So another year another ark. Displaying the previous one at a Christmas market I took part in late last year revealed that people wanted a larger one.
I may have mentioned in last years Noah’s Ark that my Dad (an enthusiastic model boat builder) had gone to great trouble to draw up plans for an ark for me, along with an 8 page instruction letter on how to build it before I made the 2015 version. Much to his annoyance I had not made that ark to his specifications as I didn’t have enough Oak to go around. It was my intention to make this ark one day when I got round to it.
My Dad hasn’t been well lately. He was diagnosed with leukaemia the day before I was due to do my Christmas market this year. He spent 3 months in hospital including Christmas which proved very hard for my family. A dose of chemotherapy has knocked my dad back and felt I had to do something to cheer him up. Many phone call conversations were discussed about this ark and boat building, so felt I should have a stab at building it while I had a bit of time on my hands.
So on 17th January 2016 work on the ark began. My dad had originally suggested I use the egg box method of building the hull but felt that this wouldn’t give me the right shape that I was after. So I instead opted for the bread and butter method (the wood being the bread and the glue being the butter). This involved me having to take dad’s current blueprints and converting them into waterlines. I had decided to try and make the hull out of plywood laminated together. The hull was then clamped together and left overnight.
Then the shaping began. I used a number 5 plane to plane out all the ridges. This took two hours to do and in hindsight said to myself I wouldn’t deal with plywood again. I used this material as I had never carved with it before but I know of a few carvers who had, so decided to give it a go.
A cap at either end (Fore and aft?) were then added to each end and then left to dry overnight. These were then shaped the next day.
The superstructure and trim were then added to the hull and then primed
A roof was then added and then began the long job of working out what colour to paint it. I wanted something rustic and pale greens were applied but felt this wasn’t right so opted for a rustic red and antique white superstructure instead.
Detailing was then added. Doors made from offcuts of oak trim were glued to the superstructure. The hull I felt needed something this break it up and so decided to paint gold fish on here and a bit of decoration on the trim.
Work then began on making the animals. I used some of the templates I had made for the previous ark and scaled them up but also made a couple of animals I hadn’t made before, most notably the crocodiles and polar bears. All of these were made from offcuts of pine and whittled by hand with a carving knife. These were then sanded and painted.
So the ark was now completed. Its fate is yet to be decided but will most likely be donated to a local sunday school. I don’t feel I could sell it as its a prototype, many corrections have been made on my dad’s plan since, such as the shape of the hull etc. But two more I do intend to make later in the year and should be on sale in time for Christmas.