Sunday, May 31, 2009

Progress At Last.

The weather forecasters, clearly embarrassed by my last post, have conjured up a fantastic bank holiday weekend.

Genuine, original Blue Skies.

So I got to do a little work on the boat.

The last of the side panels is now in place, glued, screwed, and mostly trimmed.

The battens are now laid in place, and clamped. I did this partly to see how it looked, and partly to see if the battens I cut months ago were actually long enough.

The one on the far left is of course, too short, and had a knot the size of a plum about 1/3 of the way from the front. 

I see a bit of cutting and scarfing to make up a new batten. I have no more planks long enough to cut a new batten from a single piece.

Balcotan PU does a wonderful job of gluing oak, provided you have a perfect joint and lots of pressure.   

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Irish Sky Gray

If you look at the Microsoft colour tables for application developement it has colours like WhiteSmoke, and Wheat and Alice Blue. Charming names. 

But for Gray, they have DarkGray, LightGray, or DarkSlateGray not quite so imaginative.

Had they travelled to Ireland they could have had:
  • IrishDrabGray
  • IrishDrizzleGray
  • IrishDownpourGray
  • IrishIt'sBeenRainingForDaysGray
Or my personal favourite
  • IrishWhere'sTheFeckinSunGray?
Needless to say, progress on the boat has been slow.

I have however gotten very good as tying down the boat cover to avoid pools of water collecting in it. Practice makes perfect.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A scarf in place

The weather forecast for the weekend was a very mixed bag, but as happens about seven times a week, the forecasters were just plain wrong.

It was beautiful today, so we did some family things involving water slides and screaming, and then I added one of the forward side panels.

It was scarfed in place on the frame.

Some deep jaw clamps, and a deck screw provided pressure along the scarf.

And this is what it looks like from the inside. The plastic is the remains of a ziploc bag over a block which crosses the glue line, there's a deck screw applying pressure. It's tough and epoxy will not stick to it. 

You may notice above a small piece of plywood clamped to the frame. This L shaped plywood and another make up a rest for the panel so that I can locate it properly with one pair of hands. 
Sarah is not yet old enough to draft in as an apprentice boat builder.

Broken drill bits.

Fuller Stepped Drill bits rock. You get to drill your counter sink, clearance hole and pilot hole all in one go. Nice. However, if you mistreat them, like for example, trying to bend them around corners because there's something in the way of the drill, they will snap off at the step and leave the part of the bit in the wood.

This is now a problem, as traditional methods for extracting broken screws don't work well on the hard metal in drill bits.

This combined clearance hole and countersink proves just the thing for removing broken drill bits. 

The broken bit was #8, so I got one of these counter sink/clearance hole drills in #10, took out the drill bit, put the outside part in a brace  and cored out around the broken bit enough to get a needle nose pliars in.

I'd strongly suggest a brace instead of a power drill. High speed metal spinning in the vicinity of stuck hardened metal seems like a really bad plan. 

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Here you can see the newly glued, screwed and trimmed panel in place.

And a closeup of the tapered ply, ready to be joined to the forward panel.

The front panel will simply be fitted to the scarf and trimmed to fit the chines and sheer, so the exact positioning of the aft panel is not critical.

I coated the edges with epoxy as my tarp cover is far from ideal, and I wanted to avoid soaking the end grain if waterlogged tarp ended up lying against it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Some planking in place

I made quite a bit of progress over the weekend. I have the two aft side panels glued and screwed in place.

A simple piece of folded wire allows you to mark the position for the screw.

There is a screw every 3 inches on the chine and the sheer clamp, the aft panels are 8 foot long, and theres another 4 or 5 screws on the transom.
The works out about 70 3/4" bronze screws.

Fuller stepped drill bits all the way. They drill the pilot hole, the shank hole and the countersink all in one go. Use care, they are fragile at the step, and if you drop or abuse them they will likely snap.

I started out with a Yankee, but moved onto my Mikata 14.4 NiMh Drill/Driver for the second panel. Set at 5 on the clutch, it sank the screws just below the surface every time. That's part of what you pay for with a good tool. Consistancy.

I have trimmed one side back to the chine and transom, the other side is awaiting my attention. Trimming to the sheer clamps will wait until it's all flipped over.

The ends of both panels have scarfs cut into them, the forward panels have matching scarfs. The forward panels are trimmed after they are put in place, so lining things up is easy.

I'll need a few temporary blocks on the back of the scarf and a few temporary screws to put it together, thickened epoxy will do the rest.

Pictures will follow soon.