Custom Pirate Ship railing

Yes the title says Pirate ship. Every year in Bradenton Florida the HERNANDO DE SOTO HISTORICAL SOCIETY has a Parade which includes Pirate ships. They have events through out the year.

The pirate ships are converted buses or trucks used for parade purposes. During an inspection The FLDOT required a safety railing to be added or the ship could not be street legal.

The railings required were 14 feet long and not only curved to the shape of the bow but also had to curve upward. This is not the challenging part. These railings needed to be fabricated and installed in 14 days.

To make these I made a template out of 1/4″ plywood laid out on supports that were installed by the Crewe.

Due to the urgency we decided to use 2×6 lumber and ripped 1/8″ strips. We laid out 2 sheets of plywood to length and attached the template.

Clamps, clamps and more clamps were used to glue the strips together with the assistance of my brother. Large laminations require us to work fast due to the length of these railings. We glued up four pieces at first to form the basic shape and allowed the glue to dry. We had to make two templates and two different setups for this build as the ship was not symmetrical.

The railings were completed in under a week on the budget. The Crewe installed and stained them in time for the Parade. This was one of my favorite projects because it was unique and challenged my woodworking abilities.