How to Make a Stern Transom Carving

I have tried to cover all the steps involved in making a wood carving for decoration in the home or office or in similar places where the problems of its production were concerned with the profile of the piece and where the treatment of the face of the carving contributed to the final appearance of the finished work.

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The production of a carving used to decorate the stern transom of a yacht is a much more involved and complicated process. I think that in order to make such a carving I would try to undertake a less complicated carving first, make all the mistakes on that, learn the full use of the various tools and techniques I have tried to describe and then undertake the more complicated processes outlined in the following paragraphs.


Nearly all yacht transoms are curved. If the one you want the carving for is not, the previously described techniques apply. If it is curved, the process is, as I have said, much more complicated. All the skill of a wood joiner, of a designer, and of a carver are called upon to produce such a piece of work.



Transom curve has been scribed off and template cut to fit curve of transom. Dotted line shows inner edge of template before cutting. Be sure to take off outboard profile of transom on paper: A-A, etc.



N-Template scribed from transom
A-6-inch board cut to line scribed from template; "B" ditto
C-6-inch board scribed but not cut
D-3-inch stringers to which A-B-C are nailed
This shows false transom frame. ¼-inch plywood to be nailed on top of curved sections.



Transom is outlined on false transom. Shellac lines. Be sure to index center-line.



The eagle and name and hailing port banners would require not less than 5 pieces to make. The rope molding would require probably 12 pieces to make.

SUGGESTED DESIGN FOR TRANSOM CARVING



This one will be used to illustrate the various processes.
It will consist of two parts for the shield, one part for each banner.

SUGGESTED DESIGN FOR STERN TRANSOM CARVING



1. Clip stock to length. Joint at A-A'. Glue and clamp.
2. When glue is set, layout design, profile out, and finish edges.
Note: Be sure grain of wood in both pieces runs the same way as shown by arrows.





1. Block up edges so block is level.Be sure centerlines coincide.
2. Scribe both top and bottom edges.
3. Back-cut across carving blank to scribed lines. (Dotted line is outline for carving blank before profile is cut. Piece to be scribed is profiled blank.)
4. Follow same procedure for banners.

POSITION OF CARVING BLOCK ON FALSE TRANSOM FOR SCRIBING BACK CUT



BACK CUT COMPLETED AND DESIGN LAID ON FOR CARVING FACE OF BLOCK. (Dotted line shows glued joint.)



1. Scribe outline for errors.
2. Reduce errors with rifflers or rasps for perfect fit.
3. Follow same procedure with banners.
4. Do not detail-carve until these steps are completed.
Figure 9-9 CHECKING PROFILED BLANK ON TRUE TRANSOM FOR FIT





1. Stop-cut to outline.
2. Bost out as shown in B.
3. Bottom off bosted face.
4. Model dolphins in bas-relief or mezzo-relievo.
Use support blocks N-N' while bosting and carving.
Suggested finish background deep blue or vermilion. Gild dolphins.

CARVING THE DESIGN



A-Finished pieces.
B-Side view: Reduce face from "N" to end to about same thickness.
C-Depth of cut for letters at D about 3% inches.
Suggest banners be finished in same color as shield. Gild letters.

MAKING AND LETTERING BANNERS

These are the steps I follow in such work:
Determine the radius of the curve of the transom. Make a mock-up of the transom. Make a profile of the transom. Make the design. Get out the various parts for the carving. Profile the work, back-cut to fit the mock-up, assemble the parts and fit to the true transom approximately. Then bost out. Join the parts again (using wood screws for this purpose). Try the parts again for fit on the true transom. Back-cut again to fit to close limits. Finish-carve the parts and reassemble. Fit again to the true transom, this time to exact limits. Joint, fasten and glue up the finished carving, finish the surfaces and apply the carving to the transom permanently. And there you are- you hope.


 


 

 

 

 

 

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