Monday, September 12, 2011

Benches and lockers

The past week I continued to work on the inside of the boat: seat tops and locker doors.  On the left you can see all the pieces (10 of them) all fitted quite precisely: four long seat tops, three hinged flip-up locker doors, and three backing pieces (between the doors and the sheer strakes and transom).  In the next photo you can see two of the brass hinges laid on for fitting.  There is still some work to do before putting on the hinges: another coat of epoxy on the insides of the benches, two coats on the undersides of the seats, and reinforcements glued on the undersides of the locker doors.  I just didn't feel like messing with epoxy for a change and concentrated on sawing.

I also cut the sliding door for the fore locker (see photo), which will be between the fore bulkheads.  It will slide on wooden runners set horizontally into the main bulkhead.

Finally, I designed, drew and cut the three distinct pieces of the rudder: the piece attached to the tiller and transom, the pivoting blade that will be in the water, and the jaws that hold them together.  It was very tricky (at least to me, with this being my first effort at boat design) to make sure the moving parts  pivot against each other, and I arrived at it without copying anybody else's specific design.  I will need to cut another identical set to laminate all together.  I will also have to decide whether to use lead or a bungee cord to keep natural buoyancy from flipping up the pivoting blade.  I am inclined to give dealing with molten lead a pass!

As for what comes next, you read it before: more smelly, messy epoxy coatings and gluings.

Until then,  I remain your friend

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seats and cabinetry

The last couple of weeks have involved putting the curves on forward bulkheads and transom, and working on the inside of the boat, something that is very picky and borders on cabinetry.  I am building three flip-up doors into the seat tops, which means putting in supports and framing, joints etc.  After cutting all the pieces from aspen (door frames), plywood (reinforcements) and pine (the rest), putting in all the notches, etc., I put one coat of epoxy on the the entire inside of the boat, except the bottom (too hard to reach for now, plus there's no hurry) and the outsides of the seat risers (also hard to reach, and I need to do a careful job since they will be visible and left unpainted, with epoxy and varnish).  In the process I had one more episode of the epoxy overheating and solidifying too early (yesterday was a very hot day).  So now I am keeping the epoxy containers in the fridge, at least part of the time.

I then cut seat tops (see above for forward half), except where the doors will go, and notched them for the frames.  This is harder than it sounds, since the frames are not exactly square.  I also made my first measuring and cutting mistake, which left a gap about 10 mm wide (about 3/8 inch) over part of one seat stringer, on the sheer side.  Not wanting to waste plywood, and given that I don't have much to spare, I will fill it with a thin sliver of ply and epoxy fillet.

Today I glued all the framing pieces (see detail from aft seat/storage area--the crosspiece is not in yet).  Next the inwales will be glued in.  Then the seat tops will be epoxied on the inside, and reinforced where needed.  After a second coat of epoxy on the inside of the seats, the tops will go on, including hinging the doors.  The next step will be braces for the side decks.