Friday, February 12, 2010
Februray 12 2010
Forward head is nearing completion. I have the outer wall off, to ease access. I figure there is no sense working inside tight places if one can help it. All the walls that can be set in to place, are glassed, microballooned, awlgrip awlfaired, and long boarded while on saw horses leaving just the tabbing to be worked on in place.
Master staterooms head has been built and assembled, and torn back down for fiberglassing and general gluing. The assembly was a bit of a challenge considering this area of the boat is where the shear of the deck falls off and changes camber. She loses just shy of 3 inches in height over 4 deck beams...
The cabin sole is mirrored down 80 to 81 inches from the deck beams, so before we started we had to make a blank slate and cut down an old walls sill plate, and then shim the stringers that support the cabin sole up to be fair with the others along the17 foot straight shot of walkable floor. This is a tall order to keep true on a 68 year old boat. When you find yourself measuring off of new deck beams and pulling bevels off of new bulkheads... and shimming stringers that are 4 years old, it leaves one at a loss to find things that are reliable indicators of anything. So, when in doubt... make it up.
The 8 foot long wall that makes up the outer side of the master bath along the center of the boat has been biscuited and epoxied together, and placed accurately to the boats centerline. This is a bit harder to do than one might think while keeping everything true with a straight edge. Screwing 6 or 8 inch tall pieces of 3/4 plywood to the sides, kept things square. Screwing 2x4's with one edge ripped straight kept things lined up vertically. Screwing blocks to the soles stringers, and the bulkheads allowed clamps to be brought in to squeeze, squish, and smash a perfect glue joint. It was a bit complex, as the steering gear blocks the center isle of the boat, so the forward half had to be sliced to be able to stand it up and get a tight fit to the deck beams. The forward edge, is glued in a slot in the bulkhead... this required a clamp all on its own to force the super thick thickened epoxy clear just to seat out where it was supposed to. Temperature forces the use of fast hardener with the West Systems, I'm glad we don't have any other walls that large.
It was soon figured the bulkheads are parallel to each other and nothing else... Each piece had to be cut. I leave the factory edge to the floor. If the sheet runs fore and aft, I leave a factory edge on the side away from the bulkhead. If a piece touches the hull running side to side, I leave the factory edge to the inside of the hull.
Perpendicular the floor, the bulkheads tilt an inch and a half over 7 feet... but, we've got her figured out, with the exception of the aft wall. I have the outboard side tacked to a structural frame on the hull. Since a piece of 3/4 plywood is a mighty nice gusset anyway... might as well turn it into something structural. Only problem is her frames were cut out of square stock, and she tapers towards the bow... meaning that a 6 inch tall frame tapers aft quite a bit!
Boats are a lot of fun. Nothing is ever plumb, a plumb bob doesn't lie when comparing your list of knowns to find the unknown oddball that makes a four foot wide, four foot long shower stall that is square on 3 walls have a leg that measures 2 inches out, which happens when you make the assumption that since the floor is square to the bulkhead over there, that it will be over here too.
Squares, levels, and straight edges may not have a place on a boat... but they sure can help un-knot your brain when making something look right! I say look right, because if you don't step back and study what you see things spiral out of control, in perfect right angle turns.
More sand bags on the bow... Not for walls and bulkheads, but so we can start to see the angle of berths and counter tops. The joys of building something that is dynamic! The more weight you put in, the closer she gets to her end product... My biggest pet peaves are water that doesn't drain off a shelf or seat in a shower, and berths that have the feet ever so slightly above the head!