[bolger] Fldg Schnr Cont
- Continue to plug away at the Folding Schooner. My oldest son who is my
most enthusiastic helper has gone away for a few days and I have been
on my own. Before he left he built a jury rig dust collector for our
table saw from a piece of cardboard. We hooked up the new shopvac we
bought. It is a Rigid 12 gallon/4.5 hp on sale at HomeDepot. We sawed
out some framing material and and got the depth on some Luan for one of
the frames. It is really nice to have some dust collection going. I was
amazed at how well this simple rig kept dust out of the air. We did
this as a trial run to see if we wanted to go whole hog and get the
little plastic tray that is made for the saw. On this basis of this
experiment it looks well worth it. We are keeping our eye out for a box
fan that we can attach a furnace filter to as per suggestion in the
list. I am quite impressed with the difference that dust control makes
to both the work and the workers. She who is really pretty patient is
happy not to see so many sawdust footprints in the house.
After I put him on the train I put together the frame we had made. I
didn't have any 3/4" screws and decided to use some of the 7/8" ring
nails. The frames go together easy with two people. One of us would
wear gloves and glue and the other put in screws in the corners and one
in the middle. Then we would put some ring nails every four inches. I
was very awkward at this working alone and the absence of the
predrilled screws made it very fussy to get the framing material set.
It is all blind nailing. My gloves got pretty sticky and so did my
tools. I wish I could find the bugle headed ss screws in 3/4". This
frame has a lot of fingerprints on it but it is together and looks the
I also put another coat of epoxy on the bottom. I used a West System
foam roller. I mixed up two 8 0z batches and just poured them out on
the flat bottom and rolled them in. I had a foam brush to float out
bubbles and treat low spots. I had maybe 3 0z left over. It is hard to
see and as it dries I see spots I wished I had given more attention.
Looks like it is mostly filled but I will have to give a few bald spots
some spot treatment. It is beautiful here today, clear and dry but
right on the 65f degree mark. I put a space heater under the boat to
bring it up a few degrees and speed up the drying.
I had the finger come out of one glove when I was mixing. I noticed it
before I got any resin on me. I think it was because I was using scrap
pieces as mixers and one of them must have had a sharp edge. It was one
of the West System gloves. I put on another pair and kept going. It
made me aware to check my gloves every once and awhile. I did the
mixing outside and this helped make it more pleasant for me. I think
the activator produces most of the smell and that until it gets mixed
in. Mixing outside when it is possible reduces the exposure to the
vapors. It doesn't bother a lot of people but I don't like the smell of
it in my head.
I hope to get some frames for the aft hull built this weekend.
- Our computer has been down and the pace of work has slowed to a few hours a week but we
keep going.The bottom is on the aft hull. You may remember we managed to install the
frame in front of the stern transom slightly low. We put the bottom in fair by eye and
were left with about 1/8 gap between the bottom of that frame and the bottom panel. Filled
it easily with epoxy.
We had an exciting time ripping a 16 foot green D Fir 2x4 in half and then trimming to 1
1/2 square for the keelsons. Had about ten relatives and friends guiding the stick
through the little table saw. Just about all the little saw could do. Got the keelson on
the forward hull and installed the mizzen mast step which has a 3/8 bolt which goes
through the keelson and the bottom of the frame to take the strain. Pretty proud of the
straight hole that goes through all that material. My oldest son drilled it by eye.
Used our home made router compass to cut the hole in the 1/4 ply for the decking of the
mast step that the plans call for. Looks light to me but then the load is a compression
load. We made the hole 3 1/4 because that is what it looked like on the plan with the
scale rule I was using. After I counted the lines I figured out that for some reason the
numerials are offset and not directly under the mark to which they refer. We try to manage
at least one dumb mistake per week. Installed the the mizzen mast partner which is a 1x3
beam forward of the frame and more 1/4 ply decking. Got the hole the right size this time.
Fix the other one later. Got the compound bevels and the fit on the beam perfect. Feel
cleansed of the scale rule mistake.
Installed the bed logs for the mainmast step. Couldn't find any 3/4 ply scrap for the
decking and decided not to laminate our own of 1/4. Put that on the shopping list.
Started framing the motor well which is a slanting shelf which takes up about 1/3 of the
area between the last frame and transom. Despite hours spent looking numbly at the plans
with various kibbitzers have only the faintest idea how this is framed and enclosed. We
just started to do it and are getting there. Have to stop every once and a while and kick
the pile of scrap framing with various inappropriate compound bevels out of the way.
Went to the local lumber yard here which has a very upscale clientel.I wouldn't be
surprised if the next time I go there they have a maitre de. Bought a little piece of 3/4
ply and some 1/2 MDO for the rudder and center boards and the 1x6 stiffeners for the
bottoms of both hulls. Sat down and recovered from severe sticker shock. $55 for the MDO.
I also bought some 3/4 ss sheet metal screws which are cheaper than the bin at West Marine
and look like they will do the job on the bottom stiffeners. Tried them when I got home
and they seem to work fine. Emailed the white poly tarp sail guy and he thought we could
get the whole thing out of one kit for around $150. Onward.
- Work continues on the Folding Schooner. Spent Memorial Day making the
mainmast step and the cutting and fitting all the pieces for the
bilge board cases. Waiting for a warm, dry day to epoxy everything
into place. Also put the bottom boards and keelson on the aft
hull.This hull bottom is 3/8 MDO which is very tuff stuff. We broke
several drill bits and completely dulled the Makita quick change
countersink we were using. The Stainless screws I am using have soft
heads which is frustrating. I wish I could find Stainless Square
screws in 3/4" size.
Also cut the deck for the aft bridgedeck. I used a straight edge
clamped to the plywood to guide the circular saw to cut the deck
and bilge board case covers. I was surprised at how accurate the
result was. It is really as good as the fence on our little table
Thanks for the feedback on finishing systems. Confirms my prejudice
that for a dry sailed boat latex primer and porch paint is the way to
go in our budget category. I have a new Bosch random orbit sander.
What grits would you recommend for prior to priming and between coats?
Contemplating masts. I had thougt of trying to use our table saw to
make hollow masts out of birdsmouths staves. I wonder now if they
would be strong enough in the 3 inch diameter already set in the mast
steps particularly where they go through the partners. I have read
about the advisablility of having solid inserts through that stress
point. I also have not done this before and am trying to get the
boat in the water by July for our family vacation. Getting the masts
out of 16 ft 4x4s is looking more feasible. I am a little foggy on
how to precut the taper before rounding to end up with the final
dimensions. For the three inch diameter it is just eight sidding and
rounding over but it seems I need to add something to the taper at
top of the mast before eight sidding and rounding over. Anybody done
>I went octagonal (no taper) with the table saw and then went after it
>out of 16 ft 4x4s is looking more feasible. I am a little foggy on
>how to precut the taper before rounding to end up with the final
>dimensions. For the three inch diameter it is just eight sidding and
>rounding over but it seems I need to add something to the taper at
>top of the mast before eight sidding and rounding over. Anybody done
with a block plane.
half way though, i got a power planer.
either way, it's fun and easy.
CRUMBLING EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
134 W.26th St. 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001
- Thanks for the good words on mast construction. I have also ordered
square drive 3/4" screws from Mcfeely's. The old penny wise pound
foolish New England gene which makes me buy not quite enough to get
the job done strikes again.
Work continues. We had dry fitted the bilge board boxes and this Sat.
put them in. Took a long time and very tedious to get epoxy on
everything and put together before it all sets up. Just made it. When
I looked inside the cases I found that the plywood needed to be
down between the screws I had spaced about 4" on center. I went to
box of 7/8 bronze ring nails and they did an excellent job of sewing
the plywood to case frames quicker than I could have drilled holes
put in the extra screws while the epoxy was setting.
We cut out the blanks for the bilge boards and the rudder. The rudder
shape is very complex. The bilge boards have a curve that is the
radius of a 10" circle. Now sweat to get that. We spent a long time
looking at the rudder plan trying to figure out what radius but in
end realized that it is more of an elipse. My youngest son freehanded
it and then wisely for one so young suggested we cut a pattern on
scrap which we did and all came out well. I put the pattern on the
blank and ran the blade of our old and chinzy sabre saw next to it.
Worked ok. Later that night I picked up a Fine Woodworing Magazine
and idly turned to a page that had a technique for describing an
elipse with two nails and a string. Try that the next time.
The old saw about being half done with a sailboat when you have the
hull looks about right to me. We still have a daunting list of bits
and pieces plus finishing and sails. I have decided to use a golden
polytarp from the local discounter for our first sails and maybe try
the more expensive white stuff after we have traveled up the learning
Now I am looking for reasonably priced 16'
>Measure the plan using a scale ruler, then use brad and a batten to
>radius of a 10" circle. Now sweat to get that. We spent a long time
>looking at the rudder plan trying to figure out what radius but in
>end realized that it is more of an elipse.
get the exact (almost) curve.
Yes? No? Probably the freehand one will look better and work better too!
CRUMBLING EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
134 W.26th St. 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001
- The Folding Schooner now has some actual primer on it. Thanks for all
the help with mast optoins, gauges etc. I have had a lot of time to
think about it today while cutting up the styrofoam that my tablesaw
came packed in. Typical little job that took all afternoon but the
space beneath the motorwell and aft deck is nicely full of foam that
didn't cost anything. I had one piece of blue board and I put little
feet on it to keep some airspace and room for bilge water underneath.
put the scraps in tightly on top of the blue stuff and filled the
space up. I am off to Toys R Us for some Fun Noodles. I think I have
enough Poland Spring 2 1/2 gallon bottles to make up the big
billets under the bridge decks.
I am wondering whether the local nature conservancy will miss a few
saplings from the land behind our house.