Friday, April 27, 2012

Building The Matinicus Double Ender - Part 15

I've been making steady progress on Mouse over the last few weeks. I'm actually almost done painting the outside, after flipping the boat over, but that bit will have to wait until I catch the blog up to the present. Here's a little sneak preview. 

First coat of paint! More later...
But backtracking a little, one thing that needed doing was the drain plug. I bought a nifty "T" handle plug from Hamilton, but I didn't like the hull fitting it came with. I substituted a common 1/2" plumbing nipple, cutting it in half and bedding it in epoxy, in an oversized hole. 

The "T" handle plug, and sawn off nipple.

I actually had to drill 3 holes to set this up. The first 1-1/4" hole was bored just deep enough from inside the bottom to bring the nipple flush with the inside.

A stepped mortise was bored for the nipple and drain hole.

Before installing it, I bored a second 3/4" hole all the way through the hull, and filled that hole up with thickened epoxy. I then taped off the underside of the nipple (to keep epoxy out of the threaded inside) and set it in thickened epoxy. When cured, I drilled a 5/8" hole back through the epoxy bushing that I had earlier cast. The drain goes through the boat, but all of the wood is completely sealed with epoxy.

This old duck was used as a prop to keep the drain assembly upright while the epoxy cured.
I had previously finished the decking, and trimmed it off flush with the hull, so it was then time to install the rub-rails. I had a nice piece of 4/4 sapele to use, and this I ripped up and scarfed together to make a pair of rails. The wood was so stable, it didn't move a millimeter after ripping. 

A nice piece of sapele!
I used my old (20 years at least) scarfing jig to plane the tapers, and glued up both pieces on a flat table. 
8:1 scarfing jig.

The finished scarf.
The scarfing bench. Flat, with straight edges to aid in aligning the pieces to be scarfed.
Before fitting the rub-rails though, I went ahead and trimmed the stem-heads to final shape. I made patterns of the stems in thin ply, and transferred the layout to the boat, in ink so I could see it. I cut the shapes out as close as I could with a hand saw, chisels, and gouges (for the hollow bits), finishing up with a rasp and sandpaper. As a sidebar, I recently bought one of the newer hand-cut rasps from Gramercy Tools, and I love it. These are more affordable than the Ariou rasps, and are beautifully sharp and well balanced. I'll have the set eventually!

Bow stem pattern.

Marked out in ink and sawed close.

Cut to the line with chisels and gouges.

The finished bow stem.

The finished stern stem.
The rub-rails are a little tricky to fit, in that the ends have a compound bevel and have to be the exact right length. I often do this with patterns, but I was in a hurry, so I went for it, cutting the ends right on the boat without unclamping them completely. I measured the angles with two bevels, marked them out and made the cuts. They came out reasonably accurate, and I saved a pile of time. 

I sawed the ends right on the boat.

They fit pretty good. Its clear from this photo that the rails must be tapered.
After fitting the ends, I tapered the pieces in both thickness (siding) and in width (molding). They look much better tapered than straight, and anyway would have projected beyond the stem cutwaters, making it mandatory. I spaced out fasteners for the rails and bored the countersinks, then radiused the edges (the radius is tapered as well). To keep the rails clean during installation, I sealed them with a coat of amber shellac. I installed the rails with stainless screws, and bunged the counter-bores with plugs made on the drill press from a tapered plug cutter (the best).

Tapered, radiused, bored, and sealed with shellac.

Screwed and bunged!
I had now gotten about as far with the interior and deck as I wanted, and decided to go ahead and flip her upside down for fairing and finish painting. I gathered some help again, and we lifted her off the cradle. I'm quite pleased with her weight so far. Two of us could pick her up easily, and set her on the floor. We did get more help for flipping, though. No need for testosterone here; too much is at stake! It was fun to get a different view of the boat though, and sitting on the floor heeled over gave me better feel for her shape. I added cross pieces to the cradle and we flipped her right over onto foam pads at the gunwales.

Free at last, temporarily.

Stern view. Ashok is putting on the cradle supports.
 I've now done a lot of fairing, sanding, and painting, and I also put a layer of glass on the keel, but that report will have to wait for a bit. I won't be so long though, in getting the next post out. 'Til then...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Building The Matinicus Double Ender- Part 14

I'm quite behind in my blog posts. There has been some progress over the last month, but I just haven't gotten around to the blog. If there's anyone left out there, I'll catch us up...

Decking the Matinicus has proved to be one of the easiest and most straight forward jobs on the boat yet. I bought two sheets of 6mm ply as I was not sure how I would cut them out. But in the end, I decided to make the deck in 4 large pieces, with seams down the centerline at the ends and an additional two short fillers amidship, which I attached with typical butt blocks fitted between the sheer clamp and carlin. Consequently, all of the decking could be gotten out of one sheet.

I used cardboard for my templates. I get a couple of 4x8 sheets every time I have a plywood delivery, and its useful in many ways in the shop. And recyclable.

The cardboard template.
For the cutout around the stems, I hot-glued thin ply scraps to the patterns (my motto is- if you don't know what to do next, plug in the hot glue gun). I then traced off the shape underneath, inside and out, cut the patterns out with a utility knife, and laid them out on my occume ply.

Thin ply is hot-glued to the template to define the stem cut-outs.
The patterns are laid out on the 1/4" deck plywood.   
I cut the deck pieces out a little oversize, fitted them to each other and around the stems, then marked them out from underneath. Even when finish-cutting them I left my line, not wanting to worry about bevels and what not. I would plane the edges flush after gluing them on. When everything fit nicely (including the butt blocks amidship) I sanded and epoxy-coated the underside. It should not be left raw, of course, and nobody wants to hang upside down to paint the undersides after installation, least of all me. 
The rough cut decks are fitted together.

Two coats of sanded epoxy are applied to the deck's undersides.
I fastened the deck pieces temporarily with small screws. Actually, I drilled for and put in most of the screws prior to marking the panels. This way, the pieces will go back on exactly as they were fit dry. I also supplemented the screws with lots of blue tape clamps, pulling the edges down in between screws.
Butt-blocks are used to join the pieces of deck together amidship.
Toothpick fillers.
 I was able to do half of the deck each evening after work, and on the third evening, I removed all of the screws and plugged each hole with glue and a half a toothpick. I used Titebond 3 for this. The next morning, I cut off the toothpicks as far below the deck surface as I could, planning to fill up the void with epoxy filler. The deck seams (between each panel section) were also filled and glassed. Before filling though, I took a small grinder and cut a shallow trough down the length of each seam, to give a little hollow for the glass tape to lay into, without projecting too much above the faired deck surface. While I had some epoxy mixed, I dripped a little into each toothpick recess, to seal everything up.

Deck seams were hollow ground to make room for glass tape.

The seams are taped.

Here are a couple of views of the decks. I'm pretty happy with the whole thing, except that I wish I had put in just a little more crown. The coamings, when they go in, will help the appearance.

I'm now at the stage of fairing the deck surface, prior to coating with epoxy. For this, I thought I would try some of the System 3 "Quick Fair" two-part epoxy filler. The stuff is expensive, but I absolutely love it. The consistency is just right, every time, with no need to mix up a bunch of different dry fillers into liquid epoxy. Its a simple two to one mix, and I use various sized kitchen measuring scoops for the quantity needed. It feels like "spreadable butter" and doesn't tend to roll up under the knife, and doesn't have stray bits of grit and crap to mess up the coat. What makes it cost effective for a commercial yard is it's cure time. Four hours to machining! I'm hooked.

System Three Quick-Fair filler is applied and sanded fair.
So that's where we are now. I plan to hold off on the coaming, and install the rub rails next. Then, I'll flip the boat and do my outside finish painting! Can't wait.