Monday, March 28, 2011

What's the Point?

After getting the rub strips on the splash rails, I had some short pieces of rub strip that I could experiment with bending to fit the bow of the boat. I traced the bow of the boat onto a 2x6 and then made the curve a bit more acute and cut it out on the band-saw. I sawed a shallow groove into the middle of the edge to align the rub strip, screwed one side down and then bent it around the corner. It bent OK, but with the spring back, it didn't fit the boat at all.

So I went to newly concocted Plan B, which was using a 90 degree corner form with a radius to match the bow point. With this set up, the rub strip was bent a bit too much, but with a pipe clamp turned into a pusher, I pushed the sucker into place. Then marked the screw holes with an awl, drilled pilot holes and screwed it in place. Then rest of the side rub strips followed....albeit it hole at a time. Each side was done with two 6' pieces as I was too cheap to pay the ridiculous shipping costs of 12' pieces. In the end, it all worked out as it would have been nearly impossible to handle 12' pieces and do the finesse work at the ends.

The end at the transom was finished with a formed end like the splash rails. I think I may add another screw hole about an inch from the aft end as there about 3" of rub strip past the last screw and it might be subject to getting caught up on something and bent. I couldn't be happier with the look of the rub strips. All my worry beads about the look at the bow, the joint fits, and end treatment have been taken care of.

All's Well That Ends Well

For the stainless steel rub rail, I decided to use the 1/2" wide, half oval type since at the back of the boat, the edge is not wide enough for a wider strip. It also seemed like it would be a better look on a small boat. However, there doesn't seem to be any ready made end spears available, so I experimented with shaping and forming the end until I got what I wanted. So here's what I came up with:

1) Cut strip to length by clamping strip in some wood blocks and then in a vice. Cutting with a saws-all with a metal cutting blade.

2) Grinding the end to a rounded shape on the bench grinder.

3) Filing the back side flat to remove grinding burrs and flatten edges.

4) Laying strip on vice with end hanging off about 1/2" and forming (pounding away) with a ball peen hammer until underside was flat.

5) Polishing with Dremel tool using abrasive rubber polisher.

6) Final polish with fine grit abrasive pads (1800 to 4000 grit).

After the end was formed, an additional screw hole was drilled about an inch from the end using the drill press and press vice. A spring loaded center punch was used to mark the hole start and avoid wandering. A hole was drilled and then a countersink reamer until the screw head fit.

For the leading end of the splash rail, I made a form to bend the rub strip to fit. Clamping to the form and gently bending the strip by hand the yield point could be felt. With a few gentle bends and being careful not to bend it at the screw holes did the trick. The splash rails took a good part of a day to do, but the result is quite nice, I think.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Longer Shiftless

Previous to cutting in the hatches, I worked on making the cut in my deck for mounting the throttle/shift control. While I had originally planned to get a stainless steel metal bezel made, my fellow boat builder Ted suggested that I make a wood bezel....great idea! I decided that a two piece bezel would provide a tighter fit and cover up the "dogbone" look of the deck cut out.

Starting with a mock up "box" to mount the controller, I developed the cut out hole that would allow installing the controller levers up through the hole. This mock-up work provided lots of procrastination time from cutting into the real deck and was worth the trouble. After figuring out the cut-out hole size and shape, I used scraps from the deck planking to make the bezel. The deck edge was used to trace a gentle curve to the long edges as a rectangular bezel just didn't look right with all the curves of the boat.

After making the bezel it looked like it might interfere with where I might want to locate the windshield bracket, so I decided to move the controller outboard 3/4". So an auxiliary extender piece was made to add to the carling to shift the shifter and better reinforce the mounting holes. Finally, I put some blue tape on the deck, laid out the hole, "took a brave pill" and drilled a couple of big a*# holes in the deck. Using a hand saw I cut between the holes. Bla, bla, bla, ...look at the pictures.

The first photo shows the mock-up box, the second the deck cutout and the bezel split apart. The third has the bezel located around the shifter and the fourth the extender piece underneath that was added.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time Hatch Come Today....

Can't put it off another day.... to misquote the Chambers Bros. song. I ran out of other things to work on so I finally had to come to grips with whacking a big hole in the deck of my boat. First, the screws and shims that had held the hatch frames in place were removed. Then holes were drilled from underneath at the corners of the hatches to define the margins. Once underway, it seemed like no big deal. The first picture shows the hatch frames put in place before the subdeck and cover planks.

After finding the corners, I blue taped over the margin areas and drew the margin lines with the aid of a yard stick. With a sabre saw, I cut just the hinge margins, cut the hinges to length and mounted the hinges. Then the remaining fore and aft margins were cut to remove the hatch in one piece.

After cleaning up the edges on the hatch and hatch opening, support pieces were made to support the hatches when closed. These pieces were screwed in place on the boat. Then the hatch center margin was cut on the table saw and back to the boat to install the hinges again.

The center margin and underlying supports were trimmed with a bevel to provide swing clearance when opening.

Secondary latch catches were installed on the underneath side of one hatch and then the perimeter banding was cut and installed.

I still have the primary latch/handle that needs to be installed.

Update: The last picture shows primary latch installed. The latch plate will need to be extended since the latch location is too far away from the margin due to not wanting to interfere with perimeter banding.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In the Groove

I filled the gaps on my sample board with white pigmented and thickened epoxy to see how it will look and to practice the application. After using blue tape to tape off the boards, I mixed a 5 pump batch of epoxy. A 1/2 tsp. of white pigment was mixed in and then a few spoonfuls of white silica to thicken. Then the batch was loaded into a blank caulking tube, the nozzle cut and I pumped the goo into the gaps.

The mixture was a little soupy and I ended up squeegeeing the excess off. After cure there were a couple of low spots that might be from a void underneath and the goo slumped into the void. Dunno, but overall it looks good. It definately was good to practice and have an idea what I'm going to do for real on the boat when the time comes for that step.
The pictures are of the sample board sitting on the bow of the boat.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Almost Finished

With the first coat of epoxy on the deck it looks almost finished....but the final finishing as well as quite a few other things are left to do.
After brushing on a coat of epoxy quite a few air bubbles formed. I tried using a heat gun to lower the viscosity, but it brought out even more bubbles which didn't seem to help. So then I dragged a piece of foam roller over the surfaces and it took out a lot of bubbles. Then I left the room before I totally messed it all up. Overall, it looks pretty good and its exciting to see how the boat is going to look.
Before I invest any more time into finishing, the next items to get done are cutting out the hatch and getting the throttle/shift control mounted and trimmed. It will be mentally difficult to cut holes into what looks nice just the way it is. At some point the gaps between the planks will get caulked with white pigmented and thickened epoxy. I did a trial of that on one of my sample boards and it came out pretty good. More on that later.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Deck Staining

When we put in a patio I thought I would never have to stain a deck again.... After hand sanding all the deck surfaces with 220 grit, some vacumming, wipe down and room clean-up it was time to mask and stain. A bit of blue tape, plastic and masking paper and I was ready to have at it.
After staining everything, there were some blothy spots around one of the perimeter planking joints and a couple of sanding scratches on that same side. After letting it sit overnight, I still was not satisfied with those areas. So I hand sanded again with 220 grit one whole side, cleaned it up and restained. Its good enough now to move on. Looks pretty cool even if I say so myself.