Monday 19 April 2021

Bowsprit, Tiller & Gaff | First Clear Coat

When I was gluing the scarf on the boom I made up some extra un-thickened resin and put the first clear coat on the bowsprit, tiller and gaff.

Here they are, curing in the workshop.

Rudder | Fibreglass On Starboard Side

The starboard side and bottom plate were next covered with fibreglass cloth. Here is the cloth wetted out.

When I 'glassed the port side of the rudder I made the panel oversize so that the cloth would drape around and seal the edges and faces.

Except I did not make the panel large enough - there was insufficient cloth to go easily around the curves and onto the flat front and rear faces.

So when I 'glassed the starboard side I I made sure the panel was plenty oversize to allow this. Here you can see the substantial overlap onto the front face, sealing it up.

I will leave that to cure before 'glassing underneath the bottom plate.

Boom | Gluing The Scarf

The boom is even simpler than the gaff. It is a straight length of 2 1/4" square Douglas Fir, tapered on the bottom at one end.

It comes in two pieces, presumably because it would be too long to ship in one piece.

The scarf to join the two pieces is ready cut, and merely needs to be cleaned up with the plane before gluing up.

Here is one half of the scarf joint being planed.

The next challenge was to find a flat surface long enough to support the boom while it cured.

The only timber left on the wood rack was for the mast and the tabernacle, so I stowed that out of the way under the boat and used the rack for a work surface.

Plenty of thickened epoxy and lots of clamps, and the scarf was done. Here it is.

I raised the garage door so I could work on the scarf from outside, which was quite pleasant. It was also a real novelty to see the boat from a different angle and from a distance!

That boom is massive and I will leave it to cure for a few days before moving it. 

Gaff | Rounding Over The Edges

The gaff is 1" thick and is rounded over with a 1/2" cutter to give a semi circular section to the edges.

Here is the router with bearing guided cutter fitted.

Here the gaff is clamped to the saw horses and is being rounded over.

And, lastly, the gaff is being finish sanded by hand on the saw horses.

That's two spars finished, and two to go! I will do the boom next.

Gaff | Marking Up & Making

We are provided with a pattern for the gaff, but it is in two pieces which are linked together with a puzzle joint. I taped up the joint , to keep it stiff. Like this.

 Next I clamped the pattern in place on the piece of Douglas Fir, as here.

It is a very simple spar, with one straight and one symmetrically curved edge.

I marked up the shape and cut it out with the jigsaw.

Here it is being planed to a fair curve on the bench.

That was fun!

Tiller | Rounding Over The Edges

With a lot of rounding over going on elsewhere I thought I might as well do the tiller at the same time.

I used a 1/4" bearing guided round over cutter in the router, and shaped the edges of the handle. Like this.

I left the edges of the tongue square, where the tiller fits into the rudder stock. It looks better that way.

Rudder | Fibreglass On port Side

I made a paper pattern for the fibreglass on the rudder blade and bottom plate, so that a single panel would be required for each side.

Here is the panel laid out on the port side of the rudder.

A wallpaper brush is great for smoothing it into position.

Next it was wetted out with clear resin and left to cure. This is it.

We are getting there!

Rudder | Rounding Over The Edges

It was time to round over the edges on the rudder in preparation for fibreglass cloth.

I used a 1/4" round over cutter in the router, but there were places where it could not reach and they had to be finished by hand.

In this pic the port bottom plate has been rounded over and the curves at the front and rear of the plate marked up in pencil to be finished with a rasp and sandpaper.

Here is the port bottom plate with its finished round over.

So far, so good!

Bowsprit | Making Chamfers & Test Fit

The bowsprit is left square edged at each end and in the middle where it passes through the stem. In between the edges are chamfered, to save weight and for looks.

There are eight chamfers in all - two on each edge. 

The chamfers are carefully measured and marked up using the drawings for reference.

A 45 degree chamfer cutter is required for use in the router. The cutter which I had was too large in diameter to fit through the base plate of my ancient Elu router.

Thinking this must be a feature of the Elu, I looked at other 1/4" shaft routers in the local DIY stores. They all had the same size aperture and therefore the same problem.

How strange. What use is a 1/4" shaft, bearing guided, 45 degree cutter which will not fit through the base plate of a 1/4" shaft router?

Undeterred I ground out the Elu baseplate aperture until it was safe to fit the chamfer cutter.

Here is the bowsprit clamped to the saw horses and the router is being deployed.

It makes a hell of a mess so I did it outside.

Here is the finished article on the bench.

The manual correctly states that we cannot resist a test fit. Here is the bowsprit, in position.

That looks great!

Bowsprit | Marking Up & Making Tapers

After cleaning up the glue I laid the laminated baulk of wood for the bowsprit on the bench and checked how true it was. It was pretty good, with a couple of slight high spots at either end.

Here I am marking up a high spot at one end.

 And here a high spot is being planed flat with the jack plane.

I checked the whole length of the baulk for squareness, as here.

It was all good, and ready for making the bowsprit.

The bowsprit tapers fore and aft - top and bottom, and both sides. 

We are provided with one pattern for the top and bottom faces, and one for the side faces. the first thing to do is to clamp the first pattern to the top and then the bottom face, and to mark in the tapers.

Like this.

Next we cut the tapers.

I tried using a long blade in the jigsaw but it was ineffective. In the end I used a sharp panel saw and cut them by hand. It was no trouble.

Then the tapers are planed flat and true, as in this pic.

It doesn't take too long with a good, sharp plane iron.

When all four tapers are finished, the second set of tapers is marked up. Here the second pattern is clamped to the sides of the bowsprit and the tapers are pencilled in.

Again, the tapers were cut with a hand saw. As here.

Again, the tapers are planed flat and true on the bench. Like this.

The next and final stage is to make the chamfers. This is fun!

Tiller | Making & Test Fit

Making the tiller seemed like a quick, fun bench project before I started on the bowsprit.

So I used the pattern to mark up the tiller on a nice piece of Ash and cut it out.

Here it is held in the vice for shaping. I am using a Shinto saw rasp to make the concave curve on the bottom edge of the handle.

Here I am using a good, sharp chisel to pare the piece which fits into the slot in the rudder. I don't know if it has a special name - let's call it the 'tongue'. 

And here I am trimming the end grain with a block plane and bench hook.

I added a couple of inches to the length of the tongue, because unlike the tiller in the build manual I think it needs some sort of locking pin to keep it in place. Here it is.

Lastly I checked it for squareness, held in the vice like this.

All was well. Here is a final pic of the tiller fitted in the rudder.

Looking good!

Rudder | Sanding The Fillets

The fillets on the bottom board of the rudder were well and truly cured so I sanded them, ready for covering with fibreglass.

Here I am using the sander on the port fillet.

And here I am finish sanding by hand on the same fillet.

Port and starboard fillets were now perfectly smooth, ready for 'glass.

Upper Breast Hook | Rounding Over

When I fitted the upper breast hook I rounded over the bottom edge but left the top edge until I decided how to finish the top edges of the sheerclamp in the forward deck area.

I seem to have reached a decision that I am going to leave them as they are, because they look just fine unrounded.

So while the router was busy doing things elsewhere I fitted it with the 3/8" bearing guided cutter. Here it is.

Then I ran it over the edge of the breast hook, which now looked like this.

And here it is after being cleaned up.

That looks nice! I left it unrounded at the ends where it joins the sheerclamp. It looks good that way.

Drain Holes | Drilling

Knowing that the drain holes were correctly located made drilling them a quick and easy activity.

Here is the starboard Dorade box drain hole on the forward deck.

And here is the external drain hole in the same Dorade box.

The Dorade box holes are 12mm, which looks about right to me.

This is the drain hole in the starboard seatback locker.

These holes are 6mm, which seems too small to me. I will most likely enlarge them to 9mm at some point.

And here is the drain hole in the front of the hood, on the starboard side.

Again this is a 6mm hole as specified, but seems too small to me. I will enlarge them before fitting the hood.

I purchased a 20mm augur bit to drill the footwell drain holes, but it tore lumps out of the scrap piece of 18mm ply that I used for practice. So I will hold back on these two holes for now. I really don't want to scar the transom!

Drain Holes | Marking Up

I decided to drill the drain holes in various parts of the boat while I was making holes in the hull.

I could not see inside compartments to check where the holes would emerge inside the boat, so I used a pair of small but powerful magnets - one inside and one outside the boat - to show where to mark in the holes. This would prevent drilling into a fillet or a bulkhead, for example.

Here is a cockpit seatback drain hole location marked on a piece of tape, and one of the magnets.

I also marked up where the 20mm drain holes should go in the cockpit footwell, as here.

I am nervous about drilling the holes in the footwell. 20mm is a big hole and there is a good chance that the transom could get damaged.

Tiller | Cutting Out the Transom Slot

I was keen to not damage the transom when cutting out the slot for the tiller, inside or outside the boat.

So I fixed a piece of scrap ply on the inside face of the transom where I would be drilling access holes for the jig saw, to prevent tear-out by the drill bit. Here it is.

And here is a temporary screw through the transom, holding the scrap in place.

Next I pencilled in the holes in the corners of the slot, as here.

I wanted to drill holes of the same diameter as the bearing on the bearing guided round over cutter which I intended to use in my router so that the cutter would glide smoothly around the corners of the slot, creating an even round over.

It required a 13mm hole, which I marked up using this fantastic device given to me by my son at Christmas. It's called an Iris drawing compass, and is used to accurately draw any diameter circle up to 70mm.

I've set it to 13mm and marked in the drill holes in each corner. Thanks Nick!

I used the big DeWalt drill to make the holes. Here it is with the hefty drill bit.

The holes were drilled easily enough. Here they are.

Then I used my jig saw to cut out the waste, and cleaned up the edges with a rasp. This is what it looked like.

Next I used the router fitted with a 1/2" round over cutter to shape the inside edges. Here is the router.

And here is the partly shaped slot.

The transom skirt prevents the router from shaping the top of the slot - it's in the way. The piece of blue tape marks the limit of travel. The top section has to be finished by hand.

So next I had to mark in the rest of the round over on the sides and top of the slot. Like this.

Rasps, files and sandpaper were used to finish off the slot. Here it is.

Looking good!