Building a wooden jon

Today while looking at my frames and studying the plans, I realized that I had made a mistake. The shape of a jon boat is simple and it seems that if you can build a horse trough you could slap together a jon boat. In fact my Dad referred to a few boats that he had built as just that. The beauty of Jim Michalak’s design is the subtle flare of the topsides.  This flare carries through all the way forward from the stern to the bow block. This, while the bottom width stays constant, is where you can get thrown off.

I realized that I had made bulkhead 2 the wrong width. I was too wide by 4 inches! I had spent the better part of an afternoon precisely cutting the bevels on the topsides and the bottom and then fitting everything together. This was a pretty fussy frame to build. I hated the thought of starting over with a new frame again, so I just cut it in half. I trimmed each side to the correct width and then glued it back together with epoxy and a backing block.

How to build a wooden boat










This should make it as strong as the original. I used wax paper to keep the resin from seeping through the gap and sticking to the bench. Tomorrow I will clean up the joint and reinforce the other side and continue building. The transom is the last frame to be built and I will post up some photos as soon as construction begins.

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