With the slabs back at the shop, the morning of the keel laying, Capt John with the help of Alexander, cut the stems into shape and cut the scarf joints to join them
The rough shaped pieces were then transported to the site and with a group of volunteers they were muscled into place and guyed and braced for the ceremony. A “Record” reporter and photographer were in attendance to record the process. See the March 23 edition for details.
At the mill, using a Wood Mizer bandsaw, David,the operator of the Ashe Mill in Orangedale, cut the big tree and the curved limbs into the slabs that would become the keel and the stems.
Capt John and David carefully positioned curved limbs to be cut into the stem pieces.
The slabs were cut to rough shape and loaded with the 18×16 inch stiffback cants onto the trailer for the trip back to Capt John’s shop in St Augustine for further shaping
The volunteer crew pushed hard to get the boat shed ready for the keel laying, now only three days away. Two cross beams needed to be shaped and lifted into place on top of the wall posts to be able to support the bow and stern stems which would be attached at each end of the keel.
The cross beams were lifted into place using 2 gin-poles and block and tackles. This lifting process was captured by “Pedro Menendez” and posted as a You Tube video. Click the You Tube link on this web site to see it
After a great morning’s work the crew posed for a group shot
Immediately after Capt John and Alexander drove over to the Island and pruned a live oak limb that had the right curve to cut into the stem pieces
With the help of a donated truck and driver from Phil Genovar and Dixie Custom Auto, we moved 3 large heavy pieces of live oak from tyhe woodlot to the sawmill outside of Green Cove Springs.
Using the heavy cable system of the truck, we hauled massive live oak logs up onto the bed of the truck
Paul, the driver, a long-time St Augustine resident and 20 year employee of Dixie Custom Auto, capably with chains and cable dragged the timbers up onto the bed of the truck.
This substantial load of live oak was then driven to the sawmill where it was unloaded using the heavy bob-cat run by the mill operator
After the logs were on the ground at the sawmill Capt John and the mill operator carefully considered the best ways to cut them into useable sized slabs.
To lift the beams that will form the roof base we made tall gin poles to which we will attach the block and tackle to lift them into place.
On Friday morning three stalwart volunteers: Bob, Greg, and Patrick went with Alexander to the woodlot and cut 15 rafter poles.
Ona a beautiful Spring morning a congenial and capable group of Maritime Heritage Foundation members came out to the Astillero site at the Park and using drawknives stripped the bark off of 15 pine logs that Alexander and Capt John had brought in the week before. They were so efficient that we have to go back to the wood lot for more trees.
For the entire sequence of photos taken this morning at the work site go to our You Tube button at the bottom of each vertical navigation bar and click the icon and then click the thumbnail views that open up.
At the top of each of the wall poles, we have cut a tenon on which we will mount the top plate and the cross beams that will support the roof. Each of the tenons must be trimmed to size and position to accept the pine stock which is now being cut and moved to the site
On Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, Alexander installed the last three poles that form the walls of the boatshed at the 16th century Astillero at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park on the edge of Hospital Creek in St Augustine, Florida site of the original Spanish settlement in the nation’s oldest city. Records and archeological evidence indicate that 450 years ago there may have been a boatyard at or near the very site we are developing..
Out in the wood lot, Alexander and John have been measurung and cutting the oak stock for the Chalupa frames. These will be sent to a sawmill to be sliced into the stock pieces from which the Chalupa ribs will be carved to shape.