Sunday, March 30, 2014

More progress and a few details

I feel like I made some great progress this weekend. Between kid's events and work it's been hard to get solid blocks of time to dedicate to the project. A little trim here, a little tuck there, but not any real time. Well, this weekend, there was nothing on the schedule. No games, no dances, no places to be. The weather started off chilly and ended up in the 50's on Sunday. I opened the garage doors, let the sun and fresh air in, and got down to work. Several things got accomplished:

I got the seat fronts measured, cut and installed. I made the rudder cheek assembly.

Cut the holes for inspection ports, and laminate a reinforcing ring to the inside face

Picture of the finished inspection port with reinforcing doubler ring.

Seat fronts installed and setting up. Trickiest part here is getting the angle right on the aft side so that the ransom angles back correctly.

Made the seat faces slightly oversized so I can plane them down once the seat stringer is in place. In this picture, the bulkhead frames are clamped on for dry fit/visual check.

Making the rudder cheeks. I had a nice piece of white oak, so I sized the plank, planed it to thickness and made the first cheek. I used this as a pattern for the 2nd cheek, and then used the sizing of that and dimensions from the plans to do the spacer blocks.

Simple geometry drawn on the plank

Rudder cheek, starboard side. Pivot point epoxy filled to be drilled out to size later. Stainless screws countersunk and covered over with thickened epoxy.

Front view of the cheek assembly. I'm quite proud of how this turned out.  The cuts and holes are quite precise and clean, and the whole thing feels solid and like something that will last.

I used a 3/16" rounding plane to knock the edges off the corners of the piece. It's one of my favorite tools. It cuts true and smooth, and leaves the piece with a wonderful hand-feel. If you click the image and look closely at the edges, you'll see what I mean.

Here are a few pictures from some of the little details that I've been working on evenings after I get home from work. Little stuff for sure, but stuff that's fun and will add to the overall nice finish of the boat once it's done.
This is the temporary king plank. I say temporary because I'm not sure I want it made from pine, which is what this plank is. Maybe it should be oak? 
I like this detail on the centerboard case. I shaped a piece of white oak to the proper dimensions, and then on the underside, I made 3/4 cuts through the plank every inch or so. The idea was to make the board flexible below so that it could bend to the curve of the sides of the case. It was then secured with epoxy and screws. Eventually, I'll make a covering board from laminated teak. 

This is the floor brace for Bulkhead 5. I used my Bosch jigsaw to cut the profile of the base moulding, and my 3/16 roundover plane to soften the top edges of the brace. 

Precision fitting the port seat face to where it meets the transom.  Nice fit. Right angle. 

Making the inspection ports on Bulkhead 3. These will be sealed with rubber gasket/o-rings and then mounted with  thumb screws. I don't anticipate having to take these off every day...

Now that the seat faces are in place, I'll begin gluing up each of the bulkheads in preparation for putting the stringers on. I'm quite nervous about this. As they say, this is where the rubber meets the road. I'll get to see just how far off my measurements were and how bad my cuts were! Hopefully, there won't be too much in the way of re-fitting.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How's she lookin'?

Well, today I needed some encouragement. When you spend all this time making things that don't look much like a boat, you need some visual affirmation that you're actually getting someplace. So as my centerboard trunk was setting up, I dry fitted the transom and the first few bulkheads. This layout gives you some sense of what the boat will ultimately look like.

View from the port stern quarter

View from the bow. Once again, crooked cameraman.'s encouraging to be able to let your eye draw in the various stringers and planks to see that your measurements are not horribly off the mark, and that everything seems to be lining up right about where it should be.

Another view. You can almost see the sweep of the sheer and the counter turn of the plank at the forefoot. Almost.  ;)

Putting the centerboard trunk together

For some reason I've been really dreading this part of the build. I guess I'm afraid that if I don't get it perfectly right, then the whole project will end up badly.

Centerboard trunk sides. Inside glassed. Outside not.
Layers of epoxy to fill in the 'glass weave. Wood grain looks so pretty. Shame nobody will ever see it again!
Anyway...I cut the side pieces and 'glassed the inside faces of the trunk and milled some stout pieces of white oak for the end and top logs.

As usual, lots of clamps are needed to hold this all together. I'm favoring the blue Irwin clamps, which have a cool feature that allows you to flip the head around to create a spreader instead of a clamp. In this picture you can see that I'm pushing against the seat stringer so that the structure sits perfectly astride the keelson.

View from the stern. I know it doesn't look vertical. But it is. Checked. Checked again. Checked a third time. It's straight up and down. Just a bad cameraman I guess!
 I cut all the cheek pieces and bored oversize holes through them for the centerboard pin. These holes were then epoxied to make a nice hard-wearing bushing. I attached the seat stringers.

Here you can see the oversize hole drilled for what will ultimately be 1/2" stainless pivot pin. 

Before installing, I inserted the still-in-progress centerboard to make sure it all fit together and moved freely. So far so good.

Going on faith that nothing was going to change dramatically I then dropped the entire unit into the centerboard slot on the bottom plank, epoxied it all into place, and then glued the cheek pieces on.

Using Diettrich's method, I created both an epoxy fillet AND decorative moulding pieces to both lend strength and style to the trunk. Once the boat gets flipped over, I'll work on the bottom side of this structure. I will reinforce the entire union with stainless screws and fiberglass tape.

What's different from the picture above? The maple moulding at the base of the cheeks and on top of the cheek. Not the best picture, but I'll take more when the clamps come off. I planed the backside of the moldings to create about a 3/8" triangular hollow. I laid a "peanut butter" fillet down and then clamped/screwed the moldings on top of it. I think this will prove to be an attractive and strong joint.

Making the rudder blade

I decided to make up the rudder blade. This was a fun little project, and I think it's coming out great so far.

I started with rough-cut Honduras mahogany and white oak. Using my Home Depot-rented Makita table saw, I ripped the planks into roughly sized staves and laminated them together with thickened epoxy to form the rudder blank.

Oak and mahogany staves
Staves glued up into a blank 

I made a cardboard template from the plan specifications and used that to trace the shape onto the blank. Using my little band saw, I trimmed the blank.

Rudder blank is shaped and planed. Very pleasing work using a nice hand plane.
Then using the drill press, I bored the holes for the pivot pin and the rudder up-uphaul and down-haul hardware. Gotta make sure they're perpendicular to the plane of the blade!

Holes drilled for pivot pin, and up- and down-hauls
Then I used my router with a round-over bitt to shape the leading and bottom edge of the blade. 

Rounded edges. 

Here's the 3/4 finished rudder. I still need to taper the trailing edge, sand and apply several layers of epoxy to waterproof and harden it.
Shaped, planed, drilled and rounded rudder blade

After that, it's on to the rudder cheeks.