Plywood to boat!
Category Archives: Layout
The last couple of days have been busy. I have worked part days and come home to work on the boat.
Wednesday I built the hatch supports…cut them out, fitted them and epoxied them into place. After I had everything covered in goop and several pieces attached I remembered that I had wanted to lay the plywood on the decking without the inside hatch attached yet so that I could trace the opening in the plywood and cut the deck cover out in one piece. The importance of thinking ahead!
I managed to get everything in place while walking around the garage with a piece of wax paper that I had been using to collect squeezeout stuck to my running shoe. Not a pretty sight I wasn’t.
Here are the deck supports, etc…
Today, Thursday, I found a place in town with some stainless fittings and other useful stuff. I bought an anchor, chain and rope and a u-bolt from them. The u-bolt turned out to be too small for what I had planned to use it for but I’ll find something else for it I am sure.
A couple of weeks ago, my young friend Dylan Walker, from Australia, who has already, at the age of 17 I believe, forgotten more about sailing than I will ever know, suggested that I mount a good stout u-bolt in the anchor well to attach the anchor to. Dylan gave me an education on why, and I decided to use a u-bolt I had on hand that I purchased from Duckworks BBS a while ago for this purpose.
I decided to reinforce the bulkhead so I cut a piece of 3/4 inch by 3 inch fir to fit between the existing bulkhead supports and then cut another piece to go over that and be screwed to the bulkhead, sandwiching the first piece between the plywood of bulkhead 1 and the longer piece of fir. All liberally covered with epoxy…the boat will be pulled to the bottom before that will fail. Here is a photo of the back with the U-bolt mounted.
While the epoxy was setting up, I conscripted Hunter and got him to lay in the bulkhead while I laid the 1/4 inch ply on top of it. He then traced around the outside of the hatch opening. I then cut out the opening and spent quite a bit of time with the jigsaw, handplane and sanding block getting the opening large enough to fit over the hatch. When that was done I decided to use the router and the edge trimming bit to cut the outside edges to shape. I popped up the plywood and slid it over to one side. I used a block of wood the same width as each layer of gunwale to kepp the spacing even and placed this block between the hatch and the opening in the plywood. I then clamped down the plywood and used the anchor to keep it from moving while I routed the edges.
A bit more time with the router and I had things looking pretty good.
Then it was time to drill the holes for the U-bolt. This was a bit difficult as I didn’t have much room under the supports previously installed…would have been a bit better if I had thought ahead and done this first!
A couple shot with the deck covers…the back ones have yet to be trimmed to fit but that will be an easy job. You can also see the piece of scrap painted green. I’m not so sure I like it today. Hunter asked me about painting it red so I am considering that. What colour to paint the interior is another question….
Tomorrow I will sand the inside of the bulkheads as much as possible and then on Saturday or Sunday I plan to paint the inside of the bulkheads with primer….BIG STEP!!
Before going to work this morning I epoxied two support pieces to the sides of the front compartments about 1/3 of the way from the front. After work I cut the slots for the cross piece and fitted a cross piece. Then, rather than cut the slots I decided to screw/epoxy on a couple of narrow supports for a piece that runs from the crosspiece to the front bulkhead. This is there to keep the pieces from bulkhead 4.5 to the crosspiece from pushing the crosspiece out of shape.
On the way home from work I picked up some primer and alkyd marine enamel from General Paint. I chose a dark green for the main colour of the boat. At the end of the night I painted about a square foot on a piece of scrap. I think it will look pretty good.
I slept in a bit this morning but got up to a cool morning on the edge of rain. It was a nice change from the heat. I started out the day by putting a wrap of 3″ tape around the ends of the yard and boom where holes will be drilled to run lines through to tie to the sail.
Then, I went downtown to the office to pick something up and I headed to the north end to buy some more lumber. Picked up some mahogany and some douglas fir and a big old 16′ spruce 2 x 10 that I am going to make a mast from. If it breaks I’ll try something different. $13.99 it cost.
Got home and had lunch. Terry and Chuck came by to check on the progress and sit in the boat …. on the seats. We had a few laughs before they headed off in one of Terry’s fastidiously restored MGs. Dark British racing green…I like that colour a lot and may use it on this boat.
Then, I decided to do the hatches and decking a little different than what Jim suggests in the plans. I am doing them similar to how Chuck L. does his hatches. Quite a while ago Chuck sent me a link to photos of how he builds his hatches and decks and I decided I liked his way better. I think it will be stronger.
So, I started by measuring out from the centre lines on bulkheads 11 and 13, setting the opening and then laying out where to cut into the bulkhead support pieces. My plan was to cut on an angle from the bottom edge up to the edge against the bulkhead plywood at the top. After making several cuts, remove the waste with a chisel. Then, cut matching angles on the support pieces and drop them in. Sort of like a wedged/dovetail joint. The support piece can’t fall through to the bottom.
That went fairly well. Then I cut pieces to fit of 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch mahogany. After they were in place I cut pieces of douglas fir 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches or maybe it was 2 3/4 inches to use to form a box that fits inside the rectangle formed by the bulkheads and support pieces just installed. I rabbeted the joints using several passes on the table saw using the miter guide with the blade set to 5/16″ high. (One of these days I am going to buy a dado blade set.) Some fiddling to get the pieces running fore and aft to fit and things were close enough to utilize the tremendous gap-filling properties of thickened epoxy.
Then, I pulled out a piece of 1/4″ plywood that was too small to cover either of the bulkheads and cut out pieces to fit on either side of the rear hatch. There will also be enough left over for the hatch cover itself. It will be interesting to see if I will be able to use any of the other cutoff pieces for the front decking and hatch cover.
I also epoxied part of the mast partner together. I had been thinking I would epoxy the mast step into place and then align the partner before drilling holes in the bulkhead supports. Now, I think I will line the partner up to the centre as best I can, drill the holes and mount it and then I will determine exactly where the step should be located and epoxy it to the bottom.
Here are some photos…
I ripped the seat support piece and got it installed. Because the bolt that the leeboard rotates around passes through this support I did the following to make sure it passed through the right place: I took a piece of scrap and lined it up with a mark for the upper edge of the support. I drilled through the leeboard support into and through the scrap…being careful to avoid my body parts holding it against the hull. Then, I bent the support piece into place and held it there with a piece of scrap wile I marked where the leeboard bolt hole goes. I then lined up the scrap with this mark and, using the scrap as a guide, drilled a hole through the support piece.
I was then able to use the bolt to pull the support piece flush against the hull, move the ends into line and drill through the hull into them. Once I had drilled guide holes I took everything apart, painted things up with epoxy and then thickened epoxy and then pulled everything tight using the bolt to align things and get a few screws driven into place. Then I removed the bolt and wiped it down to get the bits of epoxy off it. After that it was pretty easy to line up the ends and screw things together until everything was nice and tight.
Next on the agenda was sanding the yard and boom. I sanded all surfaces with 80 grit, then 150 and finally 220.
Then, I figured out how I was going to build the mast partner and mast step using left-over pieces of 2×4.
Today, July 4th, I picked up some stuff from Bolt Supply and Lee Valley. I was a bit dismayed to find that the bolt length I needed for the leeboard wasn’t available. (The bolt I have been using is about 1 1/2 inches too long) I came home and cut the parts for the two mast assemblies. While doing so, I managed to drop a mallet and nail my thumb leaving a big blood blister under the nail. I also cut some aluminum for the partner to size. It is really easy to work on the table saw. I had never cut aluminum before so I was a bit nervous making contact with my expensive Freud blade the first time.
I mixed up some epoxy and assembled the mast step. Then, I went over to my good friend Terry Dopson’s to use his drill press to drill the holes in the parts of the partner. We got that done and then Terry…who is an expert in smashing his fingernails and leaving nasty blood blisters underneath them gave me his dremel tool and a sharp little bit to carefully cut a hole in my thumbnail and relieve the pressure…..man did the blood ever spurt out of that thing!!!! But it sure feels a lot better.
Came home after Chuck and Terry had me stay for supper and realized I had missed drilling two holes in the partner and also realized Terry might be able to help me with threading the too long bolt I had for the leeboard. Sure enough, he had the tools so I headed over and we ran the threads further down the bolt and cut off the excess and drilled the holes in the partner.
Came home, cleaned up a bit and called it a night.
Tomorrow…time to sand the rudder and leeboard and get the plywood out of the basement for the seats and get started on that. I may go looking for some lumber for the mast. I think I am going to use the Sitka Spruce I bought to make Greenland style kayak paddles. If I can find something that is long enough to laminate two pieces together and not have to make 5 or 6 scarfs I’ll likely save 2 or 3 days of time.
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