Friday, January 27, 2012

A Monkey Off My Back

I've been plugging right along making the frames for Gardens of Fenwick. Things have gone well with the exception of Frame 6A. I struggled to make sense of the drawing, drew it out on plywood a couple of times before I (think) I got it right and ran into a wall trying to figure out the doublers (reinforcements).

Frame 6A is the most complicated frame in the hull. It acts as the motor mount (which is offset to the port side), intersects/interlocks with the seat front panels and is installed at an angle of 8° off vertical. That angle makes cutting the stringer notches a little trickier. Adding to my confusion were a couple of dimensions on the drawing that made absolutely no sense to me. For instance, according to the drawing, the center-line of the motor mount doubler is 700mm off the center-line of the frame - but the widest measurement of the (half) frame is 724mm. That 700mm measurement meant the center-line of the motor mount would be an inch in from the edge of the boat. Surely, that is not the designer's intention. The text describing the assembly of Frame 6A cautions the builder to be careful as the frame is subject to vibration from the motor. All well and good but there is nothing more about the details of assembling the frame.

Earlier in the week I posed my questions and frustrations to the JWelsford Yahoo Group and got a very perceptive and appropriate response from another Pathfinder builder: "…any reasonably sane and accurate interpretation…" will be just fine. I don't know about reasonably sane but I realized "interpretation" is key. There are, no doubt, minor variations resulting from each builder's interpretation of the plans. John Welsford alludes to this in the introduction to the written instructions. He tells the builder to not be overly concerned with perfection. I forgot that bit of advice as I struggled with the 6A Monkey.

The "interpretation" response to my question relieved a great deal of anxiety and the Monkey was off my back! Work on that frame is nearly done.

Frame 6A glued up and clamped:

Other recent work includes gluing up the spine/stem assembly:

Not exactly 'action' shots but it is exciting to me to see each component come together.

One additional comment - I do not mean to criticize the plans or the written instructions. I have found the plans to be (mostly) very detailed, clear and easily understood. I just struggled with Frame 6A. I suspect there will be other hurdles as I continue building Gardens of Fenwick.

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