Monday, March 25, 2013

A Lucky Break

Glue time
In the limited time I've had this week, I've been picking away on the companionway trim and washboard track.  As with everything on this project (or any boat project for that matter), there are so many odd angles and curves to cut, trim, and fit that progress goes at a snails pace.  I'm really glad I took lots of photos and save the old trim, it would have been difficult to reproduce without reference material. It's fun work though; I'd much rather be doing this than coring decks or painting.

Still need to cut down to original size
I started by epoxying together the pieces for the right and left sides of the washboard track assembly.  I used the leftover 1 inch sapele boards from the cap rails I had cut out a few weeks earlier.  While waiting for the glue to cure,  I cut out some other trim boards that go below the threshold on the inside and outside and was able to get them fitted and temporarily screwed into place.  I'm finally making some nice wood shavings instead of a horrible toxic waste dump.

The next day the epoxy had cured so I cut the pieces down to size (removed about 1/2 inch from the sides of each) with the table saw and then began cutting out the profile of the threshold so they would fit nicely.  This seemed to take forever because I was just using my block plane, Shinto rasp, and standard rasp.  The original design called for side boards screwed to the edges of the washboard (hard to explain, see picture below).  I followed suit and cut everything out and screwed the side boards onto the washboard track assemblies.

Original design called for boards screwed to washboard assembly
Unfortunately, I stripped one of the screws and because it was just a test fit, I had to get it out.  When I attempted to drill out the screw in the drill press, the bit slipped and tore into the wood, ruining part of the washboard assembly.  I made up some really nice words to describe how I wasted expensive wood and lost time doing a stupid move.  I should have tracked down my screw extractor to to do the job, but being impatient, I figured I could just drill it out instead.  Oh well, what's done was done.  Time to move on.  As I looked at the piece I started to think why the original design was done the way it was.  It really wasn't that good an idea to begin with, trying to butt join 2 pieces together and expect them to look seamless and hold varnish well is always difficult, so I decided to cut out the front face of the original washboard assembly and laminate on a single, wider piece to extend the trim out and eliminate an unnecessary butt joint that would only look bad over time (the original certainly did).

Anyway, fast forward a few days after another round of waiting for epoxy to cure and I think I've improved the design and it will ultimately look better in the long run.  I still have to fit the top to the sliding hatch and get everything rough screwed in and sanded, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

Hence, the lucky break.  Just because that's the way the original design was pieced together, doesn't mean it was good to begin with.  I should know better by now than to trust things on face value.  Question why; always.

No comments:

Post a Comment