Friday, March 22, 2013

A little of everything nautical

The replica sea chest needed for ISM's early May exhibit is nearly finished.  All parts were glued up and fastened with decorative copper rosette head nails, similar to those used in the original.  The inside of the pine box was sealed, and the outside is ready for painting, once we can make a decision on the appropriate color.

Box interior showing "till" on left side.
The original box has handles which consist of a captured grommet in a pine becket at either end.  Lee put his rope splicing skills to work on a couple of lengths of 5/8 inch manila kindly provided by Olympia.  The handles look great, and give a real measure of authenticity to the project.

Lee splices.
Ready for painting
Nearby, the first Beetle whaleboat replica has gotten her waterline taped, her bottom painted, and a coat of white primer on her exterior hull.  The sheer strake has been primed with gray since the final paint will be a darker color.  Our deadline for putting her in the water is fast approaching, and she will most definitely be ready for launch.

White bottom paint (???), white topside primer, and gray sheer strake primer.  Looking sharp.
The second whaleboat is moving toward completion at warp speed (Startrek warp, not wood warp,) with a goal of having her ready to sail by late of May.  While this is a very aggressive schedule, nothing so far has given any reason to believe that it cannot be met.  The port inwale is fastened, and the starboard one is about to be, having already been steam bent and fitted.

Port inwale has been bedded and fastened
Work has begun on the painstaking task of fitting the many frames around the battens and against the planks so they can be fastened in place.  Repeated fittings, cuts, re-fittings, trimmings, and finally painting, bedding and fastening make this a very slow process which must be done for each of approximately 72 frames.  A good team can complete about 6 frames per workday.  Bruce modestly expects to do much better than that.  We shall see.

Jeff removes molds prior to frame carpentry beginning.

Bruce test fits a frame while Lee awaits orders.
Lee cuts notches for battens in a new frame.
The Suzy restoration is also moving along.  Jeff continues to dig out decayed wood and is almost ready to start fabricating a new stem-to-keel section that will greatly enhance her structural rigidity up front below the waterline -- always nice to have.  Meanwhile, the compass binnacle has been mounted in the cockpit, and it is a great improvement.

The new compass binnacle.  the opening on aft surface is for stowage.
Bob was working on one of the "luxuries" to be added to Suzy -- an on-deck shower installation.  You never know when you might want to get clean while on board a sailing vessel.

Plumbing may not be glamorous, but it is always welcome.  Bob installs shower fittings.

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