Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stringer installation complete

Another phase of construction is complete. All stringers are installed. From the start it became apparent that going with the 1/2" frame thickness was a good idea. And as each stringer was installed, it got easier, and I got a little faster. The bungee cords were evaluable in helping me hold the long sagging ends of the stringers as I installed them by myself. I used #8 screws at the frames where there were no doublers and #10's where the frames were doubled. I used one screw and two screw mounting procedure with the same frames. The biggest help in this part of the boat building process has been the homely chisel, my Japanese saw and my dirty secret weapon, the angle grinder.
On this last set of stringers I decided to work from the back to the front installing the stringers. The transom area is near a frame member and the curve is tight. And dead headed in a slot in the transom. It's been a bit of a pain to get it just right. Of course I figure out an easier way now that i'm nearly done installation.
The stringer was cut to match the transom slot, and a binding strap hooked to the stringer to pull it in. The glue was then applied and screwed in place. It worked very well and I only regret not doing it earlier.
The stringer was fed forward and glued and screwed to each frame.
At the front the stem was notched out to fit the stringer. The stringer was cut to length and beveled to match the slot. Note the pencil marks show where the stem will be beveled to match the stringers for the planks when attached. It looka a little untidy, but I know that I have to clean all this up before planking begins.
With time and glue to spare, I made and placed the vertical supports for the cockpit seat area.
The boat is now complete with all stringers in place. Next step beveling all those stringers. I figure it will take a week of evenings to complete that phase.
The outside of the stringers are still only rough cut. They will need major shaping to match the planking profiles in the days and weeks to follow.

There's one particuler item that bares mentioning. Its a Mastercraft gizmo called a "flip bit". On one end its a screw driver, flip it around its a drill bit with countersink. It attaches to any drill. I have used it constantly in everything i've done in this project. No changing drills or bits. Until today.... Yeah it busted. No more flipping. And they don't make them any more. But no big deal, I purchased a couple of quick connect countersinking drill bits. That will work well with my Dewalt speed connector for bits on my drill.
Time: 4 hrs

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More stringers

Starboard lowest stringer was installed yesterday. Much easier than the Port side. I guess its a matter of getting used to the technique, and practice. With time to spare I installed another stringer on opposite side near gunwale. Again no picture.

Time: 2 hrs

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bottom Stringer

Port side lower stringer installed this evening. It had a serious twist to come to the front stem section. (No picture)

I intend to install a stringer each evening. Thats all I have enough clamps for. But at least I won't be breaking my back at it anyhow. It should take me until the end of the week to finish. The shaping will take another week for sure.

Time: 1 hr

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Small parts

Today was just installing small parts on the boat. Like the floor supports at the front, the mid section and at the center case sides.The shot below shows the floor support at the center case sides. The screws on the outside was intentional. To make sure my bulkheads heights matched I waited until now to install these pieces. No the screws did not penetrate the inside of the case. I was extremely careful not to use too long a screw nor to sink the screw too deep. (Note: When in a situation like this, always check that each screw is proper length, I noticed a couple of longer screws in my bin that could have been accidentally used. I am now getting rid of those temporary bin dividers in my screw trays.)
Some trimming will be needed at the point where the two levels meet at a bulkhead. But just a little. There is not much to see for 2 hours work, but in my defense, no pieces were cut or sanded prior to this. So thats 8 pieces, cut to correct length, sanded, bored and counter sunk, and installed.
Time: 2 hrs (of course)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Misc. stuff

The Rudder got one more coat of epoxy. One left to go this evening.My project is now located all over the basement. But I think the rudder blade is looking good. It will look much better when the varnish is on.
This is a view looking in the center case from above. The pic can be seen going through the two bushings (ore lock sockets) The light areas is where I sanded. Its not humps. Plus its very dusty.
This is basically how the finished arrangement will look for the pivot pin.It will get it all cleaned up and add fillets while planking and is drying.

time: 1 hr

Holding pattern

With the success of the top stringers, I moved quickly to get the other green stringers in place so as they dry they will take at least some of the boats shape. I tied them in place with simple twine. (By the way, use gloves, that stuff can cut through the skin easily)They placed easily, where they were on the soak for nearly a week. They are quite flexable now.
If it looks cramped.. it is. but the space around the sides and front is about 2 ft on one side and about 4 ft on the other.
While these temporary stringers dry out, i'll do some other things. i got a rudder to work on and some floor mounts to install etc.

Time: 2 hr

Friday, January 23, 2009

Second stringer (Port side)

The second stringer went much easier this evening. Where I put the stringer on last evening and strapped it in place. it set the curve so this evening, i hardly needed a clamp. there just for insurance sake

Time: 1 hr

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Stringer installation

I set to install the first top stringer this evening. The boat build has been a cake walk up to this point. Now I need to shape, bend, and force things into place. Sometimes I put a bit to much force behind things. So I have to take my time and be a little gentler than i'm used too.
I only cut this stringer last evening, so it's fairly green and straight.
I placed the port side stringer to make the curve for installing tomorrow. I used bungee cords to hold my stringer in place until I get to clamping and gluing. once set in place, some areas I clamped just to make sure until the glue sets.The Bungee cords worked out very well. Great for when your short handed.
Whats that on the floor? That's the stringers I ripped out during Christmas break. They got a bit too dry in the past weeks so i soaked them down and covered them with wet rags. I'll place them on the boat and keep them there until I'm ready to screw and glue them in place. By then the moisture content will be down. (and the epoxy will stick better)

Starboard top stringer installed. It was a bit of work, my biggest fear was the pressure put on the screws in that 1/2" plywood, on its end. But that's where the clamps come in. I also put a generous fillet of epoxy glue on each side of the joint. Once set, that's not going anywhere.
But it went in with no serious mishap. So all is done. 7 more to go.

Time: 2 hrs

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The space within

With all the frames in place, the boat shop really looks small. Very small. I'll need every inch of available space to work on the stringers and cutting the planks. With some serious thought to how I could make more space, I went with my first thought, move all possible objects into the main basement. This included my work bench, storage shelf with supplies, and a large pile of scrape/loose lumber.
It will have to do. The main basement area will be prep area for smaller pieces of wood, while both areas will serve the long stringers and planking preparation. Good thing the basement is not finished.
It will be a few days of selecting and sanding my stringers before anything constructive begins thats worthy of a picture. So Stephen, (my brother) you'll have to wait to see the stringers we cut this past summer.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just checking

With these frames in place. I thought I'd run a few checks. I have not strayed from the plan yet so I am curious to see how close I am in where things should be, and if there are any adjustments to be made. I didn't foresee anything major, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the forward floor area to be exactly where it should be. From the notches to the floor base itself.
All the heights given for the forward 3 frames worked very well. I need to fill in the spaces between them with doubler's, but as the picture shows, no trimming needed.
I checked again to make sure the frames across the boat were level. And they were.

The forward frame cut outs for the king plank also line up nicely with the stem and hit it at the right height. No nasty surprises.This completes the installation of all the frames and transom. the next phase is installing the stringers and planking. While the glue sets on these things i'll be installing the interior parts etc.

So far so good.

Transom installation

The last frame member was the Transom. A source of a little frustration at the beginning with the stain issue. But with that resolved. It was time to "put er on!"
I made a little support member to hold the transom while the glue dried and it will stay there until the stringers are in place.
My little level came in handy to set the transom angle at 8 degrees from plumb.
I screwed and glued it in place and didn't spare the screws. After all there will be a motor mounted back here. I gave a generous fillet of glue on the inside as well.

Time: 2 hr

Frames #3, #4, #5 installation

Frame #5 (directly behind the centercase) was ready to install. All it needed was some holes predrilled to mount to the bottom of the boat. Some epoxy glue and screws and that was done.
Frame #3 and #4 needed to have the center sections cut out to fit down over the centercase and the stem girder. A batch of epoxy and a handfull of screws later, voilla! 2 more frames in place.
Time: 4 hrs

Centercase installation

With all the necessary things done to the case, It's now time to install it. I marked and predrilled with countersink the holes in the bottom of the boat. A 3M 5200 adhesive was then applied liberally to the hole edges and top side. I sat the case in place and did a check to make sure it was in the correct position and level. It was then screwed in place and more 3M applied to the perimiter.
Time: 1 hr

Friday, January 16, 2009


Last evening other than epoxying the pivot holes in the centerboard case and centerboard. I cleaned up my mess and sharpened my tools. I don't have a fancy setup for sharpening. I have a medium oil stone and a fine oil stone. I found a cheap jig ($12) at a local hardware store for mounting my chisels and planer blades for proper angle when sharpening. It requires me to measure my blade distance from the end of the jig, but other than a few minutes to set up, it works fine. And my chisels have never been sharper.
Hopefully (time permitting) I'll mount the centercase, frames 3, 4, and 5. And the Transom this weekend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Centerboard pivot pin arrangement

With the ore lock sockets now here, I got straight to work setting up the centerboard and case for these. I line drilled the centerboard and both sides of the case.
I then roughly notched the centerboard to make the sockets flush.

With both made flush with the centerboard on either side, I need to grind just a little to both sockets end pipes to have both meet. So the bronze passes right through the centerboard. I ran this 1/2" steel bolt through as a check.

Next was the case. The same was done for the case. This time I used a thick enough doubler so that when the socket was made flush, the other end would be flush with the inside of the centerboard case. I assembled the whole thing and ran the centerboard through it's motions. Since on the inside ther will be metal on metal, I might put a washer spacer to keep the centerboard from rubbing on the case a bit. An idea perhaps.

It's rough right now, but now thats it looks like it will work, I'll clean it up, coat in epoxy and tap the outer hole in the case sockets. Upon final installation i'll give a liberal coat of 3M 5200 adhesive compound to seal it all up.

Time: 3 hrs

Parts arrival

I received my parts shipment. Most important of which is the bronze ore-lock sockets (not in picture). These are needed for the pivot pin assembly for the centerboard. Nothing beats stainless for fittings.
The 16 oz measureing cups have been very useful in measureing and general use. I get 2-3 uses out of each cup.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Quick Guide To Sailors:

A Quick Guide To Sailors:

The many and varied species of sailors that inhabit our waterfront are an interesting form of wildlife for amateur study. This Quick Guide is designed to help beginners identify the most common species. For more information about the less common sailors and to distinguish between sub-species, consult “Field Guide To The Eastern Sailor,” by “Jolly Roger” Dory Reefingline.

Each species is distinguished by habitat, plumage, call, and diet. To use the guide, compare these characteristics to the specimen under observation. In most cases, the identification of the correct species of sailorus can be made with confidence.

A. Blond-Tufted Racer (s. professionalis)

  • Habitat: Bruce Farr Sloop
  • Plumage: Sportswear monogrammed with sponsor’s logo, Harken boat shoes.
  • Call: “We need to build three new sails and re-fair the keel for tomorrow morning.”
  • Diet: Power Bars, Foster’s Beer.

B. Tawny Racer-Cruiser (s. competitorus)

  • Habitat: J-Boat
  • Plumage: Sportswear monogrammed with yacht name, Sperry Topsiders.
  • Call: “Whitney got an overide on the guy and we lost 6 boat lengths before it was cleared.”
  • Diet: Turkey Sandwich/Corona Beer.

C. Red-Bottomed Cruiser-Racer (s. gregarious)

  • Habitat: Sabre
  • Plumage: Sportswear monogrammed with manufacturer’s logo, Sebago Docksides.
  • Call: “Muffy, is the spinnaker still in the trunk of the Mercedes?”
  • Diet: Broccoli quiche/Perrier.

D. Broad-Tailed Cruiser (s. paterfamilias)

  • Habitat: Hinkley
  • Plumage: Sportswear monogrammed with wearer’s initials, Lands’ End Boat Shoes.
  • Call: “Is there any place to buy ice on the Isle of Shoals?”
  • Call: “Bar Harbor is so touristy in August!”
  • Diet: Tuna quiche, chilled sauvignon blanc.

E. Gray Salt (s. ancientmarinerus)

  • Habitat: Traditional type, e.g. catboat, Friendship sloop, gaff rig.
  • Plumage: flannel shirt, jeans, leather work boots, ball cap.
  • Call: “Some damn fool yachtie ran his fancy sailboat onto Smiths’ shoal!”
  • Diet: Puritan Beef Stew/Labatt Beer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Centerboard case & frame #5 set up

With the pin parts somewhere between here and Texas, I made use of my time by fitting the centercase in the slot in the bottom of the hull. I positioned it until it was perfectly level and plumb.

That should be close enough.

I marked the position and dry fitted the side supports that mount the case to the floor.

Frame #5 was also marked cut and dry fitted to the floor and centercase.

Time: 2 hr

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Epoxy and more epoxy

The transom has it's last coat of epoxy on the exposed side. All that remains is a light sanding and several coats of varnish when the boat is complete. The results I was aiming for, Mirror finish.
The rudder will get a coat on the other side when this is dry. Then That will be done. Once again, mirror finish.
The rudder case now just needs paint. (Mind the mess of scrap wood in the corner)

Time: 1 hr

Centerboard glassing

With the second coat of epoxy applied to the transom and rudder today, I needed some more to do to fill the day (That didn't involve making a lot of sawdust)
I cut some 6 oz cloth and laid out the first layer for the center board. I figured i'd lay it flat so the epoxy would stay on the board and not drip all over the floor. The board got a heavy sanding so the cloth and epoxy would stick well.

The epoxy wets out the glass cloth pretty good. When dry I'll trim off the excess and do the other side, and alternate back and forth. Time: 1 hr