Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week 7

As the weather fluctuates, my contempt for the winter is growing. We had snow yesterday and ice in the puddles this morning! Anyway, a lot of work was completed this week, starting with the new carlin and clamp on the STBD side. Last week, I finished up by riveting the clamp on, then fastening the new carlin to that. Now, the STBD side is done, with much less destruction to the old frames then was seen on the Port Side. No fasteners seemed to lose their grip, and no new frames are needed on the STBD side. After the carlin was fastened to the clamp and cut to length, I continued on this project by shaping and installing the coaming band (as I call it). The piece of oak that is fastened to the carlin that extends the bend of the coaming inwards and forwards. Then, there are three coaming beams that extend to further give the shape inwards for the coaming. With these pieces in, on either side of the boat, I am able to use a long batten to find the final ending point of the coaming just aft of the mast step. This I marked out with magic marker and will eventually cut out with a jig saw.

But, before that, I need to take care of the most pressing issue found with the boat this whole project. Two loose frames on the port side farthest aft and planks up to the two forward more frames loosing their grip. I knew I needed to replace some frames, and decided that the last two would need replacing as well as the sistered frames on the next two stations forward. I started by removing all the fasteners I could, but in most cases, I needed to chip away the old frames and push them out from the inside (as I found I needed to do with the old frame heels already repaired). When this was done, to my surprise, the old repaired plank after fell off the boat. The last fasteners going into the transom let go. I had to remove all the cotton and putty in the seams of the planks in question, so that they would more easily be forced back to their correct fairness and shape. Then, I used the old plank that fell off, so shape a new one out of some Atlantic White Cedar that the boatyard had lying around. With this fit, I devised a way, with the guidance of Dave Kells and Brad Pease, of using strapping bolted to the boat and clamped at the top and a series of wedges to hold the planks in place while new frames were pushed against them from the inside and bent in. With this all in place, new frames were ready for milling.

Talking to Brad, I learned that the White Oak I bought from VT was kiln dried and would be no good for bending. Luckily, there is plenty of air dried White Oak at the yard, and I was able to get all I needed out of a piece they had inside. Four new frames were cut to length, and left wider then what was there to remove the gap that the previous boat builder left when installing the sisters and keeping the same screw holes. I dug out the old steam box, hooked up the propane tank and got the fire going this afternoon. After an hour in the steam, Drew Dunne came over and gave me a hand. He grabbed the frame out of the steam box, handed it to me in the boat, I bent it and wrestled it into position, and he fastened it in. The first frame gave us the most trouble, but after we learned a good technique, we managed to get them all in and secured. 80 new silicone bronze fasteners were put in today.

As a small side project between these big jobs this week, I was able to cut, fit, and install 4 vertical supports from White Oak for the inner bulkheads. Thanks for checking in. A little over a month left before Pompano is expected to be wet, regardless of any finish work that remains!