Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 33 - Willy Pat Fitzgerald

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1 (275 reads)

3/4 or 2-inch hardwood plank. And spiked with galvanized spikes five inches long. 3/8ths square, not a roundnail at all. Drive them into those hardwood frames with a big sledgehammer. I worked with father back then, building them. I built two with him. And what I mostly build today, I learned it from father. Those big vessels, we'd cut every stick of it. And sawed the most of it with a whip- saw. Me and my brother were one whole day sawing oak • and the oak was 4 inches thick. And it had a little gradual sweep in it. And father hewed it for a railing for a vessel. When the vessel would be built, there'd be what they called stanchions go in her on both sides, and this rail would go on top of those stanchions. He wanted this oak for that rail. Took it out and hewed it. And we had to whipsaw it the length of it. I think it was 15 feet. He hewed it down to 4' or 5 inches. One end to the other. Then he lined it, chalk line, one end to the other. Then went in an inch and a half and put another line. And after we sawed them out he laid them on their side on the top of these stanchions, and the sweep was in the stick • and it fol? lowed of the sweep that was in the side of the vessel. Father had transoms for saw? ing • beams over a pit. Or sometimes we'd be sawing it in the woods somewhere. Then we'd limb down a tj?'e, and we'd get two beams up using a tree and a post • so we'd have the beams even if we didn't have the pit. We shoved the stick up on the two beams with so much out over the end. And we started at the end and we sawed in. One man would be on the ground • and that fellow on the bottom, that was me • have the whipsaw with the box on the end? and at the top of the saw there was an iron that ran down the blade and two bolts went through. Now my t)rother stood up on this that ran down the blade and two bolts went through. Now my brother stood up on this log ahold of that top end, and I'd be down in the pit with the box on the lower end of the saw • and we used to swing her. When we swung her back she went up • and she never touched the stick when she went up. She only cut coming down. So when we'd saw, we'd both just lift it. Then coming down we'd drive her down, pushing into the wood. When one fellow'd get used to the other, you'd never know you were sawing, it was that light. Just go up like a feather. Well then, I fetched her into the wood and brought her down. He'd be helping, see, he'd be keeping her against the wood as well. And that piece of oak we were sawing, we sawed at it the whole day. From early in the morning till as late as we could see the line. That oak was hard--and when the saw hit it, it was just like a dust came down. No sawdust, just the dust. It was the heart of an oak. I told my brother when we finished in the evening, "I never want to go at that again." "Well," he said, "that's a pair of us." Yeah, all day. Oh boy, we used to work. The first boat I remember my father build? ing, I was 15 or 16 years old. And they were planked, what they called seam work. The boats I build now are lap work, they call them clinker built • but the boats fa? ther was building had a crack between the planks that had to be caulked. So one day father was complaining all the caulking there was to be done. I said, "I'll help you." He said, "You can't caulk. Where did you learn?" Well, I didn't tell him that, because I used to make a caulking iron out of a piece of wood and caulked the cracks in the floor. There was no oilcloth on the floors then • rough boards. Father used to lay a floor out of rough boards, whipsawed, and then mother would send us to the beach with a can to bring home some fine Sand. Public Information Centres Glace Bay and Port Hawkesbury Open Daily, June To September, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. An insight into the atomic age through MODELS FILMS EXHIBITS Visits By Groups From High Schools, Seivice Clubs, Church Organizations Can Be Arranged At Any Time Of The Year i Cap' ,..,.-... ...... • unique and interesting experience in overnight ac? commodations. Every season those in the program, dispfaying the above sign, open their doors to greet visitors with courtesy and warmth. WATCH FOR THE BED & BREAKFAST SIGN -OR- contact the Cape Breton Tourist Association for a list of Bed & Breakfast participants '
Cape Breton's Magazine
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