Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Panic or Frustration

Not really “Panic”, but more like frustration. As a Fire Chief, Registered Nurse and Paramedic for years I have seen my share of panic. Last night had its moments of highs and lows. Gary and I started off with all smiles, reminiscing on how good the boat looked. We began working on planking the bottom of boat near the bow. We measured the area and yes we double and triple checked before we made the cut. The plan was to get both sides out of one sheet of mahogany plywood ($69 sheet). Well, things did not go as planned. The piece was too small. That’s where panic came in and then we said it’s just a piece of wood and not a finger. We tried everything we could to make it fit and finally just gave in to our mistake. We knew why the piece would not fit after we scratched our head. We measured from a straight line but a straight line is not really a straight line when it runs down the keel – stem – to the tip of the bow. When you bend a straight line it becomes a curved line and there’s our problem.

I still had enough wood from the remainder of the sheet to cut another side so we pressed forward. After laying the new oversized cut piece into position I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to bend this and get a “sweet curve” without snapping it in half.

I sent a panic email to another good friend and Zip builder Chris Atwood to confirm that I was installing it correctly. Chris got right back to me and we were both on the same page. You have got to love cell phones and reassuring friends.

Here is how I installed this piece. It may not be the right way but it worked well for me. No hot towels or steam was needed and the piece went right into position. All three sides of this piece needed to be custom cut and fit. After rough cutting the pie shaped piece I fitted the edge along the Chine. Back cutting the edge with a slight bevel as we went along. Then we started the bend. Using wood blocks as washers to give more surface area we stated at the bow point and worked our way along the chine line and the stem toward the rear of the boat. Then we struck a line across the boat to fit the joint between the panels. Next, I marked and cut a straight line along the stem. I did leave about a 1/8” overhang on the stem that will be planned off after the epoxy dries.

After six hours of determination I was very happy again with nice job we did. All is good.

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