-Week 34 Write Up- installing the deck beams, scarphing plywood for under decking

This week was kicked off with the break down of our panel and bulkhead fitting and gluing station. It was a big deal to take apart the table which we had worked at for over 3 months, bring it up stairs and sweep up around it. This was in preparation for gluing together up to six plywood sheets for the under decking. The forward section was five sheets, which we worked on first. Brendan had already cut the scarphs and labeled the sheets to Alfie's drawings, so all Oliver and I had to do was lay them out on the floor carefully and make sure the scarphs fit well. Then we tacked them into the floor with a couple of sheet rock screws so they wouldn't shift while we glued them with a thickened epoxy mix. Once glued, we laid down a plywood sheet the length of the scarph and about 6 inches wide and screwed it down directly into the scarph in order to get good pressure. This sat over night to dry.

Then we all worked on fitting deck beams. They were originally made oversized and now had to be cut down and beveled to match the shape of the hull fore and aft. There is a deck beam at every frame and most of them extend over to the other side of the boat, whereas others tie into the taller panels. They get fastened down into the sheer clamp with a 2 inch stainless screw and into the deck stringers which are already fastened into place. Once each deck beam was fit and dry fastened, it was time to get rid of the extra sheer. We went around the boat with a long batten to get a good fair line along the sheer down to where the top of the deck beams come in. Then, Drew cut off the excess with jig saw, changing the bevel at every frame to match the constantly changing shape of the hull. Brendan zoomed around the freshly cut sheer with the power plane to get it down a little closer before we went around with the 3 foot file boards and sanded it down. This took a real eye, and as Brendan told us, this was the part of being a boat builder where you really use your talent to see the correct and fair shape of the hull. And as Alfie put it, shaping the sheer is where your reputation lies.

Afterwards, We broke out the huge eight foot two man file board to fair out all the deck beams around the entire hull. This will ensure a nice fit for the plywood to lay on top.

Oliver and I worked on installing some extra blocking for the chain plates, while Brendan installed the gas tank mounts and cut some plywood to act as a "shelf" at the stern.

On Friday, we installed the finished surfaces, vacuumed out the interior and began the process of removing and reinstalling each deck beam with G-Flex to keep it down for good. We also glued down the chain plate blocking and stern shelf.

Next week we will work on the deck!

Here is the timelapse video from April until May 15th, 2009:

-Week 34 PHOTOS-

Brendan cleans up g-flex after installing the gas tank mounts.

Oliver and I figure out the layout for the forward section of Okume plywood decking.

The forward deck section glued up and screwed into the floor.

A detail showing how and where the deck beams fit around the boat.  These get fastened into the sheer clamp and deck stringers.

All the deck beams are cut to size and dry fit with their fasteners in place and ready to be glued.

Oliver and I layout the aft section of plywood decking, 6 sheets scarphed together.  Here we check for a good scarph joint.

The aft section of plywood decking dry fit and ready to get glued and screwed to the floor overnight.

Alfie visits to work on the engine and survey the work.

A detail of the deck construction.  Here the deck stringer comes in to meet the sheer clamp and the deck beams lay on top side to side.

We use a long batten to check for the fairness of the sheer in preparation for cutting it down to size.

Drew uses a jig saw to cut off the excess sheer.  Check out that eye protection!

The forward plywood deck section dwarfs Drew as he shapes the sheer.

With the sheer cut, Brendan demonstrates how to fair it to match the shape of the deck beams and to keep it pleasing to the eye.

Meg finishes up varnishing the mahogany surfaces and I attach the fiddles and put them in place in the boat.

A nice detail of the fiddles on the surface and the nosing which hides the plywood core.

The end of the day Friday, all deck beams and glued in place with G-Flex and fastened with stainless screws.

Brendan and drew butter up the stern where a stern shelf will be fitted.

The Last Shot of The Week.  Brendan and Drew finish up installing the stern shelf.

-Week 33 Write Up- Engine box, Fiddles, varnish, and installing the deck stringers

When we first flipped the boat over, it was a little awkward moving around, trying to place your feet on the stringers and move down to the flat keelson.  Then, the teak deck was put in and getting around to work on installing the bulkheads was a breeze.  Then, the bulkheads were installed, which made it a little more difficult, things started falling behind the stringers and falling into the bilge.  After that, the panels needed to come in, and bracing was installed to keep the boat from flexing inward and moving around with those large panels was very difficult.  Now, the deck stringers are installed, the cockpit is dry fit and deck beams are starting to get installed, making it nearly impossible to move around as elegantly as we once had.  And when your screw slips out of your hand and you see it roll behind all the stringers and fall into a pile of dust in the bilge, its frustrating.  

But anyway, its all part of the deal, and it strengthens your patience.  This week, we all worked on getting the engine box and adjoining seat built up.  We had to go through the old familiar process of laying out Alfie's plans onto plywood, cutting butternut trim, and gluing it together.  All in all, it happened fairly quickly and without incident. 

 The fiddles that I began making last week got their final fittings, sanding, and now have two coats of beautiful varnish.

Drew and Oliver worked around the boat, cutting off excess wood from the bulkheads to make room for the deck, and notched in where needed the deck beams and dry screwed them into the sheer clamps.

I caught up on some panels that never got made at the foot of both pilot berths.  After I installed the cleats, cut and fit the plywood surface, I managed to get a coat of polyurethane on them.  

Brendan carefully installed the brass hardware on the doors and cabinets that still needed them,  finished up with the thru-hulls and began building supports for the cockpit.  

On friday, we managed to install, with glue, the outer deck stringers.  They are screwed into the sheer clamp at either end, with g-flex, and screwed through the small oak blocks I made up and seated in natural bedding compound.

Next week we will install the rest of the stringers, deck beams, and construct and install the plywood under decking.

I will try and get motivated to open my video editing software and get some new time lapse footage up...

-Week 33 PHOTOS- finishing the fiddles, installing deckbeams/stringers, dry fitting cockpit

Dry fitting the cushion fiddles.

The fancier fiddle, which will go on the counters.

A detail of the nice brass hardware.

Everyone helping move the cockpit in for a dry fit.

The engine box and adjoining seat. 

A detail of my clamping setup for the oak blocks where the stringers will tie into.

Drew installed these copper nails into the counters receiving the fancy fiddles.  The fiddles are laying on their side behind the nails and will fit into them snugly.  

A detail of the copper nail.  Notice the pointy end was ground off.

Here are the small oak blocks for tying in the stringers to the bulkheads, with a coat of penetrating epoxy.

Catching up on some missed work, I laid out from my mold the surfaces that go at the foot of each pilot berth.

Here is the same surface cut and fit.

A deck beam that has been notched into the bulkheads and screwed into the sheer clamp.  No glue yet.

This is natural bedding compound that goes between the deck stringer and each bulkhead.  This stuff will not go off like epoxy and will make it easy to remove the bulkheads later, but also prevent water from moving through.

Meg shows off her bright work at the end of the day Friday.

The fiddles for the cushions with a couple coats of varnish.

The Last Shot of The Day.  A couple coats of varnish on the fiddles I made for the counters really make them stand out.

-Week 32 PHOTOS- Fiddles, surface veneers, ceiling installed...

Drew prepares the ceiling planks for the final coat of varnish.

Oliver straightens a Teak board for the deck planks.

The product of a day and a half of milling out Teak for the deck.

The surfaces catch some sun as they dry with their second coat of sealant.  Note that the surfaces without a coating will be getting a 1/8" of mahogany veneer.

A simple jig I made to keep my drill bit straight and level when drilling the 1/2" holes through the chain plate blocking.

Drew and Oliver talk to dave after dry installing the first deck beam.

Here the 1/8" veneers are being clamped onto the surfaces to dry overnight.

Oliver and Drew shape the deck stringers to the sheer clamp.

Here are some of the Fiddles I spent friday making.

Here the fiddles are sanded down with 80, then 120 before being varnished.

The ceiling planks get installed and add a very nice touch to the already stunning interior.

Here are the ceiling planks opposite the picture above in the forepeak.

The Last Shot Of The Week.  The thru hull for the engine exhaust is drilled out.

-Week 32 Write Up- Fiddles, Deck Beam Installation, Ceiling, and more

This week was full of different activities around the boatyard.  With four coats of varnish on the ceiling planks, Brendan and Drew worked on Monday to install them in the boat, mostly above the areas where the bunks are, to keep things from rolling behind the stringers and into the bilge.  And boy do they look stunning.

While they were busy with that, Oliver and I had the task of taking the rough sawn teak that arrived and milling it down to 1 7/8" strips, 3/8" thick.  It took nearly two days, and when we were done, we had a huge bundle of teak strips, the yard smelled wonderfully of teak candy dust and the planer blades needed replacing.  

Next we applied two coats of a polyurethane sealant to the surfaces, sanding in between.  The surfaces which are getting an 1/8" veneer of mahogany were brought up stairs and the veneer stock was cut to size and laid out on the surfaces.  These veneers were glued on by Oliver and Drew later in the week and really look great.  The seams are barely visible, and this will add a nice and elegant touch to the interior.

I went around the boat and drilled 1/2" holes at each chain plate station.  I made a simply yet nifty jig to keep the drill bit level and square side to side which produced perfect holes each time.  After that, I was given the task of creating the surface Fiddles, or the pieces of Mahogany that will keep things from rolling of the tables.  A fairly difficult task for my skill level, but by the end of the day Friday, I felt pretty good about their outcome.

Also by the end of the day Friday, Oliver and Drew began installing the deck stringers and beams, dry fitting them and fastening before a final gluing.

After Brendan had finished installing the ceiling planks and getting everyone else started on their own projects, he had time to install the plywood thru hull backing plates, and drill out a couple thru hulls.  One for the engine exhaust and another for the head.  He also shaped the cockpit for the deck beam which will lay across it.  
A truly productive week.  I will be heading to Nantucket on Friday night to meet up with Alfie on IMPALA to sail her to Chatham on Saturday where she will be serviced before our scheduled race in Figawi later this month.  My first proper boat ride of the season!