Note: I copy the daily log entries to their repective project pages almost daily. If you want to read all the entries for any project sequentially, go to the "Projects" tab and you will be able to navigate to the appropriate page. Most of the interior contruction projects will be found via links in the "Rebuilding the Interior" page. The rest of the projects have separate tabs on the "Projects" tab.
28 Oct 12
I removed the clamps after the epoxy attaching the lower 'thwarthip support bracket cured. It looks good. As I mentioned earlier, I dadoed slots in the side supports so the vertical panel can be easily pulled out to gain access to the windvane quadrant or support brackets. Later, I will cut vent holes in the plywood and paint the ply and the entire locker with Interlux Grey Bilge-Kote. I am pleased with the way this project turned out. Click here for a link to the installation of the Cape Horn Self-Steering Windvane.
The "box" keep the contents of the lazeretee from interfering with the windvane steerin quadrant.
The 'thwartship panel fits into dad slots so it can be removed easily and quickly.
The icebox build continues. I milled about four board feet of the plantation teak for the first part of the external frame assembly. The plantation teak is more "mottled" than Burmese (AKA old growth teak) teak. The teak aroma is present though not as strong. The wood has the same oily feel as Burmese teak. The plantation teak appears to be as dense as the Burmese teak but the growth rings are much wider spaced. Of course, the plantation teak cost 1/3 as much at the Burmese teak and it is sustainable.
I built the cleats that support the frame with 15 degree bevels on the inner face. I routered the edges for a clean look then immediately regretted it--it would have been easier to get a void free fit with the blue board had I left sharp corners. After test fitting, I used West System G Flex epoxy as the adhesive since it is supposed to work well for teak. I sanded around the opening and the underside of the teak with 40 grit and vacuumed up the dust. Then, I wiped everything down multiple times with isopropyl alcohol vice acetone since that is the West Systems protocol for G Flex and teak. I added a small amount of colloidal silica for a little thickening and wet both sides out. I clamped the assembly and cleaned up the squeeze out. I spent some time putzing around the shop while keeping an eye on the cleats to ensure they did not move out of position. Satisfied they were secure I let them cure over night.
The next day, I cut 15 degree bevels on both edges of the four planks I planned to use for the vertical faces of the opening. I took some measurements and used a bevel gauge to draw layout lines on the planks. Then, it was a matter of carefully cutting just shy of the lines, making a series of kerfs, and then trimming with a chisel. I am getter better at this kind of joinery but it does not come naturally to me and I have to be very careful and think each step through. I don't have the skill, or the patience, to make really tight cuts yet but, like I said, I am slowly improving. I fit the side pieces first and temporarily screwed them into the cleats I installed last night. I bought a "Country Gentleman" saw from Lee Valley Tools a while back and it has been a big help. It's small, cuts a fine line, and is easy to control. It looks expensive but it cost less than $25.00 (it can be seen in one of the pictures below). Next, I cut the longer side pieces. There are lots of angles to contend with but back cutting then ends of the longer pieces helped create a tight fit.
Next, I completed installing the cleats on the bulkheads that will support the outer hinged ash lid and the inner plywood top that will have a cut out to accommodate the removable plug. I had previously installed the mahogany cleats for the ash top but they needed wood plugs to cover the screw holes so I did that. I used some scrap white oak for the second set of cleats to support the plywood top.
With the cleats installed, I then reinstalled the icebox to check the fit. I spent some time thinking about how the top of the teak frame will interface with the plywood top. It was late in the day and it seemed like a good place to stop.
26 Oct 12
Lots going on here. In addition to the work on the Far Reach, we now have Hurricane Sandy on the horizon. The good news is the current forecast has her plowing up the Atlantic parallel to the NC coast but well offshore and making landfall somewhere north of the outer banks. I hope that turns out to be the case though I am sure the folks up north are not thrilled about it. Back to documenting the last couple of days.
After the epoxy cured for the framing on the icebox lid I removed the clamps and test fit the lid on the box in the boat. It looked pretty good. The side panels of the icebox have the smallest amount of bowing, in the middle of the top edge, towards the center of the box and I want it flush with the foam panels. So, I braced the side panels and with scrap wood and laid the top in position. Next, I applied a some "spot" fillets in the box to the inside corners of the lid to "tack weld" it into position and left it overnight. I moved on to other projects while the epoxy cured.
The next day, I gently pulled the box from its position between the foam panels. It was tight, which is good. I carefully moved it into the shop and added fillets all the way around the inside. I could not do that when it was in the boat as the braces, holding the sides flush to the foam panels, prevented me from having full access to the inside corners. But, with the braces removed I had good access to the inside and I added thick fillets all the way around on the inside. On the outside, I filled any gaps with thickened epoxy and left the epoxy to cure overnight. The following day, I routered the top outside edge with a 1/4" round-over bit to make a gentle radius for the fiberglass to tape to bend over. Then, I taped the outside top edge, all the way around with 10oz tape and epoxy. I used four inch tape and the front and back and two inch on the sides. I did this so there would be a even edge all the way around the opening for the cleats, which will support the approximately 3" tall framed opening. I left the box overnight to cure. The next day, I scrubbed off the amine blush (I used 105 resin with 205 fast hardener for the tape on the lid), knocked the roughness down with some 150 grit paper, and reinstalled the icebox in the boat. I looks very good. Today, I picked up some "plantation" teak to frame the larger hatch opening. I have never used plantation (AKA fast growth teak) but its about 1/3 the cost of Burmese Teak. I understand it is not as strong or rot resistant as Burmese Teak--the growth rings are twice as wide as regular teak. But, this project will not expose the wood to the elements and I was just curious about how it works and glues up. You might say I am gathering some personal data on it.
While waiting for the epoxy to cure during the various stages of the icebox build, I started working on the lazerette locker. The locker was originally pretty voluminous. I made it smaller by converting part of it to propane locker that holds three 10lb bottles. Click here for info on the propane locker project. But, just like the original, and most of the Cape Dories I have been on, the locker had a sloping bottom and everything put in it slides to the forward end. It seemed impossible to figure out how to store anything in an organized manner without some serious modification. The obvious solution was to install a flat bottom. I thought, for a long time, when it came time to modify the locker I would epoxy tape the outboard edges of the panels to the hull but then I knew it would mean I could not remove them. So, I decided to epoxy in small blocks and the panels would lay on the blocks and I could then remove them. I crawled inside the locker--a tight squeeze to be sure--with my laser level and used a sharpie to trace the line around the inside of the locker along the hull making sure it would be low enough to clear the Cape Horn steering quadrant when it is in the "stored" down position. I moved the laser level several times to be able to trace the line all the way around the locker. Next, I determined the angle of the hull at each station where I would put the blocks. The, I cut the blocks from some scrap Douglas Fir. I also cut some longer 1"x1" cleats, also from Douglas Fir, to support the panels on the bulkhead and around the propane locker bottom edge. Then, I epoxied the blocks in position and let them cure over night. The next day, I used door-skin ply to make templates by laying them across the blocks (they were surprisingly perfectly level) and hot gluing them in a manner that would define three separate lifting panels. I took the panels to the work shop, traced them on some BS 1088 okume plywood and cut them out. I spent a little time with a small block plane beveling the outside edge to match the slope of the hull. They fit nicely. Sometime in the next couple of days I will cut vent holes in the panels to allow air to circulate and to use as finger holes to lift them out. There is some loss of space but what I have is far more useable.
After installing the horizontal panels in the bottom of the lazerette I decided to build a box that would separate and protect the Cape Horning steering quadrant from gear and equipment stored in the lazerette. I wanted to be able to remove the box if I need to perform maintenance on the quadrant, the windvane horizontal tube, or support brackets. I decided to cut the 'thwartship panel to mimic the top outer radius of the quadrant from 1/4" BS 1088 marine ply. With the panel clamped in position I measured and cut a lower support from a piece of scrap mahogany and also cut a 5/16" wide and 1/2" deep dado in it to accept the bottom edge of the 1/4" ply. I over cut the dado to allow for paint on the panel and in the dado in the lower support. Next, I used doorskin ply and a hot glue gun to make templates of the side pieces. I rubber banded a small line level to the doorskin to make sure I was building it level. With the side pieces cut from some 1/2" BS 1088 Okume ply, I cut 5/16" dados in them to accept the vertical edge of the main 'twartship panel. I clamped everything together for a test fit. It looked good. I decided to install a 1"x1" Doug Fir cleat to the plywood used to support the old SSB antenna tuner (I may reinstall the SSB so I left the 3/4" Dug fir ply mounting pad in place). Then, I epoxied a 1"x1"x6" Doug Fir cleat to the other side. The idea is I will screw the side panels to the cleats and drop the 'thwartship panel down into the three supports--all with dado slots--to hold it in place. I can quickly remove the 'thwartship panel and the side panels are each held in place with two 1 1/4" number 10 oval head ss fasteners. Once the epoxy has cured on the cleat I will complete this project. So far, it looks pretty good. The Cape Horn definitely takes storage space from the locker. But, with a separate box in place around the quadrant I will be able to use all the remaining space without having to worry about something sliding into the quadrant and interfering with the operation of the windvane steering mechanism.
24 Oct 12
(Photo gallery below) For the last several days I have continued to hammer away at the icebox. After installing the drain with thickened epoxy and cloth I left it to cure. The next day I removed the ice box and took it back into the shop. The drain really looks and feels solid. I have zero concerns about any leaks with this set up. Next, I positioned the sliding shelf and divider brackets (manufactured right angle fiberglass) and drilled small holes to secure them with #8 flat head screws. Once I was satisfied I installed them with thickened epoxy and used the screws to hold them in place. The next day, I removed the screws and prepared the interior of the box for primer. After a lot of thought and consideration, and some good advice from someone I trust, I decided I would paint the box with the left over Interlux Perfection, a two part LPU paint, from my ill fated attempt to roll and tip the topsides of the Far Reach. That meant I needed to use the two part Interlux Epoxy Prime Kote primer. I taped off the dividers (I plan to leave them unpainted), mixed the primer and left it to "induce" for the required 20 minutes. Then, I rolled and tipped it using foam rollers and a china bristle brush. The primer seemed thick . . . too thick. After I finished the painting I went back and read the directions very carefully. I was supposed to thin it 20-25 percent! What a dolt. After all the painting I have done how I forgot to add the thinner I do not know. Anyway, lucky for me, the next day there seemed to be no ill effect. I sanded with 220 grit, vacuumed and performed a wipe down with Interlux 2333N. Next, I rolled on the "Perfection." The coverage was ok. I went back to work on other projects. The next day, I sanded with 220 and 320 grit and rolled on another coat of Perfection. This time there was very good coverage. Painting is not my strong area but it was good enough for the interior of the icebox. I removed the tape.
Next, I needed to address the icebox lid which I previously cut and covered with epoxy and cloth. The issue was how to frame the opening. I decided to build a frame that would be epoxied to the inside of the lid. This required the use of Iroko and some 3/4" wide dado cuts about 5/16" deep to match the thickness of the 1/4" ply with the multiple layer of fiberglass and epoxy cloth. I spent the better part of a day milling the Iroko and then cutting the dados and bevels and test fitting all the parts. Since the plug/lid will be slightly beveled I needed to decide how much bevel to incorporate in the framing of the lid. Fifteen degrees looked about right so I also cut bevels into the plug side of the Iroko frame. What you don't see in the photos is that there will need to be a raised (about three inches) upper fame that attaches to the top of the frame installed in the icebox top into which fits the three inch thick plug/lid. This has turned out to be a fairly complex project as there are a lot of angles and parts that have to fit together just right. As always, it is important to know what the final product will look like so all the steps can be thought out in advance. There is no specific plan I am following for this project, per se. I am incorporating some of the ideas in "The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew" as well as some pictures I would like the final product look like. On top of all this is the reality of space and design limitations of the Far Reach. There a lots of compromises and each step often has second and third order effects that need to be considered. It's important to create as many "known-knows" as possible.
Anyway, I epoxied the lid fame in place with numerous clamps and set it aside to cure.
In order to finish up the starboard locker so it is ready for painting I needed to drill the hole in the aft bulkhead for the fuel line that runs from the kerosene tank to the reflecks heater. I recently purchased the brass shutoff valve and appropriate hose barb and coupling so this seemed like a good time. The bulkhead in the photo is at the foot of the quarter berth. I drilled the hole from both sides with a 2" hole saw. Then, I routered the hole with a 1/4" round over bit. The only way I can reach the shut off valve is to remove the bottom shelf in the locker. Then, it is a simple matter to reach under the tank and rotate the valve. I'll add a split hose to protect the fuel line from any chafe that might occur as the line passes through the hole.
The hole for the fuel line lined up nicely. There is a little bit of an optical illusion in the photo.
I have been thinking about cutting a hole in the bulkhead at the foot of the quarterberth. This is typically a stuffy berth and I wanted to improve the ventilation. There are two 4" cowl vents on the fantail of the Far Reach. There are 4" diameter holes cut in the bulkhead that separates the lazerette from the starboard cockpit locker. The hole and vent were part of the engine ventilation system. By cutting a hole in the foot of the quarterberth the air should move straight back through the locker, into the lazerette and out the cowl . . . or the opposite direction with a breeze from astern. I really wanted to cut a rectangular hole but the location of the kerosene tank on the other side of the bulkhead limited how big and where the ventilation hole could be. I was concerned that a square would introduce "stress risers" to close to the edge of the bulkhead. So, I cut a 4 3/4" hole with the hole saw I bought for the Refleks heater flue. Within seconds of cutting the hole air started to flow. Amazing.
The 4 3/4" vent hole I cut at the foot of the quarter berth. Air started flowing immediately.
There are three cockpit lockers on the Far Reach. All were essentially the same--just holes to dump stuff into. The sloping hull meant there wasn't a flat surface in the bottom of the locker . . . everything just slid down into a big pile. Nothing ever dried out. A while back I installed the bottom shelf, with vent holes, in the starboard locker. This past week, while also working on the icebox, I built and installed a upper shelf in the locker as well. Everything is removable. This locker is now ready to paint.
The upper shelf with ventilation holes. This shelf is removable with the fuel tank remaining in place.
Looking down into the locker. The new flat bottom shelf, fuel tank, and upper shelf are all in place. Painting comes later.
18 Oct 12
Note: I copy the daily log entries to their repective project pages almost everyday. So, if you want to read all the entries sequentially, for any project, go to the projects tab and you will be able to navigate to the appropriate page. Most of the interior contruction projects will be found via links in the "Rebuilding the Interior" page.
After the fillets cured overnight, I pulled the icebox from the boat. Though it was snug, as it should be, it came out without fuss. The fillets look good. Once I had it in the shop I rounded over the outside corners with a 1/4" round over bit in my small router. I dressed the edges with a cabinet file as necessary. Next, I filled the gaps on the outside corners with thickened epoxy. For those readers that have never done "stitch and glue" plywood construction the outside gaps are key to a strong joint. After the epoxy started to kick I applied a single layer of 10 oz unidirectional tape over all the outside corners. I normally use 1708 biaxial for taping but in this case I did not want the tape to stand proud of the ply and create air gaps on the outside of the box. I also feel the box is very strong with thick fillets and is well supported by the compartment itself. I briefly considered planing the edge down to recess the tape but that seemed like unnecessary overkill. Applying the tape finished the day.
Today, I cut the right angle pre manufactured fiberglass stock to the appropriate length to support a center divider. I would like the divider to be in the center but since the box is only 20" wide, 10" wide compartments would not easily accommodate our 25 lb blocks of ice we make from standard Rubber Made wash basins (the box should easily handle 75lbs of block ice and I think with a little work we could get 100lbs of ice in it with room for food, etc). So, I moved the divider over till they better fit. Also, the smaller section will accommodate a gallon of milk. I don't know if that is important but it seemed like it might be useful with soon to be teenage kids. I build a mock up for a sliding tray to be made in SS 20"L X 12"W X 4"D. I used Styrofoam and was only concerned with outside dimensions for the mockup. As I suspected, the tray will not fit through the opening in the top lid. That means the tray will have to be built in two parts and bolt together--not a big deal.
Next, I thoroughly sanded the inside of the box with 80 grit. I vacuumed it and took it back up to the boat. I drilled a hole down through the blue board and the outer plywood box bottom that the blue board sits on. Then I positioned the box with some sheet plastic underneath and wet the beveled end grain of the hole in the inner box as well as the underside of the beveled flange on the drain. Next, I mixed up thickened epoxy and troweled it onto the underside of the drain flange and pressed it into position wiping up the squeeze out. I let it sit for about half an hour and then applied a single layer of 10oz cloth about 4" diameter, with a small hole for the drain itself, over the flange and the bottom of the box and wet it out with 105 resin and 207 hardener. That completed the day's work.
15 Oct 12
Yesterday, I finished up the bunk boards having applied the two coats of varnish to the undersides and three coats to the tops. They look great. But, as occasionally happens a good idea reveals itself after point of no return . . . I think a better course of action would been to only varnish the tops of the bunk boards and left the underside bare. That way, the boards would be protected from moisture on the top side and left bare they would have been much more aromatic. Live and learn. With the bunk boards back in the boat I turned my full attention to the icebox.
(Photo gallery below) The next step in the construction of the icebox was to cut the top. I had to consider how big the opening needed to be and how much room I would have for the top to swing up to get to the plug underneath. One thing for sure is that I had to be able to get a 25lb block of ice through the opening. After several measurements and some consideration on the different options I made a template and cut the top. I test fit it to make sure everything fit. The parts were snug but that would leave me with a little wiggle room for trimming if required. I moved the work table that is normally in the SRF, and under the stern of the Far Reach, into the woodshop. I took the panels into the wood shop and sanded them on both sides with 80 grit on a RO sander. I vacuumed the dust. Next, I set about cutting the 10oz cloth I would used to cover the panels. I decided on one layer of cloth on the outside of all the panels and one layer on the inside except for the bottom and two back panels which would received three layers. I want the bottom and back had to be extra strong to take the load of what could end up being nearly 100lbs of block ice.
I laid the cloth on the ply and mixed up West Systems 105 resin with 207 special hardener. The 207 dries very clear and does not leave amine blush which I did not want to deal with for this project. I may in fact leave the icebox interior with a natural finish as I don't have any confidence that paint would last on the interior of the box. When I add more coats of epoxy to fill the weave I might also add white pigment . . . but I remain undecided. Anyway, I laid the cloth out and used a short bristle chip brush to lay the epoxy out on the cloth. I used a west yellow squeegee to stroke the epoxy out and then leveled it with a disposable 3"foam brush. When the epoxy was green (about three hours later) I trimmed the overhanging cloth right to the edge of the plywood with a razor knife. After another couple of hours I flipped the panels over and applied the cloth to the other side. For the three panels that received three layers of cloth I applied them one after the other. I squeegeed smooth and tipped them with a foam brush. About three hours later (after watching the Packers clobber the Texans) I trimmed the remaining overhanging cloth.
Next day, I test fit the cured panels and they fit just fine. I needed to come up with a plan for the drain. I messed around all day sorting out what to do . . . researching my books . . . looking on line--very aggravating. I finally decided I would use a through hull and barbed tail piece. I drove 30 miles to Ace Marine in Moorehead City to get what I needed. Back at the shop I drilled a hole through the bottom panel and test fit the through hull. I did not like it. It stood a 1/4" proud of the bottom. I think I knew that would be the case but I was looking for an easy solution. Unless I counter sunk the through hole (which requires adding a reinforcing block under the panel) there would always be water sloshing around in the ice box whenever it contained ice. I pulled out my copy of the Pardey's "Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew." In it they have a drawing for making your own drain. Since it was late in the day I decided to give it a try.
I used a large 3/8" diameter nail (I use them when layout out foundations) as the mold. I wrapped it in packing tape. I covered a small piece of ply with packing tape and set the nail through a hole in the plywood. I waxed it up with Minn Wax and laid three layers of 1708 biaxial over the nail. Then, I wrapped the nail with 6" wide biaxial and covered that with some 10oz cloth tape. It took a while to get the biaxial to bend properly and stay put. The finishing tape over the top helped. I left it for several hours while we watched Monday Night Football. After watching Peyton Manning and the Broncos' amazing come from behind win over the Chargers (you might have noticed we watch a lot of football . . . I am lucky that Gayle is a NFL junkie), I went back out to the shop and looked at the drain. I hammered out the nail--it was in there tight even with the packing tape and wax. I had to use a long puch to hammer the end of the nail down through the epoxy tube. Finally, I trimmed the base with razor knife while it was still green.
This morning, I ground the base to a 1 1/2" diameter flange. I beveled the base with a file. I used some chisels to bevel to hole to match the drain flange. I counter sunk the base slightly to allow for thickened epoxy. In the photos the drain looks kind of crooked like a horn. Don't let that fool you. The center of the hole is perfectly straight and round due to using the nail as a mold. Eventually, I'll cut the drain tube down to the correct length, but for now I'll let it run wild.
Next, I sanded the panels with 80 grit on a RO sander. I vacuumed the panels and wiped them down with acetone. I applied two coats of epoxy to the edge grain. I lined the corners of the foam inserts in the icebox with sheet plastic and taped it in place. I positioned the panels and wedged them in place with blue board strips and clamps vice copper wire (it seemed simpler and easier to do it this way based on the foam holding everything in proper alignment). I applied thickened epoxy fillets and left it to cure. Tomorrow, I will attempt to pull the ice box out, move it into my shop, and tape the outside corners. I also need to apply additional flow coats of epoxy to fill the weave of the cloth and position cleats for the sliding trade and the center divider. So far, so good.
12 Oct 12
A couple of days ago in finished up the building of the bunk boards. After trimming them to fit I cut finger holes in them. I used a 3/4" paddle bit and drilled from both sides so as not to cause any tear-out. Then I routered the holes on both sides with a 1/4" round over bit. The placement of the holes was driven by ergonomics--single holes for the boards that had three panels and double holes for the the boards with two. This was necessary to keep from drilling a hole on the glue line. I also angled the double finger holes for those boards that required a certain hand position to get to them comfortably. After checking the fit of the boards I took them to the saw horses and began to apply a couple of coats of varnish, the first coat thinned 1:1 with mineral spirits.
Finger holes for the bunk boards.
Quarter berth bunk boards with finger holes.
In between work on the bunk boards I continued to work on the icebox. After thinking about the options for the installing the foil radiant barrier, which I mentioned in the last post, I decided to stick with the same technique used by the Pardey's . . . after all they have built several ice boxes and have been pleased with the performance. The panels were already cut and ready to go. So, I set a table up outside the SRF and laid out all the things I needed. I started with the 1/2" thick blue board (the outer most panels) and sprayed on some contact cement. I applied the foil. Beautiful. Then, I transitioned to the 1" thick blue board panels. I sprayed on the contact cement and stood there mortified as the foam melted in front of my eyes!! What the heck? I examined the foam carefully. I compared the 1" thick to the 1/2" thick foam. The 1/2" thick foam has a thin membrane of clear plastic covering both sides. The 1" foam does not. I tested a few more samples. Sure enough, it appeared that the thin membrane of plastic was preventing the adhesive from melting the blue board. I called 3M (the contact number was on the blue board). I talked to the tech rep. "Well, you are probably using a solvent based aerosol and they are not compatible with the blue board." Yep, the first ingredient on the can was acetone. I asked why some panels have the clear plastic and some don't. All he said was "some have them and some don't." WTFO, as we say in the Marines and if you don't know what that means I bet you can figure it out. He suggested I used construction adhesive that comes in a tube and emailed me a list of suitable products.
I thought about this for about 10 minutes. I thought, "Well actually this is a lot easier. I will go with Nigel Calder's recommendation and just have foil on the outer layer, which I already have." Problem solved. I placed each layer of blue board in position to check for fit, then I removed that layer and squirted Great Foam (also by 3M and yes it is compatible with blue board) at the corner joints to reduce the chance for air gaps. I fit the panels in tight and stayed there for about an hour making sure the expanding foam would not push the panels out of position. Satisfied, I stopped work for the day.
This morning, I applied another coat of varnish to the bunk boards and then went back to the icebox. Rats, two of the panels were pushed out of position by the foam. So, I spent a couple of hours carefully removing the affected panels and then scraping and cutting the excess foam away. I cut a couple of new panels and continued with the icebox build.
The next step was to build some more templates with doorskin strips and the hot glue gun. Then I used the templates to cut 1/4" BS 1088 Marine ply which will serve as the inner box. I test fit the sides in place. Satisfied with the fit I finished up work for the day.
9 Oct 12
The bunk boards are almost completed. I spent the last couple of days gluing them up and then cutting them to fit based on the templates I made last week. Today, I used a portable belt sander to smooth them down and then gentle round the edges. I still need to cut finger holes so we can easily remove them to get into the compartments. The whole boat smells like cedar which is very pleasant. I need to get a sealer coat on them very soon to protect the wood since the boards are fairly large dimension and thus susceptible to warping unless they are protected.
Gayle and I crawled up in the double berth this afternoon to check out the size and see how much room there is since we have not been able to confirm the dimension. It was quite roomy. It's going to work out great.
The forward double berth.
The quarter berth.
6 Oct 12 The disappearing Icebox.
I spent the last few days cutting the foam panels for the icebox. There are some complex bevels so it took time . . . there were a lot of trips up and down the ladder from the boat to the shop, back to the boat, then back to the shop, over and over. All the corners are staggered. I'll apply bedding compound along all the joints. The fit is pretty snug. I have seen only a couple of places where I might try to squirt in some one part expanding foam. So far, it has not been that difficult, just time consuming.
I continued to make calculations regarding the interior volume of the box as I added each layer and stopped when I got to about 5 cuft. I'd like for it to be a little bigger--about 6.5 - 7 cuft but I just don't have the space. I never really considered the Glacier Bay SIP panels though this is a perfect scenario for them. They are darn expensive. I understand they would cost about $1500 for this size project. Not doing it. I'd rather put the money into something else. Though it would be painful, I can rebuild the box with the SIP panels if it performs poorly though I have high expectations.
I am primarily using the Pardey's Care and Feeding book for the design and construction of the icebox. But, I have also researched other publications as I prepared for the project. Nigel Calder has written a fair amount about refrigeration and a little about icebox design. In fact, at the moment, I am in the middle of a little conflict between my sources. The Pardeys recommend foil between every layer of foam. Nigel Calder says the radiant barrier should only be on the outside. He claims the foil, when place between two layers of foam will trap the heat since it can't pass is back to an empty space. The Pardey's have 3 1/2" of foam with foil between each layer and claim they can keep block ice in their box for "14 days in the deep tropics and 21 days temperate climates." That is a long time for ice. So, I am thinking about which way to go. While I think about this I have shifted to another project.
While mulling over the radiant barrier options for the icebox I decided to work on the bunk boards for the quarter berth and the forward double berth. It would be a lot easier to just cut them from okume plywood . . . and I have considered doing that off and on for the last few months. But, I decided to proceed with using juniper in the same manner as I did for the pilot berths. The primary reason is weight. Though I have removed a lot of weight from the boat I have also added some back with all the staving and furniture reconfiguration. The juniper is feather light. Much lighter than plywood. Also, it smells great. It has a kind of cedar small. Wonderful stuff. So, as I mentioned in a previous post I bought some about two weeks ago. These are wider planks than I used last time, so I couldn't resaw them on my table saw. My friend Tom Cariker has a band saw and I took my planks over to his house yesterday where we resawed them. Today, I planed them down to 1/2". Tonight, I glued up the planks for the quarter berth with biscuit joints and Titebond III glue. Tomorrow, I will use the doorskin templates I made to trim them to shape and then fit them in place. Eventually, I will varnish them. As I continue to work on the icebox over the next week I will work on the bunk boards at the same time.
I milled the juniper down to 1/2" thick and glued them together to make bunkboards.
2 Oct 12
Today, I started on the icebox insulation. My initial focus was to address the 3/8" recess on the bulkheads caused by the partial staving I applied in the icebox area. I made some doorskin templates of the two sides to make the first steps easier. Then, I masked off everything around the icebox to prevent over-spray from the aerosol contact cement. I used the templates to cut some heavy duty aluminum foil in the exact shape of the area to be covered. I sprayed the contact cement on the inside surface of the plywood bulkhead then onto the foil (shiny side away from the icebox). I applied the foil. It was a little tricky at first learning the best technique to smooth the foil without it inadvertently getting stuck to the wrong area. A plastic epoxy squeegee helped to lay the foil smoother with minimal wrinkles. I applied two layers to the forward bulkhead then worked on the aft one. With foil lining both sides I then used the templates to cut some 3/8" isopore (closed cell) sleeping mat. Satisfied with the fit, I sprayed the foil and then the isopore mat and pressed it on. It fit nicely. Next, I drove to the local hardware stores to scout out some 1" Dow Blue Board. Though I wanted a 4x8 sheet the closest I could find was 2'x4' sheets at Lowes. I brought three sections home and went to work. It took a while to get the angles figured out but eventual I sorted it out. With the appropriate angle dialed on my table saw I was able to get very accurate cuts. I use a box cutter with a new blade to scored the sheets and they popped with an accurate straight edge. I got the first layer on the bottom and back installed (temporary fit) before it was time to call it a day. I am pleased with what I learned though the curve was steep and it always takes time to get started on a first time project.
1 Oct 12
Photo album below. After the additional U Channel fiberglass arrived I permanently installed the premanufactured right angle fiberglass. I through bolted them with 1/4" bolts, washer, and nuts. Next, cut back the sides of the U Channel fiberglass so they would fit flush on the right angle fiberglass. I installed them with a dollop of thickened epoxy and screwed them to the right angle pieces. With that completed I installed sacrificial 3/8" thick mahogany strips against the plywood sides and on top of the ends of the U Channel pieces with self tapping screws. My thinking was that the I would anchor the plywood panels to the mahogany strips. That way, if I ever had to cut the icebox out I would not have to chop into the bulkheads that from the sides of the outer box. The sacrificial trim pieces match the thickness of the mahogany staving and therefore I have an even depth to fill with 3/8" foam isopore mat before I start installing the blue board.
Next, I used doorskin strips and my hot glue gun to make templates for the plywood outer box back and bottom. After cutting out the plywood I test fit the panels to make sure everything fit correctly. Satisfied I screwed to the U Channel cross-pieces and filleted the horizontal edges with thickened epoxy. Before it was fully cured I applied a single layer of 1708 biaxial to the two joints and covered it with release fabric. I don't use it often but the fabric helps to really smooth out the tape and eliminates the amine blush. I want the tape to be as smooth as possible before I install the blue board. Once it cured I removed the panels and took them into the shop. I applied narrow strips of biaxial to the back side of the joints (they needed to be narrow to lay between the U Channel cross pieces otherwise the panels would not lay flat. Then, I applied two coats of epoxy to both sides of the panel and let it cure. While it was curing I fabricated some insulation to lay against the hull under the icebox. This does not have anything to do with the icebox directly--it's just hull insulation similar to what I installed behind all the ceiling strips. But I did double up on everything laying in two 1/4" panels of blue board sandwiched between the two layers of reflectix. I used metal ducting tape to seal the edges and them slid it up and under the framing for the icebox.
Last, I reinstalled the cured plywood panels and filleted them in place against the sacrificial mahogany strips.
In between work on the icebox I started working on the bunk boards for the forward double berth and the aft quarter berth. I built the templates the same I built them for the pilot berths--I used doorskin strips and a hot glue gun. The next step is to resaw the 5//4 juniper and plane the planks to 1/2" thickness. Once the juniper is ready to be cut to length and shape, I'll use the templates as a pattern. I like the juniper for several reasons. First, its very light. Second, it looks so much better than plywood. Last, it is really aromatic. Of course, I will varnish them but the cedar smell still comes through. I'll also use the juniper for the settee seat boards. In that application, I will not varnish them but leave them bare.