Monday, March 28, 2011

Trim the Cabin

I made the mahogany Plugs from scrap and glued them in with epoxy.

It is now time to start some of the finish woodworking around the boat.  This includes making some Mahogany wood plugs for the 42 screw holes and fit the trim in around the interior of the cabins and the splash well.

The trim work is very time consuming and it also takes a lot of patients.  Time to turn the music on low and just relax.  I have worked on this for 3 days and I am guessing I am only about half done.

I started out by making the curved corner pieces and I knew that I could not bend 3/16" material without it breaking so my plan was to glue up 3 pieces 1/16" thick so I could make the bend.  The challenge I had was to get the material milled down to 1/16" thickness that I needed.   My first attempt was to cut them on the table saw but I needed a zero clearance table saw insert around my blade so I made one.  The zero clearance insert turned out really nice and I was confident that the thin stock would not fall into the hole between the blade and the table saw.  Attempting to make a practice cut it became clear to me that I would have scrap material between the saw blade and the table saw fence so I stopped before I started.  This method appeared to dangerous for me so I decided to use my planner.

I took some of the scape 5/16th inch mahogany deck boards and ran them thru the planner to get them to the 1/16th of an inch I needed.  I used a scrap board to place my mahogany onto with double face tape so the planner would not tear up the thin stock.  Then I used my heat gun to release the tape and removed my finished material.

I wanted to Pre-bend this material so that it would fit my glue up forms better, so I soaked the wood in hot water and clamped them to the curve in each corner and then let them dry overnight.

Next, I had to make templates for each of the 4 corners in the cabin areas and transfer each curve onto its own form. I then used the forms to glue up 3 pieces of 1/16" material. I let the glue-up dry overnight and then trimmed and epoxy each piece into place. I was only able to do two corners at a time because I ran out of clamps.

I had to get creative with the clamps for the corners

The above photo shows one corner glued in using epoxy.

 These photos show some of the trim pieces clamped into position with epoxy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Deck is now glued down

All the epoxy glue up is done and the boat is beginning to show its design. Next, I will need to make mahogany wood plugs for all the screw holes and sanding begins.

 In the photos below you can see that I have placed the front seat and side panels into position.  They are just there to check the fit and to get a sneak preview.  The rear seat has not been finished.  I am very happy with the white and burgundy colors as they match the bottom boat paint.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dry Fit of the Deck Boards

Now the real fun begins because you can really start to see the boat take shape. The outside cover boards and King Plank (the green taped boards) are all glued in with epoxy and I have started the process of cutting and fitting all of the deck boards.

In this photo, all the deck boards are now dry fit into place. I still need to cut the boards to the proper length. The deck boards are all Mahogany and measure 2 1/8" wide and 5/16" thick. The spacing between the boards are 3/16" and will be filled with white pigmented epoxy. The washers/screws are temporary clamps to hold everything into position.

Monday, March 14, 2011

King Plank & Cutwater

This week I had the chance to calculate the board widths that will be placed between the outside cover boards.  The main board the runs down the center length of the boat is called the "King Plank" and measures 5 5/8" wide.  On each side of the King Plank I will place strips of Mahogany that measure 2 1/8" wide by 5/16" thick with white caulking filled in the 3/16" wide gaps.

The King Plank is glued down with MAS Epoxy mixed with Cell-u-loose thickener.  The washers are used to clamp the planks down to the sub deck.  The green tape was used to protect the outside cover boards from dripping epoxy while I was working on the King Plank.  Also, the green tape really shows the cover board shape.  It took several days of trimming and sanding to get the outside cover board to get the shape correct.  I also used a router in some areas to round over the outside edge.  I hand sanded a lot of the outside edge because the side of the boat falls away from the router bit and then I had no place for the guide bearing to rest on.  I am very happy with the look.
The above photo is my template for the stainless steel cutwater with lower photo of the transom band.  The templates do not show the width or shape of the cutwater and transom bands but they will give the welder good idea for the boat shape.  On Saturday I took the templates to a wood boat restoration guy down by Lake St. Clair and his buddy will tack weld me up the pieces I need so I can test fit them. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Epoxy and Clamping Cover Boards

After fitting and sanding the inside curve of the outside cover boards that surround the entire boarder of the deck it is now time to epoxy/glue and clamp them into position.  I had to use a lot of clamps because I wanted to use a limited number of screws to hold the boards down.  The screws that I did use will be removed so I can countersink them.  I will reinstall with bronze silicon screws and cover the holes with wood plugs.

Clamping the boards down was a real challenge.  I was very lucky to be building in my basement because I have a finished wood ceiling and was able to make good use of it.  The problem that I had was in the placement of 3rd hand clamps and 2x4 braces.  The first problem that I had was that the ceiling lights were directly above the boat.  The lights were in the way making the braces clamp because they pushed from an angle vs. straight down and the second issue was the length of the 3rd hand poles.  The 3rd hand poles were about 2" to long.  The problem caused the braces to slip and once I had one brace in position another one would get loose and fall.  I was by myself during this clamping operation.  This was one time that I wished I had a helper.  One thing that I would do differently next time is not glue up too much at one time.  I mixed and spread more epoxy than I should have and I was just not prepared for that much clamping.

The next day it was time to do another area and I learned my lesson and only clamped and epoxy/glued one board.  Things went very smooth and my brother Dan stopped by to lend a hand for 20 min. to help hold things in position.

I have one more outside cover board to be glued down and the boarder will be in its place.  Next will be to layout and fit the King plank that will run down the center deck the entire length of the boat.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Time to Dress Her Up !

It is time to start putting on the top decking.  Covering up my boat project with the final boards begins to give you an idea how she will look. 

The first thing I had to accomplish was the layout on the sub deck.  I started by drawing out a 2" square grid.  I learned the hard way that easier is not always faster.  My metal square was exactly 2" wide so I thought that I would just use that width and do all the marking but any small error showed up over a long distance, in fact the measurements were more than 1/2" off by the time I got to the other end of the boat.  All that work had to be lightly sanded off and I started over.  This time I used a combination of a string, square, laser light and most important was a tape measure.  The grid pattern turned out really good the second time around and will give me the lines to measure from so that both sides of the boat layout will be symmetrical.

The next step in the layout process was to figure out the shape, curve and width of the decking boards.  My good friend Terry Kohler came by and we spent a good hour completing the layout and doing some of the calculations needed for the spacing.  I used a beam compass to layout the curve for the outside boarder.  Once the boarder was determined we figured that a 5 5/8" King Plank and 2 1/2" wide boards with 3/16" spacing will fill the interior area.

The outside boarder board measures about 7" wide and all the mahogany used for this area was taken from one 16' long by 10" wide board.  Layout proved to be a little time consuming to get all the grain to match as best I could.  Part of the problem came from three issues. The first issue I had was the length of the board.  The boat is curved and once I laid it out on the curve I only had a couple of of inches of remaining wood.  The second issue came when I resawed the 16' board in half.  I wanted to book match the grain and once the board was 5/16" thick it cupped a lot in the wrong direction.  The third issue I had was a split about 6" long on the end of the 16' board and of course when it was resawed, I now had a split in both boards.

Careful measuring proved that I could cover the areas needed with only a couple of 1-2" scraps. The cupping in the wood was solved by using towels soaked in very hot water and by putting pressure on the boards with a 3rd helping hand stick and 2X4's pressed between the wood and ceiling. I solved the last problem by orienting the boards so the end splits were place in the cut off areas.

The right tool for the job seams to be hand tools.  I continue to be amazed how many times I decide that I would rather use a hand tool over a power tool.  My outside boarder boards were 16' long and 10" wide and they were to large to fit on my table saw or chop saw without using some major gymnastics to get the correct angle.  The easiest way for me to make the joint cuts were to overlap the boards, draw a line, score the grain of the wood with a utility knife and make the cut by hand with a back saw.  I am pleased with the cuts and joints I made.

It seems that I always have someone supervising my work.  Our Bengal cat, "Storm" looks on.