Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow No Go

I'm now itching to glass this boat (no puns re: scratching). Mother nature however has not warmed up to the idea. Though the thought of moving into the dining room is tempting, it is not an option, but give me credit for the thought. Actually, flashbacks of someone screaming after I painted a road bike in a kitchen years and years ago still put on the brakes. Who says there isn't something to learn in every situation?. All I can say is, cover up all you want, but that mist can travel! I'll leave that to the reader's imagination. No pictures were taken then so, maybe it is plausible to deny. This can be considered a work of fiction.

I do have a few photos here from moving the boat out for the final deck sanding prior to glass on Saturday. Otherwise, I used a good part of the day to make some boxes to store my multiplying clamp collection. They are modified drawers from the old bath vanity. Also, I added more pulleys to the lifting supports raising the Moth off the garage floor. Also cut some trees back in the yard. We'll see if they survive, soon I hope.

I'm now seriously considering heating the garage on a 60 degree day up to delivered the needed 70 (epoxy temp). However, temps crashed again on Sunday and delivered more snow. So, I'll leave you with a few long views of the boat. This is prior to the sanding, and epoxied nail holes are obvious. Painter's tape has since been removed.

port side view

port aft qtr

stbd aft qtr


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cradle to Shavings

Yesterday, I cut cradles for the deck and hull. Working at chest height makes a huge difference.

I'm now sitting by the wood stove after a productive afternoon. Planed, sanded with 60 then 120 grit, and filled the nail holes with sawdust and epoxy in the deck. While the temps have not been agreeable for glassing yet, they are fine for this exercise. I had hoped to do all this outside, but rain prevented. Using a fan on the deck pointing out the garage may have helped, but there is a fine dust all over the garage (more work, clean up, later).

I had thought I was more careful aligning the strips on the deck, but apparently not. There was much more planing required. Chalk it up to learning. Results still look great. Pics below-

Next up will be glassing of bulkheads as prelude to the deck.
A small portion of shavings.


port side
aft deck

long shot

nice close up

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cannonball Folly

Started an initial planing of the deck last night and began shaping the mahogany on the prow at the deck. Here are a few pics that are likely to irritate the fastidious. Please reserve judgement for final results. As a general note, the deck looks good.Planing doesn't open joints to expose more glue. There is an odd almost indented place to either side of the cockpit at 4 and 8 o'clock. I don't believe it was intended, but I got symmetrical results. Doesn't look bad. It is what it is.

The most egregious clamping of all!
Sometimes you just keep adding junk until the task is done. Some sort of strap would have been better, but this worked. No need for a patent here though.

"cannonball hole".


When I mentioned that I had put the last strip on the boat, my youngest boy (9yrs) piped up and asked, "What about the cannonball hole?" Well put. You can see a light pencil line of the final hole for the cockpit. I didn't want to fair any more area than needed. Some of this I'll cut back before glassing as projecting sticks will mess up the laying of the fabric I think.

Deck fairing begins.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Half Way Home

 Once the deck is stripped out, I'm told you're at the halfway point in the build. It has gone quicker than expected and has been a joy really. Yet, at some point this past week I became much more absorbed with turning another page on this kayak. Taking pics became a distraction, but I did continually stepped back to admire the lines.With the hull ready for glassing, the deck seemed an easier undertaking. In reality it is perhaps more difficult, yet my new found skills have allowed me to motor on through completing the strips. I've become proficient at measuring, whittling, planing, and then sometimes giving a slight sanding to the tapered ends of strips for a tight fit.

 Thursday night, with the help of the "crew" that showed for dinner, we put the table saw back in the shed. It deserves better care than it has had over the past 2 months. I also thought any more cutting would be of shorter boards. As luck would have it, I ran short on strips and have been scarfing pieces together, but generally that went well.

The weekend allowed for much progress. Was expecting to complete the stripping, but we are still seven strips shy of a "full deck". Ran out of time ... and to some extent, energy. Slept well last night in spite of the time change. Having the extra daylight hour as the days get longer is going to improve productivity. Working in the evening with more daylight will definitely give a psychological boost. Sunday was by far the nicest day of the year thus far. the warmer weather has me eager for the 1st splash.

I had thought the deck would be easier than the hull. There is physically less of it. Yet, the strips are really tortured left and right of the cockpit. A tremendous amount of twist here requires using the heat gun to relax the ligaments in the wood. Additionally, there is a rolling bevel that must be shaved here to assure a nice joint. I think I've got it, but only later planing and sanding will tell. I'm certain the underside will show some misses. Thankfully that will be hidden.

Here are shots of the steps to fit a strip:

mark the cut
Step 1: lay the new strip in the opening and draw a scribe line from the start of the hole to where the strip exits the lower edge of the hole. If done carefully, you are 95% fitted.

Step 2: whittle close (1/16" removed) to the line.
A sharp stout knife works best for getting there quick.

whittle to line

Step 3: hand plane to line.
Depending on the strip, a bevel may be needed.
Occasionally a slight sanding may be needed for the final touches.
Test fit several times to confirm a tight fit.

I'll cast in the remaining pics for proof of work. Not much to add. I was getting short on full strips and scarfed several together. The ragged opening in the center will be the cockpit cut out so craftsmanship here went out the window. None required, unless you think the attitude reflects on the rest. So be it.

Those slant eyed holes became increasingly difficult to fir strips. Aside from the twist at the cockpit, the tapered ends grow longer. Again, sanding will tell.

Eventually my bar clamps didn't reach and masking tape wasn't adequate. Thus, various and sundry "wedges" were employed.

Blogger is really protesting today. Photo organization and captioning isn't working. I'll have to try again later.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Taming of the Shear

I've now 92 hours in actual building time here. Surprisingly, the rewards have far outweighed the struggles. I had suspected more drudgery to this. Honestly the worst part has been the sawhorse veiling and unveiling. That shouldn't even be an issue with a larger space. So, I'm pleased. One of the benefits of building your own is the ability to customize the vessel to your tastes and wishes. Some are intended. Others are serendipitous. This goes beyond the boat's shape, though some may play with that. I haven't (at least not intentionally). The manual accompanying the plans is quite complete. However, I've studied the process enough to consider  a few changes on my terms. Some are in detail. Some in technique. Neither is necessarily better or worse, but perhaps more justly a chance to experiment. No 2 boats are alike primarily due to the nature of wood (no 2 trees are the same) and secondarily due to the fabricator.  I feel I've profited from a few accidents so far, but mostly this has all been a learning process. It's nice to master some tools and techniques, at least on a competent basis.

Got the initial shear strips on at 1/2 width and have toyed with a racing stripe down the center line. I dug through my wood pile and located some mahogany scraps I can ripped to accent the stripe. Some scarfing will be required, but the tight grain makes it all but invisible. Look past all the clamps for a view of last night's cobbling ...
Racing stripe

1/2 width shear strips. blue tape prevents deck to hull gluing.

How Blogger arranges these photos I can't figure. the post rarely reflects the draft.  this last pic shows mostly tape, but also a strip after cut by pocket knife to approximate bevel after which hand planing gets it true and then, ...  lots of tape. the stems have such an upward sweep that the strips have yet to stay put. I hope additional adjoining strips will force compliance.
Bow with a roll of masking tape!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hit the Deck

In my opinion the worst part of any job is the cleanup. There is no exception, even in a labor of love. To make a simple rip cut requires much disassembly of my table saw's "homeless shelter". I now have 2 tarps and a portable tent guarding my saw from the elements. While the temperature and humidity are relatively the same in the shed, the rain and snow we've had do compromise the saw. I now hear "rust" when it rains. The shed is too short for kayak lumber. I've considered putting a window in the end opposite the door to accommodate long boards. Hopefully we can put the table saw back in her home in a week. I hope to have all the strips for the deck in place soon. having to uncover and then cover with each use has been an excuse not to work.

Nonetheless, the robes came off the saw yesterday and the decking began. It feels good to be moving on the project again. I elected to forgo glassing now, glue the forms back on the hull, unscrew it from the strongback, and cradle it all between slings nailed to the sawhorses.

You can see the sweet flow of the deck now.

boat in slings.

"Schmutz" patches on the bow.

I had some concern that I had a couple flat places in the hull along the shear where the strips were pulled too tightly, primarily just aft of the cockpit. Thankfully, those seem to have smoothed themselves out once the hull was released from the forms. However, I had hot melted the hull back on all but the stem forms and apparently missed the keel alignment by 1/8". So, I broke the middle 6-8 forms out and repositioned. This also gave me the opportunity to  examine the joints in the strips on the interior. With a few exceptions in the bow and stern which need some of what Nick Schade calls "dookie schmutz", they all looked pretty good. I'll list his book(s) and other resources at some point. aside from the wondrous online knowledge, there are some very well illustrated expert sources. Nick also has a number of YouTube videos that are instructive too.

Not pictured are the few strips I've added to the deck. the shear is a real tight bend and I ripped the typical 3/4" strip in half with a bevelled cut for 2 usable strips. This is likely the toughest part of the boat as these shear strips twist quite a bit fore and aft requiring patient hand planing for a proper snug fit to the hull and each other. Now that I have some of the technique down it is fun.

Lastly, I had considered making 3 cradles to support the hull back in the strongback as the height in the slings is back breaking, but a chair is working for now. Once sanding is needed, I think I'll resort to forms. We'll see. It may be a diversion at some point and simple to set up.

Over & out-