Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mast lumber

I brought out some mast lumber from Central Newfoundland some weeks ago. I have it outside drying most of the time. But soon it will be too cold to effectivly dry it outside and i will need to bring it in my basement for finish drying. these planks are 22ft long and 1" thick. I hope to get my mast from this and avoid any knots in the process.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I glued a couple of more parts yesterday and cut some stringer notches. I won't be cutting the lower ones on the frames until installation. Especially the bottom one where it meets the first plank. As you can see I have made some progress in the frame assembly. Seeing other sites and how this boat goes together, I'm not sweating the slight overhangs in the frame edges. As long as the frame is the width as per drawing and the chines in the right spot, thats what makes the rest of the boat work.

I have mused and considered making my centerboard of steel. 1/2" thick. This would make the centercase much thinner. (I have access to the cutting of a centerboard cheaply) This would save me time in making a wooden centerboard. However, I have not had any success in figuring out how to attach my centerboard lift line to the top of the centerboard without possibly chaffing the inside of the case. The other potential problem is if the pivot lifting strap broke that steel board would swind down with enough force to certainly do harm to the forward edge of the case. I would certainly have future problems with the centerboard hole edge chaffing through the stainless tube and letting water to enter the tube and out through the ends near the washers. I could design a new pivot set up... buuut, i changed my mind. The wooden centerboard does look nice and with its thickness is certainly strong enough. (I tend to let these seemingly fantastic ideas stew a while before I rashly go ahead and do it. And eventually enough scenarios come up that i make my decision one way or another.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Transom found

I spent Saturday searching about the local lumber yards for some better plywood for my transom as well as the bottom of the boat. Slim pickings if i do say so. However I found the Transom piece. I wasted no time in marking and cutting it out. I covered it with my template paper to protect it from nicks and other mishaps. I plan to stain, epoxy and varnish the exterior of the transom. From all the pictures i've seen of pathfinders I have been drawn to the ones with a brightwork transom. I spent about 4 hours last Saturday at the boat. Glueing parts together for the frames and stem, as well as marking and cutting the transom and centerboard case.

Time: 1 hr.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've read from the posts of many other builders that it's a good idea to have all necessary components, tools, etc, at hand before you mix your epoxy. Epoxy once mixed is a train with no brakes. So I wisely heeded their advice. And I add to that advice by saying, "Have more components to put together than you "think" you mixed epoxy for". I don't like to waste that terribly expensive epoxy. So I laid out many parts that needed gluing, got my charged cordless driver, screws, all set to use. Then mixed the epoxy. It worked well. I'm new to the epoxy mixing so am just getting a hint of how much surface area a given amount covers. I'd much rather run out of glue than parts.
Amen for disposable gloves. I get a little on them but they get tossed at the end of the gluing session anyhow. Besides, I run my finger over the joints to fair off or fillet any excess epoxy that squeezes out. It looks a little tidier if nothing else.
On another note, I should start posting at the end of each session or blog post, a "Time taken" to complete this particular step.
to catch up, i'll say it has taken '10' hours to get to this point, from first layout of template to what you see. I could only account for 8 but threw in 2 in case i forgot an evening. This is not head down work either. Some time is spent drinking coffee and just sizing up things. It's my project so I can go as fast or slow as I please.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Epoxy

I have used polyester resins a great deal in the past. from Camper and boat repairs to kayaks building using forms. The stuff has a powerful smell to it. Not to mention its toxic properties. It would permeate everything I wore and could even could be smelled on my breath.

It is my first time using Epoxy Resin. I'm using Interlux resin. I was first surprised by its lack of smell. It has an odor but only to that of say fresh wood or a latex paint. It is clear, both the resin and hardner so its difficult to tell if you have stirred enough. On that note I stirred vigorously for about a minute before adding my glue powder. Interlux has a mixing ratio of 4:1 and its says to be accurate. I carefully poured my 4 oz of resin in and my 1 oz of hardener. If it doesn't set the way I measured I'm in big trouble.
I managed to glue most of the first two frames together with my first two batches of epoxy.
I took a bit of a short cut by printing off my computer layout of the frames. That way I lay out my cut parts right on the print and glue/screw in place.
It's just on the floor here after i used it so it's a bit messy. But you get the point of the exercise.

Time: 1 hr.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I went to a local machine supply store the other day for a new mallet for woodworking. While browsing, I happened upon 1/2" router bits for making "Birdsmouth" notches in wood. I never thought such a thing was made, i was intending on making a jig for my router table that would angle the plank. Well so much for that plan. I struck a deal with the clerk and got the box of 3 sizes, one for 6, 8 , and 12 sided objects for a decent price.

on another note, I have a fair amount of wood now drying in my basement. i'll need to get it out in the sun from time to time to aid the drying process.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Again, more construction materials

I made another trip to central Newfoundland last weekend. This time to cut a couple of red spruce that will make the mast, boom, and gaff. Once again, I headed out in the boat to a remote cove where after a short search we found the trees that would do the job.

They were about 400 to 500 ft from the beach, but the rope was long enough and soon they were floating in the water. The next morning We brought them to the mill and were sawn into 1" planks.
The Mast, boom and gaff will be made in the "birdsmouth" method.
These wet sawn planks over 20ft long were strapped to my roof rack as before.