Ahoy mates! Sorry for not being near as vocal as I have been in the past. I had a term paper and homework to do for school, as well as work on the boat and the regular odds and ends of country living. A lot has transpired in the past few days and weeks so permit me to fill you in without the exact chronological notations of dates.
After the chine logs were successfully installed I got to work scarphing the sheer clamps and fairing out the chine logs. I think they turned out pretty well as far as the fairing goes. I also mixed up some more, thick epoxy to fill in any necessary gaps or holes.
So far my scarphing ability seems to be pretty darn good. So much so that I built extra scarph jigs so that I could scarph the entire sheer clamp all in one go. Had a bit of an issue when I was epoxying the starboard sheer clamp as it decided to roll off of the strongback; which kind of knocked it out of whack. A quick reset and re-clamp had her all fixed though.
I decided now was the time to figure out where and how the inner stem was to be affixed. I used the chine logs as a reference and notched the forward inner keel around them. I then ripped 2 1x4x4′ to approximately the same width as the completed outer stem. I left them a bit long and figured I would get the final measurement for the length of the inner stem when the sheer clamps went on. They wrap from the transom to the stem so I figured they would be a pretty good marker.
The next day after the epoxy had dried on the sheer clamps, I began to notch the frames to receive them. My handy sonic crafter sure is good for this; it’s up there with the indispensable tools for this build. It was fall festival and parade day, so my wife took both girls and they went and had a great time. I stayed behind to temporarily affix the sheer clamps and mock them up for epoxying. Starting at the stern I worked forward double checking my spacing on each frame as I went. Since it was just me and the sheer clamps are a bit long; I rigged up a pretty cool way of fitting them. I tied one end to the chine log and the other to the sheer clamp on frame C with a bit of line. Thus it was held up on the front end while I worked on the back end to secure it. I used two long bar clamps that pulled the frames together (if out of alignment) as well as pulled the sheer clamp in place if it was low. Once this was done I screwed the sheer clamp to the frames. Starting on the starboard side I battled with them for the better part of the day. The end of the day had me cut and fit the top of the inner stem so that it would receive the sheer clamps and be flush with the tops of them.
The day afterwards I decided to go ahead and epoxy the sheer clamps and work on the middle section of the Transom. This center piece calls for 4 layers of Â½ plywood epoxied together. With only slight headache though, the sheer clamp epoxied relatively well. I also finished epoxying the inner stem as well.
With a plethora of odd and end pieces of Marine Plywood, I figured I would create a jigsaw type approach to the center transom. I cut two big pieces that were the size of the space between the current split transoms and figured on filling the other two layers with pieces cut to fit together. Any spaces and gaps could be best dealt with by adding copious amounts of epoxy at varying thicknesses. I got the first two layers epoxied together but had to stop because I ran out of epoxy. Fear not shipmates, more epoxy is enroute!
Well shipmates what a good bit of progress over the weekend (Oct. 9-11). The chine logs have been completely scarphed and emplaced on the boat.
Since my wife has been extremely busy with class lately and I have not been any more free with my time; I had to put them on by myself. This was a bit of a bear because they are long, I mean way longer than the boat. Since I was starting at the stern I went ahead to the tied a bit of cord around frame C to the chine so that I could manipulate it but it would not fall.
Cutting the notches for the chine logs was a bit interesting as I used a scrap bit of 1x material to trace and determine how it would lay. Using my sonic crafter I cut the notches just a bit on the big side so that I would have room to make corrections in needed. I also figured that a good bit of thickened epoxy can take care of any left over space.
I started at the stern and fitted the logs into the transom and worked forward, making adjustments and ensuring proper spacing. That frankly took a while but I did end up getting all of them mocked up and screwed in for temporary fitting.
The next day I went ahead and mixed up some epoxy and epoxied everything in place. This included the thick epoxy to fill in the gaps and ensure a secure fit. Looks pretty good.
On a funnier note, when I was epoxying I left the drill on the other side of the boat. I used the drill to back out the screws so that I could epoxy between the members. I decided that the shortest distance is between two points is a straight line under the boat. Unfortunately I was a little early standing up and wacked the top of my head on the chine log. Now I can speak to just how sturdy it is because it was just find but it put me to my knees. Today I have a massive knot on the top of my head and a lesson learned. Go around the darn boat!
Very exciting news today all! The inner keel is complete!
Went ahead and epoxied the forward inner keel in place between frame B and A wow, what a difference. She actually has a bow now that appears to want to come to a point lol!
Was not really all that hard to do (or I am getting a lot better at this stuff one of the two). I placed the rear of the forward inner keel on frame B where the notch I cut meets the rest of the laid keel. I then had my lovely wife scribe on Frame A where I needed to cut to ensure a good fit as I held the forward keel. Some extremely thick epoxy was mixed and soon I had it gooped into the crevasses between the keel and the frames and applied.
Now to be honest I was not going to mention this because it is such a novice mistake, anyone who has worked with lumber should know better. I thought I would save some money by purchasing some 1×2 pine from Lowes for the chine logs. I had actually scarphed and epoxied three before I had an epiphany. The plans call for a 2″ wide by Â¾” thick chine log, but the 1×2’s I purchased I had not taken into account their nominal thickness. They are actually 1 9/16ths of an inch in width. I mean wow, not taking into account this difference is such a rookie mistake, I mean a 2×4 is the milled and pre dried dimensions of that piece of lumber that actually shrinks after being kiln dried.
So I went ahead and took back the 1×2’s I had not used and purchased more 1×4’s to rip into the correct width. Thankfully I had just purchased them and Lowes was all too happy to accept my return and exchange.
Well today was an exceptionally good day shipmates! Scarphed some on one of my chine logs and got the keel bedded and epoxied.
Ironically enough the spacing between the frames was off in some areas by a foot; I really cant say how. Starting from Frame J I worked forward and screwed the keel into the frames for the last dry fit; checking often for the correct distance’s between the frames. It looks great but took the majority of the day to do that. The most ironic part being that the forward part of the horizontal inner keel that I thought was short was indeed not. I ended up cutting off the extension. Oh well live and learn.
The other day I had cut out and epoxied together the forward inner keel that is vertical. So today I went ahead and finished shaping it and cut the notches for it to fit on the frame. Still will end up needing a few more cuts but I think we are almost completely done with the inner keel! How exciting!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.