Sunday, November 28, 2010

Proof of Concept - Boat in the Kitchen.

You Sure it Will Make it out of the Basement?

A good friend of mine who is building a "Squirt" boat in his basement asked me to come over this weekend and help get his boat out of his basement and into the kitchen.  His name is Art Atkinson and you can follow his blog and watch his progress.  He is really building a piece of artwork.

The PROOF OF CONCEPT - The million dollar question?  Will it really come out of the basement?  Art wanted to build in the basement because that is where his wood shop and all the tools are located.  But will the boat fit around all the corners and up the stairway and through the kitchen.  So, before starting his project he made a jig that had the dimensions of his boat and the jig fit so he started building.  Fast forward, a year later he now he has a hull and really did not know if his new boat would make all the turns.

Art is to the point in his boat building that he will need to start working on the deck.  If he was going get that boat out of the basement the way he planned then now was the time.  The boat is lighter now than it will be when finished and if it does not fit up the stairway and into the kitchen then into the garage and finally outside he would have all winter long to plan an alternative option. 

Check out his wife's Kitchen....Yes, Art Atkinson built every little piece and it is so beautiful it has been featured in magazines.  Did you notice the padding on the glass cabinet.  This is what we were faced with at the top of the stairway.

Well, as you can see......Art's planning was perfect.  No problems, the boat fits up the stairs and we were able to get it into the kitchen.  We were all smiles and so was his wife Vicki.  She said, OK take it back down in the basement and finish it.  So, that is what we did, we took it back down in the basement and Art will continue to build.

The moving crew from left to right....Bill, Ted, Art, Rick and Brett.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making Progress with the Interior

I have been working long hours and finally feel like I am making progress.  The floor is now behind me and I am onto boxing out the interior.  My first step was to make two boxes out of Mahogany along side of the seats.  These boxes will serve several purposes.  They will help in the finished look of the interior, be used as mounting supports and cup holders and they will also hide some cables and wires.  They were very time consuming and took me more that a week to build.  The inside wall of the boat is curved from front to back and sloped up and down.  Need I say, there are no square corners on a boat unless you build them. 

My next step was to figure out where everything was going to be placed.  This includes the instrument panel that houses the fuse panel/switches.  I started with a $50 piece of wood and put in a slopped instrument panel 5" in front of the one in the photo above.   Once I realized that I wanted more room in the pilot cockpit I discarded that panel ( after 4 hours of work) and now I am going with my original frame as the instrument panel/dash and I will tilt just the steering wheel 20 degrees for comfort.  I wanted to position the fuse/switch panel in the right corner so I needed to make a mount for it.  It does not look like much but this little guy took me an entire evening after work to design and build.  I will epoxy it to the existing frame/instrument panel and when it is done will look like one piece of material..

 Next, building the seat bottom frame boxes, seat bottoms and backs.  The seat bottoms and backs are removable and sit in the frame box.  I still have another day of work on the seating but the rough fitting is done.  I think I spent almost as much time thinking, measuring, and designing as I did building the seats.  I will not fasten the seat boxes into position until my upholstery is done and the steering wheel is mounted.  I want to be sure that the seating is comfortable and in the correct position.
Like I mentioned above, the seating is rough fit so my next project will be to finish them up.  I need to drill a couple of drain/air circulation holes in the seat bottoms.  I need to router all the edges on the seats so the upholstery will not tear from use.  The final thing for this stage will be to make some templates and cut out four insert panels that will be upholstered on the right and left side of each seat.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The floor is installed

I have finally completed the floor installation.  The rear floor area was milled to 1/2" X 4.25" Ash and that weight came in at 17 lbs.  I am pleased with the look and now it will be time to move forward.
What is next?
This afternoon I will make another trip to the wood mill to pick up a few more Mahogany boards.  I will then start to make the bumper rails and boxing in the seat areas.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Taking some Weight Off

I have been working on the floor of the boat.  I made this floor from 3/4" ash and installed the two front sections.  The three sections are made up from front (under the deck), the main cockpit area and rear passenger cockpit area.  I really like the looks of the floor but the weight of the floor has bothered me.  I just had to know, so I put the floor from the under the deck and the main cockpit onto the scale and it came in at 72 pounds.  I went to the table saw and set up a dado blade and was able to shed 8.5 pounds off the weight.

Now my plan is make the rear cockpit floor from 1/2 inch Ash.  The span is not as long and I don't think the planks need to be as thick.  I will need to take the rough Ash that I have planed to 3/4 in, down to 1/2 in for the rear floor.

Yesterday evening, my brother Gary joined me for a few hours and were able to fit all the blocking and supports for rear floor. 

It continues to surprise me how long some of the little things take to make.  Once again it was great to have my brother help me with measuring and fitting.  It is also nice to have someone around so you can run ideas back and forth and come up with a better plan.