Friday, April 29, 2016

Shopping Trip

We drove down to LL Johnson Lumber in Charlotte this morning. I picked out one 4/4 x 7" x 20' piece of mahogany for the rub rails. I also picked out 30bf of cherry for various non-boat projects. The cherry purchase was to help defray the delivery charges… The lumber will be delivered on Tuesday. Always fun to shop for lumber!

So, sometime later next week (when I can gather the help) I'll rip the mahogany for the rub rails. A day or two later we can steam bend the rub rails and have them ready to install.

Today I pulled the clamps on the carlins and the king plank. Everything looks fine. After some sanding and fairing I can begin fitting the fore and side decks.

Despite my recent whining about not making much progress, things seem to be surging forward now. This feels good!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Installed the King Plank

I refined the slot in the mock-up plank (sized the slot to fit the stub-mast with leather wrap) to use as a template for cutting the slot in the real king plank.

Measured, checked, rechecked, measured again… I wanted to make sure the slot was in the right position on the king plank. When I was sure I had it where I wanted it, I clamped the template to the king plank, traced the outline of the slot, cut it with the saber saw, clamped the template back on and cleaned up the edges with a router and flush trim bit.

King plank in place with the stub-mast (complete with leather wrap for sizing).

I cut a plug to fit/fill the slot and hold the mast in place. Trimmed the plug to a snug fit, which is fine for now but it will be trimmed again to allow for swelling when the plug is wet. The piece in the photo will be used as a template as there is a rather large knot in it. Even with epoxy and fiberglass, I'd rather not have that knot in the plug.

A top piece, a bit wider than the plug, will be added to the plug to prevent the plug falling through. Turn-buttons underneath will prevent the plug from popping out while sailing.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

How Does That Work...

The more progress I make on Gardens, the longer the to-do list gets.

I wonder how that works…

So anyway, I'll just keep working on that to-do list. And one of these days that list will get shorter. Right?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Steam Bending the Carlins

Last week was an experiment. It worked. Today we steam bent two pieces for the carlins and clamped them in place. Things worked better today than last week.

Milled the carlins: two pieces of cherry measuring 3/4" x 1-3/8" x 14'
Pre-Soaked in PVC pipe
Steamed in poly tubing for 45 minutes
Clamped in place
Removed from tubing and re-clamped to dry

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Opened the Boat Cave

Spring has sprung: mid-to-upper 70s, clear skies and little to no wind. It's great!

Consistently warm weather means I removed the north wall of the Boat Cave to open it up a bit. More light and better air circulation.

All I need to do now is a little housekeeping…

Friday, April 15, 2016

It Worked!

Today was a good day... Okay, I am not the first to steam bend wood. I am not the first to use poly tubing as a steam chamber. I am not the first… but this was a first for me. And…it WORKED!

The set-up:
  • 3/4" x 1-3/8" x 8' piece (longest piece I had to experiment with) of cherry
  • 4" poly-tubing
  • Earlex steam generator
  • A 1/2" auto heater hose
  • Slit in poly tubing at mid-point for the hose
  • Clamps...lots of clamps
What could go wrong? The heater hose fell out of the slit in the poly tubing before the steam generator really got going. We (brother-in-law and I) re-grouped, taped the hose at one end of the poly tubing and continued. Even with a significant loss of steam at the slit, the tubing filled with steam & heat and heated the entire length. Thirty-five minutes later, we clamped the piece along the gun'l (bending it in two dimensions), shut off the steam and waited.

An hour later we unclamped the whole affair, pulled the piece out of the tubing and clamped it back in place. Yes, there was a bit of spring-back - but not as much as we expected. The piece went right back in place and is now drying.

We declared the experiment a success and celebrated with beer and brats. Early next week I'll be ordering 20' lumber for the gun'ls and rub-rails and we'll be back at steam bending wood!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Seriously Keen...

The weather seems to have turned the corner from the last fitful gasps of wintery rain/sleet/snow/ice to a very promising - and very Spring-like - forecast: clear, dry and warmer for the next 10 days!

I've been busy the last few days and I'm looking forward to the next week or so…

All of the seat panels and two out of three platform deck panels are ready for paint (on the undersides. I've been playing musical saw-horses with the panels while epoxy coating them, but with the warm weather I need to dig out a couple more supports so I can paint all the panels at the same time.

I plan to follow a couple of other Pathfinder builders and install carlins to better support the side decks, so I am experimenting with steam bending wood (rub-rails later in the build will need bending, too). A steam generator, a roll of poly-tube, some wishful thinking and good intentions ought to see me through…

Being my typically optimistic self, I plan to mill birdsmouth staves for the yard and the mizzen mast over the weekend (or early next week). Assembly of those two spars could happen next week, too, depending on my recruiting skills (Jan will be visiting grandchildren in Denver).

The king plank is ready for installation but I want to get the space between BH-1 and BH-2 at least prepped for painting without the king plank getting in the way.

And, so it goes. I feels good making progress again. As John Welsford commented on a FaceBook post, "…it is at this point of a build that I get seriously keen on getting her finished and on the water." That is where I am at: "Seriously Keen! "

Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Spring Break

Of course, that begs the question, do you really get a spring break when you are retired?

I enjoyed a fun visit with my daughter in Chicago - we went to Opening Day of baseball season in Milwaukee. The Giants won the game 12-3 and the Brewers' fans were generally good sports about it.

We had a close-enough encounter with a completely oblivious BMW driver on the highway, confirming my long-held stereotype of BMW drivers: they drive as though they bought the road along with the car. While it really was close enough (the third car bounced off the median wall and nearly rolled), no one was hurt and the BMW driver continued on his way without a clue and without stopping.

The rest of the week was spent with two of Jan's grandsons (ages 5 and 7). We all had a fun time playing cards, reading, chasing around outside and doing 2nd grade math homework.

No boat work (no sanding, no epoxy, no cutting/fitting anything); no woodworking (two or three projects in the works but no progress this wek); no yard work (no clean up of winter debris, etc). I'm glad spring break is over and I can get back to Gardens of Fenwick!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Moving On…

Focusing on the bilges now.

I need to get them ready for painting and the only thing standing between now and paint is Sanding.

Yes, I have been sanding all along but there is still more to do… and I'll get right back to it on Tuesday when I get back from visiting my daughter in Chicago.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Another Ghost…

In December I posted about errors made earlier in the build coming back to haunt me…

Another ghost showed up this week.

BH-1 is not plumb with the spine. It tilts ever so slightly (2 or 3°) aft. What this means is, I cannot use the top of BH-1 as a reference for positioning the mast - as shown in my sail plan. Not catastrophic, just a little annoying.