up painting the hull and nobody will ever know. I don't know of any tutorials, just the School of Hard Knocks. That's where most of us learn about boat building!

So practice on some scrap, mark the panels in the right places and go slowly. Post pics when you get them done.

George K

RE: skerry: cutting gains

Hi tomc,

I agree with George. Make a few practice runs on some scrap just to get the hang of using the new plane. I don't know how your plane is, but maybe try to clamp a piece of wood down and use that as a fence?

I made the mistake of cutting the gain on one panel on the interior instead of the exterior. It turned out fugly, but I was able to hide most of it. Don't be afraid to write on the panel in pencil "Do NOT cut gains here".

Tip: use a long straight edge to see if your gain is a straight and constant slope. I used a flat strip of aluminum from Home Depot. A drywall square or a meterstick (yardstick in the US) could work also. 

Oh yeah, and a sharp planing iron helps. If your plane is fresh out of the box, you might have to sharpen it for the best effect.

You can check out my photo album online for things NOT to do :p




RE: skerry: cutting gains

...oh yeah, and try not to let the build intimidate you. It's a forgiving design and build process. Anything you do wrong (if anything) can be easily fixed! Enjoy!

RE: skerry: cutting gains

My husband and I just finished wiring our kit together and it came out great.  When he planed the gains we marked the halfway point of the length of the gain and made a mark on the edge 1/2 of the final depth to help gauge the slope.  It worked great!  Good luck!

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