Monday, December 29, 2008

My Kingdom for a Horse... (Sawhorse that is)

I managed to buy a few more supplies today and cleaned up and reorganized the basement work area in preparation for doing a bit of construction before I leave for Australia on January 8th. Constructed  four sawhorses as I don't always want to be kneeling on the cool concrete floor while working.  I should now have enough storage space for all cutout parts except the large panels that need to be scarfed together.

The pool table (shown in the previous post) should be a good place to put the sheets of plywood on while I transfer the patterns. My goal for when I move out to the garage in the spring (hopefully April) is to have completed all the following in the basement: smaller parts cut out and milled; parts of the keel and companionway, the rudder, the tiller, mast, spars, boom, and gallows constructed.

I found what I think should turn out to be very nice floorboards for the cabin. The local lumber yard had Teak 100% Heartwood flooring available for a very reasonable price. The flooring is solid Costa Rican (sourced sustainably) Teak 3 1/4 " wide by 5/8" thick with a very durable finished surface. The plans call for 3" wide but when I rip off the tongue and groove with my Christmas gift table saw it will be exactly 3".  Teak Heartwood is very dense and has a high tensile strength so 5/8" should be fine even though the plans call for 3/4". 

I came across some really good tips for stitch and glue construction on the CLC Boat Builders Forum that I will probably use. The tips come courtesy of username tuatara in Australia. 

1/ I copied the patterns on to the timber using giant carbon paper (2' x 16'), available from . Much quicker than punching holes and playing join the dots. (I have no affiliation with - thats just where I found the paper)

2/ I joined entire plywood panels, using scarf joints, before marking out and cutting. Its awkward to manouvre such large panels, but it does mean the parts are cut out as single pieces, so theres no risk of misalignment from joining two cut parts ( I can't cut accurate puzzle joints with a jigsaw!)

3/ In making the scarf, I used doublesided tape to hold the edges of the panels - much better result.

4/ I did all my cutting using a jigsaw (sabersaw in US English :-), with the plywood supported on blocks of 2" styrofoam.  The jigsaw blade goes through styrofoam like it wasn't there, yet the foam provides a really solid support to work on.

5/ to save time marking and cutting, where duplicate parts were required I stacked two pieces of ply, pinned them together with small nails (important!) and cut both parts at once.  This also helps ensure symmetry. I left the parts pinned together for finishing with plane and sander.

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