Autumn 2003... Really!

Things are moving so quickly I had to put up another update.

I misnamed the previous page. It was Autumn but should have been Summer. Here's my one-and-only "Back" button to see the Summer page... BACK

So. Now it's going a new page every other day? "What is going on here?"

Since I seem to have gotten over the writers' block that caused the significant gap between May and October for the time being, I'll attempt to resume the "log style" I used on some of the previous pages.


A couple of days ago I told myself, and everyone on the planet, I'd start painting soon.


Well, I couldn't wait any longer. Couldn't stop myself. It's just primer mostly. The closet doors are painted though. This has to be the best paint I've ever used. Finneran&Haley polyurethane Machinery&Deck Enamel. Goes on smooth as glass. These doors were primed once and painted once. I can't see any point to painting a second coat. Other parts will probably need more, but these were painted flat and they're beautiful.

Now those rails are blue? What's up with that?
It's painters' tape. As soon as the last show-and-tell was over I re-covered them to keep them from getting cruddy. I wear disposable gloves now, and try to keep things as clean as I can, but "Goop is goop.", and messes are inevitable. (In case you were wondering.)
Did you know that you can use those gloves over again? Just let the goop set up and it sloughs off. Cheese and Crackers Martha! Talk about cheap.

I "bulled" down the edges of this hole with a power planer. Here I am sanding. I sanded the beams gunwale to gunwale, and the carlins one station forward and one station abaft the partners.

Note that I'm standing on my wall locker shelf. I should have said that the framing is actually 5/4x5/4. I called it "one-by" but that was a misnomer.
The outboard edges are filleted and taped to the hull.

Standing on the shelf of what I call the forward closet.

We're not alone any longer.
"Ahoy there! Who might you be?"
"We're FU-TIEN, a Colvin Gazelle."

Criminy! It's getting downright crowded around here.
Sent one of the Mates off for some more Piña Colada fixin's.


Today I stole the top two useless rungs from my ladder and fashioned the stiffeners for the turning blocks that go on deck. They're rabbetted on each end, mostly to keep them from falling into the hole while gluing up.

The undersides are beveled so that when I fillet at the deck joint, and round over the lower edges, the glass will run smoothly from deck, around the stiffener and back up to the deck.



When placing these stiffener boards I left them about 3/16ths proud so that they could be planed to the arc of the deck. That was the first job today.

I've mentioned that the some of the frames were rather skimpy because they only needed to be thick enough to support the planking for sheathing. As when installing the floors, I've beefed up those frames or parts of them where needed.
This one, at station #5, will become the leading edge of the central ventilation hatch. The hatch will resemble a little doghouse, like Snoopy's, with short sides and two opening skylights.


This big gaping hole has been on hold because I hadn't quite figured how I was going to deal with it. It's supposed to be rode storage, maybe fender storage. So, since I'm left-handed, I'm going to frame in for a hatch on the left side of center. I can stand on the right and stow or retreive on my left. I'm still working out the details in my head though. A few more nights' sleep will bring the perfect solution.

The "wood colored" pieces on either side of the rode locker bulkhead are 1/2 inch plywood. And no, that's not paint in the middle. It's Cabosil filled epoxy.
Another bust in the offsets, not discovered until recently, caused the bulkhead to be built 3/4 of an inch too low to maintain the arc of the deck. Without this "fix", the deck would dip down toward the bow.

What's going on is that I have to do parts of "this" job, then parts of "that" job. Epoxy needs time to set, and there's only so much I can do on any particular project before getting in my own way.

Third drawer, the one under the chart table, built today.
Rounded over various bits of the wall shelves and cabin doorway framing.
Detailing consists of rounding over; nice and plain, practical and soothing. "Hard" edges get the 1/4 inch round-over. "Soft" edges get the 1/2 inch treatment.
Final coat on the coffee spoon. Sugar spoon finished and first coated.


Several things done today, yesterday was a blow-off; had to help a friend move furniture and never got back to the shop.

Today I sanded the chart table drawer, cut and rounded-over the hand hole, and fabbed a drawer-within-a-drawer, a pencil drawer for the chart table drawer. That sure sounds like a lot of drawers but it's really only two.

Finished the spoons.

Sanded the beam at #5. At 2 inches by 3 inches I can now rightly call it a beam. Since I was already up there with sander and the planer was right close by, I decided it might just be a good time to get some more planing and sanding done on the carlins and sheer clamp.
Faired from #3 to almost #8, both sides.

Before doing that though, I converted my power planer from dust bag to 3 inch dust nozzle so I can plug in the shop vac directly. It's getting ancient. I'm pretty sure the brushes are going to go soon. Hope I don't have to replace them before getting the sheer clamps done.

One of my orbital sanders is absolutely dustless, as you might imagine when hooked up to a 6.5HP vacuum cleaner. The vacuum itself is plugged into an outlet strip and turned on and off from there so I don't have to jump up to the machine. Quite handy; I just reach up and flip the switch.

Knocked off early to get ready for school. That means taking a shower, copping a quick nap and tossing together dinner-for-one. I'm a soup fanatic.

Impromptu Gloup, Improved.
(Gloup is a cross between glue and soup. Glue is thicker, soup is thinner. Basic gloup is also called egg drop soup by the Chinese. "Improving" is adding whatever falls to hand.)
Leftover Chinese broccoli, half a can of SPAM, sautéed, three chicken boullion cubes and a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch.
Sautée the hard stuff in a couple of tablespoons of oil, add three cups of water and boullion cubes. Bring to boil, add dissolved cornstarch. Bring back up to boil. Turn off heat.
Chow down!
By the way, there's no end to the spices that can be added to change the flavor.

Tonight was the second week of Power Squadron School. What fun! I'd forgotten how much fun school was. What an admission for a high school dropout, huh. I always got to Ironworker Apprentice School early, did really well and met swell people. Same for Bartending School, and Tractor-Trailer Driving School. I'm praying to high heaven that it doesn't turn out like the other schools. After bartending school, I developed a real antipathy for drunks; and I wouldn't be caught dead in a semi. Three months of that career was enough to last me a lifetime.
This class is Basic Boating. It's the Power Squadron wannabe weed out class. If we pass the course, we get to join the Squadron and wear neat ties and blazers. Kind of fun getting out of the house a night a week too.


Installed third drawer and milled and installed the lefthand upright for the fourth drawer.
I have what can only be an idiot's way of installing these. I have some premade lengths of half-2x3's, cut on the diagonal, "cant strips" if you will. These I glue and screw to grade marks inside the large openings. Then I lay almost-whole 2x3's on them. This fleshes out the space between the framing edges and the drawer sides.
The "company line" though, is that these are extremely large drawers, over four cubic feet, and can use the extra support not provided by simply hanging from 2x3s on edge.

Close up of the pencil drawer. Seemed like a cute idea at the time. Not sure if it was worth the effort. It sits below the level of the hand slot. Right now it has a tendency to stick. I didn't have any bar soap to lube the runners. I'll bring some tomorrow. If it can't be made to slide nicely, I'll rip it out and use a cigar box for pencils.


The main project today was building the paralellodrawer.

It went better than I expected. I hit the marks every time and everything fit nicely and true. I must be getting better at this. It finally dawned on me to cut and finish the hand hole before assembling the box. Doh!
Once it was all together I took it outside to bake in the sun. It speeds up the setup a bit. Start to finish, (for today), three and a half hours from lumber to curing drawer.

I bought a new batch of lumber; four more ten footers. I think it was yesterday. Maybe it was Thursday. I'm losing track of what day it is. They're all the same.
At any rate, I'd like to tackle the rest of the doors in the forward part of the boat all at the same time.


So I milled and installed the center mullions for the upper lockers. I took my time, used the experience of the previous similar pieces, and built these perfectly. there's no slop in the joints. Doors will hand on these, so I made some glue blocks that will screwed in tomorrow.

Remind me to bring the soap!

The way I get things done is to just keep at it, even if I can't see any progress, or it seems minimal. Once something is done, I look around and find something else to do. I do my best to plug away from 8:00AM 'till 6:00PM. As I start flagging, I fix another cup of coffee. But even then I'm still doing things, work things.
I'll pour the grounds and water into the coffeemaker and wander off and work. Pour the sugar in the cup and wander off again. Eventually I wander back to the machine and pour the coffee. Off again. Next trip by I pour the milk and go back to work. Eventually I stop and have a long swig. By then it's usually stone cold, but that's OK. That's the way I like it.


Pretty soon I'm going to lay the deck; three layers of 1/4 inch plywood. The first layer, the one that will become the overhead gets glassed. I plan to glass the sheets before installing them, thereby saving me a lot of grief trying to work over my head.
So I put up a rack for the 6 ounce glass. If I've done my calcs correctly, I need to glass about 8 sheets. They'll all get done at once. I mean, one after the other. Stacked on each other with a sheet of poly as seperators. I should be able to have the entire first layer ready to go in one swell foop.


Sunday. I stayed up too late last night noodling with this site. Rolled in late here; 9:30. Started by setting up to rip the various pieces for the cabinets when I heard a car horn blaring insistently. At first I didn't think anything of it. We all keep the front gate locked as per the landlord's instructions, and our own peace of mind. Honking a horn is the signal to be let in, but I wasn't expecting anyone. I'd just talked to Mongo and he wasn't coming over because of a sprained knee. The horn wasn't letting up, so I went out front to take a look.

Jim Musser, with whom I'd traded a couple of emails earlier this week, and who'd helped out a couple of times in the past, wanted in. We toured the boat, inspected this, inspected that, and shot the shit for the next five hours. What a pleasure. What a relief from the monotony of measuring, cutting, fitting, recutting, and so on. My brother stopped by too some time along the way. Along about 3:00 everyone was ready to leave, including yours truly. But, I realized that I hadn't done anything constructive. So rather than following them out the gate, I pushed myself back into the shop and kicked myself over to the tablesaw. I really wasn't in the mood anymore but told myself that if the pieces were at least cut, then I could push on to get them installed tomorrow when I was fresh. How's that for dogged determination?

"Strength does not come from physical capacity.          
It comes from indomitable will." - Jawaharlal Nehru


As was my plan, I cut and fitted all the locker headers(4) the right front baseplate(1), and mitered glue blocks(10). In order to get full use from a batch of epoxy, I try to arrange everything ahead of time, then go hell for leather spreading it out. Sometimes this means setting up several jobs to be tackled in order. About the smallest batch I can mix accurately is 6 ounces. By now I know just how far 6 ounces will go. So I sanded the parallelodrawer so I could finish up a batch of goop on some of the uncoated surfaces. A drawer front will get coated horizontally, if possible, to minimize the drips or runs.

It had to happen, I guess. The first re-do. Well, I mean, I knew it was coming. The foreward edge of the parallelo-locker creeps over the bilge hatch just a tiny bit. That wasn't entirely a bad thing because I'd been putting the crappy first bilge hatch out of my mind. So while laying out and fitting the lacker baseplate, I nipped the hatch corner, then I yanked the hatch. but that's the next project.

Installed all loose bits. Coated drawer.

The bilge hatch. The ugly one.
It was built without much thought. Laydown the three boards, lay two boards perpendicularly, glue&screw it all together. The problem was that it warped. It must have been soaking wet when I put it together because it turned into boat lumber afterwards. "Boat lumber" is what the carpenters I know call wood that develops random camber on its own if it isn't used the day it's bought, (most of the crap available at Hopeless Depot.)
As I think about it, I have another stick of that particular pine that matches in grain, color, and straightness. I'll build a new hatch cover for that portion of the sole and "lose" this one under the companionway ladder. No sense in throwing anything out if it's already paid for.


Time out.

Two Honey-do's for today, although that's not even the least bit fair. Honey never has any honey-do's for me except killing spiders. They're home projects.

There were two details left unfinished, unstarted, by the contractor when he was here renovating the kitchen; a small set of steps and a windowsill. I joined the windowsill, it's 15 and a half inches deep. And I constructed the steps, three risers and treads, 8/4 stringers.


Eleven days since the last update. That's a pretty half-assed performance for a "blog", I must admit. The truth is kids, I'm not much of a spill-my-guts-and-bleed-all-over-the-carpet kind of guy. I pissed away the better part of a week building stairs and a huebungous* windowsill, then got back to the boat.
* Huebungous is one size up from humungous. Our walls at home are 16" thick.

The boat. The fourth drawer is installed after much swearing and cursing the wood gods. I just couldn't get the runners to line up. With a lot of planing and shimming, it now works flawlessly, as does the third drawer which also thought it could win a battle of wills against ME.
I finally bit the bullet and installed, meaning cut the mortices and installed the hinges and catches, for the two screen doors under the berth. Then I built the last two base cabinet doors.

There are still five wire doors for the cabin, but frankly, I'm sick of the cabin. I needed a break and I needed to see a further part of the boat progress.


I began at the doorway by milling the second part of the doorway and working my way in. Once the base and the header were in, I laid floors to support the raised sole. The sole is up 7" from the main sole and as high as I can raise it. Any lower would have left toes outside the head while sitting on the throne. Any higher and there's no more room for my noggin while sitting down. As scientific as that sounds, it was a shot in the dark as to whether it would all work out in the end. Once again I'll take credit for talent when luck is to blame. The sole was cut and fitted, screwed and epoxied, then the seams were blackened.
Today I hoisted the head into place. It's not actually installed yet, but at least I can see what's what and measure for the accompanying woodwork.

This more like what's happening. The galley is straight not "U" shaped. "Hatch" at 8-7 deleted.

Slip, sliding into... Winter.

Got any questions or comments? [dawg1email.jpg] Click on Cool Dawg's nose to Email me.

Written 2003/Oct/05
Revised 2003/Oct/25