Saturday, March 31, 2012

Springs and Clamps

 The thing about this world of ours is that it just keeps on going.  A year ago, around this time, Cody and I lost a good friend.   The day after his funeral, a whole bunch of us got up in practically the middle of the night and drove to the hot springs in the town of Meadow, Utah, a favorite spot of his.   We got there just in time for the sunrise.  We did it again this year.  Cody and I rolled out of bed sometime around 3:30 am, met up with friends, and caravanned our way to the springs.  It was a beautiful morning, and we all had a great time, chatting and joking, diving to the bottom of the spring, throwing bits of slimy moss at each other.   A new tradition, perhaps, and a very peaceful, lighthearted way to spend a Saturday morning.  

 The boat project continues to occupy the majority of our spare time, but we make satisfying progress every day. We've got one more layer to laminate on the keel before it's complete and ready for shaping.  

We have 29 clamps.  We use each and every one.  Often.  

Lots of epoxy!  For each lamination, we try to get a nice even layer on the length of the board, then clamp it until it oozes out.  

Here I am planing some boards we'll use for chine pieces.  The planer cuts an even layer of wood from the face of the board, making it an even thickness over it's entire length.   You would be surprised how uneven some of the rough lumber we use can be!  We fill our trash can with wood shavings at least twice whenever we plane a load of wood.    

Here, Cody cuts notches for the chine piece, which will run from bow to stern along the corners of the frames. 

Things are rolling right along here.  The weeks seem to pass by before I have a chance to realize.  But spring is springing, and we're loving the warm weather and all the blooming trees and tulips.   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stem to Stern

We've been doing lots of laminating lately.  Laminating is the process of gluing together many layers of wood to make a thicker piece, or one specifically shaped to your needs.   Cody has built the stem of the boat- which goes on the bow, as a continuation of the keel.  It's very thick and very heavy, and will be the foremost point of the hull.  
The stem on the table, getting sanded and prepped to install.  

The stem in place.  We'll cut off the stair-steps on the top of the stem, and attach the keel piece, which you can see above the stem in this photo...    

Like this!  
The stem, with the top planed flat and glued to the first piece of the keel lamination. 

In this photo, you can see the keel piece we installed last night.  It runs along the spine of the boat, and is the first of four layers of lamination.  The frames are much more rigid now- and being inside feels more like an enclosed space than it did before.  

Cody, clamping the keel piece into place.  The whole underside is coated with epoxy, and at each frame there is a thicker, stickier coat.  When we apply the pressure of the clamps, we want to see epoxy come oozing out the sides, proof that we've got enough in the joint.  It's a messy job.  

It may be a messy, sticky, dusty job, but it sure is a beautiful one!  
With every piece we attach, every step we complete, the boat comes more into focus.

I find myself daydreaming of turquoise waters lapping the sides of the hull, as we lay at anchor in some tropical lagoon...  but then reality comes back to me as I shake sawdust out of my hair and the orifices of my face.  We've got a LONG way to go until that is even a remote possibility. 

For now, we just attach one piece to the next, and keep dreaming.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hey! There's a boat in our shop!

Check it out!  

We got every frame stood up on the strong back in one afternoon and evening!   
The strong back is the ladder-shaped frame on the floor of the shop, and it supports the frames for us, and serves as a crucial point of reference so we can get the frames perfectly lined up.   It also allows us to have a level plane to work from, as the floor in our shop slopes almost 8 inches from corner to corner...

It's easy to get lost in the little parts of the project, in aligning, measuring, preparing each piece,
but, as we worked, we would occasionally stop and admire the shape that was emerging from the chaos of frames stacked all over the shop.   

The dream lives!
Beth & Cody

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Frames are Finished!!

We got our material in a few days ago and last night I glued up frame #14, the last one.  We are so close to tipping up all the frames.  Its going to be very exciting.  Up until now we have just been building parts and coating things.  The "boat" has been spread all over the shop, but tomorrow we if all goes well we will stand all the frames up on the strongback and it will start looking like a real boat!

We also had time to laminate some deck beams las week.  

We are using 4 pieces of 1/2" material, which us with beams 2" by 1 3/4" 

This frame was covered with heavy glass cloth to protect it from abrasion/impact, as it will be one side of the anchor locker.

Beth; checking thickness after planing our frame material

This bulkhead is being covered in a thinner layer of glass cloth, just to seal it and prevent the wood from checking.  Here I'm wetting out he glass.

Yesterday was amazing, sunny and close to 60 degrees!! 

We found this scenic pond, I think it might have unintentionally formed due to the construction.  Anyway it was fun to sail and there was just enough wind.

So far this project has been everything we wanted.  It is so cool to watch this boat take shape and it rarely feels like work.  Hopefully we can keep this momentum up.  Well I better get back to the shop and prep the frames for tomorrow.

Beth and Cody