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Progress Report:  2004 Archives

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Reports from January 2004

1/4/04  1/11/04  1/18/04  1/25/04

Log for the Week Ending January 4, 2004

Yet another uneventful week, Daysailor-wise.  But things are looking up.  The holidays are over, there are many months of winter remaining, and few other things are on the books.  Projects on Glissando are nearly complete, and shortly I'll be able to shift my focus entirely to new construction.

Me, hunched on my chair deep in thoughtIn the meantime, I spent some time lounging in my thinking chair in the shop, pondering the task ahead.  I was even able to snap a self-portrait showing me deep in contemplative thought, mulling the construction details.  Sadly, the camera lens shattered shortly thereafter.

Log for the Week Ending January 11, 2004

A through hull filled with thickened epoxy; I taped over the outside and applied the fill from inside.  Thrilling stuff.I reached a milestone of sorts this week.  While nearly insignificant, this week marked the first time that I put any sort of new material into the boat!

If you're suddenly excited, then allow me to let you down easy:  all I did was fill the old through hull openings with thickened epoxy in preparation for glassing them over.  

Contain your applause, please.

In the coming week, I expect to order wood needed for the first stages of construction:  sheer clamp, beam shelf, and deck beams.  Of course, in order to order the wood, I first will have to make some calculations to determine roughly what I need.  So if, for one reason or an other, I don't get around to that (figuring materials lists is not my favorite thing), then wood may not be ordered.  But my plan it so get the wood in stock and begin preparations for installing the sheer clamp, and to build a beam mold so I can start laminating deck beams.

Log for the Week Ending January 18, 2004

The past week didn't  turn out as planned, but things are looking up.  I finally cleaned the slate of Glissando projects, finishing up those few issues that were still at hand.  Then, I covered the boat in plastic, signaling the end of 3 months of work--much of which, frankly, I hadn't intended to do.  But as is typically the case, one thing led to another, and so on.  I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to get the work done while the boat was inside, as who knows if there might end up being even another project boat inside next winter.

Anyway, I'm excited as I write this at the prospect of getting down to some real work on the Daysailor.  I'm going to order materials, and get to work with final preparations.  After months of relative inaction, I'm stoked.

Log for the Week Ending January 25, 2004

Sometimes, you just don't have any control over what happens in a given week.  The best laid plans of mice and men...

My week was thrown into an uproar early Monday morning when I experienced the mother of all computer crashes.  I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the vaunted "Blue Screen of Death" made a most unwelcome appearance.  It seems that my hard drive had a meltdown, of sorts, and the long and the short of it was that the drive was so badly damaged that I lost everything on it.  I spent all day Monday trying various diagnostics, various solutions, and on the phone with tech support.  It became rapidly apparent that none of the proposed solutions were working on my machine; diagnostics revealed block after block of the disk that were irretrievably corrupted, and not only could I not even boot using the Windows CD, I couldn't even access the directory from the C prompt, recovery console, or setup menu.  By late Monday, I performed the Last Rites on my hard drive, swallowed hard, and prepared to move on, with a new drive scheduled to arrive within a day or two, along with a tech to install it (gratis, since I only bought my computer at the tail end of April, 2003).  Fortunately (if there's a fortunately in all this), I still had my old computer, which not only kept my sanity afloat but also allowed me to surf for information and possible solutions online.  And I also had all my various data, photos, etc. for as far forward as April 30, 2003.  But everything since then was lost--photos, files, work, etc.

Going forward, I will be known only by my new super-hero name:  CAPTAIN BACKUP.  Frequent and thorough backups of my files and photos shall become my new religion.  If ever there were an argument for keeping project information on a website, this event clinched it.  While an inconvenience, my websites were recently published (the day before the crash), and it was a simple, if timely, matter to retrieve them from their online servers.  Many of the photos taken in the days since I began work on my new computer now exist only because I published them online...and for that I am most thankful.   If anything, watch for even more published photos here and on my other sites in the future, as I know now that they could be the only remaining record of my work.

But enough about that.  It's in the past, and life goes on.  In the scheme of things, this doesn't really rank that high, I guess.

With all of one day, and sizable portions of several more, wasted dealing with the computer crash and subsequent "recovery", I ended up behind on my hopeful schedule for the week.  Still, I managed to accomplish several important tasks that helped lead me ever closer to the real work of building the Daysailor.

fillslots1.jpg (46569 bytes)On Tuesday, it was great to get away from my office and the dead computer and get some real work accomplished out in the shop.  The first order of business was to prepare the inside of the hull for filling the bulkhead slots with thickened epoxy, which I needed to do before any other new construction work could be done.  

Click here to read more about the final hull preparations.

staging2-1.jpg (55252 bytes)With the epoxy in place and curing, I set to my next task:  constructing staging all the way around the boat.  I needed good staging all the way around so that I could work comfortably at deck level, where most of the work would be taking place.  I spent some time debating the height it should be, and how best to build sturdy, reusable, and ultimately portable staging.  I'd had enough of the sort of rickety stuff I'd bodged together in the past, most notably during Glissando's restoration.  In the end, the job took me most of Tuesday afternoon, and all day Wednesday, to complete.

Read more about building the staging here.

sandslots11.jpg (36057 bytes)With the staging built, I had to turn my attention Thursday to getting  my computer system back up and running, and trying to regain some semblance of normalcy.  But after spending the entire morning on that, I headed to the shop to grind the epoxy from Tuesday's work in the hull.  In each of these tasks can be found a positive step towards the beginning of actual construction in the very, very near future.

See the sanded hull here.

I spent a large portion of Friday working on the restoration of the website you are now reading.  It took some hours to download the site from the server and ensure that I had all applicable information (photos, files, styles, etc.) on my new hard drive before I attempted to republish, as publishing from scratch can overwrite files that I might not otherwise have changed, and I wanted to make sure that the site as published off my computer was exactly what it should be.  The import process leaves something to be desired, and I was forced to reinstall various photos and files to ensure proper workability.  All the information was there--the import process just doesn't allow for transfer of certain things without a bit of work, that's all.

planerstand1.jpg (50472 bytes)I also managed to get out to the shop for a while, where I spent some time building a new rolling platform on which to secure my thickness planer.  The "portable" bench I had had it installed on was too unwieldy and heavy to move easily (and besides, the planer had already ripped the lags out of the lousy particleboard top), and with the new staging set up I couldn't come up with a good place to leave the bench where it would be out of the way, yet accessible when needed.  So off came the planer, and I built a simple but sturdy platform on top of some locking casters.  I constructed the platform so that the planer tables would be at the same height (or fractionally above) my table saw and main work benches at the rear of the shop, so by rolling the new table in between the table saw and bench I could have infeed and outfeed support for larger or heavier boards.  Since the new platform is only a bit larger in each dimension than the planer itself, moving and storage are easy.  I also cleaned up the dust that had finally settled from Thursday's sanding session.

Saturday, I did what to the outside world would appear to be nothing--but anyone who has built a boat, or done any sizeable boat project, would understand the activity for what it was:  critical thought and mental planning.  I pored over my basic deck frame plan that I drew up last winter; I flipped through various reference books on wooden boatbuilding; I surfed the web for ideas and materials; I sat for long minutes inside the empty hull out in the shop, trying to visualize the first pieces of framing and structure that I would soon install.  I made lists of materials to order on Monday, and errands to run.  What would the first piece of wood to go in be?  Where would I locate the engine--in fact, which engine would I choose, and what were its dimensions?  How would it fit under the cockpit?  Where would the bulkheads go, and how should I go about framing the deck in relation to the hull structure?  Answers to these questions were all important, and all had to be answered before I could jump headfirst into the next step.

Where will all the pondering and thought lead?  Check it out a week from now.

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