Category Archives: Tools

Using tools, buying tools, choosing tools.

Flickr Photoset of Building Process

Flickr Photoset
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Plywood to boat!


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Filed under Assembly, Cutting and shaping, Glassing, Layout, Materials, Painting, Rigging, Sanding and finishing, Tools, Uncategorized

4/389 Mast!!! and Decking

Well, today I steeled up my courage and went at the mast with the Makita 1902 planer I purchased a week or so ago. It went pretty well. In about 2 1/2 hours I was done with the planer. The rest will be sanding, maybe some hand plane to round over the edges and varnishing. I’m really sorry I didn’t get a picture taken of me working on this outside in the driveway. I filled 2 garbage bags with shavings and sawdust. I had a perfect day…warm and calm so the shavings and dust weren’t blowing everywhere. This is not something to do inside….way too messy.

This evening I epoxied one of the rear decks into place before calling it a day. I had expected to be able to do both sides of the back but the first required more clamps than I expected and I ran out of the nice non-marring ones so I will do the other side first thing in the morning.

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5/378 Lead and Paint

Today I stopped in at a tire shop and got a bunch of used tire weights. When I came home I went out to the shed and dug out the old Coleman stove we used when I was a kid. I lit it up once a few years ago to see if it worked and until today that was likely the only time it had been fired up in the last 40 years. I should also mention that I used a very new piece of technology to level the rudder…my iPod Touch with a bubble level program that I installed a few days beforehand. I checked it with a regular level and it was dead-on. Really old stuff and really new stuff 🙂

Filled it with gas, pumped it up and it started up just fine. I loaded a bunch of lead weights into an old cast iron frying pan, put it on the stove, opened all the doors to the garage and stood outside with a fire extinguisher and waited. It didn’t take too long for the lead to melt. I put on a cotton glove and two leather gloves, coveralls and heavy boots, Just in case I did something stupid I wanted a little protection.

When the lead was all melted I poured it into the hole previously routed in the rudder. I had also screwed a backing piece of 1/4″ plywood just in case the lead burned through the bottom of the rudder. The wood smoked and it scorched the plywood pretty good but didn’t burn through. I had also placed a big tin pizza sheet under the rudder to contain any lead that may have escaped. Here are some shots…

This was something I have been nervous about doing for a long time so it was good to get it done without mishap. You have to have a lot of respect for metal that hot!

After supper Terry came over to inspect the paint job and after giving his approval helped roll the boat over and put it into the bunks I built. I put some carpet on the bunks just before Terry arrived so our timing was perfect. Inspired by the compliments I started painting when he left and finished painting the underside of the decking pieces and also put a coat of paint into the bulkheads. I’ll see if they need another coat tomorrow. If not, I’ll epoxy the deck covers to the hull and start priming and painting the cockpit, anchor well and engine slop well.

I also bought a Makita 1902 planer today to use for tapering the mast.It will be slow going but I am sure it will get the job done.

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10/343 Hull Nearly Ready for Primer

The last three days have been busy as I finished coating the bottom and sides with two coats of epoxy. Hard to spread with a paintbrush, I finally started using a spreader when I was nearly 3/4 done and that was a lot faster.

Once the epoxy firmed up, I scraped the most egregious runs and blobs…doesn’t matter how hard I try to make it smooth it comes up needing a lot of work….and then started sanding with the random orbital sander.

Finally I am pretty much finished sanding the outside of the hull. All I have left right now is the underside of the gunwales and the stem which I am going to do so that I won’t mark the paint by sanding them after I paint the hull.

I also remembered to cut the holes in the anchor well and rear slop well. I used a small drill to locate the holes by drilling from inside. Then, I used a 1″ Forstner bit to cut the holes. The bits that I bought from Lee Valley did a great job. No tear-out at all, just nice sharp edges.

After drilling the holes I taped some wax paper on the inside of the boat (The boat is upside down) and then painted some unthickened epoxy onto the plywood edges of the holes. Then I added wood flour and cabosil to the remaining epoxy and poured that into the holes. The epoxy in the anchor well set up very quickly as it was sitting in the sun and the sun was very warm this afternoon. The other epoxy took quite a bit longer. Before they fully set up I used the 1″ bit to put a small hole in the centre of the hole by placing it on top of the hole and making sure that the edges all lined up with the hole edges.

By evening, they were both ready to be drilled out. I used a 3/4″ Forstner bit to drill out the center of the epoxy plugs, leaving a 1/8′ layer of epoxy attached to the plywood…nice and waterproof. The Forstner bit cut the epoxy very nicely and I have two holes that need no further attention with sandpaper.

On Thursday after work I went to Broadway Millwork to see about getting them to cut the tapers on my mast. The owner, Doug, a super nice guy, was most generous with his time talking about what had to be done and how he could accomplish it with the equipment he has in his shop. It doesn’t look like he will be able to do it But I came away with several ideas about jig building that I may be able to use with my router if need be. He also gave me the name of another fellow to call who may be able to help me out. The beat goes on…..

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3/288 …to August 19th

Over the last 5 days I haven’t done much. Put five coats of varnish on the spars and they look great! Tonight I sanded and put the first coat of varnish on the hatch covers. I am going to use varnish on quite a bit of the boat. The spars convinced me to take the time. The wood looks fabulous!

I went to Canadian Tire tonight and picked up a few more clamps for clamping the mast together. Got a pretty good deal on some 12″ bar clamps – $5.99 each. Not the highest quality but I won’t be using them everyday.

We are supposed to start getting some cooler weather. I think I will take a day or two off work if that happens and finish glassing the hull and putting the keel, transom and stem on. Once that is done it is pretty much sand and paint time…as well as build the mast and finish the rudder and leeboard.

I am starting to get my enthusiasm back!

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15/269 Transom, Hatch Covers, etc.

The last couple of days I have gotten a fair bit done. I am undecided on whether or not to use the epoxy primer I have or to go with an alkyd or latex primer. I had been planning on starting to prime the inside of the bulkheads Saturday morning but decided to do other things instead while I thought about what type of paint to use.

I have gone over the edges of the deck covers with the 1/4″ round over bit and in the places I can’t reach with the router I have used my trusty handplane and a sanding block. It looks much better with the square edges knocked off.

Saturday morning I grabbed a 2×4 I have had laying around and tried fitting it to the transom. The transom plywood has developed a bit of an inward curve. The 2×4 was also curved so I tried clamping it with the curve outwards and pulling the transom to it. I think it would have left too large a gap that may have been difficult to fill and turned the other way the curves matched nicely and it was an easy clamp job. I cut it approximately to length.

Then, I decided to lower the transom by 3″ so that it has a finished height of about 15″. I marked this out and then used the jigsaw to cut it fairly close. After it was close I clamped a piece of wood to the inside of the transom on the final cut line and used the router with the edge trimming bit to cut to the edge. A bit more work with a wood rasp and the sanding block and things were looking good.

Then, I decided to drill holes for the 3/8″ bolts suggested by Jim Michalak to bolt the transom support posts (Made of 2x4s) to the 2×4 motor board. I had previously picked up 3 1/2″ long bolts which were too short. After drilling the holes I decided to drill some recesses so that the bolts would be usable. Because I had drilled 3/8″ holes I figured that the Forstner bits would be difficult to center and decided to use the large router bit I have that is 1 1/8″ across. Well, it did the job but it ain’t too pretty! I may just fill those holes right in with filleting material before I am done.

That being done I cut the small pieces of wood that go around the outside edge of the wood. I debated doing an inlay but eventually opted for the easier route of cutting the hatch covers and then fitting the wood to the edges with rabbeted joints.

Hunter helped me by turning the saw off and on and actually cut a couple of pieces to length on the table saw with me watching him like a hawk. He was pretty scared and asked to just man the switch. I am glad he has respect for the danger of this machine but it was good for him to give it a try.

By the time the evening ended I had one hatch cover glued and clamped. The other one will have to wait for late tomorrow or Monday as we are going to Iroquois Lake tomorrow to hopefully do a little kayaking and to mow the grass on our lot.


Lastly, just the plywood for the front hatch cover laying in place…

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10/254 Dylan Walker – This Bolt’s For You!

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!!

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