Sunday, August 30, 2015

This and that…and back to school

I started school last week, so it will be interesting to see just how much time I have to keep the project moving. The goal for the summer was to finish up major portions of the temperature sensitive work - i.e., fiberglassing - so I can still keep things happening over the winter. I still have a fair bit to do, but I feel good about the progress I made this summer. I bought my third gallon of West System epoxy on Friday, and I have a roll of biaxial cloth to keep me busy for a while.

Today was a hodgepodge of tasks, most of them fairly small but all part of moving ahead. I glassed in the vertical supports for the settee backs and cut a bulkhead for the under-sink galley area. Glassing it in had to wait because I have some sanding to do in that area first.

On the opposite side of the galley, I cut and removed some old cleats that supported the original shelving. I'm not sure what I'll do in that area, but I'll figure that out after the countertop is in.

Forward, where I plan to install a bifold door for the head, I temporarily installed the starboard doorframe, a leftover from the previous owner. For the port side I had to glue two pieces of framing - again from the previous owner - together to make a piece long enough to fit. Why? Because the PO was trying to put the boat back together on the cheap and used existing cabin structure, which had been carved up by another PO, as the foundation for new material. If I remember correctly, about a foot of doorframe was still intact on the bottom of the starboard side when I got the boat. The PO had used Gorilla Glue to attach a new piece of doorframe to the top of the old piece - yes, very sturdy. I rummaged through the pile of "spare" wood that came with the boat and found enough new door material to build the port side frame. I drilled a hole in each end of the doorframe pieces, then inserted and epoxied in place a wooden dowel. Both lengths were then joined with thickened epoxy and clamped to dry.

I'd planned on painting the areas under and behind the settees today, but decided to wait until I had more areas ready for paint so I could get it all done at once.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Port shelf done - glassing next

This morning I cut the port settee shelf and fitted it in place. Like I'd done on the starboard side, I made a vertical support for the shelf and the middle of the settee back. Both of those now need to be glassed in place (an order of biaxial should arrive today).

I also installed a 1x2 cleat along the bottom inboard edge of both shelves, securing them with 5 ss screws, to provide a better surface for joining the settee backs to the shelves.

It would seem that the next logical step is to glass the supports in place, then remove the settee tops and paint the area before finally securing all the bits in place. I do need to sort out the head door and posts arrangement before I call the starboard settee done. That will happen before things get painted, I suppose.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Te gusta asado?

My neighbors are having a Thursday night asado and I was feeling bad about the saw noise, so I knocked off early this evening after cutting out a shelf and center support for the starboard settee, and tracing the template for the port settee on a piece of 1/2" ply. This A30 did not originally have a shelf behind the settees. Instead the area was open, creating storage cubbies accessible from the top. The idea of dropping something into a deep, narrow space seemed silly to me, and I really like the shelves behind the settees aboard our Cape Dory 36, so it seemed appropriate to create shelves. In order to take advantage of the space behind the settees, I'll cut in hinged hatches. I suppose some may think that's an equally dumb idea since accessing the area requires moving the cushion out of the way, but generally things that go in a space like that don't need to be gotten to all that frequently - at least that's my thinking.

I determined the shape of the shelf by creating a template much like the main bulkhead templates I created earlier because the approach is pretty tough to screw up. I cut the shelf out of the same 1/2" ply that I used for the settee backs and tops after tracing the shape on the ply. I used a scrap piece of 3/4" ply for the vertical center support, which I hot glued in place until I can secure it with fiberglass.

The port shelf is traced and ready to be cut out and placed. I'll make another vertical support for the port side as well.

It's not much progress, but it's progress. One thing less to do the next time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Settee Backs

I had a couple unexpected hours to myself this afternoon, so I worked on installing the settee backs. As it turned out, the remnants of 1/2" ply from the settee tops were just enough material to construct the settee backs. First, however, I had to define the location of the backs - including distance off the centerline and the angle of the seat back.

On the starboard side I was able to use the existing shelf that's still tabbed to the hull and the shadow of the old bulkhead on the existing galley bulkhead to get a rough idea of where the back should be. I installed cleats on the fore and aft bulkheads, then attached my piece of plywood level but several inches high in order to mark the hull contour for final fitting. The edge cut to shape, I secured the settee back to the two cleats with four SS screws.

The process for the port side was much more involved since I didn't have any existing reference marks. After taking several measurements and doing my best to copy the dimensions on the starboard side, I determined the locations for the forward and aft cleats, installed them, and repeated the process of marking the hull contour on the plywood before finally fitting it in place.

With the settee backs in place, the next step will be installing a shelf behind each back that will provide storage and extra support for the seat.

With all of these pieces coming together, it will soon be time to give the areas under and behind the settees a fresh coat of paint before closing them up. I'll also need to paint the back/bottom of the plywood and construct the hatch openings and support cleats. Does anyone have a recommendation for a quality jigsaw that can produce straight and accurate cuts? My Craftsmen special is most certainly NOT up to the task.

Back positioned to mark hull contour on lower portion of plywood.

Showing the cut line.

Starboard settee back cut to shape and fastened in place.

Kid tested.

Forward port cleat.
Port settee back cut and fastened in place.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cleats and settee tops

I wandered back aboard the Alberg today and decided to install the cleats for the port and starboard settees on the bulkheads at either end of the berths. I used some 2.5" pine and SS screws.

Once the cleats were in place, I had to trim the settee tops slightly to fit within the space due to the addition of the fiberglass tabbing.

Yep, more tabbing

It seems like I'm finding about three hours each day to make progress on the Alberg. I began around 9 this morning and wrapped up at 11:30, making it 2.5hrs of fiberglassing. I'll be honest: I used to think fiberglassing was kinda cool; now I think it's a bit tedious. Like the grinding before it, I'm eager to get the fiberglassing done.

I glassed in the bulkheads on the port side of the saloon, once again using the unidirectional cloth. There's nothing too interesting to report about that. It went well. One little surprise is just how quickly I'm depleting my recently-purchased gallon of resin. Holy cow, this stuff goes fast - at $100/gallon! Ouch! As I'm tabbing, I find my mind considering cheaper alternatives, then coming back to the foolishness of cutting corners when I'm this far into the project. I'm sure polyester resin would be fine for the "furniture" installations (it's what Whitby used when they installed the bulkheads, etc), but I guess it's frowned upon in the boat rebuilding circles - at least that's my guess. Anyone care to enlighten me? Am I wasting too much money by using West System to install these bits?

Inside of the port settee

Galley ice box bulkhead

Aft end of the galley ice box bulkhead

Friday, August 14, 2015

Starboard settee/galley tabbing

No pictures of today's little bit of fiberglassing, but I filleted and laid tabbing along the outboard edge of the starboard settee and the galley bulkheads. The bulkhead that forms the galley/engine box on the starboard side got a layer of glass on the inboard edge as well.

I bought three yards of unidirectional cloth with matting on the back and cut it into 6" strips about 50" long. I'd planned to use biaxial, but my local marine store had the cloth on hand and it's significantly less expensive.

I lied. Here are a few pictures I took this evening: Nothing too exciting, but...

Outboard side of galley/engine box
Outboard side of starboard settee; center divider/support

Forward outboard starboard settee

(Time: 2.5hrs)

Sunday, August 02, 2015

More bulkhead tabbing

I ran out of my 6" and 4" biaxial tape, but before I did I was able to tab the starboard bulkhead with two layers on the forward side and one layer on the aft side. I'll need to order more biaxial tape in order to finish the aft side and the rest of the settee and galley bulkheads. That will have to wait a week or so, however, since we're going to be spending some time together as a family.

I fired up the Westerbeke the other week just to ensure that it still runs. I keep fearing that I'll go to all the trouble to get the boat back together only to discover that I don't have a functioning diesel engine! That would be terrible. The diesel is sounding good and runs well. I'm looking forward to the day when it's sitting on a new engine bed and pushing Tradewinds through the water.