Assembling the Transom Frame

Aft view
Assembled transom frame viewed from aft.

We’ve been talking about making all the pieces for the transom of our Palm Beach 22.  If you missed that part of the discussion, you can check it out at making the Transom Cheeks and Making the Transom Bows.  Now it’s time to put these parts together into a unified whole.  We need some guideposts, something to tell us how this piece should look when we’ve put it together successfully.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we have to go back to our lofting.  It’s what tells us exactly what every piece of the boat should look like in from 3 different viewpoints.

Lining it all up

The lines on the benchtop mark were taken from the lofting.

So now look very closely at the picture to the left.  Go ahead and click on it to enlarge it if you want.  You’ll see on the benchtop several very light, intersecting lines.  Each of those intersections was determined from the lofting.  I laid out the dimensions and where all the pieces intersect on the bench before I started assembly.  I had to project these upward to the actual pieces using a combination square.  You can’t really eyeball this–at least I can’t accurately.  Notice the overlap of the top bow where it intersects the top of the cheek.

Cutting the pieces to fit

Using the top bow as a guide when cutting the cheek.

Now in this next picture, you can see that the top bow actually makes and excellent guide for the hand saw when cutting this joint.  It made it easy to hold the saw exactly plumb and square throughout the cut, resulting in a fine joint.



Putting it in the boat

The assembled transom frame in place on the stringers.

And here’s the assembled frame almost ready to be mounted on the stringers with the rest of the framework.  There’s still a little bit to do–filleting the joints and coating the frame with epoxy to waterproof it, neither of which is trivial.  The next step will be fairing in the frames.  Don’t miss it!

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