Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The interior painting began yesterday.

This is the first time I've used a sprayer - and, so far, I am pleased with the results (even though paint certainly accentuates flaws and mistakes). The paint adds a new dimension and a new look to the boat. Curiously, yesterday felt like we (Gardens and I) turned a corner in our boat building journey.

Gardens will proudly sport a decent work-boat finish.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Step Back to Move Forward...

Gardens is back on the floor of the barn, upright on her keel/skeg and supported (very solidly) by two bunks. This is the result of my struggles and frustrations with (my unsuccessful) fitting the trailer to the boat.

Gardens is very stable and at a very convenient working height, more specifically a much more convenient height for climbing in and out of the boat as I work on the interior.

Seeing the boat on the floor and the relationship of the bunks to the floor, I had an "Aha" realization of how to line the bunks up with the rollers on the trailer. I'll set that up after the interior is finished.

Note, the band saw tires were replaced and the saw is up and running again. ROS repairs this weekend.

So, the trailer is stored in another part of the barn and I am all set to get to work!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

An Omen?

A month ago my table saw quit working. Still working on a fix…

Thursday, a tire on my bandsaw failed as I was about to cut some lumber for a friend. Ordered new tires…

Friday, the switch on my DeWalt ROS failed. Ordered parts…

I'm starting to wonder if all these breakdowns may be an omen of some sort. Like, use hand tools more often.

Fortunately, most of what I'm doing on and for Gardens now doesn't call for the table saw or the band saw. The ROS is another matter altogether.

New rollers for the trailer are expected this week so I plan to get the trailer set up properly and continue work on the interior.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trailer Work and Tiller Progress

Getting the trailer to fit Gardens has been more of a struggle than it needs to be. After a few days of adjustments - that got the fit closer - I sought help on John Welsford's FB page. It didn't take long for several helpful responses to post. I'll continue with some of those ideas over the next few days.

In the meantime, I cut out a blank for the tiller. The short back-story is that three years ago my brother in law and I used his chainsaw (w/attachments) to mill an fallen ash tree into 4/4, 6/4 and 8/4 planks. Those planks have been drying in the barn since we milled them. I thought it would be great to use lumber off our property for something - might as well be the tiller - for Gardens. Sorting through the stack, I found a couple of likely candidates: 6/4 x 9" x 60". However, to avoid a check in one board and a troublesome knot, I could only get a 44" length for the tiller.

To make a template, I drew an outline on a piece of door-skin using a pattern of the rudder-head slot and a fairing batten. The pattern was 1/4" wider than the (intended) finished size.

After tracing the outline on the ash board, I cut it on the bandsaw to the oversized lines. The template was then cut to the intended size and used to mark the ash blank to the intended size. Another go around with the bandsaw and I have a decent looking blank for the tiller.

6/4 stock is too thick for the rudder-head slot, so the blank was milled to thickness with the planer. A few cycles of planing/fitting and the blank fits just fine. The 44" length is on the shorter end of what's on the drawing, so I may want a longer tiller than this. If that is the case, I know how to make another one.

Getting to this stage with the tiller turned out to be easier than I expected. Sanding, shaping and finishing will complete the tiller.

The trailer work continues...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Where Was I...?

Looking back at the blog, I realized I haven't made any real progress on Gardens in nearly a year! Oh, a few bits have been added and a couple of necessary items (the gantry, for instance) have been built, tested and used, but no significant progress (ok, the mizzen mast step was installed early this week) on the boat has been made since maybe March of last year. So, this week I returned to working on the boat!

All the deck pieces were fit, cut out, the undersides coated with epoxy and painted over a year ago and, then, set aside. Yesterday I pulled out the cockpit seats/decking pieces and dry fit them and worked to get them seated properly. I also dry fit the stern deck and

Once I finish up a few details (like cleaning and painting) with the bilge early next week, those seat/deck pieces can be installed. And that will feel like significant progress. That could have happened this weekend but I am in East Tawas, Michigan, for the Mackinaw Boat Symposium. I'll get back to Gardens on Sunday.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 2017

Finally, time to get back to work on Gardens!

First things first… the accumulated clutter in the Boat Bay had to be addressed.

Next was to stabilize Gardens so I can work on her. I tried adjusting the boat stands I made last fall but I wasn't happy about them. Gardens' brand new trailer has been parked in another part of the barn that we now need for other things. I decided to put Gardens on her trailer.

I used Elmer to lift Gardens high enough to get the trailer under her.

When I lowered Gardens, it was obvious I needed to adjust the bunks.

Lift the boat, pull the trailer out, adjust the bunk supports (down in front/up in back), back the trailer in, lower the boat - and repeat… until there was no more adjusting to be done. Except that, more adjusting is required. Taller brackets for the aft end of the bunks are needed. Once all the adjusting is done, Gardens will be very stable on her trailer.

The rest of this afternoon was spent making lists of what tasks need to be done to finish Gardens (it's a pretty long list) and prioritizing those tasks.