I'm at about the 2/3rds of a mile point.


May-01-Sun - Roundedover #10 corners, 1/2" roundover. Sealed #10. Assembled head door central panel. I'll show that when it's complete.

May-02-Mon - Scraped and steel-wooled 7 battens. Cut 16 1"x1" pieces of SS angle for hinges.

May-03-Tue - Scraped and steel-wooled 3 battens. Primed all.

May-04-Wed - Primed all, second coat. Started grate repair.

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May-05-Thu - Finished cockpit grate repair. (Seen here prior to repair.) I took the finished grate to the shop and dropped it into place on the cockpit floor. Damned thing was 2" too long. Picked it up and, lo and behold, it was exactly 2" too long. At the beginning of the "grate project" the Brother from the Black Lagoon, who was delegated to the task, cut the outside frame members and put them aside before starting the central lattices. That turned into a nightmare of pieces not fitting. He got snarly and I took over the project myself... never realizing that despite an abundantly clear blueprint (this time devoid of errors) he cut the frame pieces 2" too long. I concentrated on making the interior grid and fitted all those pieces to the frame. Voila 2" mistake. The repair - route away the 2" end member, re-tenon the grid long pieces, fab the new end piece, mortices for grid members, rabbet and dado end piece to rest of grate, seal and epoxy several coats. Finished.

May-05-Thu - Cont'd. - Tapered all batts. Drilled and rounded-over all batt end holes. Sealed all.

May-06-Fri - Filled batten ends where holes made themselves evident.

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Built "Banana Cabana" for the porch moggies, seen here with "Sneezy" installed. Daffodil Den is in the background.

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Here's a better view. The neighbors throw these away. Must be nice to be rich. I find a hundred uses for them.

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Daffodil Den was the prototype; effective, popular, but inelegant.

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May-06-Fri - Cont'd. - Hung strings for the garden and everyplanty thanked me for room to grow up, up and away.

May-07-Sat - Sanded batten ends. Cleaned garage (the Graving Dock). Primed battens.

May-08-Sun - Moved tools to garage. Cut diagonals for rudder from 10'x4'x3/4" plywood. (Later, back in the basement) 1st coat of paint, all sides, gray.

May-09-Mon - 2nd and 3rd finish coats, all. Moved more tools to garage.

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Here's a mile+ of batten building. This is the last time you're going to see these. All that hard work paid off. They look just like aluminum. I had my head examined once upon a time. I can see now why they they said they couldn't find anything inside.

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May-10-Tue - Sheet 1 prior to the penetrating sealing coat. Since I had time and the weather was warmer, I didn't thin this coat with zylene, just put it on straight and reapplied as it soaked in.

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Piece 2 at the front of the queue for sealing.

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Pieces 1 and 2 glued, screwed and clamped. I had some idea of getting all 4 sheets glued together in one day. I even bought screws for the concept. The idea was to screw and clamp 1 and 2 together, then screw up from the bottom with short screws, then remove the up-side screws and clamps. Then repeat the process with each succeeding sheet until all 4 were firmly glued and screwed together. In the end it was too much extra work, too many holes to fill, and generally a pain in the neck. So it was one new sheet each day as the clamps came off.

May-11-Wed - Glued #3. Simple process. Seal to-be-glued faces, wait around to recoat dryish spots. Slather on and spread thickened epoxy. Align the sheets. 3 screws to hold alignment. Clamp the daylights out of it. Cleaned shop.

May-12-Thu - Glued #4. Cut opening for stove ginbal. Cleaned shop... again. This becomes a daily routine to clear out years of debris.

May-13-Fri - Planed side 1 of a 186lbs. beastly heavy slab of plywood.

May-14-Sat - Mongo and Jarret along for the fun and games. Set the boys to work cleaning and filling trash bags. 7 bags filled. Meanwhile, I tried to install the gimbal frame only to discover it doesn't quite fit properly. Disassemble gimbally bits and recut bare frame on tablesaw. Glue in gimbal frame.

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May-15-Sun - Planed and beltsanded side 1. This is my "Old Bull" Makita planer, 20 years old and a real woodchewer. It's set to take out a 1/16" at a time. There's no dust to speak of because it spits out splinters instead, heaps of them. Jarret and Mongo stood by at each end of the rudder with scrapwood sweeps to rake away the instantaneous piles of 3"-long chips. The garage leaks slightly but persistently even after a week of rainless days. The POS landlord suggested I cover my stuff with plastic. So that's exactly what I prepared to do. Mongo and Jarret precut strips from a roll of 100'x8'x4mil plastic.

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The beltsander, also an old Makita warhorse, attached to the shopvac is a well-behaved brute even with 36grit belts.

May-16-Mon - No boatwork. Insert invectives and explitives of your choosing. I guarantee they're milder than the torrent I hurled at the landlord. Melvin and I snap some slope (chalk) lines along the side walls. Then we begin stretching plastic, starting from the front and working toward the back, heading ever lower, where the drips will collect above the toilet. Before we we're even finished water started collecting above the plastic. The final step of the installation was to poke a hole at the intended collection point and hang a weighted string in the hole just above the toilet. You can't just let one of these "ceilings" drip or else the drips will splatter an area 4' in diameter. The string gently drains the pool above all the way to the collection point below, in this case the toilet.

May-17-Tue - Day 90 - Planed and beltsanded side 2. The Beast is getting lighter but only marginally so. I corral garage neighbors as they appear to help me turn the ridder over, or take it outside and spin it end-for-end. Then I set to work making it more rudder-like and less tombstone like.

May-18-Wed - Roundedover leading edge. Again this required some neighborly help. Good thing I'm such an all-around swell guy and universally loved.
Prop cutout, side 1. My sabersaw blades aren't quite long enough to cut clear through. I debate closing up shop to go buy longer blades. My French practicality blends smoothlessly with my Scottish frugality and I decide to wait until I turn the slab over again to finish the cut.

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May-19-Thu - Finish propeller cutout. Begin feathering cutout. Sometime along the way, I roundedover the trailing edge and bottom edge.

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The Magik Marker lines are telltails indicating water flow so I get more taper here, less there. I figure any taper is better than none but the rudder, it would be unfair to call it a slab or beast at this point, is getting a might skimpy to this seasoned eye, so I'm being cautious. Notice the "Dalps" below the rudder; mountains of sawdust I've been saving for Jarret to clean on Saturday.

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Standing the rudder on edge allowed me to see and feather both sides at the same time.

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May-20-Fri - Begin fab'ing gudgeon strap bender. While Jarret cleaned out a lot of scrap iron I had lying around cluttering up the place, I discovered a piece of sched40 2.75" pipe. This Harbor Freight bender is meant for bending pipe so its rollers are concave. I chopped a couple pieces of the aforementioned pipe to fit over the rollers. Then I needed to bring the bend-points closer together. So I drilled extra holes in the bender frame. They're 1/2" at this point. I can guess what you're thinking. "What the hell is Bobo Juice?" It's what Ironworkers call cutting oil. Rapid Tap is one of but many brand names.

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Tools to make tools. The 13/16" reamer on the left is a standard piece of Ironworker gear to ream holes for 3/4" bolts. Like the rest of my [Ironworking] tools, it was painted red a long time ago to discourage, uh, redistribution. The 3/4" nut welded on top is for use with an impact gun... which I don't have any more. See: redistribution. So the tool on the right is my 1/2" hammer drill fitted with a sacrificed 1/2" extention bit and an ordinary 3/4" socket. The reaming went smooth as silk with the occasional squirt of bobo juice.

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To complete the Harbor Freight Flat Strap Bender, I chopped some more pieces of "black iron" pipe and welded the plunger.

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The observant student will notice that the plunger wasn't quite of a large enough diameter. Long before I got the Stainless strap to a critical point, I backed the hydraulic ram off and bent some ordinary flat plate to thicken the plunger. While bending these thickeners I discovered the hydraulic ram return springs would be in the way of a full-on bend of 14" straps, so I removed them. Then it off to the races.

May-21-Sat - The U-bend in the straps weren't quite right. They need to be a perfect 2.75" U on the inside. But I was alone when doing the initial bends. They and the tool-up took all day. Jarret came with me and for a change didn't spend all day cleaning. We salvaged one piece of the roller assembly (the galvanized pipe - not coincidentally 2.75") and proceeded to clamp and heat the SS until it conformed perfectly to the pipe. I welded the pipe section to a piece of heavy flat plate (one of the attempted anchor abortions) and Jarret worked the clamps while I applied the heat from an oxy-acetelene torch. They came out beautifully shaped. Later at home I polished them on our polishing machine.

May-22-Sun - Sat at a computer for 10 hours writing two and a half webpages about some nut building a boat for the last 12 years.

More to follow...

Next page... Moving Day


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Written 2011/05/22

Updated 2012/12/13