Monday, August 18, 2014

First course of planking done (on one side!)

So I'm quite pleased with myself. Over the weekend I did the final rough/dry fitting of the bottom row of planks (port side). I broke out the 'poxy and created a fine mess. I clamped like a madman and then  squeegee'd up the dribs and drabs. Spent the night down at our friends' home on Brown's Lake, took in a couple of cocktails, a little bit of sunshine, and when I came home last night, I broke out the palm router and cleaned up the edges.

The dreaded forefoot plank, with a little bit of patience and cajoling turned out to be as easy as pie. Here are a few pictures. Of course, the photos don't do justice to that beautiful little hollow bit that happens from the forefoot stem out to the bilges of BH 2. It's a sweet little curve. All you Nav builders will know exactly what I'm talking about.

If I'm lucky I'll get to do the starboard side sometime this week. But I must head north for a couple of days and then out to Las Vegas for the remainder of the week. And then there's a wedding to attend on Saturday. Sheesh! When's a guy supposed to get an hour or two of boat building in???

The forefoot plank. All glued up and trimmed. The half circle on the front edge is residual sticky from the Joubert label that got peeled off earlier.

Side view of the first course

Stem and glued plank. Crazy that you can get that kind of bend in 6mm ply. 

oh yes...and there's the mizzen mast step. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The start of planking

Just a few pics to show you the progress on the planking. It's not so bad, really. And pretty straight forward (once you have the stringers on correctly!). The hardest part is the forefoot plank. Which as I mentioned before I made twice, broke twice, and am fitting hopefully a 3rd and final time (not counting the starboard side!).

A few pix for you:

Stern-most bottom port-side plank.  Plank 1 on the plans. Sorry about the fuzzy pic. But you can see my plastic covered copper wire holding things in place to the garboard. Dry fit at the moment.

Looking toward the stern, this is Plank #2. Long and curvaceous.  Also wired on the bottom edge
The dreaded forefoot plank. Taking somebody's advice – I think Barrett's – don't clamp the plank to the stringer. You'll pull it out of shape or break it. Insert a sturdier 2x4 and brace it up against the frame with clamps.
. Using the frame jig to press the plank into position against the bulkheads

Somehow, this gap has to be brought to a close hard against the beveled stem.  Without cracking. Patience, burro, patience.  Once it's closed, I'll trace the stem profile, remove, trim, and re-attach. 

Starboard equivalent of Plank #1. No wires yet. Just trimming to shape.

Planking is fun. And the work generally seems to progress faster than what has come before. Within the next few posts, she should really start to look like a boat, and not a boat frame. :)

I'll try to do better with keeping up with my posts.

Samson post

I know it doesn't call for one in the plans...but I've seen a few other builds with something of the sort. I know Barrett put some on her boats. I think they look kinda "salty". Plus I'll need some place to attach and snug up the anchor rode, won't I?

So I made a samson post. I think the wood is Brazilian Cherry. Laminated from a couple of pieces, shaped and temporarily bolted to BH2. 

Samson post looking toward stern

I dunno...does it look a little beefy for a boat this size? Maybe I should pare it down to 3" square?

Samson post temporarily bolted to the back face of BH2

Dry fitting rudder cheeks and blade. Looks like it should steer her just fine.

AND THEN...we took a family vacation to the Caribbean. Bareboated a Moorings 50' in St Martin, Anguilla, and St. Barth.

Sunset cocktail anybody??

Sundry important bits.

To take a break from some of my stringer trials, I worked on other fun parts like the mast steps and rudder blade.

Here's the main mast step being dry fitted. White oak laminated and epoxied. 

No boat can set sail without paying homage to tradition. I'd hate to be caught dead (literally) without a coin for Charon, the ferryman, so I ordered up a nice shiny new 2014 silver dollar, and cut a little spot for it in the mast step. I'll epoxy it in place...or maybe just place it in and let the mast hold it in place. Would hate to make Charon have to work hard for his fare. Also hoping that a silver dollar (vs a penny or nickel) will buy me a front row seat at the festivities. ;)

My liberty silver dollar...dry fit. 

I had laminated some white oak and mahogany pieces for the rudder blade a few months back, and it sat collecting dust in a corner of the garage. I decided to get to work giving it its final shape. Here are my results. Not quite finished yet, but getting there. Should wrap a little 'glass around it for strength?

I read someplace that I should fit the cockpit deck before attaching the sheer stringers. So I measured, cut and dry fit them. They'll be glued n screwed in at a later stage...after planking, filleting, sanding, painting...[sigh]

One half in place.

View from the stern looking forward.

Both pieces in place.

View looking forward

Getting awfully cramped in that garage space. Starting to not have enough room to work!! 

Big mistakes...

So, some of the details of my busy-ness over the past few months. 

As I said, I had installed the first 3 rows of stringers. They looked good from far, but far from good. The more I inspected my work the more I sat on the moaning stool and got depressed. Here are some pics. The cognoscenti among you will clearly see my issues:

Note the spacing between middle stringer and the two other ones. Not what I'd call a fair curve. I need to adjust the positioning of the stringer notch by about 1/2" or so.

WOW. Nice fit, huh? Just plain bad workmanship. Also notice I tried some weird idea of doing a double bevel on the stringers to match the apex points of the bulkhead stringer notches. Not how it's supposed to be done.

Here's a really egregious error. Notice how the left side of bulkhead #3 is canted forward, twisting the whole enchilada out of plane. Wasn't paying attention during the glue-up.

How bout the crummy job of attaching the stringers to the bow. They don't fit well into the rabbets and will cause real problems when I have to plane them down to accept the planking. 

Nothing for it but to cut it all off and start over. Small problem. I don't have any more stringer material. So off to the lumber yard to buy another plank of poplar. Rip and plane to size, scarf and glue to length and do it over. 

Here's my planing machine doing the final sizing to 20mm square. Big pile of stringer material on the floor. Just in case I need to do it yet again!  
New results are much better. Everything's straight and true, ends fit nicely into the transom and stem. Time to move forward again! Yay!

OK...time to update.

Wow. Time flies. Can't believe my last post was in March. You probably think I've abandoned the build or lost interest. Far from it. I've been working on my Nav as diligently as time will allow. However, it's Wisconsin in the summer, which is waaay too short as it is, and so truth be told there's been less time in the shop these past few months. One of the things I've been doing is this:

'Andiamo" - my tandem wherry. 6am on Lake Nagawicka, WI.

Different view. 
You may recall I this was my first build two winters ago from a CLC kit. It's my second season rowing on the lake. Kim, my rowing buddy and I have been getting as many hours as work allows. It's about a 5.5 mile row around the perimeter. Good for a solid hour's sweat. These pictures were taken on a particularly still morning. As we say, the lake was "butter"...smooth and creamy rowing!

The other thing that's been taking me away is the usual family duties of work and the endless shuttling of children to their various summer activities: lacrosse practices, tournaments, games, dance practices, recitals, competitions. I'm sure you all know the drill.

A quick update here, and then I'll do some individual posts with lots of pictures.

I got the first three rows of stringers attached to the boat, and didn't like my workmanship. Frankly, it was pretty dang shoddy. I got depressed and moped around for a few weeks dreading what I knew I HAD to do. I finally decided to UN-install them. and try again. By the way, not a fun process. I cut them off and cleaned out the dried epoxy and re-installed new ones. Which, as anybody knows is a multiple step process. First I had to create the stringers, and plane them down to size, then scarf and glue them up to the right length, and then refit and re-glue. This time paying closer attention to fit and finish.

Meanwhile, there is other work to be done. I made and installed the mast steps and finally got around to making the rudder blade and fit it into the cheeks which I had made months before.

Then I set about planing the stem and stringers to accept the planks.

And finally, I've begun planking the boat. I was really dreading this part...mostly because I wasn't perfectly clear on how to go about it. Joel Bergen has been tremendously helpful in setting me straight and showing me a very understandable method that any idjit can follow...myself included. I don't have his permission, otherwise, I'd post the nice powerpoint slide show he sent me with step-by-step instructions. But if you want to know, I think he has these posted on his blog.

The planking of the bow forefoot has been a small nightmare. I've snapped 2 pieces of pricey okume trying to get everything to fit just right. I think as both Joel and Barrett Faneuf, and even JW himself have stated. It IS possible to get plywood to perform compound bends in multiple planes. You just have to be very very patient and very very careful. My third attempt appears to be going much better.

I'm feeling a little pressure to get the planking finished. As it turns out, we may be moving! There's some possibility that I will have to be out of the house by October 1. If that happens, I will want to make sure the boat is in a state of being able to be removed from the building jig. I can't bear to think about trying to move the whole thing as it sits right now.

So I'm back to motivated, and I think by the end of this coming winter, I'm hoping to have a boat that I can launch when the ice finally clears off the lakes around here.

OHHHHH YEAH....did I mention that I'm contemplating the purchase of K. Aage Nielsen's 36' centerboard yawl, MAGIC? boat. Launched in 1961. Historically significant. Built by Paul Luke in Maine. And now lying in Chicago. Maybe next spring she'll be lying in Milwaukee. Maybe my Nav could be Magic's tender???

Life is full!!

Nielsen's yawl, MAGIC