Thursday 19 September 2019

Getting Ready To Fit Floorboards | Fourth Cock Up

When the deck and cockpit support cleats were all fitted I was very excited to break out the timber for the floorboards and to start preparations for making and fitting them.

I had long been aware that floor 3 was a fraction lower than the other floors, but I wasn't worried about that because a thin shim would be easy to fit - if indeed it was even required .

So to check out how level the floors were I laid my newly acquired long level across the floors, and immediately discovered that I had a hitherto undetected and serious problem.

The cleat on bulkhead 2 where the forward end of the floorboards land is 1/2" too high. Not just a few millimetres, which I could probably understand and live with, but a big fat half of an inch. Here is the level with a steel rule attached showing the actual as opposed to the required level of the top of the cleat.

How did that happen? I still can't work out what went wrong.

Initially I thought that bulkhead 2 must be too high in the boat, but it isn't. It is correctly positioned and the cleat is exactly where the drawings say to fix it, so I am at a loss to understand it.

I didn't immediately panic and do anything rash, and I posted on the CLC PocketShip forum asking for advice. It seems that this has happened to other builders, at least one of which hacked out the cleat and fitted another one. There was no way that I would do that … so after a bit of thought I decided to sister the cleat i.e. fit another piece onto it but at the correct height, with another piece behind it to butt up against the bulkhead.

I liked this idea because it would give the floorboards more of a ledge to land on and allow the fastenings to be a reasonable distance from the bulkhead, rather than right up close to it as designed.

So I made the sister cleat and dry fitted it, as here.

It worked very well, and I was so pleased with it that I decided to sister the cleat on bulkhead 8 as well, where the aft end of the floorboards land, to give more room for the fastenings.

Here are the two cleats which I made.

 The one at the top is the cleat for bulkhead 2. You can see the backing piece fitted to its rear face which sits under the original cleat and butts up against the bulkhead, making one single solid fixture.

Here is the extra cleat fitted to bulkhead 8, held in place with temporary screws.

And here is the additional cleat glued up on bulkhead 2.

The floorboards will require a rebate to be cut in the front face to fit over the original cleat, hiding the sister cleat from view. That's the next job.

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