Tonight after we had a great evening watching Cirque de Soleil’s “Saltimbanco” show I epoxied and bolted the upper leeboard guard to the gunwale. I thought I had lots of epoxy on all surfaces but I didn’t get a lot of squeezeout from the side panel and guard so I also drilled some holes and drove some screws through the side panel into the back of the leeboard guard. That fixed things up!
Monthly Archives: June 2008
Picked up a 5/8″ Forstner bit today to countersink holes large enough for the washers used with the 1/4″ bolts used to attach the upper leeboard guard to the gunwale. I measured the distance from end to end on the gunwale…33″. Then I measured in 1 1/2″ from each end for the two end bolts and then I measured 6″ intervals from the 1 1/2″ marks. I put a tick mark on the edge of the gunwale and then used a square to extend the lines. I used the joint between the two laminations on the gunwale as the centre and marked the location of each hole.
I drilled small guide holes and then used the Forstner bit. I was using an attachment to the drill that allows me to set a stop for the depth and also has a base that makes it more likely that the holes will be perpendicular to the surface. After the Forstner bit was done its job I drilled 1/4″ holes through the gunwales and the upper leeboard guard which I had clamped to the gunwale. SOme of the holes were less than perfectly centered so I would suggest getting a Forstner bit a bit larger than the washers. My bit was exactly the same size as the washer. The tightening forced them down in the holes but I think it would be better had I used a 3/4″ Forstner bit instead of the 5/8″ bit.
After that was done I moved everything to the side to permit us to move the new van into the garage as severe thunderstorms were predicted and we don’t want any hail damage on the new Sienna, thank-you very much!
I then disassembled the upper leeboard guard in order to not have anything in my way for the installation of the lower leeboard guard.
I screwed the guard on and traced around it with a pencil to help lining it up when the epoxy laden pieces are lined up. Then I took it off, mixed some epoxy and brushed it on the lower guard and the hull where it will be installed. I mixed up some more epoxy and thickened it pretty much to the point of fillet thickness. I spread that on both surfaces with a stick very generously as there were some irregularities on the inner surface of the guard and I wanted to be sure of a completely covered and filled joint. I lined things up and screwed the guard from the inside of the hull with 3/4″ screws. I plan to use 2″ long screws to screw through the 3/4″ thick seat support (that will be installed over the 3/4″ screws), through the hull and into the leeboard support….just to tie it together a little bit more.
I radiused the squeeze-out with the end of a mixing stick and removed the excess with a stick and a scraper…and called it a night. I plan to get up early tomorrow, mix up a little EZ-Fillet and put a thicker fillet on the top and bottom and then lay some tape in the fillet and saturate with unthickened epoxy. Likely a bit of overkill but Jim says to make these joints strong so I can’t think of what else to do.
Today I picked up some more lumber from Windsor plywood before heading for home. Once I got home I started working on the lower leeboard support. I used the upper guard as a template for the curve of the hull. I clamped the blank to the upper leeboard guard against the fence that was still nailed to the upper leeboard guard and then traced the curve onto the blank. This way, I had a surface that would be parallel to the upper leeboard slot and it would be easy to rip it to the correct width.
I clamped that blank to a sawhorse and used the router freehand to get things close. Finished up with some sanding with the Sand Shark to get it to fit.
Then, I screwed the lower guard to the hull and used a plumb bob to mark points that were parallel to the inner upper leeboard support. Put it onto the table saw and ripped it to width plus a little bit.
Then, I marked out where the hole for the bolt should go through and took the leeboard suport and leeboard to my friend Terry Dopsons’ place to drill the holes using his drill press. After we did that, Terry came back to my place. We put the boat up on sawhorses and assembled the leeboard guards, I drilled a hole through the hull and we bolted the leeboard in place. It is lined up pretty dang good!! I need to file a bit of material from the knob on the leeboard and it will be fine. I made the slot a bit too wide. It is about 3/16″ wider than the leeboard…not much more than Jim recommends in the plans (or his book – can’t remember which) bit it seems a bit sloppy. I don’t think it wil really be important but it is a reminder that it is easier to remove material than it is to add it.
After we had that done, we started ripping lumber. Ripped a 2×4 in 3/4″ slices to laminate for the yard and boom. Ripped a 1×8 of mahogany in 2″ and 2 – 1 1/2″ strips for the seat support posts and the keel respectively.
Cleaned up, sanded a bit inside the boat and spent some time figuring out how to support the seats along the hull and how to reinforce the leeboard mounting bolt.
The pieces of 1/4″ plywood that I laminated together…weren’t. I had gaps and I had to consign the piece to the scrap heap. That will teach me for trying to stretch the epoxy and not screw/clamp it together properly as I only weighted it down with a toolbox and bucket full of clamps.
I spent a lot of time figuring out how to line up the edges of the two leeboard guards so that they are parallel to the centre line of the boat and also how to fabricate them. I used a 2×4 to line up with the centre line marks on the bulkheads, stretched a string from front to back to make sure that the 2×4 was lined up and then used my drywall t-square and a square to align the edge of the leeboard guard with the centre. I used the 2×4 to find the line 39 1/2″ back from the 4.5 bulkhead for the leeboard bolt hole.
I made a template for the upper leeboard guard from 1/4″ plywood and lined it all up. I cut the scribing line for the fit to the hull with the jigsaw and then filed and sanded to the line. It fit perfectly.
I then epoxied up another lamination using plywood that was cut to be just a bit larger than the template. I Did the lamination one layer at a time and I really put on a lot of thickened epoxy AND I screwed the layers together using about 12 screws to ensure that there were no gaps. I used the template as the top layer of the laminate. I made sure to remove excess epoxy around its lower edge. After that was cured, I scraped it to remove the stray bits of epoxy, clamped it to the sawhorse, fired up the router and used the template straight bit to shape all the layers to the top layer.
I then clamped it to the gunwale again and rechecked the line I had marked out as being parallel to the centre line. I made a small adjustment of about 1/16″. I took the support off the gunwale and clamped a piece of 1/4 ply along the inner line I had just marked. Then I ripped a piece of mahogany scrap to 1 1/8″ wide and placed it against the edge of the 1/4″ ply and clamped another piece of 1/4″ ply against that. This was done to make sure that the gap was 1 1/8″ from one end to the other and that the two “fences” were parallel. Once the fences were secure I removed the mahogany.
Then, it was time to make some sawdust! I clamped the guard like a bridge between two sawhorses and started making lots of passes, gradually increasing the depth of each pass until I had gone through the bottom layer of the guard. This was done freehand, just being very careful not to bump into the fences. Once I had reached through and the upper ballbearing guide was against the fences I slowly removed the excess from the sides of the slot. Carefully removed material at the ends where there was no fence to stop the bit and I was finished. Routers sure allow you to do an amazing job! It looked great!
And that is about it…I am going to level the boat and use a plumb bob to find the edge for the lower leeboard guard in the next day or two and get that cut out. I’l take it to a friend that has a drill press to drill the bolt hole and then it will be time to raise the boat up on the sawhorses so that I can make sure that the leeboard goes up and down properly before epoxying and screwing everything together permanently.
Today, I laminated 4 pieces of 1/4 inch scraps large enough to fabricate the upper leeboard guide from. Pretty straightforward, paint with unthickened epoxy then slightly thicken and spread on thickened epoxy before lining up and placing weight on top.
I also installed a Micro-Jig Splitter from Lee Valley on the Zero Clearance Insert on my table saw. I did this partly as a safety measure but also to help improve the quality of my rip cuts on long pieces…which I have a lot to do in the coming days as I have to rip material for the keel, mast & spars.
Cleaned up the garage and reorganized. Spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with a good plan for lining everything up for the leeboard installation. This 3 dimensional stuff makes my head hurt
Today after work I drove down to Lee Valley and picked up a big honking router bit..a straight template bit with cutters 1 1/2″ deep to trim the gunwales at the front and back using a template.
I also drove over to Windsor Plywood and picked up what should be enough lumber for me to finish the boat…some douglas fir and some mahogany.
Unloaded everything and did a bit of checking out the stem and gunwale junction. I couldn’t figure out a good way to accurately measure how to cut the gunwales back to fit the stem between them so I eyeballed it and cut them with the Japanese pull saw. A bit more work with the wood rasp and things fit close enough. When I epoxy the stem on I’ll fill the gaps with fillet material or wood flour and cabosil filled epoxy.
I scraped and sanded the stem that I epoxied together yesterday and it looks pretty good…good enough for the front of the boat, that’s for sure.
I picked up a plywood scrap that had been cut with some curves in it and decided to use it as a template for the gunwales at the front. I clamped it onto the gunwales, loaded that big bit in the router and commenced creating sawdust. They needed a little sanding to fix some irregularities but it came out pretty close. I’ll do some more work after I epoxy everything together.
I made a list of things left to do as I will sit down shortly and put together a completion plan…lots of work. It was good to make the list as it is easy to forget just what else is involved. I am sure that when I review it I will come up with some more items.
I also laid out the fiberglass cloth I am going to use on the bottom. It is a fair bit narrower than the bottom at its widest point so am going to have to do some thinking about whether or not I need to get some wider cloth to completely cover the bottom.
All I worked on tonight was laminating two pieces of mahogany together to use for the stem. Pretty straightforward. Brush on unthickened epoxy, thicken the rest with wood flour and cabosil, spread it on, rub the two pieces together and then clamp together. I used 6 clamps on a 24″ long assembly. I laid the clamped pieces edgewise and alternated the sides that the clamps were tightened on to avoid the assembly tipping over and used a strip of wood on both sides to avoid marking.
I briefly used clamps at each end to make sure the edges were aligned and were flat across the joint.
I looked at the stem and the way the gunwales meet at the front, trying to figure out how I am going to cut the gunwales to fit the stem between them …. I sense filleting material being made use of as there doesn’t seem to be an accurate way to lay this out so I’l do my best to cut the gunwales so that the stem fits in between them and then fill the gaps as required. I think I’ll also taper the outermost gunwales so that they come to a rounded junction with the stem.