Saturday, 29 December 2018

Aft Slatted Sole

The aft lockers are almost complete and I have now added the aft slatted sole (aka duck boards) I've made from Douglas Fir.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Forward Storage

I have now begun to build the forward storage, which comprises a seat over and locker under.

At this juncture it dawned on me that the inclusion of a bucket would provide a head (toilet WC) ... rather having my dear wife hanging over the side!!

The aft stowage is coming along and I keep moving back and forward to allow glue to set on one end or the other. 

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Aft Lockers

I had to make knees to reinforce the gunwales, and then fixed them in place at regular intervals, on either side.

Next came the forecastle deck and the floors.

This whole area in the transom area now gets boxed in to form a locker.

Technically the locker top is a quarterdeck, a bit too grand so we will call it a locker top. 

I then cut and fitted the bulkhead that also serves as locker front

There are two lockers (under) that can be used as seats (over) and I have began to fit the longitudinal bulkheads for these.

My next move is to complete the two lockers

Monday, 26 November 2018

Forecastle and Gunwales

I have continued to build the gunwales (pronounced 'gunnels'), First came the inwale made from two pieces laminated together.

Then two one inch filler pieces, followed by the carlin which was laminated from two pieces. Altogether these six pieces form the gunwale (see picture above)

I then began work on the tiny forecastle (pronounced 'Folk sull') which I intend to be make from a half-inch marine ply ground piece, which will be planked over. I don't want the edge of the plywood exposed and so I am setting it in to lie flush with the top planks.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Starting to Look Like a Boat at Last.

Now we have domestic help I can spend more time on the Boat Build!

I had left the top of the stem uncut as I wanted it to be a mile-stone: it would go when the first deck beam went in.

I have finished the quarter-knees and transom-knee.

The Small Triangular Quarter Knee (one on either side)

Transom Knee 

Still looking scruffy, but a good sanding and epoxy resin will work wonders

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Quarter Knees, Inwales and Floors

I have now cut and fitted the quarter knees, which strengthen the transom to sides. 

Here is the port quarter knee (triangular piece)

Then I fixed the after most floor with Epoxy Resin with added Fillet Fibres, which were piped though a forcing-bag, as used in icing (topping) cakes.

Aft floor glued to planks by epoxy resin fillets

Last week, I fitted one layer of the starboard inwale to the top  strake of planking (see last posting). Today, I added the second starboard layer by laminating it (gluing it) to the first layer: It would have been difficult to bend one thick inwale and so it is made from two pieces.

The two laminated layers of the laminated inwale, looking Forward, clamped to the outer planking

View of  Starboard Inwale Looking Aft

As in the first layer, I had to scarf-joint the second layer: it wasn't long enough and I had to add a smaller length joined to the longer piece.

Scarf Joint - the length of the joint is calculated by multiplying the thickness by 8. The joint above is 4 inches long as it is 0.5 inch thick 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Floors and Transom Knee

The floors are the beams upon which the deck boards lie.  They are made from Utile, an African hardwood.

I cut the floors out quite early in the build whilst I could still get the shape from the moulds (molds). In the picture below the floors are the dark pieces of wood clamped to the bottom of the moulds.

Yesterday I offered-up the floors and began finishing them off to give a snug fit to the rounded hull.

Today I cut out the Transom Knee: the triangular bracket that ties the transom to the hog

The plans call for a knee that is either cut from a solid piece of timber, or laminated Marine Ply. Accordingly I cut out 5 pieces of ply, getting their shape by using a cardboard template: the angle between the transom and hog is greater than 90 deg. 

These five pieces will be glued together to form a laminated knee, two inches thick.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Inwalls and Transom Outboard Motor Support Beam

I've had a little time today, to get on with the build. I've cut and fitted a large piece of Utile to the transom. This is basically a support for the outboard motor. I've glued and clamped it in place.

For those unfamiliar with Utile, it is an African hardwood closely related to Sapelle and African mahogany 

I then continued work on the the inwalls. They are of Douglas Fir (2" x 0.5"). The pieces I have aren't long enough to be fitted as one continuous length so I have to add a short piece and join it to the longer piece.

and so I have scarf-joint them.

Scarf Joint (Length = Thickness x  8)
The overall effect is:

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The natural attraction to working in wood

One of the reasons I wanted to build a wooden boat was because I love woodworking. Little did I know that with this method of building I would spend as much time finishing the wood with epoxy resin, paint and hours of sanding. As a shipwright I passed the boat over to the 'finishers' to ...'er, finish!

So when it came time to sand all the inside of the boat again, for weeks, my heart sank. Then it dawned on me that I could mix carpentry and sanding ... do them in parallel.

I thought I would start with the Inwales: which are strips that run inside the top plank (inside the gunwales). Before I could do that, I needed to clean up the mess the fibre glass blanket makes when it laps over the top plank - see picture below.

Rather than rip lots of sanding-disks to pieces on the glass, I decided to take my Japanese rasp 'thing' and file off the lumps of glass.

This was very successful and I got all around the gunwale in just over an hour. I then cramped on the inwale, or rather the first part of the inwale as it has to be made from two pieces of Douglas Fir, which I will have to laminate in place.

You can see, in the picture above, the piece of Douglas Fir clamped on at the top edge isn't quite long enough to reach the bow so I will need do add a smaller piece using a scarf-joint - which we will deal with when I get to that stage. 

The Douglas Fir is 2 x 0.5 inch (45 x 11 mm) - the reason for using this type of timber is it is straight grained, knot free and strong.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

The last piece of fibre glass blanket has been put in place and epoxy resined onto the inside of the transom

The next step is to sandpaper all of the inside of the hull (excuse sideways photo below).

You may recall the monster job sandpapering the outside was, so I have invested in a top of the range sanding system from Mirka. The sander is high performance and very quiet, it is also dust free as it is attached to its own extraction system (Vacuum). 

The extraction systems takes its power from the domestic supply and the sander is plugged directly into extraction unit. The switch (picture below) on the unit is set to Auto, so that each time the sander is used it switches on/off the extraction unit.

My only reservation is whether or not the sanding disks will be strong enough to withstand the harshness of the fibre glass. We will see.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Just as you thought I deserted the project

My wife is disabled at the moment and is awaiting surgery in a month's time, that should solve her problem. Taking care of her  has kept me from boat-building. 

Now, with a bit of time management, I am able to get two or three hours a week on the boat which has changed the way I'm fibre glassing. 

It takes hours to epoxy resin longitudinally, time I don't have, and so I am doing it transversely so that I can get one piece done per session. As the boat is over 15 feet long there are 6 pieces to fit on each side - 12 total.

Below is a picture of the latest; it's piece 9 and I have 3 more pieces to go. As you can see this is a more tricky (they're all tricky) piece than most: it has to fit into the stem and traverse a multi-angled shape.

Fibreglass Blanket hung in place prior to Epoxy Resin application

After mixing up a few small batches of epoxy resin you can see from the picture below, the fibre glass becomes transparent. As the resin goes 'off' in 20 - 30 minutes, I mix small batches at a time.

Same area after Epoxy Resin has been applied.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Fibre Glass

After a number of family crisis, I was able to get back to the boat today.

The problem of which way to lay the fibre glass was my first task to solve. As you can imagine a flat cloth onto a curved surface will always result in lots of folds and creases.

I can either lay it transversely or longitudinally:

Fibreglass cloth laid transversely 
Fibreglass cloth laid transversely
Notice I hold the cloth in place with cloths pegs (clothepins)

I opted for length wise, cutting the cloth in half and applied epoxy 
resin on the front half. Notice the cloth becomes transparent.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Sticking to the Plan

My little old mum was brought-up in an orphanage by a strict regime of nuns. It is of little surprise then to find that when she left them, aged 17, she had little knowledge of the world and its ways.    Undaunted, she memorised every saying, or proverb, she came across and used them as a knowledge base. Typically, "Liars should have good memories", "A leopard can't change its spots", "Proof of the pudding is in the eating," and so on.
   What is a surprise, is to find she also had a repertoire of Music Hall (Vaudeville) songs, some of which were quite risque. 

The reason I tell you all this is because today I found myself singing one of her favourites. I'm not sure what my non-British friends call things, but in the song, papering, is a term meaning sticking wallpaper to the wall with paste (glue). The song was written in 1910. Here is the chorus:

When Father papered the parlour
You couldn't see him for paste
Dabbing it here! dabbing it there!
Paste and paper everywhere
Mother was stuck to the ceiling
The children stuck to the floor
I never knew a blooming family
So stuck up before.

Today I resumed my unhappy relationship with Epoxy Resin and fibreglass cloth!
                          When Father papered the parlour

The coat of epoxy resin I gave the boat a few days ago was to seal the wood, rather than as a finish. Today I began to lay down the fibreglass. I began with a ten inch wide strip to cover the hog.

I then mixed up pots of epoxy resin and spreads them over the cloth as you can see below.

When Father papered the parlour
You couldn't see him for paste

As you can see, the fibreglass becomes transparent, and doesn't conceal the hog . Unfortunately, it wasn't as simple as that: strands of spaghetti like glass came off the fibreglass strip and had to be picked off ... bubbles kept appearing ... epoxy resin dripped where I didn't want it ... rubber gloves were constantly replaced. 

When Father papered the parlour
You couldn't see him for paste
Dabbing it here! dabbing it there!
Paste and paper everywhere

Finally, I finished. It was then that I felt the pain in my knee and found that I had glued my knee to my jeans. Then I found my pocket knife glued to a pencil, and both stuck to the inside of my pocket! All that for a ten inch wide strip..........
                                                               ..... I have the whole of the inside of the boat to fibreglass yet!

When Father papered the parlour
You couldn't see him for paste
Dabbing it here! dabbing it there!
Paste and paper everywhere
Mother was stuck to the ceiling
The children stuck to the floor

Now some might suggest, as my wife did, that I should forget fibreglass and simply paint the inside of the boat. Tempting as that is, life is never that simple. I'll explain:

You may remember that the boat comprises about 150 narrow planks.

These planks get glued together:

This is a modern technique I am using ... for the last time! The wood is Western Red Cedar, which is a wonderful straight grained timber to work with, but, it doesn't do well in water and isn't that strong. However, if you sheath the planking in fibreglass and epoxy resin - inside and out - then the Cedar never gets touched by water and the alloy of Cedar, fibreglass and epoxy are as strong as steel! 

To remind you, here is the outside when I fibreglass/epoxy resin'd it:

Fibreglass Cloth Before Epoxy Resin Was Applied

Fibreglass Cloth After Epoxy Resin Applied

All I can do is ....stick to ... the plan!