Friday, May 16, 2014

Toward the water

All the boats in the Workshop on the Water are moving closer to the team's goal of getting them wet. Even Misleading Lady, which still has lots of work to be completed, is headed for a splash, albeit a brief one. She needs to be put in so that her true waterline can be determined. This is just one more challenge in doing a total restoration on a boat for which no plans, no examples, and no recollections exist.

More immediate, and more permanent is the splash planned for the four Harbormaster Skiffs later this month. Final work is being completed on them, with primer having been applied, rub rails being fabricated and fastened, and oarlocks being shaped and screwed in place. Thwarts have been made and fastened in place in all four boats

Thwarts -- 3 per boat.
The kids get involved in fastening thwarts.
Jeff explains the use of the router table for shaping rub rails.
Wood goes through, fingers do not!
Jen and Robinson fasten a rub rail to the skiff's sheer strake.
Looking very sharp. One inch rope will be fastened in rail's cove later.
If these skiffs are going to be rowed, they will need to have a set of oars, and several WoW volunteers have taken on the task of making a pair of oars for each boat -- eight in all. The oars will be made of ash, which is durable, strong, and traditional. It is a bit heavy for young oarsmen, so as much wood as practical will be removed to lighten them.

Dave trims the blade on an oar blank on the bandsaw.
Charles cuts a blade while Dave goes to the pile for the next one.
Oar blanks await the next step.

Lee does the final shaping of an oar shaft.

No boat is complete without a name painted on the transom, and the four skiffs are getting theirs. The first to be named is Nemo, and its highly designed multicolor graphic has begun to take shape.

Nemo gets a name.
 Poseidon is another skiff name being applied by Jen and the kids.

May not be readable, but is sure is pretty.
 Elsewhere in the boatshop, other work is moving along. The Beetle Cat now has both of her new garboard planks fastened in place, thanks to the combined effort of volunteers, primarily Lee, Steve, John, and Joe.

New garboards on the Beetle Cat.
John and Charles are up to varnish coat seven on the new companionway hatch cover for the sloop Hard Tack. This raises the old boat maintenance question of how do you know you have applied enough coats of varnish? The answer being, when you have run out of time.

Definitely getting there.
Joe and Charles took a turn at sanding smooth the CLC stitch and glue canoe, in preparation for a coat of Dynel on the bottom and paint over everything. 

A LOT of sanding.
Jeff, Newt, and John are working on refinishing the old Sandbagger rig cum flagpole. Rot pockets in the upper side of the gaff are being addressed by ripping an inch of bad wood off the surface. New wood will be glued to the gaff, and then will be shaped and faired before sealer and varnish are applied.

John, Jeff, and Newt push the gaff through the band saw to remove the rotted wood.
Only a few more feet to go.
Newt gets ready to plan the gluing surface flat.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Good Smells

Visitors to the Workshop on the Water frequently comment about the pleasant aromas in the shop. Those of us who work or volunteer there tend to become desensitized to the smells, but it is nice to be reminded that a boatshop has, in addition to its unique sounds and sights, a pleasing scent. This week, a combination of milling of cedar for Beetle Cat planks , Tung Oil being applied to the interior of the Harbormaster skiffs, and spar varnish brushed onto Misleading Lady's ceiling boards and Hard Tack's new hatch cover, made WoW an especially fragrant place.

The four skiffs are really close to completion. Dave, Jen, and the kids finished installing knees and thwart risers, and also added a second coat of Tung oil to the interiors. The exteriors are all filled, sanded, and awaiting paint. Thwarts are being fitted, and oars are being made.

A transom knee braces the transom to the sheer strake.
Jen holds a thwart riser in place while Dave tightens a clamp.
Fine tuning a thwart template with a joggle stick.

Those first two planks, the garboards, are nearly ready for fastening on the Beetle Cat. The edge of each plank must be precisely fitted to the rabbet in the keel, which requires careful planing and adjusting.  The next step will be to bed and fasten the garboards, before moving on to the next planks.

Joe, Bob, and Jeff test fit a garboard.
Lee tweaks the forward edge of the garboard plank with a hand plane.
Misleading Lady is finally getting her mechanicals installed. The steering quadrant is in place on the rudder, and Jeff and Newt are fitting the steering shaft, which is a long iron pipe running from the steering station back to the rudder.  Jeff has finalized the shape and location of the operator's seat, so fabrication can begin. There is no documentation of this part of the boat, so it is a "best guess" effort.

Misleading Lady's rudder post, quadrant, and iron pipe steering shaft.
The wheel and steering column test fitted up forward.
Mocked up operator's bench. Instrument panel template visible on bench.
Varnish is going on Misleading Lady's ceiling and Hard Tack's hatch cover, thanks to John. Several coats are on and there are more to follow.

Underside of hatch cover sanded and awaiting the next coat of varnish.
When it dries, we'll sand it and do it again.
A stack of ceiling boards ready for the next coat.
The old sandbagger rig cum flagpole is being scraped down and sanded in preparation for a complete refinishing. This is slow, labor intensive work. After the finish is completely removed, it will be possible to see what repairs will be necessary. Meanwhile, the rig provides a very effective barrier between two sides of the shop

A lot of scraping and sanding await.