Sunday, January 25, 2009

A few minutes for the Boat.

I continue to be plagued by outside demands and having to hold down a normal job.

Poor me.

A friend borrowed my almost new, very pristine, very over-cared for Honda Civic for the day to do some car shopping. On the way there was an 'incident' and my baby was hit on the side by a monsterous Mercedes SUV and smooshed into a second vehicle. My friend is okay. A bit bruised but okay. The car did its job well. Unfortunately, the car also gave up its life in the process and is a total loss. Suddenly my decrepid worktruck, that is fine for the five miles to the boatyard but nothing else, is doing the commute thing on Boston's most treacherous stretch of highway. Its trying, but its falling apart and I am struggling to keep it running, keep my job, get a decent settlement out of the insurance company and find a new car.

Poor me.

Being a student of economics and finances I should know how important a little cash reserve is. If I had it I could easily fix the problem with a decent second hand vehicle that I could sell for what I had into it later. But I don't have it. The boat has it and it isn't giving it back. I have everything in this boat and there is nothing left to fall back on. Its forcing me into some rather uneconomic decisions. Its the price for running on a wing and a prayer.

Poor me.


Not much time this weekend but I did spend a little time doing some woodwork. I started working on the frame for the engine instrument panel that will go in the aft end of the cockpit well.

To make it easy on myself I drew an outline of the hole on the workbench and built up my idea from there. I am too dimensionally challenged to figure it out all on a piece of paper.

I layed the pieces on top of each other, drew some lines where they overlapped and used my skilsaw to cut notches in the ends. I went overboard last year and ordered a Forrest blade for my skilsaw. Very expensive (around $100) and way overkill on a hand operated skilsaw but I have to say they are lovely to work with. They cut through anything like butter. Think 'Cut' and it cuts. I actually have to be careful because the saw will wander easily since the blade cuts so smoothly. There is no resistance when I twist the blade sideways so making a straight cut takes a bit more concentration than I am used to. Great blades.

Then I used a sharp wood chisel to cut out the remaining wood and smooth it out. It took a little tweaking to get the ends to fit tightly (and I will need a little teak colored putty) but I got it pretty close.

I put the joint together and installed a countersunk screw from the back side to pull the pieces together. I wish I could say I got it laid up and will come back when the glue dries. Unfortunately, when I was cleaning a month or so ago I must have looked at my epoxy pumps and tossed them out to force me to use new ones. I try to replace them with every new 5 gallon jug. I thought I had bunches on the shelves. As it turns out I have bunches of pumps for the hardener but none for the epoxy. I could have used Elmer's but I decided to wait and ordered the West System pumps.

While I was ordering, I started looking around for the Clevis fittings for the transmission shift cable I ordered last week. I have never used before but they had good prices on 60 series control cables so I ordered a cable and fittings from them. Good cable. Good fittings. Got here fast. But the fittings won't fit the ginormous shift handle on the Atomic Four so I had to do some looking around. I didn't find anything through my usual marine suppliers but I did find what I needed through a homebuilt aircraft supply house, I ordered the clevis and epoxy pumps through them.

And that about sums up my miserable week. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Awww, the car! I understand that sorrow. What a wrench. Glad your friend is okay.

Can you tell about that nifty blue corner-clampy thing? Or is it just a couple of normal clamps..?

I liked the step-by-step photo essay on building the frame. That's the level of detail I need for woodworking techniques.


Britton said...

Yeah, the economics of a new car purchase work if you keep it for ten years. You lose a lot when you total it after a year. Nobody hurt which of course is the real issue. But now that I know everyone is okay I can whine about the car a bit. (its my blog after all)

Nifty blue clamp is a common 90 degree clamp available at all Home Despots for about $15. Its cheap but it does the trick in this case. I toyed with something more fancy for joinery but decided against it since I feel the launch date looming over my shoulder and I really need to get the panel installed.

As for the step-by-step...

My professional experience with woodworking began at age fifteen and ended at 17 when I worked in a production cabinet shop. I can't lay claim to really knowing what I am doing. I figure I can show the details and let others decide if they want to copy my ideas. I am just learning here.

What I forgot to mention is that I will be cutting a notch around the outside of the frame so the whole frame will recess 1 inch into the hole. I don't intend for the frame to be so clunky looking when its installed.

Anonymous said...

I thought it looked a bit... heavy duty, so I figured you were going to slim it down somehow.

Thanks for the tip on the corner clamp.

And whine away! Especially if you do it with photos.


Tim said...

Poor you. :<)