Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sticks Without a Boat

For some reason that first coat of varnish has given me the notion that I have the beginnings of a boat. The molds didn't. Stems haven't, but these parts have. I finished sanding the birdsmouth spars today and gave them a thinned coat of varnish. This includes both main and mizzen masts as well as the yard. Both booms and boomkin will be solid as the weight savings is negligible that low in the boat and there are likely many fastenings (blocks, cleats, etc.) that will benefit from solid material to screw into.

Sanding drum chucked into drill.

Drum after good use.
An  old wire spool with adaptations served well for rolling the sanding belts. I went through several failed attempts to provide enough friction to roll the belt however. An old bike inner tube glued to the shaft kept creeping. Rubber bands worked great, but only for a few revolutions. Finally I spun sash cord on the drum and that worked fine until it would wear out after 30 minutes use. That was about one complete sanding of a spar. Why does the first time doing anything take twice as long? Discovery and experimentation. Edison's light bulb took a few tries. This old Craftsman drill has been through countless projects. The cord is needing replacement, but I'm not worried yet. It seems to work just fine standing in water.

Sanding block.

Final sanding was done by hand with 150 paper. I spray mounted the paper to a block of minicell foam. Worked great.

Drywall screws for spar support on manning benches.

Manning bench.

The drywall support idea I grabbed from Off Center Harbor. It is a cool site of helpful videos on all things wooden boat. There also a series of vids in progress on the building a Caledonia Yawl.

This first coat of spar varnish was thinned and liberally applied.

Now I need a boat for these sticks.

3 spars

Plug detail.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sparkling Diversions- Fall on the Chesapeake

The Sooty progress has been nil of late. The food and shelter thing keeps pressing its demands. However, I was able to steal away a week to journey on my favorite bay and thought I'd share some photos and a last day video as some recompense for build regression.
Reaching homeward.
I do believe this is my favorite time of the year for boating. The air is crisp. The light quality is brilliant. The wind generally fair and, of course, there are those colors. Add to that the passing of Labor Day turns off the traffic of other boaters and quaint towns along coast can once again hint at a long ago charm. Without brash tourists at every turn, the less frequent sailor is now welcomed.

Sunday afternoon.
Sunday evening.
Monday morning.

My father once said power boating is about points "A" and "B". Sailing is about the journey in between. While I heartedly agree, there were a couple "points" where we lingered and just enjoyed the world. One was the town of Onancock on the Eastern Shore and the other, Reedville on the western shore's Great Wicomico. Both seem to be hanging in limbo. Steamboat ferries and oyster boom days are long gone. Far too many outsiders have moved in, but thankfully the boutique rabble had gone with the summer. What is left is a genuine charm and proud history for any who'd slow down to take notice.

The replica "Godspeed" at Onancock's wharf.

Some late afternoon essentials on the Occohannock Creek.

A Reedville Captains home. Classic form.

Lovely skiff details.
Scenery on Cockrell Creek.
Reedville's landmarks.

Part of Reedville's (Fleeton's) menhaden fleet.
Hard workers of the menhaden fleet.
Our neighbors in Reedville.

Me first matey. None better.

So, there you have it, just a taste of a poorly photographed week, but perhaps you get a hint of the beauty experienced. I leave you with a portion of our last sail home. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shaping Sheaves

In preparation for spar sanding, I decided to cut the openings for the mast sheaves. I pulled the Delrin sheaves from a pair of old Schaefer blocks I found in the shed (don't know what boat they came from). Both are approximately 3/16" short of the mast tips and will work just fine for the halyards.

spar and drill press on bench.

successive borings.
Sheave test fit.

I jigged the spars level on the open bench, chocked them in place, and bore holes for the sheave slots. A Forstner bit did quick work of it.

A chisel and utility knife roughed the edges to shape. Filing completed the needed slot width.

I test fit the sheave with a pan  head machine screw. I'll replace with a counter sink screw and finish washer later. he machine screw may be tight enough to fore go an aircraft nut on it.