October 27, 2019
Plank 4 is the last of the side strakes and its installation means we're headin' down the home stretch!
While this section of the building blog will focus on plank 4 and the inwale, gunwale and gunwale blocks, there are still some miscellaneous tasks to complete. (And some leaves to rake!)
I was able to clean up all the seat edges during the week and had just a couple more doublers to install.
If you look closely you can also see some of the perimeter seat supports needed a little adjusting. I'm gluing in some shims to level things out. I'm also checking the fit of the rough-cut plank 4 on the port side.
While the glue dries on the seat components I've moved on to planing the bevels for plank 4. The bevels provide a flat gluing surface on the previous plank for the next plank to rest.
The angle must be repeatedly checked while planing because it changes along the length of the boat. Here I'm holding up a scrap of plywood (simulating the next plank) to see how it falls on the bevel and frame edge.
Here's the plank clamped in place after the rolling bevel has been cut.
I removed the plank and used it as a pattern for the starboard side shown here still rough along the bottom edge.
A view of the inside.
The weekend ended with a cold, rainy Sunday – too cold to epoxy. So this is where the boat work ends for this week. Although I spent the end of the day cleaning up and re-organizing the workspace.
I must say it's exciting to be this far along and there are some fun projects ahead!
November 3, 2019
Before installing, I finished planing both planks to shape, completed the bevels on both sides and cut the gains on both sides.
With those tasks completed, here's port side plank epoxied in place and all clamped up.
The temperature was in the mid-fifties today. I enclosed the epoxy and warmed it with a light bulb before dispensing and mixing it up. It mixed and went on well (Friday afternoon) but I'm curious as to how it will set up in the cooler temps.
Well, it looks like it will take a couple days (still a little tacky Saturday night). Since most all of the next tasks involve epoxy and it's only going to get colder, I switched gears and began weatherproofing the workshop. I spent most of the day tacking heavy vinyl over the two screened walls. And I'll be looking into some kind of portable heating.
Meanwhile, I cut the hole for the aft inspection port. The easiest way for me to cut a hole this size has been to start with the jigsaw.
Then finish off with a chisel, rasp, file and sandpaper.
It didn't take long until housing slipped right in.
Here it is in place.
So, just small progress on the boat this weekend (although I did accomplished some necessary yard and house work and a musical gig!). Next week I hope to get the starboard plank installed. Then I'll be able to unscrew the boat from the base and lower it down onto the sawhorses. That should provide a better working height to be able to finish filleting, waterproofing and painting the floatation chambers and glueing the seats into place.
November 10, 2019
My apologies to anyone anxiously awaiting these Sunday updates (is anyone?) but this weekend was a washout. Friday the temperature went down to 17°F overnight so epoxying was kind of out of the question. Saturday I had another musical engagement right in the middle of the day and Sunday? Well it warmed up a bit so I put a space heater in my newly (loosely) sealed porch and glued in the last side plank. The temperature was the same as it was during the last successful install, so I assume all will go well.
Here's the only photo from this week.
Production will be slowing down as Winter arrives. I've read that gluing and filleting can still be done in cooler temperatures so I will continue as long as I can. Also, still needing construction are the rudder, tiller and daggerboard which I may be able to do indoors during the Winter months. Still hoping to launch next Summer!
November 17, 2019
The weekend started off by removing the saw horses and lowering the boat to a level that allows easier access to the interior — not the easiest single-handed task, but I found the boat itself is relatively light.
There's still some filleting to do, especially around the floatation chambers in preparartion for the seat top installation.
Making headway... Temperatures are in the mid-40s C and dropping below freezing over night but I'm finding if I heat the epoxy before dispensing and mixing (using an elelctric space heater), I get good results. Although it has been taking about 2 days to cure.
Up front there is a situation with 2 limber holes (specified in the plans) that break the watertight seal of the chamber. The issue was questioned by another builder on the Welsford facebook page (thanks Chris!) and Welsford reponded with his OK to seal them up if preferred.
Since there is an inspection port installed to allow air flow when needed, I'm plugging the holes with a plywood patch which will be filleted over.
I left a little room at the top of plank 4 for some final fine tuning. Here I've been working on getting that important gunwale line smooth and fair.
The gunwale blocks were cut from the western red cedar I recently picked up.
Here I'm determining the spacing. The position of the two blocks on each side that support the oar locks is specified in the plans so I clamped those in place first. Then I evenly spaced the blocks that fall in between them and continued that spacing for the remaining blocks.
The inwale is clamped in place.
Both sides are temporarily set up and I see a few issues, like:
• Some blocks fall on a cross section frame which will need some modifications.
• The inwales do not land in the slots I cut in the transom because the blocks are narrower than the initial spacing.
• I'm not sure how the quarter knees integrate into the whole set up.
All solvable, but will give me something to think about during the week.
November 24, 2019
It seems there is always one more thing to do before being able to move on to the fun stuff.
Before installing the gunwales, filleting and taping the seam between planks 3 & 4 has to be done. And, due to the colder weather, each step will take a day or two longer to cure. The underlying fillet has been applied in this photo.
Here is the rough epoxy fill over the limber hole patch of last week.
I also corrected the prematurely cut slots for the inwales by making a couple quick plugs.
I'll glue them in with thickened epoxy and hopefully be able to sand everything smooth when it cures.
Now the 2-day wait begins. While I could make a more serious attempt to heat this porch workshop, leaving a heater on all night seems a little too risky.
I also glued in the reinforcing floor brace which has been held in place by friction until now.
Next, taping the planks 3 and 4 joint.
Here's the second side (the tape ends will get trimmed off with a mat knife). It looks completed but...
I ran out of tape with the front two sections still to go. I'm also running out of epoxy so it looks like its time for another supply order.
And another week ends with no paint in the floatation chambers and no installed seat tops. But even though slowly, progress continues to be made...