Rafters and Stud trimming

25-56 November 2017:

Ahoy everyone!

I hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving holiday! We were traveling for ours; which to be honest I never like to do. Yet everyone seemed to have a good time so that is what is important.

In the Yard, it was time to get those rafters installed and trim the cabin posts. So on Saturday, my best friend Tony came out to give me a hand aligning, cutting, screwing and gluing the rafters. We started by figuring out the center of each rafter as well as just how much to trim from each side so that the apex of the curve remained centerline. That took a lot of measure, cut, fit, re-measure, recut and refit. However it worked out rather well as we were able to get each and every unique spot on the cabin requiring a rafter fitted. After the myriad of cutting and fitting, it was time to mix up some epoxy and permanently attach these things. It worked out real well save one amidships on the port side. While screwing it, the front part of the bracket split. Requiring a repair of copious amounts of epoxy.

The next day it was just me on my lonesome for the most part as I scaled the side of the boat via ladder to cut all the cabin posts to their required height and shape. I figured I would start with those that actually had rafters and brackets on them. I think could use a batten (a shipwrights mainstay) and trace the outline of the roof curvature on the empty studs. This worked out brilliantly albeit extremely laborious and time consuming. The forward part of the cabin that actually juts out and holds the front door gave me a quandary. I ultimately decided since I had a spare rafter that I would cut a piece out of the middles at the correct size. I figured this out by measuring the overall distance of the rafter and dividing it by two; giving me a mid-point. I than went over to the posts between the door that were affixed to Frame C and measured the distance at between them at the frame. I than divided that measurement by two and on the rafter measured that half measurement from my mid-point mark port and starboard. It was cut and fit and checked to ensure that its roof curvature matched up with the one directly behind it. It did so we glued and screwed it into position. I had my wife come help me while we were fitting so one could hold while the other used levels, or clamps to ensure a correct fit.

Next up on the list is to figure out how to connect that forward door frame to the rest of the cabin studs. Once that is done (which I am sure will prove difficult), I will begin the process of laying the cabin roof. Although I may do the exterior walls first, I have not yet fully committed to either.

Tying in the Cabin studs and prepping for the Roof.

19 November 2017

Well as I stated in my last post, work on the cabin has commenced.

Of course since I am new at this boat building thing, I started with making an error. I wanted to tie all the cabin studs together in an effort to get the rectangular shape of the cabin. I figured the best way to do this at first was to use small pieces of timber cut to the exact length between the studs along the sheer. Once they were cut I would glue and screw them in between the cabin studs so that the port and starboard sides of the cabin were for the most part plum. What a bloody nightmare and effort in futility that turned out to be! I found that it was like trying to stack jinga blocks while people were playing. None turned out exactly on their marks as to where they needed to be. I therefore thought to myself that there must be an easier way to do this that would also provide better results.

The idea that I came up with to solve this problem was to scarf scrap pieces of 2×4 that I had ripped to make the studs into long pieces that spanned the cabin length. Once those dried I went ahead and cut notches into each and every cabin stud at the top right under the overall cabin height marks. Using the timbers I had scarfed as a guide. I outlined the exact area of the notches on the frames as well as their corresponding spots of the scarfed timbers so I could match them up again. Using my handy sonic crafter oscillating tool, I cut the notches in each of the studs. While this required a bit of leaning, twisting and almost all the work was done overhead; the end product produced far better results. I still used the distance along the sheer between the studs to get my measurements; once emplaced the result was no doubt far superior. The timbers holding the cabin sides plum were glued and screwed in place in their notches.

The next day I decided that I would work on fixing the roof brackets to their areas on the pre-identified studs. The roof will be held up with 1×6’s on cut brackets at the forward, midships and aft portions of the cabin. These 1×6’s were shaped to the exact curvature of the roof using my saws and an electric planer before being sanded uniformly. Once the brackets are emplaced on their studs, I will cut the roof frames or rafters so that they fit. The brackets themselves are once again repurposed scrap pieces of the 1×6’s about 9 inches square that I cut at a 45 degree angle. Some planning needed to be done to them so that they would sit flush and plum on the studs.

My wife came out to help me mock up the brackets. This required her holding them on their marks while I pre-drilled and screwed them in place to ensure they sat the way we needed them too. Once that was done (and a bit of an ordeal it was), I mixed up a batch of thickened epoxy and we permanently attached them.

Since it is beginning to get a bit chilly, I used my heat lamps on three of them not near an immediate heat source to ensure the epoxy stayed at its required working temp.

Up next is to attach the roof frames or rafters to their brackets. Hopefully this will be a bit easier than the other work that has been done on the cabin so far. I somehow doubt it lol!