This mini-project did not get off to an auspicious start. The first step it to take some scrap wood and create a patteron for the forward end of the sea hood. The piece is set at 66 deg to the cabin deck s contour. So, I grabbed a piece of scrap wood, set it up on the cabin deck at an angle of 66 degrees, and traced away. I cut out my pattern and fit it to the hull. Not bad.
Using my pattern, I laid out the shape on a piece of 3/4" mahogany that I'd picked up earlier in the day from Martin Lumber. I set the table on my bandsaw to 66 deg and went to town on it. Well, actually, due to the way the angle meter on the bandsaw reads, I set it to 90-66=34 deg. Catch the math error? After reseting to 24 deg, I made the cut again. It felt a little clumsy to make that cut, and the bandsaw emitted strange R2-D2 noises, but the operation went fairly smoothly, and the finished result looked pretty good. It look good, that is, until I held it up to the boat and realized that while I had cut the correct angle on the bottom, I cut the bevel the wrong way on the top surface. Off to the scrap heap with that one.
|The hood sides and and early iteration of the front|
Round three. R2-D2 noises from the bandsaw, cut, cut, cut. This time I'd somehow over-compensated for the shortness of the previous attempt and ended up with a board that was just a little tall. No problem! I laid out a new curve at the right height and returned to the bandsaw. I was about halfway through the cut when I realized something was right. I had the board backwards and once again was slicing through the board at the wrong angle. I really didn't want to scrap another board, and I briefly considered filling in the kerf of my half completed cut with thickened epoxy and calling it a day. But, the vision is to have the sea hood and companionway hatch varnished, and a line of thickened epoxy streaking across the front of the hood does not fit with the vision. So, back to Martin I went.
If they were smiling when I left previously, they could butshake their heads upon my return. I snatched up another suitable length of mahogany, supported my local small business some more, and headed for home, vowing as I left that I would not return that day.
|My gallery of failure. From left to right, we have "pattern", "wrong angle", "too short", "too tall+1/2 wrong angle", and finaly "good enough"|
I again oh-so-carefully laid out the shape of the front of the sea hood on the board, and proceeded with the utmost caution to the bandsaw, where with infinite care, I methodically and meticulously made the required cuts, whilst the bandsaw again wailed like a distressed droid. If this didn't work, I was done for the day.
It worked. A dry fit revealed no issues and I temporarily assembled the front and sides of the hood.
|Frame of the companionway hatch.|
|Trial fit of the deck on the hood.|
|Go-go-gadget adjustable hole saw!|
|I have seeeeen the light!|
The PocketShip plans show pretty trapezoidal toerails running along the sides of the deck. I like the design of these...they really look nice. Trouble is, at some point I made the mistake of envisioning grabrails there instead. After walking the docks at the marina looking at grabrail designs, and playing around with a cardboard mockup on the boat, I decided that it would be too much trouble to make grabrails. The big stumbling. block was that they'd have to be curved to follow the curvature of the sides of the deck. I decided to definitely go with the toerails as specified instead.
But thoughts of the grab rails kept dogging me. Finally, I gave in. I could at least have a go at grab rails, and if they turned out to be rubbish, I could revert to the attractive trapazoidal toerails.
I traced the curve of deck onto a piece of scrap plywood, cut it out and fashioned a jig on which I laminated together two pieces of 1/2 mahogany. I laid out a couple of lines indicating the horizontal lines of the rails, and mesaured and marked the locations of the feet. I freehanded the curves. A quick trip through the bandsaw, and I had a pair of rails that I was glad to see looked pleasing to the eye. A dry fit on the boat validated my initial reaction.
Finally, after all of this, I could procrastinate no longer. I hooked up the sander, donned my favorite sanding gear (long sleeved shirt, ancient jeans, respirator, safety goggles, hearing protection) and finished the last (for now) of the sanding of the topsides. The boat is ready to flip.