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  • Alick Burt

Sailing Rig, Making the Rudder.

There are many ways to make a rudder assembly but I decided on this one which again comes from Todd Bradshaw's fabulous book. Once again I adapted the design to incorporate some nice cabinet makers touches.

I began by making the blade from a cupped offcut of Ash.

Once I had planed and thicknessed it I cut out a template from a scrap of hardboard and marked out the shape of the rudder blade.

I cut out the profile on the bandsaw and then drew guidelines for shaping.

This was then put in the vice and shaped with a spokeshave.

The housing for it is made in three layers and I found some bits of Iroko to do this with before making a template for them and cutting them out.The middle one fits around the top of the blade and is a little thicker to allow clearance for the blade to lift.

Here you can see I am adjusting the shape of the cut out and checking the position of the pivot hole.

I also cut a pair of stub tenons on the top of the middle part of the housing that will be a nice decorative touch.

The housing has a hole right through the centre piece which require a bit of care to drill it.

I marked out the angle for it on the side of the piece as a guide and also used a square on the bench to help keep my drill in line.Then I drilled carefully from each end and hoped they met in the middle.(Rather like the channel tunnel but without the help of lasers!)

The hole did meet and although not perfect this doesn't matter because it is only to run a piece of cord down to the blade.

Next I turned my attention to the piece that will go on top where the stub tenon is and cut a pair of mortices to suit it in the middle of it.

Once again I made a template and then marked out and cut the piece on the bandsaw.

Then I tidied up the parts with a spokeshave.

The three parts of the housing were glued up.

The top piece is then routed on its edges holes are drilled in each end and it is cleaned up.

The stub tenon has wedges prepared for it. These are made from sycamore for a nice contrast.

Then it is glued up and the wedges knocked home.

Here is the final assembly with just a bit more cleaning up and finishing to be done and that's where I leave it for now.

Thank you for reading.


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