Sunday, January 31, 2016

Not Much (but some) Progress

The anchor well is sealed and sanded - ready for paint before the king plank is installed. Given the mild forecast for the next few days, the king plank should be installed by mid-week.

I think the doubler for BH-2 is almost ready to install. It might get trimmed one more time but it is close to where I want it.

Shop space has been cleared so I can cut out the platform deck panels. This was not an easy task as my shop is 12' x 16' and full of tools. Several boxes of cut-offs and pieces of other projects have been moved to other parts of the barn, and several tools have been wheeled against the walls. At any rate, I can work on the platform deck.

The leather wrap on the boomkin needs reconsideration. The boomkin has a rectangular cross-section where it sits in the transom. The leather - as installed - is loose and sloppy looking - same effect as trying to apply FG cloth to sharp corders. But I wonder if I need to modify the cross-section (more rounded) or, maybe, just forego the leather on the boomkin (not called for in the plans).

As for the finish on the chessboard… Varnish seems to be working well. Three coats of thinned (3:1, mineral spirits to varnish) have produced a bright, clear finish. I will do a few more coats, including the sides before it is done.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Prepping for the King Plank...

The anchor well deck has been glued in place and the edges taped & epoxied. I'll let it sit under the light for another night before sanding and painting… The light and anchor well were shrouded with black plastic before I closed up for the night.

Another bit off the plans… taking a cue from Deke's build in Florida and a detail from Spartina, I decided to add a doubler to the aft side of BH-2.

The end of the king plank will be covered by the doubler. The foreword end of the cockpit will have, to my eye, a cleaner look. The top edge of the doubler will be trimmed flush with the router after the doubler is glued in place. The lower edge of the doubler may be too low. I plan to take an inch (maybe less) off at a time until I see the "right" look.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Anchor Well and Leathers

Anchor-well deck is installed. A shop light shrouded with black plastic trash bag provides warmth for curing of epoxy. Tomorrow I'll seal the edges with 2" FG tape and epoxy.

Today I learned cutting, fitting and sewing leathers on round spars is much easier than doing the same for rectangular spars. The first piece I cut for the boomkin was too short - left too much of a gap between the edges. The second piece was much better but, after soaking and sewing, it seems to be too loose. It looks "lumpy" and loose. I'll wait for it to dry to see if the fit improves at all but I may cut it off and try a third time. On the positive side, my stitching is improving, as it should!

The boom was much easier to do.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Continuing On

The propane heater is now hooked up to the patio grill's tank and running nicely. Recent single digit temperatures have given way to upper-20s and low-30s. Warm enough for the heater to stay on top of the cold to make it workably warm in the Boat Cave.

The anchor well deck is prepped and ready for installation tomorrow. I can't think of anything else that needs doing before I seriously limit access to the bow compartment...

Pilot and counter-sink holes have been drilled in the mast step for lag screws. The step is ready for epoxy coating, which will happen when I've got epoxy mixed to install the anchor well deck.

Might as well include a photo or two of the woodworking project I've been sanding, and sanding and sanding(and mentioned previously). It is a 3-D checker (or chess) board made of cherry and walnut. The bottom surface (the two-dimension board) is very smooth but has a hazy/cloudy look to it. While I don't want a high-gloss finish, I also don't want the hazy/cloudy look it has now. The finish is Wipe-On Polyurethane with very light sanding using 320 grit paper between coats.

The piece and the polyurethane have been moved to the warmth of the house for additional sanding and finish work.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Still Indoors

Last week's snow and ice kept me in the house.

Friday was warmer - upper 30s with steady rain all day - but I didn't take advantage of it.

Saturday turned cold - Friday's rain froze - and the temperature has been in singe digits or low teens since. The propane heater hasn't been able to get on top of the bitter cold to make the Boat Cave workable.

So, I am still indoors. I've got a few supplies on order but with the holiday tomorrow none of those will arrive until Tuesday. For now I am practicing a bit more on my leather work (trying to figure out a different/stronger stitching pattern than I've used - I know what it is, I'm trying to estimate how much thread is needed: 2, 3 or 4 X the length…) and sanding that woodworking project.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Why I Practice…

Before cutting, fitting, punching and sewing leather chafe protection for Gardens' spars (boomkin and boom are ready), I need to practice: A spar sample (from last spring's birdsmouth experiments), a small bit of leather cut to size, a nail & hammer, waxed thread and two needles. Here is the result:

This is why I practice:
  • The leather was cut too short so the gap is too wide
  • Different number of holes on one side than the other
  • Using the nail to punch holes, some holes were smaller/tighter than others making it difficult to pull the needles through
  • The beginning stitches left the knot on top
  • Stitch pattern is not consistent
These will all be improved and corrected as I practice a bit more.

On the other hand, the results are not bad. If I didn't point out the mismatched number of holes, it would take a keen eye to spot it. And, while the gap is too wide, it is consistent.

I'll do at least one more practice piece before working on the boomkin and boom. Please note, the practice piece has not been treated in any way. The leathers on Gardens' spars will all be treated to guard against drying out.

Working on the leathers is an indoor project. The weather has been very cold this week and the propane heater, running on 1-lbs canisters, is too costly to run. I've ordered an extension hose to connect the heater to a 20-lbs tank. I'll be back in the Boat Cave shortly.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Iced In

No, it hasn't been cold enough long enough for the many lakes in the area to ice over. No, yesterday's late-afternoon-into-evening rainfall froze overnight as the temperatures dropped into the teens. Some bit of snow fell overnight and today but not much, really. But that ice… the roads are in bad shape and driving is not recommended and walking across the yard to the barn is not something I attempted today. We are iced in.

I spent the afternoon reading a novel and making lists of boat tasks and woodworking projects to be work on. Little in the way of new snow is expected, so I'll venture out across the yard tomorrow to work on Gardens.

Perhaps, later in the winter, I'll get to try ice-boating. I've been invited to go once there is enough ice...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Great Feedback

Thanks for the great feedback to my question, "What am I forgetting." I feel confident I have everything ready to button up the bow section… but I am going to wait a few days. One, to let things percolate in my mind a bit longer to see if anything else needs to be done before the anchor well deck and king plank are installed. And, two, I have to be away from the Boat Cave for a couple of days.

When I return I will be busy as there are a (growing) number of details to attend to:
  • Beefing up the spine at the mast step location
  • Cutting and fitting the platform deck panels
  • Installing the platform deck cleats along the inside of the hull
  • Sanding/Prepping the bilge spaces below the platform deck for paint
  • Painting the bilge
Painting the bow section taught me two things: I need to do a better job sanding - the paint shows up every little imperfection (yes, I know, Preparation is the key to a good finish). The other lesson learned is that the painted section looks pretty good after all. Sort of contradictory lessons but that's just the way it is sometimes. I plan to do a better job of sanding and prep as I work my way aft...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

What Am I Forgetting?

The bow section - from stem to BH-1 - is nearly complete:
  • Epoxy coated and painted.
  • Bow eye installed.
  • Anchor well deck fit, epoxied and painted
  • King plank about 95% fitted and underside painted
  • BH-1 and BH-2 notches re-cut
  • Access hatch fitted to BH-1


Anchor well deck dry-fitted:

King plank and access hatch:

The anchor well is ready to glue in place. The question I have to ask myself is, "What am I forgetting?" Should I wait to see what oversight I've made… Or, am I really ready to button up this section of the boat and continue on?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

It is the New Year! For us it is a time to look forward, to consider the possibilities and to (loosely) plan the next 12 months.

Today we took our now traditional New Year's drive to Pentwater, MI, to stand on the beach, embrace the brisk wind blowing off Lake Michigan, yell out the old year, welcome in the new and celebrate the day with a very good bar burger at the Brown Bear. And the adventure wasn't diminished in the least by that flat tire on the way home.

There are many possibilities for us in the year ahead… too many, really. We'll pare them down, make tentative plans and be ready to make adjustments as circumstances dictate. But no matter what, we are looking forward to a very good year.

We wish everyone a very Happy New Year!