Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rabbets and Glue

It's been hectic around here lately, my inner ski bum is battling with my inner boat bum and it's been a really even match even though April starts tomorrow.  The snow is still really deep in the woods and the spring corn snow is prime right now.

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.




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