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...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Boat Work, Wood Work and Riding

UPS Freight delivered the new table saw, a Grizzly G0715P, last Wednesday afternoon. We transferred it from the truck to our utility trailer and, from there, to the shop floor. Set up took a couple of hours - including reassembling the mobile base a couple of times before we got the casters installed properly.

The saw is an impressive machine. And the accuracy, right out of the box, is impressive, too.

The major drawback to having a new saw is finding enough time each day to work on Gardens, do some woodworking in the shop and putting in some miles on my bicycle. That last is important as I am gearing up for a two-day, 150-mile ride in about two weeks - and I haven't ridden nearly enough this spring and summer. More time in a day would be nice, but we all get the same 24 hours each day. Hopefully, a workable routine will soon evolve…

In the meantime, progress continues with fairing the strakes. Why does a task always seem to take longer to complete than I think/wish/hope it should?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fairing the Planks

I began fairing the planks this week.

Without having a 20' batten, or the means to make one, I am using masking tape to line off each plank. It is a bit tedious to place the tape, step back for a look, adjust the tape, look again, and so forth until getting what appears to me (and I hope) is a fair line. But, it is what I have to work with and, so far, I am pleased with the results.

Using a multi-tool, block plane, a palm sander and a sanding block I trimmed two planks on the port side to the tape. The third plank will be masked off and trimmed tomorrow.

The measurements of the port side planks will be transferred to the starboard side planks, which should be trimmed to shape Monday and Tuesday.

The butt seams are being filled and faired as are the chines (the seam between the bottom and the garboard plank). Once the chines are filled and faired, the bottom will be ready for epoxy and fiber glass cloth… maybe by the middle of next week.

My new table saw arrived on Wednesday. It has been set up and works beautifully.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's a Wooden Boat...

We often hear - and share - the refrain, "It's a wooden boat, it can be fixed" without really appreciating that fact.

Today, I had that lesson driven home…

When I planked Gardens I struggled with the garboards, particularly at the bow and especially on the starboard side. I knew there was a problem but didn't fully appreciate it until we turned Gardens over last weekend.

There was a gap - not a sliver of light shining through but a legitimate GAP (wide enough to drive the proverbial truck through) where the starboard garboard did NOT pull tight against the stem/spine. The problem is visible (sort of) in this view of the overturned hull:

While that photo doesn't show the gap, rest assured the gap is (was) located at the hump. No, I don't believe that hump (a mis-cut of the plank) caused the gap, the hump just marked the gap's location.

A flap-sander on a grinder took car of the hump. A plug, fashioned of cut-offs and epoxy, filled the gap. The repair is visible in this view (albeit a bit out of focus):

So, my stewing and fretting about the gap over the last few days was unnecessary. I have a new appreciation for the adage, "It's a wooden boat, it can be fixed."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Done! Done! Waiting...

The new-to-me band saw came home yesterday and, with some help, is now in the shop!


Gardens went from this:

and this:

To this:

Five adults and two 2x3x8' studs (slipped under the hull) had Gardens off her trailer, on the ground, rolled over and on the stands in about five minutes!


Getting Gardens rolled over feels great - lots to do but there it is right in front of me to do!

UPS Freight called on Thursday to schedule the delivery of the table saw next Wednesday afternoon.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Waiting for Tools

My new-to-me band saw is ready to be picked up this week. It will probably have to come home in two trips as the Escape is not large enough to hold the saw and stand.

The brand new table saw will be here next week! That means I need to de-clutter the shop to make room for the new saw. How is it that a new space can become so cluttered in such a short time?

While waiting for the saws, I have been busy figuring out how to build a layout table for laminating the stem; and, not so coincidentally, where to put the layout table. Checking the barn for what might be useful (my new "first step" for projects), I found another 4x8 sheet of chipboard, two 2x10x10 planks (previously used in my spar table) and two idle sawhorses. An "instant" table:

photo 408

I'll plot the points defining the shape of the bow on the table, secure blocks at those points and proceed with laminating the stem. Of course, I need to find the lumber for the stem and mill it to a workable size. I haven't seen anything in the barn as yet that is long enough (and not peppered with old, rusty nails) but there may be something out there. Otherwise, I'll have to visit the lumber yard for new material.

In quasi-boat related news, the Escape gets a tow hitch and wiring installed tomorrow. I'm still looking for a trailer for Gardens.

In totally non-boat related news, we had a great time attending a Bonnie Raitt concert last night at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She and her band have a genuinely good time playing their music and their audiences have a great time watching and listening.