Traditional Wooden Boat Builder on Martha’s Vineyard

//Traditional Wooden Boat Builder on Martha’s Vineyard

In the above video I share my visit to the Vineyard Haven wooden boat workshop of Ted Box on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Wooden Boat builder

In the video I mentioned that I read a book called “Wooden Boats” which informed me of Ted Box’s boat building. You can find the fascinating book at this link.

If you want to learn more details about Ted’s history and his wooden boat building project, you can read more via this Vineyard Gazette newspaper link.

Ted Box Wooden Boat builder

Ted’s 70-foot scow schooner sat in a temporary workshop next to the Vineyard Haven harbor.

Wooden Boat builder

Because of my love of the traditional trades I was naturally curious about seeing Ted’s wooden boat project.

Wooden Boat Builder

I was surprised to learn that much of the work was done by volunteers. Ted was happy to accept both long-term and short-term volunteers. My cousins and I (above) worked for only a couple hours, but other volunteers (like the young man below) volunteered for the entire summer.

Wooden Boat Builder

This volunteer spent countless hours filling the gaps with cotton:

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

The schooner had become a tourist attraction to the thousands of summer visitors to Martha’s Vineyard:

Wooden Boat builder

Wooden Boat builder
Because I’m a traditional woodworker I was particularly drawn to the construction details on the wooden sail boat:

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

I’m not much of a power tool user anymore, but I loved seeing the vintage power tools (like the below planer) that Ted uses in his boat building:

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

Ted is definitely the real deal:

© Joshua T. Farnsworth

 

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2017-07-21T13:51:27+00:00

About the Author:

"I'm wildly passionate about traditional woodworking with hand tools, and want to rekindle this lost art. At WoodAndShop I teach you the skills that I learn, and also share anything fascinating that I discover about traditional woodworking. That includes tours of traditional workshops, beautiful furniture, and my favorite tools and books. I hope you enjoy my videos, photos, and articles. Please feel free to leave constructive comments!"

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4 Comments on "Traditional Wooden Boat Builder on Martha’s Vineyard"

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Jason Hammond
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I have read the same book and loved it. My first major woodworking project was restoring a cedar and canvas canoe. I did everything from steam bending stems, gunwales and ribs to stretching canvas over the hull. The reward for all that research and work was a beautiful craft that floats like a water lilly. Consequently because of the curves, I found that useing traditional hand tools was more efficient than most power tools. When my interests changed to crafts and furniture I collected the appropriate hand tools to help me along. Though I use some power tools I will… Read more »
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