Report: 2004 Archives
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Reports from March 2004
3/14/04 3/21/04 3/28/04
Log for the
Week Ending March 7, 2004
Again, the week got off to a slow start, as I had
other things to attend to. But I still managed to continue working on the
short deck beam glue-ups. I found that the resorcinol glue was taking too
long to cure sufficiently in the 60° shop. Granted, the molding station
is located at the coldest part of the shop, so it was probably even cooler than
that. To ensure that the molded beams would hold their shape and stay
glued, I had to leave the pieces in the clamps for more than a day. Too
long. Keeping the shop temperature higher than 60 not only makes
working on the boat uncomfortably warm, but also costs too much to do so on a
consistent basis. I switched back to using epoxy, since I find that it
always cures sufficiently in 24 or fewer hours (usually just overnight), even at
the lower shop temperatures.
Tuesday, I began work on a template for the forward edge of the cabin trunk,
which features a smooth curve according to my design. Laying out and
building this particular piece was critical to my continuation of the project
because the position of the main cockpit carlins--and therefore all remaining
deck beams and structure--hinged upon its ultimate shape and location. I
began with a basic cardboard template of the shape (right), and proceeded from
there. Despite some equipment frustrations, by the end of the day I had a laminating
template mostly built and ready for the next chore.
Click here to
read more about the forward cabin trunk carlin layout.
continued on Wednesday by securing the round mold to a sheet of plywood and
covering both parts in plastic, in preparation for laminating. Then I
milled and glued up the nine thin boards required to make the assembly, a task
challenging enough that for a time I wondered if I was going to fail to get the
pieces clamped in time.
the end, I succeeded, and after a couple days curing in the clamps, I removed
the new laminated assembly and was pleased with the final result. As of
this writing, the piece still needs to be cleaned up, sanded, and cut to final
size, but that will happen next week.
Log for the Week
Ending March 14, 2004
on laminating short deck beams continues, two by two. Virtually all of the
remaining beams I need for the boat are short, under two feet, with the
exception of one or two full-width beams that will be needed aft of the
cockpit. To laminate these beams, I use each end of my large beam
mold. The sections are short enough that I could probably get away with
straight beams, but I would rather have the slight curve to ensure that they
match the remainder of the deck camber properly. I can do two per 24 hour
period, and I need 26 beams total, plus two additional full-width beams for aft
of the cockpit.
began Monday morning with the laminated carlin. The first task at hand was
to remove the excess glue and smooth the piece. My belt sander died last
week, so I used a borrowed power plane (handheld) to remove the bulk of the glue
and help smooth both sides of the lamination. I started to get some
tearout, so I switched to my trusty Porter Cable DA to finish cleaning up the
piece. When I had finished, I temporarily installed it up in the boat with
clamps so that I could work on the next step: determining where the
cockpit/cabin carlins would naturally join into the curved piece.
Click here for
more on that process.
I spent about 5 hours on Tuesday planing more rough
stock down to 3/4" thickness and milling all the lumber required to
complete the deck frame. I needed to mill pieces for the carlins, each of
which will be about 15' long and made up of three pieces of stock laminated
together, and to mill enough pieces to make up the required number of short deck
beams (26 total, or 13 pair) and the aftermost two full-width beans (2).
Planing and milling these various pieces, plus cleanup of the shop afterwards,
was the bulk of the work completed on this day, but now at least I have all the
pieces cut, which should streamline my operations for a time. I used up
virtually all my remaining mahogany, so I'll need to order more when it comes
time for additional structure and, eventually, trim. But I certainly have
plenty to do in the meantime.
my recent work on both sides of the boat highlighted another issue that I had to
take care of: getting the electrical cords out of the way. For
weeks, I had had a couple electrical cords running into the boat from the wall
outlets on the boat's starboard side. I ran them up the wall and then over
to the boat, across the staging. The cords ended up at about waist height
as they ran across the staging, but this kept the cords high enough off the
floor for plenty of headroom when passing around the boat at floor level.
Since much of my work on the boat had been concentrated at the bow, which I
accessed from the port staging, occasionally ducking under the cords on the
starboard side wasn't too big a deal for a while. But now, they were just
in the way, and enough was enough. There are any number of
ways I could have strung the cords up out of the way, but most would involve
getting a ladder to one or another awkward location in the shop (not easy, since
the ladders required to access the walls and ceiling must be large to start with,
and the shop is full, so I looked for an easier way. What worked
was to take a pair of scrap pine boards, each about 4-5 feet long, and cut a
rough slot in one end, at the center. Then I clamped these boards to the
hull in way of the cords, and strung the cord over the slot at the top. Voila...out
of the way. Aren't you glad I detailed this for you? Please don't
write and tell me I need to plug the cords into the ceiling, or need those fancy
retractable cord thingies. I know. Please note that I cannot access
the ceiling easily now, but that future shop improvements include more
ceiling-mounted accessories as needed.
With the milling out of the way, I continued by
preparing to work on the cockpit carlins. My first step was to cut out
slots large enough for the carlins in the midships and after bulkheads, which
took a few minutes with a jigsaw. Then I trial fit the sections on one
side, just to see how things might go. It became immediately clear that
the curved forward piece would have to be securely installed to ensure the
proper fit with the sides, so I put aside the carlin pieces and prepared to
permanently install the last full-width deck beam, which is located just forward
of (and tangent to) the curved carlin. I'd have to permanently install
this beam before the carlin, since the carlin relies on the beam for support, in
removed the single beam and the curved carlin, and milled some edge details on
both pieces, then sanded both pieces smooth with 120 and then 220 grit
papers. I'll post more information on the edge detailing later, when I
start installing the beams wholesale.
With the beam sanded, I permanently installed it
in the boat. I secured it to the sheer clamp with some thickened epoxy in
the joint between the beam end and the hull, plus a bronze #14 x 3" screw
at each end.
protect the beam, I applied a quick sealer coat of varnish thinned about 50%
with thinner, which will prevent fingerprints and dirt from sullying the clean,
sanded beam. Eventually, I'll apply several more coats of varnish to this
and all the beams (once installed), so that the varnishing is complete before
the deck is laid.
Look for more details on the deck beam
installation later on, once I start installing all the beams. For now, I
stopped at just the one beam that was required in order to complete other
framing steps. In a couple days, I'll install the first fill-width beam
aft of the cockpit (to which the after end of the carlin will attach), but first
I had to laminate up that beam section. With two short beams in the mold,
I had to wait till Wednesday.
Wednesday, I glued up the beam first thing, then
moved on to other tasks. There was plenty to do. My first step for
the day was to prepare to install the curved carlin permanently. I
installed for good with bronze bolts, screws, and thickened epoxy, then
continued working by beginning the construction of the cockpit carlins.
Read more about
installing the curved carlin here.
the rest of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, I built the cockpit carlins
on each side. These carlins, which define the shape and edges of the
cockpit, cabin trunk, and sidedecks, are built of three thicknesses of mahogany,
glued together with resorcinol glue. By noon on Friday, both carlins were
permanently installed, and the boat had started to really take shape and show
off a hint of her final appearance.
here to read about building and installing the cockpit carlins.
With that, I took Friday afternoon and Saturday off,
feeling like I had accomplished a significant amount of work during the week.
What's coming up next? Dressing the
carlins, some busy work and undesirable chores like cutting off sheer clamp
boltheads, epoxy filleting and glasswork and the like, and beginning to fit and
permanently install all the short deck beams. Of course I'll continue
gluing up two short beams per day until they're all done. As of this
writing, I have 6 or 7 days' worth of glueups remaining.
Log for the Week Ending March 21, 2004
Sunday, I took care of a few smallish jobs on
board. With the cockpit carlins in place, I felt it was due time to cut
out the excess portions of the bulkheads at the aftermost location. I had
installed these pieces somewhat oversize originally, since I didn't want to
commit to a certain size or shape. With the carlins in, the cockpit shape
was therefore well-defined, so I went ahead and removed the excess plywood from
each side, plumbing a line down from the inside edge of the carlins
and then a horizontal (level) line across the bottoms of each side at a
previously-determined point, which equated to the eventual cockpit sole height.
I played around a bit with a new inexpensive laser level I bought on Ebay to
confirm the earlier marks I had made for the cockpit sole.
I also made the plunge and cut out the midships
bulkhead in way of the companionway hatch. I made the opening narrower and
shorter than the final cut will require, but with the cutout I hoped it would
make it easier to get around inside the boat, since before cutting I had to
climb in and out of the boat on each side of the bulkhead, as there was no
access through the full-width piece. Besides, with the pending
installation of deck beams and other related work, the ladder I had rigged on
the forward side of the boat would start to get in the way, so it was time for
me to create other access into the boat.
I spent most of the week working on installing deck
beams, in particular the short beams running
between the hull and carlins on each side. There are 22 of these beams in
total (I overestimated earlier when I said 26). Installing the beams
required first dressing off the carlins to reflect the approximate camber of the
deck, and then cutting angled mortises at each beam location along the
carlins. Then, I could fit each beam in turn, using the same marking
methods as I used when fitting the full-width foredeck beams. At the same
time, I took care of the chore of cutting off the excess bolts protruding
through the sheer clamp. I used my angle grinder fitted with a cutoff
wheel to remove the excess. By Friday morning, all the deck beams were in
and secured, completing the deck framing.
Click here to
read about installing the deck beams in detail.
Log for the Week
Ending March 28, 2004
I had so much going on during the week that I
found it tough to get out and put in solid days of work on the boat.
Besides, with the deck frame essentially done, this week marked a transitional
zone in the scope of the project, and I often find it a little tough to shift
gears when one major project is completed. However, by the end of the week
I had gotten past those difficulties, and, other than increasingly less time to
spend working (as a result of other demands on my time now that spring is
arriving), I managed to get started on a few more important steps in the overall
Before I think about putting on
the deck sheathing, I wanted to ensure that I didn't close myself in too early,
and regret it later. Even with the deck framing in place, I can still
stand up between the frames as necessary, so it makes working on the hull and
interior easier than it would be with the sheathing applied. Therefore, I
decided to concentrate on some smallish, but important nonetheless, tasks that,
when completed, would allow me to continue with deck sheathing in a timely
I began in the forward part of the boat, which will
become the interior accommodations space, such as it is. The first item on
my agenda was to install some basic structural support for the eventual vee
berth, forward of the bulkhead. Earlier, during the installation of the
bulkhead, I had determined the height of the vee verth platform, and, using that
as a guide, I used my laser level to mark out level points on the hull on each
side, forward of the bulkhead.
Click here for
more on the process.
also marked out the basic height of the cabin sole on the hull, and made
preparations to fabricate and install some floors (cabin sole supports) beneath
that level, on which the plywood cabin sole substrate would be installed.
more about the cabin sole here.
While all the rest of this was ongoing, I began the construction of the new mast
step. Since the boat currently has no rig, I decided to build a
keel-stepped mast support, rather than deck-stepped as the Triton had
originally. When the time comes to order a new mast, I'll simply add whatever
length to the section as is necessary to keep the masthead at the same height
above the water.
this link to see how I started building the mast step.
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