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Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton

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Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton
All~


In addition to juggling 4 vessels right now - and dozens of decoys and carvings - I have just begun another Gunning Coffin to show at Tuckerton at the end of this month. As I have long ago posted detailed treatments of this vessel/blind/device on my website - including step-by-step building instructions and photos:


https://stevenjaysanford.com/sanford-gunning-box/



I tell the "back story" at: https://stevenjaysanford.com/sanford-gunning-box-2/





I will just post a few progress photos here over the next weeks. I am bringing a gunning coffin/meadow box for a couple of reasons. Mostly, I am for the first time since 1981 building one with a few altered (improved?) dimensions. A few years back, I drew one up that was slightly wider up forward. I did this primarily to make the build a bit easier because fastening the compound curves up forward had always been the most challenging phase of assembly. True to my original design criteria, the box still requires just a single sheet of plywood.



I am not sure whether I ever finished that modified box, though. In the Summer of '17 I sold off: 1) a completed box - fully thatched!, 2) a bottom-attached-to-sides, and 3) just the sawn out pieces - all to member and good friend Tom Russo. Tom planned to have a box for himself and for each of his sons. I'll let Papa Russo report on his progress.


So, I have no coffin of my own right now. To remedy that untenable state of affairs, I bought a sheet of 1/4-inch AC plywood and a length of clear 1x12 Pine on Friday. ( I had planned to use Cypress for the transom and longitudinals but discovered on Thursday that my "other" lumberyard no longer carries this great boatbuilding species....ssssiiigghhh.....)


So I laid out the new plan view of the bottom and started cutting. Early today I glued (Titebond III) and nailed (bronze Anchorfast #14 x 7/8") the chine logs to the bottom. I like the glue to cure overnight before attaching the sides - so I sealed the interior surfaces of the bottom (with its installed chine logs) and sides with straight epoxy resin - rolled on with a foam roller. It's easiest to do this while the boards are flat on the bench.


[CLICK to enlarge]







Note that the sides have been cut to finished length but the bottom has not. Note also the other piece of plywood - which is actually a sawn-out bottom. I bought 2 sheets of plywood so I could cut 2 sets at one time. At a minimum, it could become another box - or serve as a template for several more.



I just came in from fabricating the bow and stern transoms. I should be able to complete the box itself tomorrow - then on to the canvas and other finishing touches.


And, I made ample progress on the Hudson River Duck Skiff as well today. Her new cockpit hatch is all built - and will get her 'glass sheathing tomorrow.


All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Sep 7, 2019, 3:58 PM
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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
I am excited to see this box as I have thoroughly enjoyed gunning from the ones I have built from you plans.
(I didn?t shoot that mergansers)

South Jersey
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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
Good morning, Josh~


Great photo! I look forward to seeing your boxes in the flesh.


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
Steve,

I too will enjoy watching you build this pond box! I bought one of your design from a gentleman at the Tuckerton show I believe in 1999, when I live in Allentown, PA and hunted the NJ shore. When I moved to KY, I took it with me and one dove season, a storm had blown down all of the sunflowers in the field. I took the box out in the middle of the field and covered it with downed sunflowers and shot doves from off my back. The farmer/landowner sat and watched me and got the biggest laugh. It was effective!!!!

I really love your pond box design.

Best,
Steve
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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
Good morning, Steve~


Great story! Glad to hear you put your box to creative use.


My "Tuckerton" box is built - and first step in 'glassing is done.


I used a scraper to clean up the cured epoxy. Much easier than sanding and easiest when flat on the bench. It removes most of the excess epoxy - but the interior will still get sanded before it is painted.







I bevel the forward halves of the chine logs to accept the sides - which have "tumblehome" (inward slant of hull sides) between 3 and 9 degrees.






After marking the needed bevels at each station on the chine log, I drew the 3 angles for reference (on what will be the stern transom).







I went to work with the electric plane - with the cut set at 1/32-inch - and checked my progress as I went along.






I nailed the sides - and later the transoms -with the 7/8-inch # 14 bronze boat nails. I thickened the epoxy with milled fibers to serve as the glue.






The box itself is now complete. The headrest will be added after the interior has been painted.








I rounded all the corners and edges - to accept the 'glass and to prevent future wear.






A detail up forward.






First 'glass. Sides and transoms are covered with 7-ounce 'glass. I will likely put Dynel on the bottom and lower edges for better wear.






All the best,


SJS











Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
Good morning, All~


After sanding the new 'glass on the sides, I installed the Mahogany rubrails. I machined them 3/4-inch X 3/4-inch - square in section so they would conform to the compound curves on the box. I used a router to round over the upper corner BEFORE I ripped the rails on the table saw.









I had cut the hand-hole in the stern transom on the bench. I used a hole saw at either end - then connected them with a jigsaw. The edges were rounded over on the router table.






On my earlier boxes, I used to bore 2 holes through the bow transom. The painter passed through them as well as through a third hole in the "stem" (the frame that supports the bow and the headrest) . In use, though, the holes let in water when being towed behind my boat.


So, now I keep the bow transom un-perforated. I attach a wooden "cleat" whose job it is to hold the painter.






The carriage bolts are set in 3M 5200 and backed up by 1.5-inch fender washers - all stainless.








The rub rails are also set in 5200 - and faired at their ends.






The rails are fastened every 4 inches with panhead s/s screws.






The interior is now painted with Parker's Marsh Grass.







I set it outside to bake in the sun the next morning.






Then I flipped it so the epoxy would cure thoroughly. I still need to 'glass the bottom - so fully-cured epoxy will sand more crisply.






Next I will form the bow for the canvas.....


All the best,


SJS







Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Sep 13, 2019, 10:03 PM
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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
Never satisfied, just have to tweek it a bit. It's all in the details. Steve, I built three of those over the years. The first one was before you were a regular on this site. I found the plans on the long Island or new jersey duck hunting forum somewhere. Anyway the print was so small that some of the measurments were a guess and they became corrected when I faired the curve with a batten. I dont think the plans need a major overhaul but improvements can always be thought about.
DHBP Member since May 1999
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Re: Gunning Coffin for Tuckerton In reply to
Good morning, Bob~


Once I'm done (and have a bit of time) I will draw the revised plan (just the plan view of the bottom) measured from the "as built" box.


And, you are certainly correct that the fair batten gives the best results.


As you will see, the biggest changes I have made over the years have been different approaches to the canvas decks.



All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com