Decided that a trip to Menards was in order after work so to make a few purchases that would assist in my boat building venture. Learning from Bruce that plastic putty knives work great to spread epoxy, I purchased a few cheap ones. Also, a book I read spoke of using a 4×8 sheet of ply painted with white paint works perfectly as a drawing board which you lay down your frame templates. I have been using a piece of plywood to do just that but it was natural wood finished and often made the lines hard to see or confusing to decipher. I went ahead and purchased some cheap white paint to make my drawing board/template a little easier to read.
Returning home I changed into my work clothes and immediately went to the shop to determine how well Frame C came out. To my surprise it had set up rather well; to include the ratchet strapped area.
After unclamping and un-ratcheting Frame C, I set about laying down the lines for Frame D on my template. With the lines laid down in short order (getting pretty good at this) I made all the necessary cuts. Since by this time is was getting pretty late I decided to wait to glue the frame together tomorrow; but I no longer needed the template on the plywood. So I went ahead and added the white paint, which came out rather well. Really looks like a drawing board and will be ready for tomorrow’s task.
Didn’t get much done today after I got home. Mostly due to the fact that I had to watch my daughters while my wife left for her evening college course. Therefore it fell to me to make sure homework was done and dinner was made as well as getting them both ready for bed. No big deal as this is actually a part of our routine.
I did manage to get frame C epoxied together which was more of a challenge than I originally anticipated. It is the biggest frame yet and has the biggest plywood insert. I was able to get the 1x material all epoxied and screwed with only slight difficulty. The plywood on the other hand was a bit more difficult, as how to ensure it would stay where it needed to while I epoxied it. Further how could it be clamped to ensure a good snug fit for the epoxy.
I figured I would use screws along the inside of the 1x members to act as pegs to hold the plywood in place while the frame was on its back. This worked out really well and I was really able to spread a lot of epoxy and get a good overall “soak” on and within the joints. To clamp it I had one really long bar clamp that clamped to the plywood and the deck support 1x. Clamping it abeam was a bit more “redneck” as I used a ratchet strap to pull the sides snug against the plywood.
I checked on it periodically to ensure that the epoxy was where it was supposed to be. As well as ensure I did not epoxy the clamps or entire frame to the floor. Thankfully I checked often because I went out there once before the girls went to be and had to pry the apparatus off the ground. I emplaced some paper and rechecked everything to make sure this would not happen again; ultimately deciding to place paper on every place the frame touched the floor.
Hopefully tomorrow will reveal another successful attempt and I will be able to move onto Frame D.
Upon coming home from work I decided to get right to the shop and check the epoxy job on Frames A and B. I removed the clamps and all seemed very sturdy, however I still had screws in plates (1/2 in Marine Ply) attached at every joint. The moment of truth arrived when I backed out all the screws from the reinforcing plates to reveal that the epoxy had worked brilliantly. The Frames were not only rigid but incredibly tough (or at least so they appeared) and showed no signs of weakness or failure in any joint. Needless to say I was pleased as well as encouraged.
I excitedly brought my wife out to see how good of a job we did; to which she exclaimed her relief. I then began to set out to draw the lines on the plywood template for frame C. Surprisingly this went relatively quickly (guess I am getting the knack of this) and I soon had the timbers marked and ready to cut.
Savannah helped me mark and cut the plywood for Frame C as well as rip a piece of 1×4 for the deck support. We collectively decided to not attempt to epoxy everything because it was getting late and we needed to cook dinner. Not to mention it was bloody hot and the heat confusion was beginning to set in. I will either epoxy it tomorrow or sometime this week.
The day started with a bit of amusement as I opened the shop. I discovered that a little stowaway had managed to make their way inside during the night or early morning. It was none other than my arch nemesis during deer season, a squirrel! He however was far more upset by the encounter than I as he proceeded to attempt a quick exit. From what I am sure looked to him as a completely viable exit was, in fact, a closed window. The squirrel undaunted, attempted to crash through the window several times by using his head as a battering ram. I did my best to conceal my laughter (the aide of not consuming enough coffee helped I am sure) and managed to produce my phone and capture some of his antics. Afterword’s I moved out smartly to the house so I could find a pellet gun and show my wife the video.
Fear not friends of the squirrel, I was unable to get him as he had left before my return.
My wife however decided she would come outside to the shop in order to aide me in my gluing of frame A and building of frame B. This was a real boost to have someone who can be a real asset during construction and two is actually a math wiz. Savannah is so good at math she takes extra college classes of higher level coursework in the subject. She can also help spread epoxy and make sure I do not glue anything to the table.
Upon my lovely wife’s arrival, we began to epoxy frame A together. I was fairly diligent with my epoxy mixing so as to ensure a good set. On a side note; this stuff gets awful warm/hot when it’s mixed and you are applying it. We covered all the joints and plates before using screws to attach the plates and join the frame together. Lastly I clamped everything down real good, ensuring not to epoxy the clamps to the wood.
After frame A had been epoxied thoroughly and was drying; we set about getting another sheet of leftover plywood. Much like earlier, we used the plywood as a template to draw the lines of frame B on. Laying the lines out on the template went far faster and easier with Frame B probably for a myriad of reasons. 1) I had some experience 2) Savannah is a human calculator and 3) Frame B had easier angles than Frame A.
With Frame B being completely drawn out on the template, with us this time drawing in the actual members (using a piece of 1×4); we decided to skip the whitewood moulds. Savannah figured out how to much more accurately measure and determine the exact angle required on the 1×4 members. Thus much less (if any) planeing was required and the pieces fit together almost perfectly. The marine plywood part of the frame however was a different story for some reason. Mismeasurement and poor drawing of the lines required us to redo them once we found out that to make our mistakes “work” would require a crapload of epoxy. Yet on the second attempt and with much more attention to detail, we successfully had the marine plywood cut and ready for epoxy.
Frame B was epoxied much like frame A but I decided this time to use a thicker epoxy in greater quantity (in hopes of really spreading a lot of stickum!). All this meant was that the much larger volume of thick epoxy would heat up faster and hotter and thus set quicker. We got through the majority of the 1×4 joints before it became too hot and the red solo cup began to distort. It was an unusable clump approximately 5 min after mixing (the shriveling of the red solo cup was kinda cool though). Hey, learning experience is what I chalked it up too and mixed another batch of epoxy. This second mix being much runnier like the epoxy used on frame A was, made for a much better and overly successful second attempt.
Both frames A and B were clamped through the evening and I suspect tomorrow will determine if I was completely successful or not.
What a day! It started off with my wife needing to make a trip to a neighboring town leaving me with both girls. No problem though as we all proceeded to head out to the shop shortly after mom left and breakfast was eaten.
I set about laying a piece of plywood (1/4 inch 4’x4′ scrap) onto two sawhorses creating a bit of a table. Onto this, I laid the lines down from the plans. While this sounds easy I was at a bit of a loss on how to start and what exactly the measurements would and needed to translate too in reality. With much calculating, deliberating, second guessing and eventually drawing; the template was created. Believe it or not but when it comes to math, I am little better than a functioning idiot, thus it took quite a while to create this template.
I believed it would be a good idea to create “moulds” or 3d templates of the framing members from 1×4 whitewood and door paneling (more scrap from the shop) to transfer onto the real wood. Thus I labored and cussed and produced the moulds which I promptly transposed onto the actual lumber. With the angles on frame A being a bit of a bear; I found myself “truing” up the beveled cuts on the 1x with my planer and a jig I built. Even so, afterwards they were not the prettiest cuts I have ever made. Further I figured I would use plywood plates on all the joints to help hold it together and provide extra strength.
My wife returned from her trip later that evening and I decided to put off gluing frame A together until the following morning. Figured it would be somewhat nice to spend an evening inside with the girls relaxing; after all it was a tiring day (at least mentally if not physically as well) lol.
Red letter day today, as I was able to go to Menards and purchase the lumber to begin building the frames. My youngest daughter (Annaliese) was with me on this historic occasion. She thoroughly enjoyed riding in the cart and watching daddy buy wood to build the boat (or so she kept saying).
Upon returning home the boat lumber was unloaded onto the strongback; yet I did not immediately get started on the first frame. I first finished filling and shaping my buddies headboard down so they can finish it to their “style” (much more of the Martha Stewart types than I). Tony and Miranda’s headboard though is now done; or as done as I am going to make it and that means its taking up space in the boat shop.
Suppose I could have begun laying out the lines on a piece of plywood to create the template for Frame A. Yet the reality of what I am doing (building my first boat and entrusting it with our lives) began sinking in and I decided to come at it fresh in the morning. Making this decision out of either sound judgement or trepidation and anxiety I may never fully know.
After waking up (eventually), I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed for the shop. Making good use of the Lowe’s run the previous day, I reinforced the strongback significantly. After which I worked on a small project for my wife (the creation of new drawers) and my bud’s headboard.
Savannah (my wife) took both the girls with her to acquire an elliptical she had discovered for sale. They were gone most of the day but upon her return she brought my seven year old and 3 year old out to the shop with her. Savannah helped me rip a bunch of boards for the heard board while my daughters proceeded to get sawdust all over them. Yet not once did either of my two princesses do anything that would entail them getting so much sawdust on them…hmmm. Oh well they had fun and the shower took care of what we could not brush off.
Well today is my birthday (Happy Birthday, Hugh! – ed.) and I decided I wanted to spend time with friends and family this evening, having steak, beer and a zombie board game. However my best friend and his wife (my family really) heard about the boat project and knew that my shop was open for business. Insomuch that they had a project for their house in which I could best assist them; being the creation of a new awesome and custom built headboard. Thus my buddies wife (Miranda) drew up the plans complete with measurements after which Tony (my bud) and I went to get lumber.
Since I enjoy woodwork, I don’t mind taking on a project like this for them, and I certainly don’t mind a trip to Lowes. This errand also allowed me to get additional materials such as precut 2×4 studs to beef up my strongback.
Yet aside from getting lumber, no actual work was undertaken today. Copious amounts of beer were consumed however and a general good time was had by all!
After work today I went ahead and began assembling the strong back by laying out the four sixteen foot 2x8s. This will give me a little more than the boats overall length but I believe that may be more of a benefit versus a nuisance (we shall see I suppose). I boxed the strong back together with two 1x8s at 10′ making a width of 5′. The overall shape is therefore complete I just need to finish reinforcing and of course leveling.
Also ordered the first of what I am sure will be many more orders of Epoxy and filler.