Dry fitting

The day started with a trip to the car lot. Not exactly what I wanted to do but my wife received a pretty good lead on a replacement vehicle for her. So she wanted me to tag along to make it a joint effort; how could I refuse. After much debating and heckling we bought a new minivan! To be honest it’s kind of nice and I have nothing to prove anyways lol!

Since it was Wednesday, I had to hurry home (Savannah had paperwork to do!) to meet Paylah from the bus as she gets home earlier on Wednesdays. So baby and I stopped by Lowes on the way home to pick up more wood for the forward inner keel and the stem.

Once we arrived back at the farm, baby proceeded to take a nap and dad tackled the boat. I checked Frame F to determine how it had dried. Thankfully it epoxied as well as it looked last night and was ready for installation. It was about that time Paylah made it home from school. Which was extremely fortuitous because I needed someone else to help hold this frame while I screwed it in place. She readily agreed to assist me and we soon had Frame F screwed level and emplaced.

How cool was it to have all the frames standing on the strongback again and wow what a difference. They all align really well and the lines sure do add up much better now. So excited to see that everything looked so well, I went ahead and decided to put the keel on the frames for a dry fit (first of many I am sure). It definitely shows that some frames will need to be trimmed a bit more but the fit was not near as bad as it was earlier. However I did notice that it was a tad short by about a foot. I therefore decided to take some scrap 1×4 and laminate them for the fix. Figure tomorrow I will go ahead and cut the keel a bit so that I can attach the new piece like I have the other sections.

Looks pretty neat

Ahoy all! Today I went ahead and cut out in short order the inserts for Frame F and epoxied them to the frame skeleton. Looks a lot better already than the old frame; amazing what a little patience and attention to detail will do!

I also put the inner keel pieces together and epoxied them. Looks pretty neat and long lol! After that I managed to place Frame D on the strongback and cut the notch for the keel.

Learning by doing

Hi shipmates! It is so important I believe in this to share what I have learned during this process in order to help others. The one thing I have learned in this is take your time and don’t try to do too much all at once. The replacement frames have taught me that a little more attention to detail may have averted the rebuild; as these two seem to be far more accurate. Secondly I would often epoxy everything in one day so that the 1x “skeletal” structures of the frames and plywood inserts would dry together. Yet this often made for an anxious epoxy session as the frames would be prone to misalignment due to slippage. This second attempt at both these frames has shown that epoxying the 1×4 structure first (and allowing them to dry) before epoxying the plywood inserts makes it much easier. Nothing slips about and everything is a little more study as it goes to dry. Thus we epoxied Frame D’s plywood inserts last night which was much easier; and even before they were dry I could tell they were more accurate.

We managed to get the inserts for Frame F traced out as well but I have not cut them out yet. Since my big clamps were in use last night to hold Frame D in place. I saw no reason to hurry and finish Frame F’s inserts. They should be cut out and epoxied in short order tomorrow.

What a weekend

I must apologize shipmates, as I am sure that no doubt I confused you as I am or was confused. Frame F was drying the other night and I had yet to start of Frame D. I would have started on Frame D last Friday but unfortunately my wife was in a car accident. Good news being that both her and my youngest daughter are fine; but the car is totaled more than likely.

Needless to say I was unable to get any work done on the boat that Friday or Saturday as we went up to my buddies house in St. Louis to have a Bar B Que. It was fun and a good time was had by all.

Sunday however we came back in just enough time for me to change and actually get Frame D built and epoxied. Further I went ahead and filled in the forward part of the inner keel that had an eighth inch gap in it. I just mixed up some super thick epoxy and spread it in there like jam! Should do the trick and provided plenty of structural integrity to that part of the inner keel.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), I had to make dinner tonight as my wife was busy with school work. So my time in the shop was brought to an abrupt end after my epoxying.

One down, one to go

Well boat fans, the replacement for frame D is drying as we speak. Looks much better and more appropriate than the original frame. I plan on getting the plywood inserts cut soon and epoxying them in shortly.

Since we already had one major screw up, I decided (with the behest of Bruce) that now was the time to triple check the other frames. Thus when my wife got home, we measured the tops and bottoms of all the frames to compare them to what they should be on the plans. We also eyeballed the chine and sheer clamp real well to see how they lined up. Everything looked really good and was for the most part spot on with the exception of Frame D. Its “bottom” measurement (top right now) was way too wide. It was therefore decided that we have another frame to rebuild.

However I am still not all that bummed about it. Since I have never done this before, I figure 2 out of 9 isn’t all that bad. So when I get home tonight I will redo Frame D and cut out the plywood inserts for both it and F.

Unfortunately it will be a light work to nonexistent boat work weekend since I have a bar b que to go to on Saturday. It’s in St. Louis and far away from the farm so we will be forced to stay the night. Not all that bad though, there will be good company, food and beer. What more could a guy want! Besides frames that actually worked right the first time lol!

First major goof

What an up and down day. On a positive note, the keel lamination is coming along quite nicely with the last piece of the horizontal keel epoxied today. The fit of the first two pieces seems overall pretty good; I am therefore encouraged with this major part of the build.

As I was letting that section of the keel dry, I decided to get to work cutting the holes in the frames for the keel section. With my sonic crafter tool this worked rather well, even after cutting through a screw.

Once the holes were cut, I decided, just for grins put up an already laminated piece of the keel to see how it would fit. This is when I realized I had a problem. Frame F was way high on its crook (something I had been worried about but decided to let it ride until I was sure). It actually made a see saw action with the keel on both sides of the frame. Further inspection also brought to light the fact that the side of the frame rather far inboard. To the point that the sheer clamp would have to bend in and back out to attach to the frame. In an effort to get a second opinion and set of eyes, I asked my wife to come out and look at it with me as I explained the dilemma. She concurred with my assessment and we both decided it would probably be best to go ahead and rebuild frame F.

Since this is my first major goof up, I figured I was probably due. After all I have never done this before and sometimes I don’t even know what right is or looks like. However I have learned that sometimes you just need to follow your gut and your eye. If it looks right it often is right and vice versa. However I am not overly bummed or concerned as I think we can have this rectified in short order.

keel lamination

one frame off

keel lamination

A piece from Papaw

Pretty uneventful day concerning my build. I went ahead and got the second part of the keel ready to laminate, checking it for a good fit and alignment with the first laminated keel. Mixing up a batch of epoxy I went ahead and applied it and clamped it much like the first part of the keel yesterday. Since that took all of no time and I couldn’t see wasting time not working on the boat, I tended to the frames. Some of them were a little long in areas or the bevel was slightly off, to say nothing of cutting the ventilation holes in the aft frames. I therefore set about doing those things and completed them before deciding to call it quits for the day. All that should be needed concerning the frames is to cut the joints for the keel, chine log and sheer clamp.

On a more personnel note: My parents have been keeping track of my build via this blog and are extremely impressed with my progress (nice to know it doesn’t take much lol). So much so that my dad called to talk about how cool it was and asking a bunch of questions. We talked for a good while about boats and he was reminded of his father’s (my grandfather obviously) boat which was built much in the same way. Since I never met my grandfather as he died before I was born, I very much appreciate it when dad talks about him. Anyways my grandfather’s boat was ultimately destroyed, but he and dad kept all of the hardware such as bolts and fittings. They are all made of brass, to include some hand built window locks he made. Dad told me that he would just love it if I used stuff from his father’s boat in my boat. Totally took me a bit by surprise, and I now feel a huge sense of importance concerning this build due to the added since of lineage. Not that this is a bad thing and to be honest I am quite honored. It will be more then cool to talk to my kids during this build about my dad and his dad and our collective history on the water. Holding a piece from Papaw’s (our family’s nickname for grandfather) boat and implementing it in mine will be an unending source of pride for me. I hope I can instill that in my kids as well!

Laminated Keel

Slow and steady after all!

Came home and immediately went for another awful run. After I had recovered from that with copious amounts of water and AC, it was time to open the shop. Looking at the boat frames aligned and standing on the strongback, I figured the next step should be to construct the inner keel. This member is ultimately laminated of 2 pieces of 1×4 and scarped to cover the majority of the length.

Thus the keel materials at hand are 2 1×4’s at 10 feet and two at 6 feet. At Frame B, the keel goes from being horizontal to vertical on its axis. So I have three 1×4’s at 4 feet to accommodate that and the inner stem.

I cut one ten foot 1×4 so that it was eight inches shorter than the others. What this does is it ultimately creates its own scarph as I Lincoln log or Lego the keel together. The longer section will sit exactly underneath the shorter cut section so that the seams of the cuts are offset and when combined create a long beam. After cutting the first 1×4 I fit it with another uncut one just to see how well they line up together and if any warping or twisting was going to make this fitting difficult. To my relief no such issues arose and I quickly made up a batch of epoxy. Spreading it somewhat liberally on both members but not on the longer member that was sticking out, I clamped them together. I used every bit of my remaining clamps to do so; many were used to create good pressure compressing the members. Others like my bar clamps were used to ensure that the side to side motion was nullified and overall alignment between them was maintained.

Since I had no more clamps at all, I decided against attempting to make another part of the keel and wait until tomorrow. Slow and steady after all!

Inner keel