Friday 25 September 2020

Seatback Tops | Making & Test Installation

The seatbacks were ready for their tops to be fitted.

The build manual calls them 'decks', which I think is a bit grandiose for a strip of plywood 3" wide, so I will stick with 'tops'!

The first task is to trim the panels to the correct length. The panel is held in the correct position with a couple of bits of stiff wire in pilot holes while the ends and the sides are marked in with a pencil. Like this.

The ends are then easily trimmed with a saw and a block plane, as here.

The location of the sheerclamp and the upper seatback stringer are then pencilled in and holes for the temporary screws are drilled.

The stringer is quite flimsy so I used 3.5 x 25mm screws, with plywood washers to prevent damage to the panels. The screws are at 6" intervals.

The panel is then put back in place and the locations of pilot holes for the screws are marked in and then drilled. 

The panel is then test fitted using all the temporary screws to check for a good fit, as seen here from the front of the boat.

And here is a view of the starboard panel from the stern.

Lastly I had to drill holes for the boom gallows stanchion poles. The holes were marked in with a pencil from inside the seatback lockers and the panels were transferred to the bench for drilling.

Here is the port panel with the hole marked in. It is exactly the same size as a two pence coin.

This is a large diameter hole and has to be drilled with a Forstner bit, so freehand drilling was a bad idea. I used the drill guide and my small cordless drill, set to low speed for maximum torque. Like this.

And here is the hole drilled out. A piece of scrap ply is underneath the panel to protect the bench and the drill bit, and to prevent tear-out in the panel.

Lastly I made one final test fit to check the alignment of the holes. Here is the port panel in place.

And here is the starboard seatback top.

All was well so the panels were set aside to await installation.

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