Saturday, June 21, 2008

First cut

It's now official. 'First cut' has been confirmed. At 5:15 pm this afternoon. It really didn't seem so important when I made the cut. I'll add pictures tomorrow of some of the fresh cut frame members. First thoughts on the Dewalt jig saw, cuts through 1/2" (12mm) plywood very easily and not at full speed. I'm quite impressed with it's performance thus far.

Note: when cutting straight lines with a jig saw... don't RUSH!

Time: 30 min.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Arts and crafts

Now I have printed the patterns full size. I put some dimensional checks just to make sure that all the frames were correct and to Johns plans. I also placed some lines as reference to other members.

I then used a glue stick (arts and crafts) coated the back side of the paper (at the the edge of where the cuts will be) and then glued it to a card stock heavy paper. It's actually a heavy brown paper/cardboard used for underlay for hardwood flooring. About $15Canadian for a 200ft roll. We use it at work all the time for pipe wrap templates for cutting/welding high pressure pipe.
I then carefully cut out all the pieces and lay them flat. All set for placing on the plywood.

I took a moment to nest all the pieces for best use of the plywood. I made a copy as a guide for how I'll organize the paper templates onto the plywood.
All this process is purely for my enjoyment. The whole thing could simply taken from Johns drawing and transferred to plywood directly, or onto a 1/8" MDF panel instead of the cardboard route that I took.
When I place all the parts to be nested, I'll use less than 2 4ft x 8ft sheets for all frames 1-6A. That will be my next post.
I added a friends blog. He lives in the "North West Territories" It will be about his camping exploits in the great white north.

Time: 2 hr

Yes... Plywood

I finally, finally picked up my first lot of plywood. Just for the bulkheads. I liked the condition of the 1/2" (12mm) plywood better than the 3/8" (10mm) so my bulkheads will be a little more robust. I have always had a car and I carry anything I need to on a rack or through the trunk and fold down seats. I'm still going to do a boil test on it just to be sure of its qualities.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day

This being Fathers Day, I figured it would be appropriate for me to salute my dad and my grandfather. Both who have greatly influenced my love of building things, particularly boats.
My dad has built many wooden and fiberglass boats. Growing up there was often A boat project in progress in the shed. He built my first boat. I helped. He showed me how to use the tools that are important to boat building. the spokeshave, plane, caulking iron, and how to curl boat nails when planking. I used to hold the iron maul while he pounded in the nails. I remember no less than 5 wooden boats he built for me and my brothers as well as himself. then there were the boats for other people. Friends and such. Now he has a 21ft fiberglass boat he built himself. Complete with cabin & electronics.
My grandfather, now 89 still builds boats. I couldn't count how many he's built. He's always been a source of encouragement in my little projects I built as a kid. He's built sailing boats, trap skiffs, power boats both large and small. he built this Glen-L Stiletto only a couple of years ago when he was 87. He gave it to my brother after his engine gave out. He didn't want to let the boat sit and go to waste.

He's been building something all his life. whether its church steeples, boats or grave markers for the historical cemetery in his home town.

I have learned much from these two men, and continue to do so. Thanks so much.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wood sourcing

Sourcing wood for this all important project has been a "source" of some frustration.
I have access to all sizes of plywood locally. But to find good quality plywood is another thing entirely. 3/8" plywood around here is good one side, but for frames I want both sides. however 1/2" plywood is common in many grades and types. There's a small chance I might make the frames with 1/2" thick instead of 3/8". No decision made yet though, A little time left.
The other woods for framing, stringers etc, is not an issue. The mast, boom and gaff will be made of either local old growth spruce or juniper.
This is the lake I grew up on. Overall it's over 8km long. The other side of the lake is where I will cut the one or two trees needed for the boat. (yes permit in hand) It's in a very sparsely populated region and no clear cutting since the early 80's.

I was speaking to my brother who lives in the area and when I go on holidays in a month we will spend an afternoon in the woods looking for that special tree. I'm getting it cut to approximate size at a local mill. There are still some good saw mills around, you just have to look a bit and ask the locals where they get their special lumber cut.

I promise, before September there will be a picture of a frame part on this blog. Now I'm in trouble.


It's been raining here for what seems like months. House renovations are creeping along slowly. Most of the trim, crown molding and closet doors are up. I have some baseboard yet to lay and one hallway left for crown molding. Then it's painting and I'm done with it. In my down time when the rain prevents me from putting my chop saw on the deck (so I avoid running down to workshop for cutting) I have been carefully been laying out the frames for the boat on the computer. I don't need to do it, but it familiarizes me with the project and as a check to make sure I'm interpreting the plans correctly. Plus it's fun. I checked the measurements against the main plans and all is where it should be. If i didn't add dimensions and just printed my templates with one or more incorrect, it would have went right to the building stage before the error got picked up. I guess I'm adding unnecessary complexity to a simple boat. Like I said, it's fun.I had to reduce the resolution so nobody could read the dimensions. That would be embarrassing. I took the parts and nested them onto a area the size of a sheet of plywood. It looks like I'll use 2 sheets for the bulk of the frame members, not including the transom.I just have to print them full size and glue to poster board for my working templates. I have the means to print this large format, so I am fortunate that way. If not I would have just laid them out onto a piece of 1/8" thick MDF board and cut for templates.

I must say, the frame details on John Welsfords plans are easy to follow and someone venturing on building the Pathfinder don't need to worry about complex hard to follow sheet sets. His hand writing skills are not great (jokingly) but it's legible and that's all that really matters. I'd rather have the right information handwritten any day over pretty looking incorrect computer text which ruins a $50 sheet of plywood. Accuracy, legibility trumps all.
John has his own forum for folk building from his boat plans. he's always just a click away from answering questions. So even if you were to have problems it's their as a back up. So you not only get his plans, but tech support, fantastic. Thats my plug for his fabulous plans. See links to the side of my blog.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just one more tool

I picked up a new jig saw last weekend. A Dewalt 5.5 amp model. A finely crafted tool I must say. Solid metal motor housing and base, plastic handle. I've used it some already and its by far much better than the 15 year old plastic "Skill" model jig saw I have. I'll wait until i've done some serious cutting before I pass judgment on it.

Dock yachting

I try sometimes. To understand how people can own a perfectly functional sailboat, yet not sail. If your intention is to "Dock yacht" why not simply buy a power boat which is much bigger space wise, and have a cabin on the water. Better yet, a house boat. Coming home from work each day and in my regular trips, I pass by no less than 4 marinas. With a combined count of over 200 sailboats. And the most I have seen on the water at one time is 10. Many days there's none at all, and on weekends as well. It breaks my heart. It just makes the myth a little closer to reality that people own boats merely to have a cabin on the water, as a status symbol. It reminds me of a humorous list about what sort of sailor people are based on their footwear, clothing and dialect. For those who know of the list, I fall into the rubber boot sort of sailor, bordering on old sneaker.