Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dimensionally challenged

I think that is it.  I am dimensionally challenged. 

I am starting to settle into the new lack of work routine and carving out some time for the boat amidst my job searching.  Most of my time has been spent fiddling with the stove top frame.  It has proven more time consuming that I imagined.  What a surprise...

Oops, that doesn't quite fit.  Oops, that piece is going to interfere there, Oops, if I set that screw there I will have no room for that other screw there... You know the drill.  Despite my incompetance, the project has been moving forward.

Just before I found out I had no job and no money I had ordered a pocket hole jig made by Kreg.  It is really nice.  I don't think the strength of the angled screw joints are as strong as the advertising suggests but they are adequate for the application and dead simple to do well.

 To use the jig, you simply clamp  one piece of wood into the blue jig thing in one quick motion. Then you drill down the alignment holes using the special step drill until the depth collar bottoms out. There is a little gauge on the side of the blue clampy thing that sets up the collar to the correct position.  Then you screw the pieces together permamently.

I am a little proud of myself for inventing another jig that probably everyone else in the world already knows about.

My 'invention' is just a piece of scrap plywood with two pieces of wood screwed in at a precise 90 degree angle.  To make nice square corner joints you simply butt the pieces together and against the wood guides, clamp then down if you want, and screw then together. Perfect 90 angle every time.

When you are done the joints look like this.  Pegs or mortise in tenon would obviously be stronger but for quick and easy this method seems to work just fine. 

At this point, the stove top frame looks like this in the boat.

The back edge will be bolted to the plywood panel behind.  The inside face against the removable steps will have a recessed piece of cherry plywood to fill in the hole.  There is a small gap on the outboard edge that I am going to leave for now and let the boat tell me how to fill it in. I am still building in storage and that little detail is up in the air.  The front legs will be screwed in as well. 

One issue I ran into was that the frame sits too far forward and interferes with the cabinet door on the settee back.  It just can't be helped. I am either going to modify that door or secure it and leave it as a fake door with a top opening or something.  To be determined...  I can't make the frame any smaller because the stove top just barely fits in as it is. I guess I measured the stove top and figured it would fit forgetting that the frame takes up some space too.  I did mention I was dimensionally challenged didn't I ?

At this point, the frame needs some sanding, maybe some finish work, the inside panel cut and be secured in place.  The last detail will be the connection to the gas line.  There is a notch on the back inside edge of the frame for the fitting, one of those 'oop's moments, and I am not 100% sure there will be room for a for a fitting to connect the gas line.  One way or the other I will make it work but the final solution isn't quite there yet. 

Other than that, I have been pretty much taking inventory of what needs to happen and setting up in my new surroundings.  There are oak trees behind the boat and they have already started shedding leaves and plugging up my cockpit drain scuppers.  I will have to cover the boat soon so that I can free myself from that annoyance.  I have created a list that keeps growing but the details are boring and I never seem to do all that I intend anyway so there isn't much point in listing it all here.  Its all subject to change.

And that is it.  I have had a few curve balls thrown at me and the project has faltered a bit but progress keeps happening which is good.  I am getting pretty close to a working stove and draining sink.  Water pumps and faucets aren't far behind.  The weather is good and I have more free time than I expected.  Pretty good deal I would say.

Em tasol wantoks ;-)

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