Monday, September 29, 2014

The French have a Different Word for Everything...

I once ran a radio station while going to college.  It was a small radio station.  We had about 8 people working there when I started.  Shortly after I was hired the station was bought out and everyone was let go except me.  I think it was I worked the cheapest.  Anyway to make a long story short I was on my own and was pretty much self taught in radio.  About a year later the station sold again to some real radio people in a town about 45-55 minutes down the road.  Most of my interaction was on the phone with them because they didn't like to drive.  Being self taught, my terminology I used was looked down upon by the "real radio" guys.  I used to refer to commercials as "ads". This turned out to be a real faux pas.  Turns out you don't call an advertisement an "ad" in the business.  An "add" is a new song in the music rotation.  An advertisement is called a "spot" usually 30 or 60 seconds long. oh well, who knew?

Well I tell this story because like radio I am self taught when it comes to building boats and don't have a lot of interaction with guys that know their stuff.  So I finished the installation of the floorboards.  I believe this is called the sole.  Hope "real boat people" don't laugh at me.  There are a bunch of other terms like lazarette, Bomar, companionway, tabernacle, gaff, gudgeons & pintles, that I will be working into future posts...hope I don't misuse them.  Boat people are like radio people and the French...they have a different word for everything.
Installed floorboards.
Trim line drawn using a wood strip left over from one of the kayaks to draw the line.
Tight quarters required a tool purchase.
Aerial view.
Implements of construction.
My "feeler gauge".
Everyone seems to have found their own way of installing the floorboards.  I found using cheap drywall screws for the first installation would be a good idea so not to tear up the bronze screw heads.  Ultimately after the boards are sanded rounded over with the router and varnished they will be installed with bronze screws.  The piece of paper I used in the last picture was used kinda like a feeler gauge.  I would slide it under the floorboard and found where it would make contact with the hull.  I would then sand or hand plane that area.  After lots of back and forth the clearance was perfect.

Also in the last picture the floorboard second from the bottom is flat sawn.  All the rest of the boards are quarter sawn.  OCD and being a woodworker this drives me nuts.  All the boards have perfectly straight grain with the very close tight grain, except that one with Cathedral grain...aaaaaaawwww.

While installing the floorboards here is a tip for future builders.  As you work your way out from the center it is very difficult to reach your hand under the installed boards once you get a few boards installed. It is also really easy to drop stuff during installation and when you do they all slide or roll to the center on the hull, just out of reach.  I just took the floorboards out for finish work and exposed enough stuff to build another boat!  Drill bits, screws, screw drivers, shims and lots of pencils.  It was like opening a treasure chest.  Have plenty of these things on hand before you start.

It was a nice change of pace from all the sanding doing the floorboards but now that they are out, back to sanding.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Change of Pace...

It sure is nice building one of these boats with all the Pocketship blogs out in cyberland.  Before starting the build and waiting for the kit to arrive I read every one of them I could Google up.  Now every time I start a new step I hunt down the blogs again and check their posts to see how the other guys did the same step.  It is kind of like looking at some else's paper on a test.  There are such great ideas for things not covered in the manual from brands of paint, to building techniques, and electronics.  Yep, I am going to rip off a few answers and give credit along the way of course and hopefully throw a few things out there others can rip off from me.

Up to this point everything is mostly as the manual has instructed.  The guys on the forum did talk me into leaving the cleats off the bulkheads until after the epoxy and fiberglass is done in the hull for ease of sanding.  Thanks guys!  Done.

Another deviation from the manual was an idea of my own.  Bulkhead 2 is turned around in my Pocketship.  That way the large hole is on the left and the small hole is on the right.  I did this for several reasons.  The electronic equipment that is normally mounted over the small hole will be on the right where I think it would be more conveniently located, and as noted in a previous post, I am right handed.  Also, the veneer on the wood looked much better on the side that will be now facing the companionway instead of the locker in case I plan to leave the finish bright (natural).

Today I started the floorboards.  I just was too tired of sanding and figured I needed a change of pace.  It really is nice to getting back to something that is more like woodworking.  The first couple of boards are going in nicely and look great. After all the boards are fitted they will be numbered and taken out for finishing, then back to sanding the hull for it's finish.  Hopefully by left arm will recuperate when that time comes.

Floorboards mostly just laying on the bulkheads earlier today...

Another deviation from the manual is the use of a little Bondo you can see on bulkhead 4 (the spots where it looks like a seagull pooped) It is not structural, just to smooth up my bad fillet technique.  It really is easy to sand and hardens quickly.  There are a few more places I plan to apply it when the floorboards come out.   Once painted no one will ever know.

Even tho the bulkheads are under the floorboards and they won't be seen, I want a smooth finish for cleaning purposes. Well, that and I will know what is under there.

I am still having a blast building this boat.  I hope sailing it is as much fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Progress Continues!

I have put hours and hours into the boat and made a lot of progress but not much to show.  Now that all the fillets are done in the bilge, I have acquired the skills and know how to do a pretty good job...a little late now.  The nice thing about fillets and fiberglass, is that if you are not particularly proficient you can always recover, if sanding does not bother you.  I have done a lot of sanding and have a lot to go...

There are times when I look at my work and think, "wow... this is not looking so good".  I remember feeling that way a lot when building my kayaks but in the end I was happy with the results.

This was my first attempt a large fiberglass job on my first boat.

Kayaks are fun but I am ready to harness some wind and leave the paddle at home.

Another picture to prove it floats!

I may not look like much but there are many hours of work from the last pictures of the Pocketship  and this picture below.  It is in the "ugly stage" for sure, but I am happy with the way things are turning out so far.  This area will be under the floorboards and will not be seen.

The bilge before a couple of fill coats of epoxy and more hours of sanding.

Before wetting out the fiberglass cloth with resin in the locker area.

Future Pocketship builders, note the clamps holding the cleat on bulkhead 7.  It is there just temporarily without glue to protect the fragile bulkhead.

I guess I need a complaint section in this post so here it left are is killing me.   I find myself in all kinds of contorted positions  to the sanding of the bulkheads and fillets.  Many times I find I must sanding left handed.  This is really not a problem, my sister is left handed and I believe I may harbor some of these tendencies myself, but I guess the muscles and tendons are not up to the abuse.  Another problem I have is after I climb into the bilge to do some work I always forget at least one tool or the power tool I about to use is not plugged in.  Climbing in and out is not easy.  Ok, the complaint department is closed...

Only one more small area to glass and then work on the soul (floorboards) will begin.  I have been looking forward to doing the the next stage of construction since before I received the kit and I all I had was Pocketship blogs on the interweb to read.

The blogs I have read have been invaluable in inspiration, motivation and great information for the build.  The consensus of the blogs seems to be that I am about to complete the most dreaded parts of the build.  If this is the worst, bring on the rest of the construction!  I am having a blast and have loved every step along the way.