Now you can move on to the cabin. I made mine from 3/4″ walnut, to visually separate it from the hull. It is quick and easy to make on the band saw, but you could use a table saw to form it if you so choose. (Again, if you are making a whole fleet, go ahead and chop them out by the dozen.) Sand the edges and then move over to the drill press. Bore a 1″-diameter hole 1/2″ deep with a Forstner bit, although the exact location is not critical as long as it looks good.
Secure the cabin to the hull with a water-resistant glue like Titebond® II or III. You can glue and clamp the cabin in place if you’d like — or you can cheat like I did and use a 1″ brad nail as a “clamp,” driven down through the hole you just bored in the cabin.
The last part to make is the smokestack. In this model, I used a 1″-diameter cherry dowel. As you can see in the photos on the opposite page, I once again used my band saw. This time, I set my miter gauge to a 15° angle and used an auxiliary fence and stop combination to control the length of the cut. After the smokestack was cut to length, I sanded the top smooth, removing the saw marks. To secure the smokestack in the hole I had prepared for it, I simply squirted an appropriate amount of glue into the hole, then stuck the piece into the hole … I rotated it a bit back and forth, and then just left it to dry with the angle of the stack adjusted properly. Then, to prevent any possible future choking hazard, I drove a small brad into the stack.
After the glue cured, all that was left to do was to complete the last bit of sanding on the boat. Well, there is one more thing — the finish. I suppose there are several good types of product you could apply to this toy that would do the job well. There might even be an argument for not applying any finish at all. My personal preference for this sort of toy is to use mineral oil (sold as Butcher Block Oil). It is completely nontoxic, and you can reapply it any time you like. I just slather mineral oil all over the toy and let it soak in and dry for a day or so.
Well, Captain, this ship has now sailed. Now all you need is to find a child — or 50 — to give the tiny tugboat to.