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Steps in Building a SCAMP sailboat

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Making a Tiller for SCAMP Sailboat

The rudder case is all done except for finishing so I can take measurements for the tiller

Last time I was at the lumber yard I saw a beautiful piece of black walnut. I grabbed it thinking it would make a lovely tiller.

Tiller pattern

Simeon Baldwin has sent me a copy of the pattern he had used. I modified the end slightly to have a slight bulge. After checking the rudder size against the boat I also added a couple of inches to the back end of the rudder. That can be trimmed if it turns out to be too long. I think several people have used a version of this tiller plan for their SCAMPS.

Making a tiller for SCAMP sailboatpattern glued on

I drafted the pattern onto a piece of paper and cut it out. I glued the paper onto the wood. Once it had dried I used the band saw to cut the blank. I had also used the bandsaw to make the wood the right thickness to fit through the rudder case. That left me a nice little slab of black walnut for other projects.

Shaping the Scamp tiller

Making a tiller for SCAMP sailboatchecking the fit of the tiller

Once I had the blank cut out I smoothed it out using the sander and fitted it into the rudder case. I had to sand a small amount off but it soon went in with just a bit of play.

I tried the tiller case/rudder against the boat and things seemed to fit without any problem.

At this point the edges need to be rounded and the end bulge smoothed out. I'm not completely sure how I want to shape it. I'll try a few tools and see what works best.

Making a tiller for SCAMP sailboatspokeshave

The router with a rounding bit worked but I think it is too bulky still. I don't think the wood needs to be as thick as this. It feels bulky to the hand. Since the walnut is quite strong, strength this will not be an issue and I can thin the tiller quite a lot.

shaping the scamp tiller

After the router I used a plane for the outside and a spoke shave for the inside curved surface. The plane is easier for me to use because I'm more familiar. The spokeshave worked but I had more trouble controlling it.

Now its just a matter of gradually removing material and tapering the end till it feels just right. It's hardwood but not impossible to shape. The colour is going to be very pretty.

shaping the scamp tiller

I've been using the sander to complete the shape. I think this is a case of "good enough". The tiller is one piece that can be modified quite easily so I'm not going to over think it. The shape feels good to the hand, it fits in the rudder case nicely, it's time to varnish.

varnishing the tiller

I'm using Epiphane varnish. It's lovely to use and goes on very well. I expect I will use 6 or 7 coats.

The walnut was interesting to use. The grain differs a lot in hardness so that when I was sanding I would run across ridges of hard wood.

The colour of the wood really came alive when I varnished it. I now have to decide if I want a tiller extension. I've never used one so I'm not sure.

emails: Christine

If you decide to build a boat be careful. These tools can be dangerous. If you don't know how to safely handle something find out. There are lots of forums out there.

This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view. I don't claim to be an expert in anything, just some little old lady muddling along.