Friday, August 10, 2012

Jeez! That can of paint was full this morning.

Quarts of Interlux Brightside white paint and Schooner varnish continue to empty as coats are applied to the hull and cabin of To 'N Fro, in preparation for her return to service.  In between each coat, of course, is a thorough hand sanding.  As of today, she is due to get one more coat of white on the hull, and five or six more coats of varnish.  The varnish is already becoming deeper and more beautiful by the day.
Jeff hand sands the starboard side in preparation for the final coat of white.
 Small parts, doors, etc. that had been removed to facilitate repair and refinishing are slowly being completed and reinstalled.
Little stuff getting the sand/varnish/sand/varnish treatment on the bench.
Newt sands the transom in preparation for another coat of varnish.
The Jeffs and Bruce use a spotlight to make sure everything is just so.
Before she leaves the shop, To 'N Fro will have her bottom painted.  Prep for that step is underway as well, with final sanding, checking seams, etc. taking place.  As much as we have grown to love her, we will be delighted to see her loaded on the trailer for her trip home.
Newt in his favorite position, looking up at the sander and the bottom.
While the Richardson is the biggest project on the floor, it is not the only one that is receiving attention.  Nick, Lee, and the interns are working away on their Bevins skiff, and making excellent progress.  Molds have been completed, framework and transom are in place, and planking has begun.  The fact that there are only two planks per side makes for a quicker and less tedious process, but care and precision are still essential to building a good boat.
The first plank is test fitted on the port side....
...while the starboard side awaits.
By the end of the day, the first two planks had been spiled, cut out, and clamped in place on the framework in preparation for final shaping and fastening.  Quick work and great craftsmanship.
Two planks down, two more to go.
Meanwhile boards were planed, cut, and resawn to make bottom planks.  The bottom is cross planked, which simplifies the job.  However, it still has to keep the water out, so care and skill are important.
Bottom planks cut, jointed, and ready for installation.
The Comet restoration received some attention as well, with the mast hole being carefully cut through the deck, and mahogany mast partners fastened below the deck.
Mast opening in the deck.  Old mast step is in foreground.
One of the reasons for the restoration was to repair damage done when the old mast step failed.  Review of original Comet plans revealed that the design of the mast step that failed (shown above) was not original, so we decided to make a new step based on the plan.  It will be stronger and stiffer than the one being replaced, in that it is twice as wide, and spans three frames rather than two.

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