Thursday, February 26, 2009

Second row planking

The second row of planking is much easier to work on. It don't have the huge curve at the front like the first row. But it does have it's own areas that need attention paid to. One is the lower edge of the exposed plank, this will be the edge seen by the critical eye. It must be a clean fair line continuous to the rear of the boat. The other is the front. To look right in my mind the plank at the Stem should gradually go flush with the plank below. I'm using a "Ship lap", beveling off so much from the top plank and so much from the bottom plank over about 400mm. The line or notch will go from a full thickness of the plank at the rear, to a half thickness at the stem of the boat. This is done for both planks. Using the template and dividers as before, I cut the forward plank and made sure the bottom edge had a clean line or fair curve. Being a picky sort on some issues, I was determined to make both side of the boat look as close as possible to mirror images of each other, So I cut the opposite side plank from the first. My thinking is that I cut the frames identical on both sides, they were built symmetrical, the slots are in exactly the same spot and depth, and the stringers are in the same place. So why wouldn't it work.
The plank was then dry fitted. I used my little measuring device to find how far down the overlapping plank would be and scribed a line along the length of the boat. The depth of the stringer basically.
The plank was dry fitted and marked where I was to start the lap cut to the stem.
A "Ship lap" joint is usually done with a chisel (difficult) or by using a Rabbet plane. I picked one up for this job actually and was using it to make my lap, but it was taking too long. After 15 minutes of this manual labor, my laziness kicked my brain in gear for a quicker easier way to do this. I knew a chisel was out of the question so I looked at my power plane... mmm
The motor casing is about 1/2" above the deck of the planing surface... promising. The depth needed to achieve is only 3/16" or half the plank thickness, and a thin piece of wood clamped in place to keep the planer on track would do the trick. Sure enough in no time I had both laps done and very cleanly too. Another test fit and I was sold. Manual plane back on the shelf. That's another item covered that I thought could cause problems. "Ship lap" done.
The plank was screwed in place temporarily and the next one back was "templated" and cut along with it's opposite side partner. Likewise the rear short plank section. The lower planks top edge was planed down with the grinder and belt sander to make a clear overlap for the plank above. As before I screwed the planks in place temporarily and glued the scarfs. This time though I had a block of wood to distribute the load on the screws and make for a cleaner scarfed joint. wax paper kept it from being a permanant part of the boat. The exess epoxyt will be trimmed off after.The whole long plank was then removed and the bottom finished edge was cleaned up.
The whole thing is then glued and screwed in place. The same for the opposite side.

Time: 10 hr over 5 evenings

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Picking up the pace.

So far the project has been running smoothly. I have been averaging about 10 hours a week, whether it be evened out or in a one day flat out session. That's been pretty good I guess, But I know this boat won't build it's self and though there's snow on the ground, the days are getting longer and the sun is melting the ice every time it decides to show. It would kill me to see the marina have it's lift in (May) and me still be working only on decking or what have you. Running some numbers and my laziness factor, I'm upping the pace a bit. By a factor of 2. I'm doubling my hours per week on the schedule. 20 hours is a task but it's the only way I can get the cushion needed for hiccups and make an earlier summer launch. (I still won't be rushing or taking shortcuts in the quality I intend on having) Newfoundland summers are short (for warm sun anyhow) And I don't want to miss any time on the water. The hours spent will be worth it.
I budgeted about 14 hours for the first row (both sides) of planking due to it's complexity, shape and the fact that it's my first (learning curve), but it took me only 12 hours. The following row is MUCH easier if last evenings progress on the second row is any indication. More on that in another post.
Time will certainly tell if I can hold my now ambitious schedule on top of everything else life throws my way.

p.s. My wife will now need an appointment to see me. I'll owe her BIGTIME after this project! not only in time, but cash. If you want a cheap way to get sailing, BUY a boat.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cruise control

With all the work accomplished in that day earlier the week, I figured I would take a break Saturday afternoon. The morning session consisted of cutting and fitting my anchor well floor panel. And the divider at the rear seat area. This will separate the fuel tank compartment from a small wet locker for misc rope, and perhaps a small spare anchor. I added some vent holes at the top so mold wouldn't collect in that locker. The cockpit drain runs into/ through this locker so it has to have drains at bottom.

People like to make comments on my lil project. Graffiti is no stranger to my shop.

I can picture it now... When the planking is done I figure I have a week of sanding and cleaning up of the insides of the boat to accept the several coats of epoxy. even though I know its rough finish and will be cleaned up later, I don't like leaving the jobs looking ratty, the pictures that show the epoxy saturated wood makes it all seem patchy. Though looking at other blogs I know what their at and that its all work in progress... I'm sometimes my own worse critic.

Time: 2 hr

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First row planking

With the first template and plank working as it should, I Proceeded to make templates of the other 2 pieces that make up the length of the boat.
They were dry fitted and marked for scarfing.
Scarfing a 6:1 slope on a 3/8" thick plank didn't take long.
The template method was then used to make the 3 plank pieces for the opposite side of the boat. I didn't make copies since I would spend the same amount of time fiddling with it to make it right. The pace quickened a bit once I got used to how the whole system worked and what areas of measurement were critical.
We had a snow day at work with a blizzard on the go outside. So it made for a perfect day for boat building. After all the pieces were cut, scarfed and fit tested, I epoxied the scarfs on the frame for accuracy and to maintain the curve of the boat. Wax paper was used behind the joint so I wouldn't accidentally glue the small area to the hull. When that sets I'll remove the paper and glue/ screw in place.
The underside of the plank where it meets the floor panel. the seam will be filled with epoxy then rounded off to a large radius and 2 layers of biaxel tape applied.
There's a lot of twist in this first plank. Crazy. But it all went together. I'm not too fussy about the top edge, it will all be planed off when the next plank is laid over in a lap type joint. there are no measurements taken from this top edge either.
The inside edge of the scarf looks OK. It has to be cleaned up, for later epoxy coating.
First row of planking complete. I guess this means I have 1/4 of the planking done... cool!
After this post I won't show the template and layout, it is basically the same method for all the planks. I will show the overlap measuring and the ship lap at the stem.

Time: 10 hr

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Forward plank. First test

I planed down the edge profile of the stem to line up with the first plank. A straight edge was used as a guide. This is going to be one twisted plank. I have seen how this looks in other blogs so I have an idea if I run off course.
I'm trying the template method for making my planks. The first being the hardest will certainly be a test for this method.
I cut a strip of cheap panel board into a 8ft length about 5" wide. about every 8" I draw a line perpendicular to its length. the panel is then attached to the middle area of the final plank location.
I project these lines out to the midpoint of the stringer above and to the edge of the plywood floor below. I use a set of calipers set at a length that will reach at least the edge of the panel and the furthest point, whether it be the mid point stringer or the floor edge below. At each line on the panel I mark the point where the dividers hit the panel.
Once all the points are located the panel is removed and placed on the plank plywood.
Lines are projected outward and the points placed on the new plank using the panel points to determine location.

Nails are tacked in place at these determined points and a batten is run along these points. it's kept in place with more nails tacked in place.The batten is actually the batten shipped to me with my sails. It was easier and safer to ship the batten in one length coiled up. To be cut to length for the sails later. My good fortune. It makes a great curve template. Once the lines were scribed on the new plank it was cut to size. I placed it on the boat frame to check and see how it worked.

It was left oversize on the front and lower front edge just incase. I need to make some small adjustments but it worked well I think. It is the first and the worst plank of the whole build. I think if I get past this first row of planking the rest will go pretty smoothly. Enough for one evenings work, I'll quite while i'm ahead.

Time: 2 hrs

Monday, February 16, 2009

Planking.. apparently it keeps water out

This moment i've been looking forward to and dreading at the same time. I'm going to attempt a template marking system on the first plank and see how it goes. I've budgeted a big block of time for planking since its so new to me and I haven't planked a boat in many many years. I'll take a bunch of pictures to document the success or failure of this method. Of course, the hardest plank is the first one that must go on. Typical..

Forward seats and floor panels

Using the same method, the patterns were made and plywood cut for the forward seats and the floor panel half sections.
I had a larger version of my joggle stick for cases like this. A longer reach for my template.
The patterns were left long on the outside edges to be trimmed while planking.
It went smoothly with only slight variation in port and starboard side panels. All of these panels for seats and floor boards we put aside for final trimming as planking goes on. Another 4 sheets of 3/8" plywood is in the basement awaiting cutting.
(pictures to follow)

Time: 6 hr (over a span of 2 days)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cockpit seats, cut & dry fit

Once again the joggle stick was used on a piece of scrap to map out the outline of my rear seat at the transom. The pattern wood was then transferred to the plywood that would make the seat. All in all it worked well. My biggest issue is deciding how to locate my fuel tank. The tank takes up some space, and little left for a locker of any size to one side. But the seat needs some support, so im putting a small bulkhead there to give me piece of mind. I might put a top hatch on the starboard side to access the locker behind the bulkhead.
The port and starboard side seat tops were laid out and cut in the same fashion as the rear seat. The joggle stick let me get the seat in place on the first cut, the rest was just fine tuning with file and sander. The joints were set and excess trimmed off where the planking will go. The inside will be left until all seat panels are complete, and in place, then the whole seat area will be cut in one shot making an even looking seat. There will also be a doubler under the overhang to reinforce the seat lip/edge.

When i'm placing these seats I picture myself standing in any particular area, so I want it to easily carry my weight. There "might" be a couple of extra battens in my boat seating thats not in the plan.

Time: 5 hr over two evenings

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The economy is in a tail spin, Obama is the new President of the USA, and my country is on autopilot. I shake my head at our apathy towards politics. I could go on a terrific rant about the whole situation, but there's enough people doing that right now, plenty of ammo for their diatribes.
I see boats for sale at terrific bargins, it's too bad. Theres little money for people to buy them. But it's something that will be repeated over and over. People buying boats too big for their pocket book. I could buy a 24ft cruiser sailboat right now for the same price as my current project, but it would need to be stored at a fee, berth fees, club fees, and so on. Beyond my comfort zone. And lord help me if I lost my job, I certainly wouldn't have the cash to move it, so it would go for sale, and I'd loose money.
But enough complaining. It's not that kind of blog. I have yet to finish my own boat. It's been good so far. And at each finish phase, it gets more interesting. With work on the cockpit, seating, flooring, each evening theres visible progress being made. I'm still planning out how the rear seat will be arranged. My motor is mounted outside the hull so a fuel line and tank will be needed inside the cockpit. the middle compartment next to the transom will hold the tank. I've made a cardboard model of it to see how it will fit in that area. The tank is only 2.5 gal. so it's aprox. 9"x10"x14". Still A tight fit.
To either side of the tank will be bulkheads with large openings. Ground tackle will be stored here. Spare anchor, rode, rope, lots of rope.
I have an idea for making a rack in one of the storage compartments for disposable propane cylinders. that will keep them from rolling around on rough days and when on the road trailer. It's just an idea right now, but time will tell. Most of my ideas are from pictures seen in magazines or online. The online pictures are in directories so I can view them and see if any ideas suit what i'm building.

Note: Billco. The full intention is to be sailing by mid July. So I'm keeping track of progress to see that I make that a reality. Tell Will to have Gravol in hand for July sailing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The "joggle stick"

A joggle stick is an 18th century device supposedly invented by British shipwrights for making templates for bulkheads.
The joggle stick is basically a piece of wood with notches or other features that one can make a traceable pattern from. In my stick i numbered the notches so i wouldn't confuse any similar size notch.

The stick is laid onto a piece of scrap panel, wood or plywood in the same plane as the final template or bulkhead or what have you.The sticks end is pointed to the edges, corners or changes in curvature. at each point you trace around the stick on your pattern maker.The pattern template is then placed next to a piece of wood that will make the final piece. The joggle stick is then placed onto each tracing carefully and the end point marked unto the wood. I circled the end points in the picture

All the dots are then connected, cut, and then fitted to the area. In this case my cockpit seat area. once that one was checked for fit, another one was made for the opposite side using the new pattern as a template. Both are then glued and screwed into place.

While I was making the cockpit sides, I also made and placed the support for the rear seat against the transom.

All on an evenings work. Over the next days I will be making the seat area and flooring

Time: 3 hrs

Sunday, February 8, 2009

stringers complete... finally

That was a mess I'm glad to be done with. The grinder works fast and with care works well... but man it makes a mess in the shop. I cleaned up probably a 5 gallon bucket of packed wood dust.
But now at least that part of the project is finished.
Other builders have encountered small issues with their frame slots being cut too deep. I tried to avoid that issue by cutting them shallow and where the leading edge of the frame should be is where the outer center point of the batten/stringer would be. So when planed to match the frame profile the edge would be at the center of the stringer as shown in the picture.

Fair curve has been achieved as far as my eye can see. I keep checking to be sure of myself.

As mentioned, the bottom stringer (attached to floor) needed a great deal of work.The stem section is looking pretty good. I will reattach the braces to the ceiling until the planking is complete up to them. Just to make sure the stem remains plumb and true.

Just some planer and sander touch up and this part is done. I went to a local lumber yard and picked up my 3/8" plywood an I'm preparing for next part. I might use it for the flooring and seating areas inside the hull.

I went looking for a pair of dividers in the city... an none to be found. I went to order a pair and they were out of the size I wanted... Now that's frustrating. But another try at same place, Thy did have a set that was bigger than I needed, no matter, I'm desperate. It will be another week before there here. Hence me starting the inside flooring areas. What are the dividers for? Oh I can't say until I get them and properly show how they work in making patterns for planking. Don't worry... it's not my idea.

I also have a 18th century idea I will be using in making patterns for my floor and seating area, but that's in next posts.

Time: 4 hrs "PHEW"