Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cleats, Clamps, Carlins, Carborundum, and Eucalyptus

I've spent some time sanding my newly-fiberglassed interior.  I am pleased to report that it is going pretty quickly.  I have spent around 3 hours sanding so far, and am just over half done.  Unfortunately, a lot of the sanding remaining consists of tight corners and small, hard to get to spaces.  Not fun, but I did a pretty good job with the glass work, so it isn't as bad as it could be.  And I am motivated to get it done, since after I'm done, there are a done of fun projects that should really advance the "doneness" of the boat quickly.  Motivation is good

So..weird story...I was out sanding away when suddenly I started smelling spaghetti inside my respirator.  Thinking that my sander or vacuum might be about to explode, I quickly shut down everything, pulled off my mask spaghetti smell.  Mask back on, spaghetti.  I started sanding again and the smell went away.  A few minutes later, though...spaghetti.  Again, no smell outside the mask (except, of course, epoxy dust). More sanding, smell goes away.  Then it comes back again.   Strangest thing I've experienced whilst sanding.  I finally decided to interpret it as being time for dinner, so I hung up my sander, called it a night, went inside the house and ate...chicken.

Interlaced with sanding, I've tackled installing the framing that will support the cockpit deck and footwell.  In sharp contrast to all the epoxying that I've been doing recently, here I'm measuring, cutting, and installing wood, and as I do so, the boat looks different, so it feels like I'm actually building something.  Fun and highly rewarding. 
In the manual, it looks pretty straightforward to cut and install all of these cleats, carlins, and beams.  In actually doing it, you realize that there are a ton of compound angles everywhere.  Lot's of dry fitting and lots of measure twice, cut once, mesure once, cut twice, etc.  Also, just locating the cleats in the right places, particularly on the transom, front send of the footwell, and on the footwell sides was trickier than expected.  Lots and lots of dry-fitting is required to make sure everything is where it should be.  It goes slower than you expect, but it is awfully fun work, so no complaints.

Getting the angle of the hull.  The deck carlins are beveled to this angle

Set the sawblade to the right angle

Run it through and you get this!

Here's what it looks like in the boat

Next up, cover everything you see here in more timber

Once again, my clamp collection is deployed en masse
In the manual, the cleats on Bulkhead 8 are shown inside the cabin.  I didn't see any reason for that and figured that if they were installed inside the water-tight compartment, it'd save me some sanding and finishing.  So, that's what I did.

I was constantly dry fitting the footwell sides to check the placement of everything

There were lots of compound angles
The beams of the transom need to be notched out to receive the carlins coming in from Bulkhead 8.  The manual has these cut out after the beams have been glued.  Fellow PocketShip builder Sean came up with a nifty idea that I stole.  His idea was to pre-mark the cutout and the beam, and cut about halfway through the beam from the back side.  Then, glue in the piece, being careful not to get any glue on the bit you'll be removing.  Once everything is dry, simply pick up your saw and finish the cut.  Thus, the beam is aligned across the notch, and it doesn't take any swearing or chisel work to get it out.  Thanks for the great idea, Sean.
Before gluing the deck beams onto the transom, I pre-cut the notches into the back side where it is notched out to receive the carlins.  After it was glued down, I finished cutting it out.

Ready for a carlin

More cleats/carlins.  Notice that I've temporarily set the aft carlins in the wrong spot.  They should be in the
next notch outboard

I've spent quite a long time at Martin Lumber, trying to select an appropriate wood for my cabin sole.  I wanted something hard and tough, with a nice, tight grain, and a mellow, luxurious colour to it.  I looked at teak (too expensive), mahogany (too soft), maple (too light in color), blood wood and paduak (both too dark),  cherry (grain wasn't what I was looking for), oak (too ubiquitous), etc, etc.  Finally, I settled on something called lyptus.  It's hard, heavy, millable, sustainable, has a beautiful, tight grain, and a gentle reddish color.  I did a little research on it, and it turns out that it is a plantation-grown eucalyptus hydrid.

I also wanted to add a little bit of flash to the inside of the cabin, so I decided to glue up a piece of figured maple between two strips of bloodwood to serve as an accent plank.  When finished, the figured maple has and awesome iridescent quality.  Add in the deep-red contrast of the bloodwood, and I think it'll look awesome.  Right now the plan it to run one of these accent strips down the middle.  I'll likely also run one more on each side farther from the centerline.  I'll be playing around with it as I lay the sole, and see what looks right.

I've taken a couple of scraps of the woods and experimented with a couple of different finishes.  High-gloss polyurethane or varnish are out...too garish.  I want a nice, soft, luxuriously satin finish.  Danish oil looks really good on the lyptus, but doesn't totally bring out the iridescence of the figured maple.  The the accent strips might end up getting a satin polyurethane, but I need to see how everything plays together.

I have yet to start putting down the sole.  I think I'm going to finish sanding the interior  and get the distasteful job out of the way first.  But gosh, it is going to be fun, so I'm having trouble holding off.   Also, I don't think I've explicitly mentioned this, but I haven't yet 'glassed the bilge panels forward of bulkhead 2.  It's been on my to-do list for a while, but the other projects have taken precedence largely because they're more rewarding.  But I will have to tackle that soon.  Anyway, more to come!
The makings of a nice sole.  The figured maple/bloodwood laminated piece is in the center, flanked on either side by lyptus.
Here's another view.  Notice the beautiful matte-grey-ish color of the sanded 'glass inside the hull

No comments:

Post a Comment