At the January meeting of the EOA I was talking to other members about boats and fittings, when the subject of finger holes came up, the prices mentioned made me go cold, as I made mine in a couple of hours.
A lathe, if you have one, will be very useful, if you haven't, you can get away with an electric drill.
I made up my drill into a temporary lathe by fastening it rigid to my bench and making a tailstock and tool rest from scrap wood.
This was my method; Turn a piece of wood in your lathe???? to one inch dia. by about six inches long, then I took a piece of mahogany about the same length as the turned piece, and one and three quarters square. I drilled a hole one inch dia. through the middle then made the timber into an octagon.
The next job was to push the turned piece through the drilled hole and put a short screw through the mahogany into the turned piece, to ensure that both pieces turn together. Return both pieces to the lathe, ensuring that they are put back the same way as the original piece.
I then turned the mahogany to one and half inches dia. and marked off with a pencil the lengths of the wall and flange, then turn down the wall to one and a quarter inches. It was a simple matter to remove the wood from the lathe and from the turned piece and saw off the lengths close to the flanges, then remove the inner corners and sand.
Drill a one and a quarter hole in the door to be fitted with the finger hole, a little glue, smooth off the back and you end up with a job which is as good as the bought article and very much cheaper.
For turning, an ordinary wood chisel can be used, but only sharpen it on the bevel face, leaving a burr on the flat side.
Another job I made much easier whilst building my own boat was that I cut all my decks and coachroof and after fitting temporarily screwed them down. I then drew round all the deck beams, carlins etc. and removed the deck again. I then put masking tape all over the marked areas and painted the decks as one piece. When the paint was dry I removed the masking tape and glued the decks permanently, just think of the time and temper saved trying to cut in round the beams.
I hope these two little dodges may help members who have not got to these stages yet.
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