Thursday 10 December 2020

Companionway Hood | Making The Front Face

As mentioned in a previous post I needed to cut curved and bevelled edges on the front face of the companionway hood to fit the curve of the decking, using a jig saw.

The angle for the bevel is 66 degrees, meaning that I needed to cut the bottom edge at 24 degrees. I set the jig saw accordingly - here it is.

I then made a careful test cut on a piece of scrap MDF, to get the feel of cutting a curve at an angle.

It went surprisingly well. Here I am checking the angle with the protractor.

Exactly 66 degrees!

So now to tackle the real thing.

The manual is disturbingly vague about the dimensions for the face, telling us to cut it from timber measuring 'about' 3/4" x 7" x 29". It also says to make the face 'about' 4 1/2" high.

Furthermore it states that the width of the hood is 30 5/8", which it can't be if you cut the face to be 29" wide since the two side pieces are fashioned from 3/4" stock!

It doesn't inspire much confidence, but we will persevere.

I marked up the front face using the full size pattern provided.

Again I wondered at the time if the curve would be correct for the angled front face, given that the same pattern is used to mark up the other curved parts which are perpendicular to the decking.

Surely the curve for the face should be slightly deeper and longer? But the manual says to use the pattern, so that's what I did. Like this.

Maybe the difference is so small that it is not material?

So I carefully cut the bottom edge of the front face and made a test fit on the cabin roof. Guess what? The bevel was perfect, but the curve was too shallow!

So I then scribed the correct curve from the cabin roof onto the piece of Ash and carefully cut it with a saw rasp, checking with the protractor as I went to make sure that the bevel stayed true. As here.

That didn't take too long.

To ensure that the front face was fitted at the correct angle I made a support with a piece of scrap MDF and a clamp, like this.

I scribed in a parallel arc 4 1/2" above the bottom edge, as prescribed by the manual, and carefully cut it with the jig saw.

Here we are cleaning up the top edge with the block plane.

So far so good, and I now had a front face for the hood.

But I had lost some confidence in the annoyingly vague and inaccurate build instructions, and was anticipating further issues.

We will see what happens!

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