Building and testing a RapidWhale mini-boat…
Last installment, I think. Than we should be all caught up.
My older daughters came down in time to help me emplace the last bit of 1/4” paneling on the back of the cabin. They came down for Christmas but since I’m a bit of a scrooge, I like to say it’s to help on the boat.
We measured from the top of the plywood panels in the frame at the end of the cabin to the roof. Since I had one panel left we measured the width we needed as well and determined that we could do it out of one panel.
I ripped the panel down the middle to give us the width, however only the bottom was flat. The top of these panels that went against the roof were curved. We pondered a bit to determine how we could cut that curve accurately. My oldest daughter Samantha came up with a really brilliant idea. She said we could hold up the panel until it contacted the roof and trace out the curve directly onto the panel. We did just that and it worked beautifully, only having to plane or sand it to get a perfect fit. We than proceeded to use epoxy and construction adhesive as well as screws to permanently affix both panels.
Late December 2017
As Promised this is installment 2.
It got mighty cold around here! I’m talking like in the teens during the day as a high!
This meant it was all heaters on deck inside the shop as well as time to man all heat lamps.
I was able to keep the epoxy and the work surfaces at 55 degrees which is the cut off temp for my epoxy. Verifying this was done with my infrared thermometer.
I figured I would start at the back and work forwards as it would take almost 2 full sheets to go across the cabin. Also starting at the back meant that the amount of faring to be done would be forward on the sheet that did not need to be as long. Thus it would make it easier to emplace the sheet, trace and trim and refit it to the shape of the forward part of the cabin. Using my Locktite construction adhesive, spread it along the cabin studs before screwing the sheet to the studs. I was able to get the big sheets on the studs and affixed permanently with only slight hassle. However there was a bit of a gap at the bottom of the sheets of plywood along the sheer almost the entire length of the cabin. This is because the cabin walls were taller than 4’. The gap was about six inch’s at its tallest point in the back but tapered with the sheer towards the bow.
The solution I came up with was to use the left over scrap from the parts of ¼” ply used at the front of the cabin and cut them into strips about 6” wide. These 4’ long strips I would than scarph to the remaining length. The next day after it had hardened, I placed the much longer strips now against the cabin. They fit great at the stern, so cool. After securing them I went inside the boat to trace the line at on the strips that would give me the outline needed to trim them. With only minor inconvenience and difficulty, the strips were cut, planned, sanded fit and attached. Since they are going to be at the bottom of the cabin I decided to use epoxy.
Now the port and starboard sides were completely roughed in, next would be the back panels which would effectively rough in the cabin.
Early December 2017
Once again I know I am playing catchup in getting the details of the progress out to you guys.
It seems like putting the raters up and trimming the studs happened eons ago. Much more progress has happened since then.
The next stop after the cabin was framed was installing the roof. For this I used four 4×8 sheets of ½” pressure treated plywood. I figured I could use the middle rafter as the point that the fore and after sheets met. Yet for the middle I was perplexed. I didn’t want a beam running fore to aft as that would maybe cut down on headroom. It would also add a lot of weight to the top of the boat and I did not like that prospect much at all. So I figured I would create a 6” scarph joint down the sides of the plywood. Thus getting out my trusty planers and belt sander I got to work. Once that was done I figured the next day I would be able to lift them onto the roof.
Wow, did I underestimate how much of a pain getting those plywood sheets on the roof was going to be. My wife was busy doing something and she said that she could not help me until later. Yet me being the ever impatient one (I like building this boat but I really want to use it.), I decided I could just muscle those plywood babies up there on my lonesome. I figured what I would do is just prop up the sheets on the transom of the boat, get in on the fantail and overhand-head heave those sheets up to the roof. What I did not expect was that the angle I needed to avoid the rafters of the shop was pretty drastic. I therefore had neck craned back to watch as I lifted. After several attempts of lift, set back down and lift again; I finally got it. Boy was I sure happy when that was done! My shoulders, back and arms killed me the next day.
The following day, my wife planned on coming out to the shop with me to help me affix the roof permanently with epoxy and glue. Before she came out however, I had to figure out how to “clamp” the scarphed edges together. I decided that I would screw a board on the underside of the exposed panel and screw a 2 ½” screw through the top panel. This would hold the panels together while the epoxy hardened. With a plan made, we got to work. First step was lifting up the panels off the rafters so we could apply glue to them. Once that was done and the panels were ready for their scarphs to be epoxied, I headed up to the roof. I had my very capable wife do the mixing of the epoxy and fillers and handing me up the can. I liberally applied the gooey stickum to the inside of the scarphs and began drilling the screws. The screws and board clamp seemed to work out well as we obtained a uniform thickness down the middle of the roof (more or less).
Since I have a lot to catch you up on. I will be doing this update in installments. What happens next is getting the walls up to complete the roughing in of the cabin.