Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesson learned...

Well, the lesson learned this week was that trying to save galley counter material by leaving openings in the glue up leads to a massive increase in labor. I should have worked an extra half day at my real job and bought the extra wood.

I started the weekend by sanding the epoxy off the new layups. My belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper was completely inadequate for the job and I switched to 40 grit with the DA.

There was some dishing but overall it was working great; until I ran out of sandpaper. More has already been ordered. I got enough sanding done to keep glueing the parts up though. The small sections weren't perfectly aligned or perfectly square (which I knew was going to happen) so I cleaned up the pieces and made them square with my skilsaw. If I haven't mentioned before, I bought some very expensive blades for the skilsaw from Forest. They make an excellent blade that leaves an edge smoother than I could ever sand. I loves those blades. Anyway, because all the bits and pieces were being so ornery and hard to keep in place I glued up the front half of the countertop first.

While getting the aft section ready I noticed a problem with the line up. I should not have been surprised to see that nothing in the pattern I made was square. The aft edge follows the original quasi aft bulkhead. The front edge follows my own interpretation. I also discovered a third point of alignment which was a line created by the 'bridge deck'. This wouldn't be such a big issue except I have cabinets faces going right there and any misalignment will be pretty obvious once the cabinet faces sitting direction the countertop.

A second issue was the small sections I glued up that pass along either side of the sink didn't clamp down to exactly the same dimensions. There is about a quarter of an inch difference. My solution was to add an extra piece to the short side and I will then cut it back to match the longer side. It should be barely obvious in the final product.

The third issue was how far out of square the aft edge was. To cut an edge in line with the aft bulkhead would require cutting through two strips. They are hard to see but I am counting on those strips to anchor the aft edge of the countertop down to the structure. I didn't want to add too many pieces to the back edge to compensate because that section will have some drop down storage and I have a minimum size I have to work around - the size of a dishplate. So... the solution was to create a short wedge shaped piece so that the final three strips would align with the back edge of the countertop area.

To complicate matters, I had to really start thinking about how the storage cabinets were going to tie into the countertop since this would effect where the strips were going to end etc. and... oh... and just to add to the confusion, the pattern of two maple strips to one walnut meant that every time I needed to add or subtract a piece I had to figure out how this would effect the whole pattern.

This is why next time I think I will just buy more material and glue up one big sheet and cut out the sections as necessary. Way over complicated this way.

So... I was able to glue up the aft section of the starboard countertop this morning.

Next steps, after sanding, will be to glue the front and back section together, cut to final shape, and add the drop bottom storage areas. Then of course comes final fitting and building the cherry cabinet faces - which is really the fun part :-)

And lastly, I finally got around to converting my original teak stairway to something useful around the house. I have been wanting a step stool for a while now. Doesn't everyone want a step stool made of teak?...

Em tasol wantoks

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Glueing up

I was in Maine last weekend looking over some other boat projects and this weekend I was glueing up more of the butcher block galley counter top.

To save material (I barely had enough as it turns out - 21 board feet wasn't really enough) I didn't make one big piece and instead just put wood where I needed it. That meant lots of cuts and little pieces.

The hole is for the new sink. Under the 'bridge deck' and along the outer edge will be storage areas that will be below the level of the counter top. I just plan on using plywood bottoms for the storage areas and will enclose the outside edge storage space in a locker made of cherry. Basically the same outline as the original Triton.

I was going to put a deep drop in locker behind the sink but the sink goes right to the edge of the 'bridge deck' so there wouldn't be much room for fishing out stuff from under there. I decided to store dishes behind the sink in a shallow drop storage area.

Rather than try to keep all the bits and pieces lined up while the epoxy set up I glued up the smaller pieces first and will link them all together with the full length pieces later. Its been a bit cool in my glueing area (basement) so I didn't feel like the parts were ready to come out of their clamps yet.

Next week for sure. The bigger piece on the glueing table is the center section over the engine box.

Other boat stuff this week involved going to the New England Boat Show. It was worthwhile. I have always grumbled about the big obnoxious 40 foot Sea Ray behemoths but in a spirit of fairness I decided to go on board one this week. I have to say, they might be fun for a weekend. I couldn't never afford them or the $1000 a day gas bill but they might be fun to use for a day. Nothing long term of course..

What I did like, more than the new sailboats actually, were some of the trawler yachts. I think in another 20 years or so I am going to have to give them some serious consideration. I love the roominess and ease of use and they aren't the ugliest things on the way (those Sea Rays might be though...)

I wasn't too excited by any of the sailboats I saw. I like my own best. The new hull designs just don't have the sex appeal of the older generations in my opinion. I did take the opportunity to look at their cabinetry closely and write down some vendor names and part numbers of the stuff I liked.

A friend of mine gave me some point and shoot video footage from a sail last summer so I linked it together in a pretty awful video. As bad as it is, it reminds me of sailing in the summer and it brings a smile to my face.

Summer sailing

Spring is coming :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


The sink has arrived :-)

Now I can start glueing up the starboard galley countertop. I milled up a bit more maple just to make sure I had enough. Funny, I was looking at some old photos of the galley and realized that my idea for the starboard galley counter is pretty close to Pearson's idea as well. After making countless changes I have come back to a layout that is very similar to the original. Oh well, at least I really understand why Pearson made the choices they did now. My galley will be nicer to look at of course.

I also started another extremely important project; the head privacy curtain. I purchased the materials (the green stuff at the left of the photo) and now I just need to find a willing soul with a sewing machine... This project moved up the priority list after a summer on the mooring taking friends out for the day on the boat. Nothing spoils a good friendship like seeing your friend on the can. The privacy curtain should make that aspect of small boats a lot nicer. It really should have been done sooner.