Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This and That

I'm still picking away at various projects trying to move toward launch at the end of July.  Over the past 4 years doing this project I've been working with the Mark Twain mantra: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting one the first one".  Now I'm down to one complex task (engine) and a bunch of simple tasks that just take time and I am adopting a new mantra until I begin work on the engine. The new mantra is: "Don't be a lazy f&*k; get s&^t done".  Simple but effective.

To that end,  I tackled a few small projects that need to be done over the past few days.  The first was to finish up the top of the new rudder by tapping two screws for the rudder bearing.  The first is simply there to keep the bearing from sliding down in the rudder tube, and the second is a set or "grub" screw tapped through the rudder tube and into the bearing.  The purpose of this is to keep the bearing from rotating in the rudder tube.

My father in law used to be a machinist and a few years back gave me a set of roughly 150 taps of almost every imaginable pitch and diameter up to 1/2" and until a few weeks ago, I had not used one of them. Looking back at all of the projects I've done over the past few years (boat and non-boat related), I wish I had dug them out earlier, they are fantastic.

Anyway, I used one of the #10-24 taps to ream out the screw holes for the top of the rudder.  This allowed the stainless screws I had on hand to nicely thread into the rudder tube and in the case of the set screw, I tapped through the rudder tube and into the bronze bearing itself allowing for a nice tight fit and a secure connection to keep the bearing in place.

Next I moved onto the washboards. The old ones were really, really tired and one of the corners had a bit of rot in it so I decided that I would rob Peter to pay Paul.  Earlier this spring I planned on building Sapele dorade covers to add to that yachty look and went as far as making one up and hand cutting dovetails here. Unfortunately, even though the dovetails looked good and the box fit nicely on the boat, they looked a bit chunky according to my wife.

We make a good team in that I am good at making stuff, and she is good at telling me if they look right or not.  In this case they didn't and she was right.  Because the box I made was a cover, the extra width needed to make the box slip over the old fiberglass dorade made it look way too big.  So, on rethinking the size I realized that the only way to do it right was to cut the old dorades off and build the boxes the same outer size as the originals.  I decided that this would be way too much of an undertaking at this stage of the game and would make a nice project somewhere down the line when I didn't have so much else to do.

When I had painted the decks last year I didn't touch the dorades thinking they would be covered with the nice shiny Sapele works of art, so I had to go back and clean up all the nicks and gouges with fairing compound, followed by 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of Interlux Perfection.  As much as a pain as it was, it was still a lot less work than cutting the dorades off and building new ones.   Now I just have to re-mount the bronze dorades that I have to shine up and I'm good to go.

So back to the washboards (see how easily I'm distracted).  I used the Sapele I had planned to use on the dorade boxes, made a template with some masonite I had on hand and cut out the washboards.  I didn't actually have enough Sapele to cut out all three boards so I cut out two of them and used what I had left to make a third that had room for a window.  I didn't take any pictures but I just cut the stiles and rails and shiplapped them together.  Using the router I cut a rabbet into the inside of the rails where the acrylic (Plexiglass) window will be located and glued it all up with some epoxy.

I still need to mount the sliding cabin hatch before I can cut the top board, but I sanded everything down to 180 grit in the meantime and may get some varnish on the bottom two before that gets done.  I picked up some 1/4" acrylic at the hardware store and will cut and fit that as well.  I haven't thought too much about how I am going to mount the window other than setting it in the rabbeted inset, but I'm sure that will come to me soon.

Finally, I few weeks back I had picked up some really pretty Sapele stock for the new cockpit coamings, but they were 7/8" and I am a little worried that it won't bend to the cockpit curve so I wanted to get it down to 3/4" before trying.  Since the boards are 15" wide, my planer was out and the local sawmill didn't want to plane them because they were worried that there would be too much tear out on their brutish planer, so my friend Jim offered to run them through his 18" drum sander.  I brought them over last night and we spent close to 1.5 hours running them through pass after pass to get down to 3/4".  the boards were slightly cupped so this process flattened them out nicely.  I'll be using the old coamings as a template and will try to get them cut out tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Looking good, soon enough all the hard work will be worth it!