Anyway, before epoxying the hatch up, I did manage to cut out a perimeter rabbet 1/2" x 1/2" on the new hatch partly with my router and a sharp chisel in the corners. It always takes me longer than I expect, but I always do a few test cuts when using the router because it sure can make a mess of things when it gets out of hand. Fortunately it behaved nicely, but I played it safe and stayed away from the ends of the boards which slowed things down more because I needed to carefully chisel out just enough to make a nice 90 degree corner once the boards were joined. All went well and I'm happy with the way they turned out.
Next I mixed up a small batch of un-thickened epoxy and brushed it into the joints on all the boards, then I added enough Aerosil to thicken up the remaining epoxy along with some fine sapele sawdust to color up the mix for the joints. Then I just slathered it in all the joints nice and thick so any gaps in the joints would be filled. I assembled all four rails together and inserted a piece of 1/4" plywood into the rabbet (I had previously measured so it would fit perfectly). For now the plywood is just there to make sure the hatch is square, but I will eventually laminate it in to provide the substrate for teak decking strips. Finally I clamped it all up and let it cure.
Next, I'll start working on laminating up the hatch deck. Right now, my thoughts are to use the 1/4" plywood along with 6oz cloth on the top and bottom. On the bottom side I will laminate sapele strips to the underside so the plywood will not be visible, and on top will be the teak decking. The original hatch I did was built in a similar fashion, but I used mahogany strips in place of the plywood. At the time I was literally swimming in mahogany cutoffs from a friend who was replanking his NY32.
|Test fit of plywood sub-deck just before gluing up rails.|