December 25 2016: Merry Christmas mates! After the morning presents and coffee (much more of the coffee for me than the presents), I went ahead and struck to the shop.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that my epoxy job had set up just fine (emergencies be darned). Forward part of the keel and bow were now ready to be fared down and prepared for the outer keel and stem area. Thus I went ahead and took out my belt sander and mouse sander and proceeded to fare down the epoxy job from yesterday. I think it turned out really well and since I did not want to spend all day in the shop I decided to call that it for the day.
I also decided to tidy the shop and re-paint my drawing board because I foresee a need for it in the future.
24 December 2016: What an alarming yet productive day of boat construction.
After getting the ham on the smoke for Christmas Eve dinner, I struck out to the shop to get some work done. The Port and Starboard sides of the bow along the seams were set and look great. I figured I would work on the keel area of the forward bow, from about Frame B to the stem. Like the rest of the keel, I cut a small plywood strip to fit along approximately two feet of the forward keel. For the rest, I would decide to just use epoxy to fill the seam along the forward keel and seal the hull together as one congruent unit.
This worked rather well and to my surprise did not require the exorbitant amount of epoxy to complete. Even though the temperature here is around the mid to upper forties, I thought it would be a good idea to emplace the heat lamps and halogens to keep the area warm. This required some wrestling with my hanging lights as well as my tripod halogen to accomplish but it was done. As I began to collect my things and tidy a bit, I noticed that the areas directly under the lamps were beginning to smoke. It was the epoxy basically cooking. So a few expletives and some running and tripping later I had them cut off. For the most part it does not look like any long term damage was done but some of the epoxy did bubble up. Yet it feels hard and like it was setting up ok despite being cooked somewhat. I therefore have decided to let the setting process finish and inspect it afterwards. If there are areas that I need to re-epoxy I will do so as I discover them.
I am sure I will go to the shop on a regular basis for the rest of the evening just to check on the epoxy; I can now honestly say my heart rate has returned to normal.
23 December 2016: Ahoy mates, I hope all is well in the realm of sea faring adventurists.
Well it has been a real battle with the weather. As it has been remarkably cold here; at times into the single digits and the negatives. This means that epoxying has been relegated to direct heat from my heat lamps, halogen lights and space heaters aimed directly at the area.
Yet I have been able to apply epoxy to the bow area (finally), applying it to the seams along the bottom of the hull to the sides. It looks like it will fare down rather well but obviously we will have to see if this is the case.
In order to do this I went ahead and lit a fire in my shop’s stove and heated the epoxy by placing it next to it. Once it was warm to the touch I went ahead and mixed it thoroughly.
Hopefully I will be able to go ahead and move to the keel of the bow and epoxy and fare it to accept the outer keel.
15 December 2016: Well shipmates, it has been incredibly cold here lately, so that coupled with school has stifled work on the boat.
Yet I have been able to get the stern worked on due to heat lamps and bundling up. I trimmed up the inboard areas so that they are flush with the framing. Further I went ahead and filled in some areas on the stern that needed gaps filled by epoxy.
Looks pretty decent all things considered.
December 10 2013: While it has yet again been a busy few weeks with drill and other headaches such as school and firewood for the house; I have gotten some done on the boat.
Those strips that I cut for the keel area between the plywood actually fit together quite nicely. Some trimming of the hull sheeting over the keel area with a chisel helped ensure a good fit for the fore and aft strips. The areas that were cut a bit wider than others would have required an exhaustive amount of epoxy. Thus I decided to use small plywood strips about a quarter to a half inch in thickness to act as a filler. This worked rather well and in two day I had the keel area from the transom up to about frame B filled. Looks pretty good.
One setback however was discovered as I was fairing down the keel area with my belt sander. An area slightly aft amidships was sticky for about a foot and a half. It simply did not set up and had a good amount of time (several days) to do so, despite the cold. I therefore went ahead and scooped the unset goo from the keel area and reapply the epoxy. Once that was done I decided not to take any chances and went ahead and brought over my heat lamps to put directly overtop of the trouble area. This would help me maintain the required 55 degrees for the requisite two hours after application.
The next day saw the venture had worked! The epoxy was already hard; a true feat for it being in the thirties around here. Figure I will go ahead and fair that down as well and move on to getting the bow from frame B forward ready as I have the rest of the boat.
28 November 2016: After class I went out to the shop and did the same to the port side that was done to the starboard side yesterday.
Trimming and fairing down the entire length of the boat both top and bottom had my arms screaming. Especially the bottom or what will be the top of the boat; this is because I had to hold the saw, planer and sander upside down.
While I was out there today and lost in my head working; I figured out how to close up the hull and prepare for the outer keel. I’m going to clean up the keel area (trimming the excess sheeting) and cutting long plywood strips from my scrap to emplace over the inner keel. These two layers of flat stripping will make a much easier fit for the outer keel to the inner keel (or so I think). Copious amounts of epoxy and some screws should help seal the sheeting and keel strips of plywood in order to have a pretty good and solid seal.
My order of refill epoxy and cabosil should arrive Thursday, and we shall see what I can get done before drill this weekend.
November 27 2016: Unfortunately my older girls went home today, back to Nebraska. Savannah drove them back up there and will be staying the night at her parents’ house in western Missouri.
However I did get to do some work on the boat today, such as fairing down the starboard side. The side plywood pieces were cut and faired to both the bottom of the chine and the sheer clamp.
It really took some climbing around to get all that done but what a difference it made!
November 26th 2016:
A tad bit slower morning since we all had a pretty rip roaring time with Tony and Miranda. Pretty sure either I or others may end up paying for it though lol!
I decided at the behest of my wife to take all the girls to the shop with me this morning. Savannah needed a break from the girls so she could get some much needed homework accomplished.
It began in the shop by turning on all the heaters and lighting a fire in the stove so we could bring up the temp. Since the epoxy needs 55 degrees to properly work; I and the girls spent a bunch of time bringing in firewood. Within about an hour we had the temperature right at 55 degrees and since it was before noon, I figured it would warm up slightly anyways and thus decided to start sheeting.
Samantha was once again a massive help much as she had been the day before. I figured that we would this time get up all the big sheets of plywood before I cut and attached stop-waters inside the hull along the seams. This helped speed things along because I wouldn’t exactly need Samantha’s help should she decide to go with her sisters.
The other three girls played in and around the hull as we worked. Acting often as if they were selling peanuts from a concession stand. Between them playing and us working, I don’t know if the shop had truly ever been any louder. Also it would difficult to determine who was louder, my tools and us working or the younger three playing.
Once the hull was sheeted along the port side, the younger ones went inside and I mixed up more epoxy and installed the stop-waters. That effectively finished off this order of epoxy and cabosil.
November 25th 2016:
What a fantastic day shipmates!
My wife spent the morning and a good part of the afternoon “saving” money during her black Friday outing into town. Yet when she returned it was apparent she kept true to her word as the truck bed was loaded with the requisite plywood to continue sheeting the hull. She had some other cool stuff that I asked for as well like a thermometer for the shop and a new six gallon shop vac.
My oldest daughter and I started out measuring the height needed for the plywood pieces along the starboard side. I showed her how to read and measure with my tape measure and had her do all the marking. Once she had figured out how to use my drywall square she was off to the races. I was so proud looking down as she was spread out over the plywood using a tape, square and pencil to draw the lines. I however cut the pieces with my new battery powered circular saw from Porter Cable.
She was also a massive help and a great assistant as we moved the pieces into position over the hull and epoxied and screwed them into place. Sometimes that was a bit of a dance and required shimmying and whacking with my mallet. Samantha’s favorite part was helping me mix the epoxy; I let her squirt the resin and hardener into my bucket so I could mix it. She also enjoyed inputting the cabosil into the epoxy mix; often remarking how weird it felt even through the gloves.
Ultimately the day ended in the shop with the construction complete on the starboard side of the hull. Later that evening though Tony and Miranda came over for dinner and drinks much like we do every weekend. Tony came out to the shop to help me check temperature and how the epoxy was setting up. He remarked just how impressed and ultimately how cool it was that I was actually building a boat. Needless to say that was a big boost to the old morale!
November 23 2016: My older kids are down here for Thanksgiving, so we put the turkey and ham on the smoker for 24 hours before heading to the shop.
Kayleigh was first out to see the boat and immediately exclaimed how impressed she was by her. She wanted to help with the build but I had a project I was trying to get done for Thanksgiving supper. That being a new table that would replace our old MDF board table. I was getting ready to apply the next layer of polyurethane when she asked if she could do it for me. Handing the task off to her was relatively simple and soon she was spreading poly.
Samantha my oldest came out shortly after and professed her pleasure at seeing the progress. She helped me measure the sides of the port bow area to help me cut and emplace the plywood to the bow. She was standing at the end lifting it somewhat up so we could get the max coverage possible while I epoxied and screwed the plywood starting at the stem.
Both girls helped me mark and get ready to cut the second piece of hull, but soon followed Savannah to assist her with a project of her own. Thus I cut that piece on my own and figured a way to emplace it being only a single person. I rigged up a primitive pulley type system that went around a rafter and I could use to pull the plywoood
into place and secure it while I epoxied and glued it into place. The seam between the two pieces was horribly uneven and bowed. I therefore used a smaller piece of plywood on the inside epoxied and screwed to both pieces along the seam to help fair the overall shape of the edges. It worked rather well and the forward part of the hull along the port side looks great.
Unfortunately I am out of plywood and my wife is forbidding me to go before black Friday to purchase more. Instead she insists she will pick up the requisite pieces of plywood on black Friday as she does her Christmas shopping. I of course have no desire to engage in said black Friday madness and reluctantly agreed to her terms.