Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It Should Come As No Surprise...

And yet, I was surprised, impressed and pleased after installing new blades in the Ryobi thickness planer. I swear it even sounds different - better - than it did with the old (and visibly dull) blades. Don't know if that is even possible but it seems that way to me.

Gardens scored a new outboard motor mount late this afternoon! Timing is everything: DuckWorks posted on FB they received a couple of the previously out of stock Race-Lite Motor Mounts and updated the post to say there was only one left. I grabbed my Mac and wallet and placed my order. DuckWorks sent a confirmation email and Chuck's subsequent post confirmed the purchase.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Odds & Ends

Travel (Cleveland, Fremont, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Atlanta, Oklahoma, Duluth and Denver) is picking up which means boat work is necessarily slowing down. And we haven't been able to do all the traveling we planned this summer: We missed the sailing vacation to the Upper Peninsula. Progress comes in fits and starts between trips but there is progress.

And, even though it is August - with warm temperatures and high humidity - I know cold winter weather is lurking on the horizon. So, there is motivation to get as much done before temperatures drop too low for epoxy and paint. As the saying goes, I'll have to make hay while the sun shines…

There are two thickness planers in my shop. One is a basic Ryobi I bought used three years ago. It has served me well but it needs new blades - or it needs the existing (two-sided) blades changed around - and a good cleaning. New blades have been ordered and I will check the existing blades before installing the new ones. The other planer is a Delta planer with more bells and whistles than the Ryobi but the lifting mechanism is stuck (the planer sat in the barn for at least four years before I found it last fall). No amount of penetrating oil and leverage has budged it. The plan is too take it apart, figure out why it is stuck, correct it and reassemble the planer. One hesitation is, how do I get it properly aligned when reassembling it? Then it occurred to me, the planer is useless now so I can't make it worse... That little project may wait until that cold winter weather shows up later in the year.

Having completed this year's Pedal to the Point bicycle ride, my brother and I decided we want to do the Courage Classic, a three-day event, in Colorado next July. So, now I need to figure out how to train for the hills/mountains and altitude of Colorado here in the flat lands of Michigan. I need to get cracking on that as the Courage Classic is only 48 weeks away...

Travel, boat work, wood work, tool maintenance and bicycle training... plenty of odds and ends to keep me busy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pedal to the Point - Done!

This year's Pedal to the Point bicycle ride is history. 72 miles on Saturday and 61 miles (because my legs of lead gave up 10 miles from the finish) on Sunday. I'm a bit stiff and sore this morning but that will soon pass. I know that had I trained more/better for the event I could have finished Sunday's route. I'll have to keep that in mind as I prepare for a three-day event in Colorado next July!

One boat task begun before I left for Ohio: fitting the external stem with some sanding (maybe grinding is a better term as I used my 4½" grinder) of the bow of the hull. I'll finish the fitting when I get back tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Off the Jig

The laminated outer stem came off the jig with surprisingly little spring-back. It isn't a perfect fit on the hull but it will only take a bit of sanding for it to be so.

Still prepping for the two-day Pedal to the Point bicycle ride this weekend: 75 miles, Cleveland to Sandusky on Saturday; returning 75 miles on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Laminating the Stem

The stem - or, more succinctly, the outer stem - came together rather suddenly yesterday. I spent a couple of hours over last week re-sawing and planing four 1x4s into nine useable 3.5mm thick pieces for the lamination.

And, I watched this series of videos on Laminating the Stem several times. The video answered a basic question I had: How do you glue up so many pieces with all those clamps in the way? (Somewhere I got the notion that the individual pieces were added to the form one at a time…)

So, after applying a finish to a couple of picture frames and a bit of work on the chine, I found myself with time, the stem pieces and no excuses... I decided there's no time like the here and now to glue up the stem.

Following the general guidelines (but not all of the specifics - ( I used waxed paper rather than plastic under the glue-up), the gluing, assembly and clamping went remarkably well. The only real "mix-up" (literally) came when I tried to mix a batch of epoxy that exceeded my scale's capacity and I lost track of the mix. I set that aside and continued on. Later in the day that unused batch had set up nicely - I could have used it but there was no way to know that at the time.

The stem is all clamped up, the epoxy is doing its thing and I plan to leave it in the form for a few days.

In the meantime, work continues on the bottom, planks, spars (and other woodworking projects).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Working on the Bottom

A long, long time ago - or so it seems - when I cut the slot for the centerboard trunk, I cut it a bit too long. There has been a small gap (hole) in the bottom just aft end of the centerboard trunk. Not really a big deal and I figured I would repair it when I turned the boat over to work on the bottom. Well, here we are… Gardens has been upside down for about three weeks and that gap/hole is still there…

I fashioned a plug out of Douglas fir, fit it and glued it in place today.

Not sure why the lighting is so different in these photos - they were taken just minutes apart. The plug stands proud of the bottom which allows me to sand/grind it flush with the bottom (I'd rather do that than try to fill it in if the plug was below the bottom). There will be some additional work to finish the repair when I build out the interior but nothing major.

The gap between the bottom and the port-side garboard has been filled and covered with two layers of FG (4" tape overlapped with 6" tape).

Work continues on matching the starboard planks to the port-side planks, filling the fastener holes in the bottom and laminating an external stem.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Upcoming Events

There are two noteworthy small-boat events on my horizon.

The last weekend in September, a Gathering of Goats will take place at Seneca Lake, New York. Seneca Lake was chosen as the site based on the (relatively) high concentration of GIS in the Northeast. This event may be of limited interest to the small-boat world in general but to the small cohort of GIS builders/owners/sailors, it will be a significant outing. All Goat Island Skiffs (GIS) are invited and if more than three show up, it will be the largest known gathering of GIS so far. Details can be found on Facebook (look for the Goat Island Skiff group). We are still checking our calendar and figuring out if we can make it to the Gathering.

This year's Sail Oklahoma event takes place October 9-13. Headquartered at the Monies' Boat Palace near the shores of Lake Eufala, Sail Oklahoma has grown into, perhaps, the preeminent small-boat messabout in the country. The event is packed with seminars, demos, sailing (and rowing, paddling, and power boats, too), music, great food (Cowboy Cookies alone are worth the trip), lots of boats, lots of people and an all-star line-up of designers and builders. Sail Oklahoma is on our calendar.

A third, and much smaller, messabout is a possibility for us in August in McKay Bay in Les Cheneaux Islands on Michigan's Upper Penisula. A Picnic Cat 15 (my sister and brother-in-law) and a Potter 19 (cousins) are committed to the trip. We plan to go for a least a visit, and, if the trailer can be prepped for the trip, may take Karen Ann, our GIS. Three boats would definitely be more fun than two!

Meanwhile, work continues on Gardens...