Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Tips and Things Leaned along the way

Raising the bar: So far I've been happy that I raised the form that the boat frames mount to. The plan says 24" off the floor, but I raised it to 32". With this small boat, I have not found it to be too high. The working level for the sides was good as I could sit on a stool for much of the work and it kept me off my knees. It is easy to get underneath the boat for various checks and bottom installation.

Recycled Ping-Pong Table: This has been a could base for mounting the forms while covering the carpet. Surrounded by 1/4" plywood, it does not move around and is a stable platform. If I had it to do over, I would add a 2x4 reinforcement from side to side directly underneath the form feet. It rocks slightly when pushed from the side as I only have a 2x4 reinforcement down the middle of the tables underneath where the 2x6 mounts down the middle. With the carpet and padding underneath the protective plywood, it flexes a bit underneath my feet and is very comfortable to stand on, unlike cement floors.

Gum Containers: I looked at an empty Eclipse gum container and being a pack rat it looked too good to throw out. So I asked myself, "Self, What could you use this for?" And the self answered, "Screws". They are terrific. The top unscrews for loading, the clear top allows seeing what's inside, it opens as a shaker spout for or the clear top pops open. Way cool. I'm chewing alot of gum now trying to get enough containers for all the different screw sizes. Maybe they should advertise that!

Screw Lube: Sometimes screwing goes better with a little lube...get your mind back on track, we're talking boats here. After breaking a couple of the silicon-brass screws, I started putting a small amount of "Screw-lube" on the tip and the problem went away.

Dry Wall Screws: I used these screws for the temporary screw blocks and while they may be cheap and drive home easily, but they also sometimes break when removed. I didn't learn my lesson and kept using them, and had another three break off when removing the screw blocks on the second front bottom piece.
Broken Screw Removal: When the cheap drywall screws are broken off at the surface with nothing to put a vice grip on, what do you do? They have to come out or they would rust later. After digging through my shop, I found a roll pin with an I.D. about the screw shaft diameter. I filed a short spiral so it would cut the wood around the screw shaft when rotated counter-clockwise. I chucked it up and started pushing and boring around the screw shaft. It would smoke and act like it wasn't going to work until with a bit more brute force it would grab the screw and out it would come. Drilling clockwise into scrap wood would remove the screw shaft so I could reuse it. I used it more than I would have liked.

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