Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snowflakes and Sawdust Flies

To people in the nor'east and mid-west, this won't look like a lot of snow.  But it is.

We have had a bit of a cold snap around here of late.  Snow fell on Monday and it hasn't really gotten above freezing since.  This has had an unfortunate impact on my Pygmy kayak project, which is but two coats of varnish away from being done.  And it'll stay two coats of varnish away from being done until it warms up a little.

 So, instead of finishing that boat, I've been using my free time to keep making progress on PocketShip.  I'm still steadily transferring parts from patterns to plywood.  But, Tuesday night I could stand it no longer.  So, girded in long underwear, jigsaw in hand, I plunged out to the shop on the coldest night of the year to make some sawdust. 

This actually read 29F until I picked it up.

As you can see in the above photo, it was a little cold in the shop  (pay no attention to the date on the clock, the battery falls out constantly).  Brrr...  I started by laying out a beautifully marked sheet of 3/8 in plywood and set to work cutting out the bulkhead for the for'ard end of the cabin, Bulkhead #2.  Step 1 was to drill a hole big enough to get a jigsaw started in to cut out the smaller of the for'ard storage hatch openings.   I then cut this hatch opening, whilst experimenting with a couple of different jig saw blades/speeds. 

The first cut.  Or hole.  Whatever.

Lesson #1: The first part you cut you should not be one of the the most visible parts of the boat! A couple bad things could happen. You could, for example, drill a hole and find out that the drill bit you used hopelessly splintered the back side of the hole.  Or, you could find out that the jigsaw blade you first chose really likes splintering plywood too.  I'm just saying these things could happen, not that the happened to me, or anything.  Fortunately, after building a few boat, you learn trick to cover up mistakes.  Sanding, thickened epoxy, sanding, strategic trim pieces, sanding...pretty soon, no more mars!

By the way, another lesson, if it is below freezing in you shop, expect your jigsaw skills to be diminished.  You need blood in your fingers to use a jigsaw effectively.  Who knew?

Although I started cutting out Bulkhead #2, the first full piece to emerge from the plywood was the flange for one of the cockpit storage compartments.

My first PocketShip part! 

Bulkhead #2 followed  And, since I was on a roll, I also cut the floors for station 5 and the station 8 seatback frames.

One hour and twenty frozen extremities later...

By this point, I was feeling the cold in my finger and toes and decided it was time to quit.  I was so excited to abandon the shop for a nice, heated house.  Until I found out that in the time I was outside, my furnace conked out.  Don't worry, I got the furnace fixed the next day. But it was a little chilly that night.  Bugger.

Happy Thankgiving everyone!

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