Monday, February 27, 2012


We ran into a little snag last week.  We ran out of material to finish the frames and it won't be here until wednesday, so we started building bulkheads.  Its actually a good thing we ran out of material, it will give me time to really finish the frames that we have built.  We will be doing a lot of pre-coating and also covering some surfaces with fiberglass before we start planking the hull.  These small details feel like a slow down now, but will save tons of time later on.  I have mostly been working on bulkheads lately, because they are almost all plywood, and we have plenty of that.

The bulkheads act the same way as the frames, but are cut out of plywood.  These bulkheads serve several structural functions, as well as provide walls inside the boat.

The bulkheads are to large to cut out of one sheet of plywood, so two sheets were scarfed together, you can see the line down the center of the closer bulkhead.

Checking to see if my scarf joint is cut well, which it is.

A large portion of the hull is flat sections, which make it easy to build, but at the ends the frames get more shape.  This is one of the first frames to start curving.

To obtain the correct shape of curved frames, I first draw the lines out on my table and then carefully lay screws along them.  Then i simply tip the frame material onto the screws and push down hard enough to let the screw heads indent marks into the wood.  Now I connect the dots and cut it out.

Frame material comes Wednesday, until then we will be fiberglassing and pre-finishing the frames/bulkheads we have ready.  And just maybe I will make some deck beams, we'll see. 

Until next time, Cody and Beth 

PS. Beth and I went out to a pond in the park near our house a yesterday and sailed the remote controlled model I built.  So much fun.  no pics though, maybe later.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Frame Construction and a Scarf

Cody and I have been cranking out the frames lately. 

Once he's got the measurements marked out on the table, he cuts pieces of wood to fit.  
Then we make a pattern for the gussets, which are pieces of bracing that cover the joints of the frame. 

Then the gussets get cut out of plywood.  I'm using the coolest tool in our shop in this photo-  our Track Saw.  It's looks like a skil saw, but it rides along a track.  The track ensures a perfectly straight cut, and allows you to line everything up before you start.  Really simple and safe to use.  Perfect for me!  Cody has been using one for years building climbing walls and its use translates well into boat building.

Once we've got all the pieces cut, we carefully lay them out on the table, and paint all the connection points with epoxy.  Epoxy is a type of glue.  First we paint on a thin layer to saturate into the wood, then a thick layer, usually mixed with fiberglass powder for extra strength.   Once the epoxy is on, all the pieces get sandwiched together.  

The frame is then ready to be clamped and screwed into place, so the epoxy can dry.  Once it's dry, we'll remove all the clamps and screws.     
I love helping to make these-  they really look like part of a boat!  

This is the first of many scarf joints that I will be undertaking.  On the large flat sections of the hull we will use only one layer of plywood.  However we can't just butt them together, as this would leave a weak point.  So I have to heavily bevel the edges and glue them together. This is called a scarf joint.

My scarf joint is glued with a thickened mixture of epoxy and is being held down by the heaviest things I could round up.

We have completed 8 of 13 frames.  We should be done with the frames by the end of the week and then we get to set them all up.  Very Excited!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Shop

We are finally settled into our little shop.  We moved in on the first and spent a few days remodeling.  The boat has to be built diagonally in the shop, so we had to remove most of the existing loft that was in the shop.  We kept one small section for my office, which we have dubbed the "treehouse".  After we were done remodeling I got caught up doing some light manufacturing work, so the shop was tied up for the last week.  But we are off and running now!  So far, the strongback is built, and we are in the process of building the frames for the hull. 

Welcome to Shop 61. 
This is the original Loft area that the previous tenant built.

The crew (Rumsy is volunteering)

We wrapped the treehouse in plastic to try and keep dust out.  So far its working well.

This is where I host corporate luncheons, and big business meetings.  Or where my brain melts down with measurements and last minute design changes!

The Strong Back.  The cross pieces are where the frames will go, the cable running down the center is the control line to get everything in the right place.

So far the psych is high and things are going really well.