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Building a Row Boat for Ah, Wilderness

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by gafftaper, May 15, 2008.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Well I've got a little over a week to build a boat for Ah, Wilderness. It needs to be small (thank God) and on wheels so that it can roll on and off.

    So far I'm thinking a sheet of 3/4 for the bottom cut "boat shaped" with 1" casters. A second sheet of 3/4 cut out larger to be the top rail of the boat.
    Then bending some Luan for an inner and outer skin of the boat. The trick is I need some sort of upright support ribs and I'm at a loss of how to QUICKLY create them.

    Doing it the real way would create a ton of crazy curves and angles that would be quite complicated and I just don't have the time to figure out. I could just use something like 2x2 but making them straight would result in a pretty lame looking boat. Any suggestions for how to cheat and make some angles that will bend the luan skin in a way that will look "boat like" without spending hours figuring out details of the curve and tons of precision cutting on the band saw?
     
  2. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Perhaps if you use 2x2 uprights staggered along the curves and just bend luan or 1/8" Masonite to fit them, sort of like building a curved wall? That way you can just bend the sheeting and follow what ever curve you establish with your uprights. It should not be too difficult. Does this make sense? I wish I had time to draw something out real quickly and send it your way.

    ~Dave
     
  3. Dustincoc

    Dustincoc Active Member

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    The American Boys Handybook has an entire section on building boats. It's meant for young boys to build them so they should be fairly easy to construct, although I'm not going to say they are all light.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
  4. maccor

    maccor Member

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    Just built one for Pirates of Penzance. We used straight vertical sides, a square stern and curved the bow. Bottom was 3/4" ply, top was 3/4" ply cutout with a square 'hole' where the actors sat (built 2 small slat like benches). Basically built 2 hollywood frames and the benches spanned them. We bent luan from the bottom up to the bow and put a carriage bolt to hold it. Then covered the sides and scribed to the bottom piece. It stayed in one place on stage, didn't have to move during the scene so it worked well and was quick and easy to build. Don't have a picture yet.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Seems to me, it shouldn't take too much time on the band saw if you cut the "uprights" / ribs on a band saw. Do it as a simple angle, that is, only do the curve from keel to warp, forget about trying to incorporate the curve from bow to stearn, just cut a single warp from 3/4 tack it to the top of the ribs and cover the whole thing luan strips . Ok I'll draw it. BBL.:mrgreen:
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    That's kind of what I was thinking but I wanted to have some warp in the front so that it isn't straight up and down in the front but has a curve.


    Cool idea... no time to order the book. I've got one show opening tomorrow and this one next week so there just hasn't been enough time to deal with the boat and now I'm panicking a bit.

    Again the bow of your boat is straight up and down right? I would really like to have some sort of nice curve to it so it looks more realistic. The show is in the round with limited props so the things that are on stage need to be dead on.

    Thanks Van I look forward to you beautiful drawing. :drool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
  7. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    See if you can find a rowboat and lop off the bottom of it. It'll make things a lot easier.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I already tried that but didn't have any luck finding one... thus the last minute nature of needing to build my own.
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If I can find my copy of the American Boys Handybook today, I'll scan a few pages of it for you. (This, however, involves me digging through my room to try to find something that's been lost for a few years...). I'll see what I can do.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Here are a couple shots of the boat. 1906, Moonlight on the lake, crickets and the sound of water lapping, two gobo rotators going, two young lovers meet to talk against their parent's wishes... and an exit sign glows in the distance.:rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
    The Pilings are 8" sonotube covered with a square piece of muslin pulled tight over the top in order to leave wrinkles down the side and painted to size it to the tube.

    We named the boat after play write Eugene O'neill's wife Carlotta O'neill.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
    TheaterEd likes this.
  11. shayward

    shayward Member

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    Pulling up an old thread here......Gafftaper, do you remember how tall the sides of your boat were?
     
  12. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    They look about 2 feet and change.
     
  13. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    From the bottom of his foot to the top of his knee.
     
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  14. VCTMike

    VCTMike Active Member

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    Here's what we built for Peter Pan in 2014....
     

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  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Sorry for the delay... Yeah odds are pretty good I made them 2' just because that saves on wood.
     

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