Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Satan Project

Last fall I picked up a Bell Rob Roy in Kevlar for short money.  I was very pleased with most of the boat.  I got it home and started looking it over. The first thing I noticed was that gunwales were not matched up and kind of cobbed in as was the deck plate.  The stems were also worn through but someone did a pretty good job of patching them but they were ugly as hell. In hindsight I should have ignored it and just paddled it the way it was.  But ya know it's one of those things that just bugs ya, can't stop thinking about it!  Those damn gunwales just bugged the hell out of me.

Now I've worked on my share of hulls before from fixing just about everything to total rehabs.  Some were a challenge and others went smooth as silk. This project just has about killed me.  Now I usually document things as I go but this wasn't the case with this rebuild.

My first attempt after getting the old gunwales off was to use them as a template for new ones, I had the wood on hand to give it a try.  Trying a dry fit I could see that at just about six foot two inches it wasn't going to work dry.  The sweep up to the bow was severe enough that the wood just kept sliding off the lip of the cockpit.  On just one side I used over fifteen clamps in a feeble attempt to hold the gunwale in place.  No way was that working and clamps went flying in the air.  I almost broke out my old motorcycle helmet!

After a bit of head scratching and mulling it over I opted to go for soaking the new gunwales for a week and then putting them in a jig to help with the bend.  Of course this was during a cold spell but I was hell bent on making this work.  I bought a PVC pipe at eight foot long, sealed one end with a cap and used another cap on the other end and left in the house for seven days.  When I finally brought it out to the workshop and pulled the gunwales out they were totally waterlogged.  I slammed them in the jig for the bend and left them for a few days peacefully knowing they would hold the bend and then all I would have to do is put them in place.

Well, a few days later and I'll be damned the same thing happened as in the dry fit.  I couldn't get the them to bend at the sweep upward which is better described as a twist of the wood.  No way no how.

Ignorance is bliss they say and it applied in this case.  That goddam sweep at the bow with it's inward curve stymied once again when I tried to place the new gunwales on.  Again flying clamps!  There was a lot of swearing and almost tears. I placed a call to the guru of canoe repairs and after a long conversation I decided to go with aluminum gunwales.  To make a long story short I ended up buying a set of them off Charles River Canoe and Kayak, a day long road trip.

After many careful measurements, remember the old rule measure twice cut once, I cut the first piece of aluminum.  The groove fit nicely on the lip of the kevlar.  So now it was nothing more than moving the aluminum up the lip.  Oh Crap, Oh Crap!!!  The bend and sweep!  After an hour of trying and multiple metal cuts to my fingers I gave in and called a friend who works with metal daily.  Several days later he shows up and we give it a try.  Nope, no way in hell is this going to work.  I paid in beers for his attempts but it just wasn't to be.

By now I had a bulls eye plaster to the wall and spent a fair amount of time hitting dead center with my head.  Another call to the guru who was absolutely sure the metal would work.  I decided to walk away since it was winter and I had other boats to ply the waters with.

A bit of time passed and I got an email from the guru who linked me up to cowling covering that I thought would work:

This seemed like the logical solution to the problem.  When I got it I was pleased at how it looked and even more so how it fit.  Using an automotive adhesive I place it in place and waited a few day.  Going back out to check on it low and behold it pulled up on one side but not the other.  I swear I laid down equal amounts of the goo.  I decided to let it be for now as I had to put the back rest back in and was waiting for warmer weather.

OK, the back rest used to be adhered to the wooden gunwales but that whole equation had changed.  The new scheme was to put in pad eyes and use swivel hooks to attach them.  Now this should be a straight forward and simple process, I've done it before.  I ended up having to buy a new rivet gun as the old one which was twenty odd years old finally gave it last gasp.  I clamped in the old gunwales and marked where I thought the new attachments should go.  On the first rivet I knew I was in for trouble.  It took over six pulls on the gun to break he rivet off so it was flush.  HELL, only seven more to go and my hands were shot!

By the end I was breathing hard, swearing, sweating and just plain shot.  The last two rivets didn't cut off leaving a nub sticking out that will slice a palm wide open.  I sat having a can of liquid courage thinking why is the boat fighting with me so hard.  I would have to grind those off at some point.

Finally the day came when I could get out again after a two month hiatus.  When I went to rack the boat the first thing I saw was how the cowling was bending as I pushed it on to the racks.  The damned cowling cover wasn't stiff enough and I swore up a blue storm!  I made for the paddle but knew I had to do something different.  All the way down the river I knew what I had to do and I spent a fair amount of time kicking myself in the arse for taking the original gunwales off.  It was at this point in time I came up with a name for this hull.  The Satan Boat! 

Now what I haven't mentioned is steam bending wood and it truly was the only solution to this whole mess. I have been avoiding this like trying to run from the devil with two broken legs.  This hull needs a rigid lip on the cockpit, no way around it unless one wants a crack in the lip.  What is killing me is I have the rig to steam the wood, the tube, the hosing but no big water container like a jerry can, two to five gallons.  Cost a new one is over sixty bucks!  So now I'm committed to finding a decent container for low cost and then starting all over again for the umpteeth time.

So, this story is not over, it's just beginning yet again!

More to come.

July 2016

I gave up the idea of steaming wood...for now.  Instead I've opted to refurbish the old gunwales and use them as they already have the curves from memory.  First thing I did was to take off that lip of wood using a drawblade and then sanded them as smooth as I could.  There's not a whole of beef to them so had to be careful. Then I sanded off all the varnish that was on them as best I could.  I wanted to protect them so opted to coat them with several coats of resin sanding in between with 0000 steel wool.  With that done and dried I painted them black as I like the looks of it.  Three very thin coats and they were covered nicely.  Please don't look to hard up close but if the thirty foot rule applies they look GREAT! Next to protect the paint I'm in the process of adding two coats of spar varnish.  The first coat really made them look new...almost, remember the thirty foot rule please!

As for the thwart that holds the back band, well, after building a new one out of butternut and having it fail I went back to the original.  The drilled holes were off and on one side it was doubled but met each other.  In the past when running into this problem I've filled them with G-Flex which cures to a rock solid base to re-drill through with a clean hole for the bolt(s).  As with the gunwales I sanded it down to bare wood but in this case skipped the resin treatment and went right to paint with spar over it.  It is a low use piece and think it will be OK with a few treatments of spar.

From a dry fit I know due to the properties of this cockpit I am going to need two or three people to help to install them.  Two to help hold them in place while a third screws them into place.  If for some ungodly reason that works I will need to build a deck but I'm not going to waste to many brain cells on that until step 40027 works.

If I ever get this boat back together and can actually paddle it again the very last step is going to be finding a unique Satan sticker to put on it.  So it looks like there is

More To Come

Well with the help of my friend Scott we tried like hell to get the old gunwales back on.  Now Scott is a big guy and strong but no matter what we did the sweep and twist at the bow kept us from getting it flush and the tension/pressure broke more then one screw.  We got it on enough to make the boat usable again but just barely.  I'm not a happy camper!

More To Come

October 2016

After failure after failure I decided it was time to steam bend wood.  I had seen a YouTube video of a boatbuilder in Maine who was using a four millimeter thick plastic sleeve to steam bend the wood while on the boat.  After a lot of posts about steam bending I opted for this route.  The real bitch was I had to order fifteen hundred feet of the stuff.  If ya need some let me know!  Here's a link to this method:

I ended up ordering a box of three inch diameter of this sleeve stuff but the drawback was I had to order fifteen hundred feet of the stuff!  FIFTEEN HUNDRED FEET!  Now in the meantime I ordered a propane heater, got an old five gallon gas can from a friend and found an old garden hose that was probably twenty or more odd years old so it meant it was thick and built to last a long time.

I decided I needed to run an experiment before tackling the actual job.  I found a long piece of ash I had laying around and set up the whole thing including a jig to see how it would all work.

Hose with steam running through is cool enough to hold

Simple Jig set up

Good steam coming out

Final product, simple bend

In all it took about forty minutes to steam and bend.  Now I thought ash would be kind of hard to bend but it was like a wet noodle after the steaming.  I was smiling and hoping I could make it work on the boat.

More To Come.

October 2016

I had decided I was going to use Poplar for this next step and ripped four eight foot pieces to a half inch for the out wale and five eights for the in wale.  Poplar is considered a hard wood of sorts from what I've read and had worked with it many times in the past.  Since this was a cowling and not a structural part of the boat I was fine with this choice.

The weather was crappy so I moved the hole process into to the Canoe Shed except for the heater, steamer and propane tank which means I added quite a few feet of hose to the mess.  Honestly it looked like a Red Green rig!  Now I will openly admit I was very nervous about this.  Steaming is somewhere around two hundred degrees and with the wood in the plastic sleeve attached to the kevlar I wasn't sure how that would react.  I had images of melting going on but it held up fine.  My other big concern was would the wood make the up sweep and twist I was after.

I set up again and got things going.  I clamped the wood in the sleeve to the middle of the cowling and sat back while it steamed.

Clamps set out and set to width needed

Sleeve and hose attached, string works best
I shot a short video of the process to show what's going on.  Here's a link:

In the first experiment I waited forty minutes, this time due to that fugly up sweep I waited an hour and then while testing the wood the sleeve split wood open for about five inches of the connection to the hose.  I went full bore putting on clamps and the wood bent fine for the up sweep and then the twist going flush to the hull/cowling.  Holy Crap, I was smiling like an SOB!  To be honest if the sleeve hadn't split I would have let it steam a bit more.

So now I'm waiting a few days for it to settle.  I have so many questions about this but will find out as I go along.  Wood has memory so I do expect some spring back but how much is my biggest question and I'll find out soon.

More To Come

I waited twenty-four hours and after a can or two of liquid courage I meandered down to the shed.  I wanted to prep the gunwale for the transfer to the inside.  I had a plan, yeah, a plan is always good.  My thought was to use a rotosaw with a blade for cutting wood.  It's a handy saw for making basically a plunge cut and it worked.  When I removed the clamps to get the plastic sleeve off the wood was still dripping which means I have to spend some time removing the sleeve to allow the wood to dry out.  What made me almost dance with joy was when I unleased the clamps the gunwale didn't sag or move outward from the cowling.

Roto Saw

 This picture gives an idea of the up sweep I've been dealing with.  It's pretty steep and has a twist.

To move the gunwale off the hull I used a spacer, actually a couple different kinds.  They worked.

So now due to the wood still being wet I need to, I imagine, slowly remove a set of clamps, remove the sleeve and put a spacer in so the edge of the gunwale married to the hull has a chance to dry.  Never easy but well worth the effort.  Gawd dang, I do love learning some new stuff!

More To Come.

October 24, 2016

It's baby steps time.  After work I really wanted to get the plastic sleeve off so some air drying could happen.  My biggest concern was the spring back as I had to remove the clamps to cut the bag off.  I did it a half at a time starting with the back end.  No problems but I attribute that to the fact the wood was still moist.  On the bow half the wood sprung back about a quarter of an inch and didn't sag at all and that is at the sweep end.  I did put some spacers in so the side of the gunwale against the hull could get some air, used cardboard, but it just crushed in and I ended up taking them out.

Looking it over it suddenly occurred to me that when I move that to the inside of the cowling that side will be exposed to the air for drying.  Screw the spacers.  So, the plan is to move it to the inside tomorrow and then steam the outer gunwale, which will need spacers!

October 26, 2016

I ended up moving the gunwale to the inside this evening.  I was expecting a fight with the wood but it decided to cooperate and fit nicely into its new home.  Again lots of clamps.   I did a butt cut at the bow end and will have to modify that before I put the second in wale into place.

I'll have cut the butt cut to make room for the 2nd gunwale
Step two was to steam the out wale.  I set it all up just like the last time but because of the clamps I had a tough time get an angle on it to let the water drain out.  In the  middle of the process I tried to adjust it and the plastic sleeve split right in the middle, a good eight inch split.  I shut down the steam and re-sleeved the wood this time using a piece of wood to prop it up.

Junk wood holding the gunwale up
I waited about an hour and tested the wood for bending and of course one of the clamps again put a pinhole in the sleeve.

 I said the hell with it and shut down the heat and went for it. Previous to this step I had taken all but two of the clamps off the stern end of the cowling.  Within a few minutes I had that part of the gunwale in place and then repeated on the front end.  The up sweep wasn't a problem at all.  With all twenty-four clamps in place I tied the extra length off again as I did before and called it good.  Now I'll wait a few days and then add some small spacers so the side of the gunwale against the hull has a chance to dry as well.  The plan is to later, this coming spring, take them off, treat them with oil, fix all the holes with G-Flex and mount them for good.

More To Come.

October 29, 2016

Like the previous gunwale I needed to take the sleeve off the wood but in this case I also needed to put some spacers in to allow for drying of the face of the wood on the cowling.  I thought I was going to have to cut a bunch of wood but then had a quick thought that popsicle  sticks would work and I have a slew of them for mixing resin.  Done deal.  I took the clamps off from the middle of the hull to the bow and at random lengths put the spacers in and then re-clamped the gunwales as I walked up the cowling.  Then I did the back half to the stern.  I doubled up the popsicle sticks so there is enough space to allow air to get in.

In a few days I'll move the sticks so the spot they were in have a chance to dry.  What was really encouraging was that when I took the clamps off of the bow, that cursed sweep, there was almost no spring back in the wood and it took almost no effort to clamp it back into place using one hand while applying the clamp with the other hand.  Sweet!

Since I still hadn't cut off the end of the outwale I tied it off to help with the bend and then using a piece of the cut off inwale I dropped it on top to see about a the future cut to make the outwales meet.  A deck will hide the gap.  So now it's a waiting game for wood to dry.

Gunwale drooped but no much spring back

Spacers in place

Enough of a gap for drying

Figuring out the bow of the cowling for cuts

More To Come

October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!  It has been raining and damp as could be here lately and after work I went out to check the gunwales.  With the winds and chill temps it was hard to tell if the wood was dry or not but regardless I loosened up the clamps and moved the spacers.  Tomorrow will be warmer and I should be able to cut the out wale and then screw this side together to hold it for a while.  As soon as that's done I'll move over to the other side and start all over again.  I have decided to oil the gunwales vs spar varnish as I don't want the waiting time of spar, about a week for three coats and drying time.  Oiling I can probably do in a day or two. 

More To Come

November 2, 2016

Today was the day, take the clamps off and marry the hull and gunwales together.  I ended up having to bolt the bow/sweep in as I didn't have confidence of using just screws.  As I stated earlier they snapped due to the pressure.

In a nutshell what I did was remove clamps enough to lift the wood to be a hair or so above the lip of the cowling and then drilled a hole for the bolts, yes, I started at the bow.  I had figured on two bolts but in the end to pull the gunwales tight I needed a third.  After getting those in I was able to start putting in one and a quarter inch screws.  In the old gunwales it was something like every twelve inches, I opted for six from the edge of the sweep and then kept it at eight inches for a total of twelve screws and bolts to hold it together.  Here's a few pictures.

First bolt in at the tip of the bow

Still need to counter sink the head of the bolt

First screw in

Almost clampless, first time in a month!

In the above picture what I did was place clamps on each side of the drill hole to pull in the gunwales as due to the bow sweep angle it wanted to pull down the rest of the gunwale on both sides.  It was pretty tricky to pull up both pieces of wood with one hand and then drill for the screw with the other.  Man, I need a helper!

One hell of an upsweep at the bow of the cowling!
 My final step was to cut off at the bow the long piece that helped shape the wood.  I had marked for the other side meeting it when I start bending wood for that side.  All in all it turned out like new although I sure would like to hear how in the hell Bell did this.  

Damn, it's looking good!

I'm very happy with this process, time consuming yes, worth it, oh yeah!  I got such a grin on my face.  Now I have to repeat this all for the other side but I'm thinking it'll go smoother now that I've had my trial by fire!

More To Come

November 8, 2016

Happy Election Day, maybe.  It's time to start side two of the gunwales steaming rebuild.  A mirror of the first side but again I'm not the smartest guy out there.  Due to space restraints I needed to move the Rob Roy out, flip it around and put it back in the shed.  OK, that goes well but now the steaming hose is lined up at that the opposite end of the shed!  Oh Crap!

I was worried about the length of the hose but in the end it was another Red Green setup.  I had the hose running along the floor, up a camp chair, riding on some foam blocks and then finally tied off to one of the rafters to hold it in place.  OK, looks like hell but it's working.

Hose running into the shed

Across the floor

Over the chair

Tied into place from the rafter

Foam for protection on the hull
Regardless of the this jury rigged setup it all worked nicely.  I got the steam I needed although somewhere along the way two pin holes did appear and I wrapped some tape over them to keep the steam off of the hull.

What I can't figure out is why this happened, no clamps near it, no other part of the sleeve did this.  Maybe being cold?  Easy fix and it was back to watching water boil and steam do its work.  In the end I waited about an hour and a half due to a phone call from an old friend.  Didn't seem to hurt as the wood bent as easy as could be and clamping it into place was easy.  Another session with clamps and it is all good for a spell of drying before I do what I did before, unclamp it, peel the sleeve off and then wait another day before cutting it and moving it to the inside.  Then it'll be the last gunwales turn of steaming, Crap, I kinda like doing this!  Way to easy!

Start of clamping

Again, tied the long piece off to help with the bend

I love clamps

I'm very pleased at how well this whole system works.  So for now it's drying time so...

More To Come.

November 11, 2016

After two days of drying time I wanted to move the gunwale to the inside.  I was a little worried about the limited space at the tip of the bow and decided to cut this gunwale at an angle to make sure it would fit.  In hindsight I really didn't need to do it.

Marked for cut

I used my rotosaw again and it was a done deal.  I was wondering about the bolt on the opposite side hitting but didn't come near.  With that done I took all the clamps off and moved it to the inside.  I started at the bow and slowly worked my way back reapplying all the clamps.  Now here's what is interesting is that on the other side the gunwale cooperated handsomely.  This one from about midway down fought with me somewhat.  The last half going to the stern kept wanting to twist a bit and not come up flush with the cowling.  After a little struggling I got it into place but some of the clamps were being pulled down a bit showing me there's some pressure going on.  

The only thing I could think of was that the grain of the wood despite steaming just wasn't happy.  I am entertaining the thought of another steaming session to see if that helps some.  I'm also thinking hell just leave it until the out wale is steamed and into place and see how it is after screwing and bolting it into place.

For now I'm leaving it alone to see if the added time helps with memory.  Sunday I plan on steam bending the last gunwale.  Another long stretch of waiting.

More To Come.

November 13, 2016

Spent part of the day steaming the last gunwale and clamping it into place.  I had been thinking how each previous sessions had ended up with pinholes in the sleeve.  Prior to steaming I did a quick sanding of the gunwale with 220 sandpaper and this seemed to help some.  Right at the end of the session the tail end of the sleeve did split where it was moving with the steam against the gunwale.  If I do this again I'll double bag there to see if that helps as well as sanding round the corners of the gunwale.  Now it's just waiting a day or two before I put spacers in for more drying and then I'll do the same as the other side and screw and bolt the gunwales together and leave that way for a while.

More To Come.

November 16, 2016

Finally got the spacers in.  Once again it's back to the waiting game of drying time.  With the last out wale cut I'll have  clear view of how to put a wedge of wood in between the gap made by the out wales meeting.  With that done I can start figuring out what I want for a deck.  I do have some thoughts on that which could require a tad more steaming of wood.

More To Come.

November 19, 2016

So today was a break through day.  From here on forward it's new projects to get this boat done but this was the most difficult part and I'm pretty happy about how it turned it out.

Today is probably the last day of the Indian Summer we're going to have and I took advantage of the warm temps to get the gunwales into place.  On the first set of gunwales I started screwing them in from the middle and I had a hard time keeping the gunwales even at the top so this time I started at the back and worked my forward and was able to keep and even line all the way to the bow.

Starting at the back I attached the gunwales from the out side and moved to the inside for the rest of the screws.  For each screw I used a counter sink and then drilled thorough the cowling enough to let the screw pass through.  Now here's where I messed up.  For some reason I thought I had used six inches as a measurement for screw placement.  In fact I had a spacer all set for that.  On the first side I think I measured out eight inches.  What kills me is I'm eyeballing the side that was done and still missed it.  The second gunwale placement has a lot more screws in it then the other.  I hate when I do this kind of thing but it happens when there are wait times in between progress.  Even though you're looking right at it you still have your blinders on!

So what I did it removed all but three clamps, one holding the bow end in place.  I had two quick release clamps that I kept moving up the gunwales as I secured them with screws.  Doing this I was able to keep the top edges of the gunwales flush.  At the beginning of the up sweep I started with bolts and nuts as that is where the most tension is on this cowling.  The wood sagged a tad but kept it's shape and didn't fight with me at all.

In the end the bow pieces met nicely, another project, everything was clamp free and it looked better then it had looked.  Just a few pics of the hull:

First screw in place

Six inch spacer

Bolts to hold in the sweep

Marking the bow cut

Needs some sanding

Clamp free

View from the stern

Beat the up sweep finally
This is far from over but is coming together.  The one thing I've found out about working on boats is what you think sometimes is a simple project turns into a massive undertaking but that is where you learn some of your best lessons.

More To Come.

November 23, 2016

Today I decided to move the Rob Roy from the canoe shed into another shed where I do a lot of work.  I need the space in the canoe shed to do some wood work.  The one thing I've gotten smarter about is moving canoes.  I now use my portage cart to heft boats around the yard.

I don't know if you can see it but I'm hoping the next set of pictures can give an idea of the sweep I've been dealing with.  The inner twist is one of those gotta be there things to see the challenge.

With the hull moved back into another shop I took a long hard look at the thwart.  I had painted it black and as it being the original I thought I could sand the paint off and reuse it.  Ever the frugal Yankee.  Using my RO sander, great tool, I was able to sand off the majority of the paint and then hit it with a hand sanding of two twenty grit sandpaper to get the last of the residue off and smooth it out.

In the vice and painted black
 I had to flip it several times but it came out good.  The only places I didn't sand were the butt ends as I had treated them with a resin G-Flex mix to protect them.  The bolt holes since they were a tad diveted didn't come out as clean and had a whisper of black to them but they'll be hidden under the decks so I didn't worry to much about them and I had treated each bolt hole with resin as well.  Next set of pictures is making headway on the sanding. 

One of my favorite tools for sanding, RO sander

If I take my time and do it gently I don't loose much wood just the surface paint.  A little at a time!

Sanded down and ready for the next step

A little bit of black paint residue

Butt ends with resin ends

It took me about two hours to get this part done but I'm happy not being milling out a new one.  This step was a real time saver for me and the next step is going to be another challenge.  Figuring out the deck as I want it over sized compared to the small one that comes with this boat.  So for now

More To Come.

December 5, 2016

Well, I've been wanting to experiment with oiling the new gunwales.  Since I'm holding off on them I used some left over.  I decided to use Tung Oil and Mineral Spirits as a mix. The spirits are supposed to help the oil penetrate the wood better.  I'm a novice to this so once again I'm going by the seat of my pants.

Here Are the Ingredients
  Since I was mixing a very small batch I had to eyeball the mix.  In the end I think it was about 25% mix of Mineral Spirits into the Tung Oil.

I was using some left over gunwale that was run through a saw so two edges were pretty clean cut.  The top was unsanded and fairly rough.  Using a foam brush to apply the mix the wood sucked the moisture in like crazy.  I was using just a section of the wood and was able to go through the entire cup, small amount it was.  It wasn't apparent right off but the wood took on a nice blonde glow.  After about two hours I picked it up and there was no oily feel to it which in the past using straight oil was.

In a couple of hours I'll add a second coat of the mix with a little less spirits in it.  Goal is for four coats and see how it turns out.

More To Come.

December 9, 2016

I had put a second coat on the test piece just for the hell of it.  Tonight I decided to stop wasting the oil and spirits on the that and went for it on the gunwale.  This is the original thwart made of ash.  I cut the tung oil with mineral spirits again eyeballing it.  I applied it with a foam brush and waited about an hour or so before wiping it down and doing the other side.

Without Oil Mix
 Now previously I had filled the bolt holes with G-Flex as one side was drilled extremely close to the edge and the other side had a touch of rot which I cleaned out first.  I had also painted it black but sanded that off.  The butt ends I treated with G-Flex
Bolt holes filled with G-Flex and then new holes drilled

Butt End treated with G-Flex and paint
I was very pleased with how the oil made the wood "pop".  The grain really showed nicely and I started wondering if I should switch to ash for the gunwales.  I know from my first attempt at steam bending ash will bend easily.  There is plenty of time to mull that over.

Today I'll adjust the mix and add a couple more coats wiping it down in between coats.

More To Come.

December 10, 2016

This morning I went to pick the thwart up and it was sticking to the aluminum foil I used to protect the table.  Curiously the wax paper I started with leaked through in a couple of spots.  Now I'm not sure if I put too much on, the mix was oil heavy or what but the thwart was sticking to the foil and it was tacky as hell.  I carefully peeled the foil away and using a couple of rags began rubbing the thwart like hell.

After about ten minutes of rubbing it got less tacky.  I decided to hang it near a heat vent and am going to let it hang for the better part of the day to see if that makes a difference.  I'm definitely going to wait before I apply another coat.

This is rather surprising to me as I thought the oil mix would seep into the wood.

More To Come.

December 11, 2016

After hanging for a long spell I did a quick feel and it was dry and smooth, no tacky spots at all.  Using some 0000 steel wool I rubbed it gently and man did it ever come out good.  Shiny and smooth as silk.  I decided to let it hang for another day and then apply another coat.

More To Come.

December 12, 2016

After work I did another mix but less on the mineral spirits. Instead of keeping it laid down I hung the thwart and let it sit for a bit.  OK, instead of adding another entry I'll add to this.  The second layer didn't soak in as well and I had to spend a fair amount of time rubbing it down to get rid of the excess.  Another drying round.

So not being so smart sometimes I decided to do a straight tung oil application.  Let's just say it didn't work that well.  I ended rubbing it down again, hanging for drying and left it at that.  I imagined that I would get three to four coats on but in hindsight this thwart had already been treated with varnish, a tad of epoxy as well so it was saturated enough.

Next it to tackle the gunwales but with cold weather and of course an unheated workshop it going to take some time.

More To Come.

December 23, 2016

I have been wondering on how to round over the gunwales.  Having left over pieces I tried a couple different methods.  First was using the OR sander using 80 grit but it wasn't working very well.  I thought about using the belt sander and ya know I'm pretty good with it but in this case I opted out.

So today I used one of the leftovers and decided to give an old and seldom used tool.  I got out my hand plane which I had sharpened a while back.  Now when I sharpen a seldom used tools I make a habit of putting a piece of tape on it writing down the date it was sharpened.  There is nothing more miserable then using a dull blade.  I'm not to gifted with a plane but thought I'd give it a shot.  Now being a soft wood and fairly straight grained I was really pleased to see the wood peeling off nicely without gouging.

I took my time even though it was a test piece and got it rounded over with only a few mistakes, mostly still having a squarish kind of thing where the plane blade didn't hit.  I used a combination of sandpaper, 60, 80, 220, 400 grit to smooth out the round over and it worked sweet.  Any mistakes I made with the plane disappeared and the test piece was smooth as a babies behind.

Pretty Close Match

The back piece is factory, the front is my work.

Gotta Love Hand Tools

 So, I am going to go this route for the final push on the gunwales of the Satan Boat.  I'm pretty confident I can pull this off.

More To Come.

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!  Being fairly warm out for December I decided to try out rounding off the gunwales like I did on the test piece while they were mounted on the hull.  I start with the hand plane thinking it would work but as soon as I got the up sweep it started digging in.  I was a little stumped and tried it from the bow as I had started at the stern end.  No go and there was no hell I was going to dig a gouge.  I opted for the other seldom used tool.  I grabbed my draw blade which worked perfectly as I'm able to really adjust the angle.  The only draw back was at the stern that funky deck plate got in the way but hell that's what sand paper is made for.

Speaking of which when I was done with the hand plane and draw blade and broke out some used belt sander belts, I save them all, the first being forty grit, the second being eighty grit then I found some sheets of two twenty and four hundred grit for the final touch.  In about two hours of very careful wood surgery I had the results I was happy with.  The outwale top was nicely rounded and the bottom was smoothed out enough to make me happy.  I would rather keep a more squarish shape there for lifting the hull.  On the inwale I kept it more square as well as I need to drill through for attaching the backband and perhaps some other things down the road.  On those I used the drawblade and then hit it with sanding using the mix of different grits.

Now I should mention for the belt sander belts I use a piece of minicell that fits securely inside the belt.  It remains rigid enough for the straight lengths but is supple enough for the curves.  It's one of my favorite sanding aides.

I have been thinking long and hard about the deck.  I know I'm going to build one that is bigger then what the boat originally came with.  I want to hide the bolts but with three sets I decided I'm going countersink the very end ones and use shorter bolts so I need only come back fourteen inches from the tip of the bow with the shape of the deck to be determined.  That fourteen inch section I only used sandpaper on trying to keep them square for the deck plate to be mounted on.  I'll be using cardboard cutouts to see what I can come up with down the road.

I still have to shape the other side of the gunwales.  I am going to mount the thwart and drill for the backband before I take the gunwales off for oil treatment.  That way I can get the oil mix into all the holes.  Here's pictures of the done side.  I'm pretty pleased with it.  I will mention that the but ends at the stern will have be sanded down when the rails are off the boat.

Rounded off

14" mark for the deck

More pronounced outwale roundover

The second set needs to be rounded yet

Top view of the round over

Not bad for about two hours worth of work and having this step done ahead of time is a big time saver.  So I guess there is...

More To Come.

December 27, 2016

After work today I decided to tackle the second gunwale and despite no pictures it turned out just as good as the first.  I'm not sure if the blades of the draw blade and hand plane were a little dull, I didn't sharpen them after the first round, but they both seemed to dig in a little more then was comfortable.  I did what I could with them and then switched to the sandpaper mix.  It worked out fine and brought out the thwart and marked it for placement.

Now of course this is me working on the hull so I marked on one side for the thwart on the outside gunwale which involves a nail mark and then pencil mark so I had to transfer that over to the inwale and sand off the mistake.  That took a can of liquid courage to get over.

Next step is to install the thwart, measure out for the back band and drill the hole for treatment, guess I may have said that already.  The biggest part is over is now a waiting game for a new scheme which involves the better half leaving for Florida for a spell and the hull taking residence in the house.  In, finally, a heated situation I can do resin work, oil work and get this hull together.

More To Come.

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!  Today I decided I wanted to drill and put the thwart in even though I would be taking it back out for the gunwale oil treatment.  I had marked the spot that came with the original setup well ahead of time just so I could be true to the hull.  It took all of about five minutes to complete this part with the thwart in place held only by the bolts, didn't bother with the nuts and washers.  To get an accurate as I could measurement I used a piece of string laid down and taped from the tip of the gunwales and marked from that. 

Next was the backband and once I had it in my hands I looked it over and said to self that I really didn't like it.  It is stiff, old, two grommets are missing which is why I had to resort to cheap and small beaniers to hold it on to eye pads.  I gave the Guru a call as I had seen a picture he had posted of a backband that I thought would offer better and more importantly comfortable support.  I just wasn't sure what it was.  Within the hour he had sent a link to this:

I've ordered from Topkayaker before and am very happy with their service.  My only concern is that the band measures in at twenty inches but the cockpit is nineteen and a half but the with it arching a bit I think it will make do.

Due to it having swivel hooks, which I happen to like, I'll be adding eye pads to the gunwales for the placement.  Now I have to take the gunwales off and treat them and fill all the hole in the lip of the cowling.  A few pictures of the thwart in place.

Holes need a bit of attention yet, too tight.

Thwart in place.

On to the next steps so...

More To Come.

January 22, 2017

This morning I decided to take another leap of faith and take the one side of the gunwales off so I could oil them and then fill the holes with G-Flex.  What I've been concerned with is the gunwales bouncing out and not conforming to the hull, not retaining the new bend/memory.

Before I removed all the nuts, bolts and screws I took a test piece of leftover wood that had a butt end and using my bench sander tried rounding the butt end.  It's a tool I don't use often and ended up burning the wood a bit and it wasn't even by a long shot.  I decided to round the butt end of the gunwale by hand.  Not a big deal.

I unbolted the three bolts holding the bow part of the gunwale and then slowing undid the screws leaving the inwale in place by the screws.  With the outwale free I sanded down the butt end.  It took about twenty minutes to get it to where I liked what I was looking at and was nice and smooth.

The butt end of the gunwale

Couple of views of the rounded over butt end

With that done I was curious about how the gunwale would fit back into place.  It fit perfectly and I clamped it into place at the bow and stern just for the hell of it.

Screws holding the inwale in place

Fits perfectly
I then took all the screws out and popped out the inwale.  I took them up to the house for oiling and later today I'll tip the boat on it's side and fill all the holes with G-Flex so when I remount the gunwales they'll have fresh screw holes.

More To Come.

January 23-24, 2017

Oiling the gunwales has been the theme for the last two days.  Nothing more then slathering it on and waiting for the next coat.  I thought for sure it would only be three coats but now I'm on my fourth and this is just the first set.

Now something came up that I hadn't thought of while talking to the Guru about was filling the holes that litter the lip of the cowling, I've counted over twenty.  My thought was to lay a layer resin but when I recalled I had two ten foot rolls of fiberglass tape, two inches by ten feet, I've decided to lay down a strip to cover all the holes.  Of course this means moving the boat to my other workshop with better lights and is a tad bit warmer by a degree or so.

More To Come.

February 2017

With the gunwales waiting I decided it was time to attend to the open side of the cowling to fill all the holes, lots of them and small.  Using my time tested method I taped down a layer of wax paper on the outside of the lip taping it down down with blue tape used for painting.  Then I tipped the boat in the racks on its side and secured it so I could mask off the inside in the event of running resin or drips.

Wax Paper taped into place

Blue taped into place

Mr. McCrea would like this with the roll of tape

Inner side taped with newspaper as well

I decided I was going to try out Peel Ply on the side I was applying resin to sans the cloth.  Seemed like it work for this application, usually I use it with cloth, no cloth this time.  I cut out a strip long enough for the cowling and mixed a batch of resin up, no G-Flex this time.  I did this all in the warmth of the house and then hurried down to the unheated shed to lay it all down. (No pictures of this part)

Now you might be asking shouldn't this be done in a heated area or during warm weather?  Well, through ignorance and lack of knowledge on one of my first rebuilds I did the majority of my resin work in the dead of winter and although it took a little longer to cure it worked after all it is a chemical reaction going on.

I smeared the resin down and slowly laid the Peel Ply on top.  When I got it in place I used a foam brush to smooth it out and force the resin into the holes.  I let it sit for a several days checking  daily to see if the Peel Ply would still peel up.  No problems!  I finally peeled it off but left the outside taped and then let the hull sit for a few more days and then pulled that off. The resin had cured and the Peel Ply left a very nice smooth surface on the inside and the wax paper made for a smooth outside where all the holes were now filled.  I do have one place to sand and that is were I got lazy with the resin brush but it's only two small drips that hardened and I can sand those out.

Next will be putting the oiled gunwales back on, keeping my fingers crossed that they will have kept the memory of the bend from steaming them.  With those on I can do this all over again with the other side.

A quick note:  I used to use masking tape but I find that it doesn't have a great shelf life and becomes very hard to peel off the roll.  I tried out the Blue tape on this project and will be sticking with that. 

More To Come.

February 19, 2017

With today's warm temps, almost fifty-five, it was time to put the one set of gunwales back on after four coats of oil and sitting in a warm house for a long spell.  The first order of business was to take care of the very top of the cowling where a lot of kevlar fuzz was sprouting up.  I had thought about putting a thin coat of resin on it but thought that would do nothing but make a mess.  In the end I opted to use Gorilla Tape draped over both edges and then using a hair dryer heated it on.  It worked!

I ripped off three pieces due to the curve of the cowling and then ripped the two inch piece of tape in half and slowly laid it on.  This way I could keep the tape from crinkling and also have the gunwales hide it nicely.

Gorllia Tape ripped in half pieces

Draped over the lip of the cowling and heated on
Now I've used Gorilla Tape on another boat and to date it has held up much better than I expected and being under the gunwales and protected I believe it will last a very long time.  Now it was time to put the gunwales back on and as I've said before I was worried about the memory of the wood from steaming it.  Once I had one end clamped into place it went on with no problems.

As with any gunwale work I do I end up having to tap them so they end up flush using a rubber mallet.  In this case I could only use that only on the top and had to pry them up with my fingers.  That damn sweep was a bear!  I ended up using a piece of wood with a line drawn on it to keep it all the same depth as a gauge by sticking in between the gunwales and getting them as close to the line as I could. 

High Tech measuring tool
It took the better part of an hour to get this side back on.  What I found interesting was the bolts that I used at the front sweep was that the nuts didn't tighten down, not sure why as they did before so I'll have to revisit that problem.  Now what I didn't notice was how nice the oil had colored the wood.  Compared to the other untreated side they came out a nice golden color which I think looks really nice.  Now I have to repeat this all over again.

 May be hard to tell from the pictures but the color is a very nice honey colored tone.

Looking down at the gunwales and gorilla tape covering.

More To Come.

February 23, 2017

We got a blast of late spring in the last few days.  Today's temps were sixty-five degrees!  IT'S FEBRUARY!  I rebolted the bow with the right depth bolts.  Then I took the other untreated gunwales off for oil treatment.  Tomorrow I'll tape off the other side of the cowling and resin it.

Now here's something I do after being told by a lot of builders to do.  Bring the wood into the house and let it sit for a spell to get the temperature of the house and the moisture of the house to get used to that.  With the first set I let them sit for a short spell and then started treating them.  I'm thinking the same will be true of this set.

More To Come.

February 25, 2017

Another odd February day, sixty-three degrees right now but with a lot of fog and overcast.  Taking advantage of the warmth I did resin work on the other side of the cowling.  Same lay up as the first and will be doing the second coat of four of oil on the gunwales.  Slow but sure it is coming together. I actually have a plan for the deck I need to build and am on the fence on whether is will be an inlaid or on top.  I should be able to take the Peel Ply off by Monday or Tuesday which will match up with the gunwale treatment schedule.  Gotta love it when a plan comes together!

More To Come.

February 4, 2017

The gunwales have been treated to the point that the oil is just running off and not absorbing.  Time to put them on is what I am thinking.  But Mother Nature had other thoughts.  Today was cold and the winds were up making the wind chill below 0.  I'm thinking I'll be in the shed and although cold should be able to pull this off.  Holy Crap, how wrong could I be.

Now I've worked on boats in the cold before but today was just miserable.  I lost feeling in my fingers pretty early on but kept going.  It wasn't fun and I finally gave up to await another and warmer day to finish off this part of the rebuild.  Here's a link to show what I was up to.  To bad it was cold enough to kill the camera battery.  Supposed to warm up tomorrow and Monday so I'll be able to finish off the gunwales then.

More To Come.

February 8, 2017

Today was a banner day for this project.  After so much trial and error I finally got the second set of gunwales on the hull.  After the failed attempt at putting this back together on too cold a day the weather was warm enough today to give it a go.  I pulled the clamped on gunwales off and reheated the gorilla tape and got it down snug and forming to the lip of the cowling.

The second go at putting the gunwales back on went as expected, a pain but I got it done in under an hour.  Due to the curve I've mentioned so often the top of them are off just a tad for a short run and then even out again but I was expecting that to happen and can live with it although I know damn well I'll notice it every time I look at them.  The best part was that the steam bending paid off, the wood held the memory so well I had to only do a little coercing to get them nicely into place.

When I finished I stood back and looked at it with a smile on my face and enjoyed a can of liquid courage to the effort.  I still need to put the thwart and back band back in but that won't take long at all.  The next big push is going to be building a deck which I think will involve steam bending again.

A few pictures:

More To Come.

March 17, 2017

Today I was hell bent on getting the back band in, a simple job and the weather finally gave me the break I needed, light winds, warmer temps and I didn't even need gloves or dress up like Charlie Brown to walk out to the shed.  Thirty something degrees vs minus upteen degrees with wind chills.

Since I had marked out with tape the original position of the back band on the gunwales I was pretty good to go but this new band is much larger and is held into place with pad eyes and swivel clips vs bolts through the gunwales.  I measured several times and marked with tape for the pad eyes and one by one drilled and mounted them.  Now I had thought about mounting them on the underside but with a trial run I found that awkward and with the weight of my body on the band the straps drop down below the gunwales nicely.

Now here's the bitch of it all.  I knew the butt seat was a little loose and of course I had the drill bit roll under the edge of it and when I went to slide it out with a screwdriver it popped right off!  Damn,damn, damn, this Satan Boat is kicking me left and right and so here's a new project to fix!

After a talk with the Guru I have several schools of thought to reattach it.  Not sure which way I'm going to go but everything will be a drive fit while I wait for warmer weather and open waters to try out mostly height and how glue it it.  The seat has a concave face where it meets the hull and I was amazed when it pulled off that there was only one place, contact point, that held it in.  As the Guru said, imagine heading out for a trip, getting to the putin and no butt pad!

A few pictures of the back band in and the runaway butt pad.

Back Band in place, comfortable

See that dark spot, only thing holding it to the hull

Another view

So, yet another job to work on so...

More To Come.

March 19, 2017

Today with some finally warm temps and very light winds I tackled the runaway seat.   The first thing I needed to do was scrap the left over residue whatever the hell it was off the foam.  I tried sandpaper at first with no luck then I resorted to a razor blade which knock of the high spots.  Then I got out Dragon Skin and wailed away on it with that which helped a little.  I finally called it good.

Since the seat has a concave feature to it I needed to find some kind of filler.  I have in storage a bunch of exercise mats some of them being and edge piece about three plus inches wide by twelve inches long and the beauty was they were tapered from three quarter wide to just barely a sixteenth.

From 3/4 to almost nothing, just what the doc ordered

This was exactly what I needed to re-glue the seat back in as there was only one very small center point holding it in place.  Taking one piece of the mat I traced out the shape of the butt pad with a carpenters pencil and then cut it out with a razor blade.  Believe me, wear a glove as the dull edge of the blade hurts like hell on your fingers during multiple cuts.  Whatever trimming needed to be done from here was done with scissors.

Cut out to shape of butt pad

With them cut out I did a quick dry fit and was happy with the results.  It will work nicely.

In the above pictures when the cutout is shoved under to the placement it fits like it's part of the pad.

From there I took everything up to the house and with a little trimming I got them to the right size, was just a hair off.  Time for contact cement.  Straight forward job, slaver on, wait, repeat, match up.

Once I got it all together I ended up using our largest cutting board, some wax paper and about twenty-five pounds in a box of the stuff I use for these projects.  The better half did give me a look about using the cutting board but ya know what works works.  Besides I've done much worse!

Cutting board, I put wax paper below and on top.

Box of boat building stuff, about twenty-five pounds worth
It will be over twenty-four hours before I take the weight off so I'm confident the bond will be good.  From there I'll take it and using thickened G-Flex I'll seal it to the floor of the boat.  To prep for that I ran the OR sander over the area where the pad is going to get off as much resin or whatever the hell was used, broke down the high points in that goop, ran the vac over it and finally finished with an alcohol rinse. This is old hat to me at this point so the next step is just routine.  Resin and wait.

More To Come.

March 20, 2017

With the seat set up from the glue job I took it down and mixed up a healthy batch of G-Flex.  With the continued warm weather I knew I had some working time.  I had marked out where the new contact pieces would be and slavered on a layer of resin then did the same with the seat.  Once in position I laid two two by fours and then on top of that three long curbing bricks for a something like forty pounds.  It's going to stay there until Friday.

At this point sans a deck I can take this hull out for a spin.  Just waiting for the water to thaw.

More To Come.

March 21, 2017

Yeah know, I've been working on boats very a while now, a lot of different hulls with a lot of different problems and usually I ponder things before I do them but like all boat builders and tinkers mistakes are made.  Most times out of inattentiveness.  I'm so guilty of this mistake with the seat I just put in.

I went to the shop this afternoon and lifted the weights off to see how well the bond was taking.  Oh Man, I was so happy until....please get a can of liquid courage before you read on....I'll give you a moment.  (Lional Richie, All Night Long playing during the break  Welcome back!

OK, I'm looking at the seat/butt pad and something is wrong but I can't figure it out.  Reaching down I grab the lip of the seat facing the bow then grab the other end facing the stern.  Goddamn it!  I put it in backwards.  I swore up a blue streak and almost started kicking things.  In my haste to get it in I didn't pay attention.

I'm taking the picture from the bow end, whats wrong?
After a conversation with the Guru I took a hack saw blade and bent it to the shape of the hull.  I've used this trick before.  It took a bit of swearing, sweat and some liquid courage but I got the seat out.

The first side I cut was a bear.  I finally got enough cut to get my fingers under to slowly lift to aide in cutting.  With that free I slowly started cutting the other side.  Heard some creaking kind of noises and gently started pulling it.  Little by little it came off the hull with only a little ripping of the minicell.  So I was left with one side still connected but cut part way and the other side cut right off.

Cut of piece, need a new piece
Still attached but cut


May I can glue it down cause it ain't coming off

 Apparently the resin had set up but not cured so being able to pull up the second side without damage to the hull was a bonus and on the cut side I was able to peel all of the foam off of the hull.

Resin is staying damnit!
I can see where the resin didn't meet and will attend to that later on the next and correct installment.
Back to the drawing board for more fixes.  Damn, this Satan boat is kicking my ass.

More To Come.

March 25, 2017

Time to fix the operator's error in installation.  I knew damn well I wasn't going to get the one piece off without some major damage as it just wasn't peeling off.  I said to hell with it and after twenty or thirty times of dry fitting it to make sure all the grooves I had cut into to it matched and they did for the most part.  My thinking is that this is all going to be compressed by tremendous heft and weight so just do it!

I did cut another piece out for the second side as that had peeled off.  There was a chunk missing in the seat but I said for the second time to hell with it.  I plan on doing a dry fit first and if that missing chunk proves to be a problem I will build a border around it and fill it with goop and let that harden. 

On the side that had the flap I had to use a toothpick to hold it out of the way of the seat so I could treat that with contact cement and then hit the flap with the same.  I treated the other side with cement and then hit it with heat and waited for round two.

From this picture you can see this missing pieces I managed to carve out but I don't think that will hurt things much.  The new piece, dry fit, was actually better then the first one I cut out.

Ragged cut out
The flap side fit nicely into place and all the grooves seemed to meet without gaps.

With two coats of cement I needed some weight and decided a cooler full of water would work as I didn't have sand bags handy.  Of course I got the evil eye from the better half for using the large cutting board as a platform but I did use wax paper between the seat, the cutting board and the cooler.  Now it's time to wait and see how it goes before I install it again this time the correct way. In the meantime I need to clean out the boat of residue and give the area where the seat goes a quick sanding.  This time I plan on using thickened G-Flex as I think that will fill better.

By the way here's my reminder to self  left in the hull where the seat goes to not make the same mistake twice.  Wouldn't that just suck!

More To Come.

 March 26, 2017

Back at it this morning.  The seat was ready for resin work.  This time I used my mix of West System 105/206 mixed with G-Flex and then thickened it with 406 Colloidal Silica filler.  I got it to the constituency of mayo and called it good.  I applied it to the seat in the house but earlier in the morning I got a heater going under the hull with a tarp over it in an attempt to heat the bottom of the boat. I walked down with the treated seat and then smeared the resin mix onto the hull and placed the seat facing the RIGHT WAY this time, the note I left myself was a good reminder.

With the boat on the floor I got in and got it to the "sweet spot" and called it good.  Put the weight on it and called it done.  I guess I may have put a bit much resin on as it spread out a bit from the edge of the seat but I can live with that.  I just smoothed it out some and built up a small lip on the edge of the seat which will help with keeping grit out of there.  Now it's time to move on to the deck and see how badly I can fudge that up!

More To Come.

March 29, 2017

Figuring it was a few days for the resin to cure despite the weather I took the weight off the seat.  For the record I used three granite curb bricks weighing in somewhere near the forty-five pound range placed on top of three wood spacers.

I hauled the bricks off and then reached under the seat to see if there was a gap for water flow.  I didn't resin that area just the side.  I don't know if it is the cold weather and the foam but there wasn't any gap at all.  I was really good, took a deep breath, had a can of liquid courage and using a pencil tried again to breach that gap.  Nope. Not to happen.  In hindsight I should have placed some spacers under that part of the seat.  I am hoping with warmer weather the foam will pop up a bit in that area.  If not I'll live with it.  Will see if we ever get warm again, twelve inches of snow predicted for this weekend, April first ya know!

More To Come.

April 11, 2017

Ignorance is bliss so they say.  I had convinced myself that I needed to drill through the new thwarts and hull to install some bolts to hold the gunwales to the upsweep after steaming the wood so I installed them.  After the second placement I knew the steam bending paid off with memory of the wood.  So here I am stuck with the sawed off bolts, couldn't get the right length so had to cut them.

I decided to pull the four of the bolts out and put resin in the holes and seal them up and then put in screws.  I also decided to leave the front bolts in as they are at the top of the sweep where the most pressure is and call it good.

On the first side I ended up using a sharpened Popsicle stick, not my favorite method but it works.   On the second side I had visited Goosebay Lumber and got some Poplar and syringes.  To make a long story short the syringe worked perfect.  I found by gently clamping it in my vice I can pour both of the G-Flex mixes into the syringe, take a popsicle stick to mix it in the tube, put the plunger in and the cut the end and like on the movies make sure a little comes out the end.

After masking off the low side of the hole I slowly added the resin until the hole was filled.  This took many applications as it drained into the hole.  What I found though was by pulling the plunger up kept that long strand of resin from draping all over the place and actually cut off.  I then used a popsicle stick to smooth it off, wiped any residue off the gunwale and then added more.  When it was finally filled I patched it over and will let it sit for a few days to cure.  For my patch I use wax paper and then blue tape to secure it all.  Then I'll add some screws vs bolts. Also, I have switched from using Acetone to clean the syringes to using white vinegar which works great and a gallon is so much cheaper then fifteen dollars for the latter. 

More To Come.

April 15, 2017

Time to give a go at making the deck.  I think I've said I want a longer deck then the original so I opted to go for about fourteen inches by ten and a quarter, the width of the board I bought.  The poplar board is three quarters inch deep and I cut off a fourteen inch piece and then started planing it.  I got it down to one quarter inch as I want to steam this to conform to the bend in the up sweep.

Planed down to one quarter inch

The deck plate that came with the hull, walnut
All went well as just running a piece of wood through a planer is like watching paint dry.  When I got it down to the dimension I wanted I put it on the gunwales and trashed out the outline.  Due to the cowling the pencil "leaned" inward so I then added a quarter inch by measuring every inch or so and then drew my line. I wanted some lee way and being poplar it can be easily sanded down.

First trace

Measuring out extra width

After all of that I clamped it and started slowly cutting it out with my scroll saw, actually cutting outside of the extended lines and then it happened.  Now, I have absolutely no illusions about anything going right with this boat and of course it was true to the nature of this build.  I had planed the board too thin and as I started to round the tip the board split.

Now there might have been a few swear words involved but ya know I've just gotten used to this. A can of liquid courage calmed me some and I decided the next attempt will mean I have to cut the board first and then plan it.  At least I have a template.  I'm going to finish the cut and then tape the pieces together and go from there.

Split board but a new template
I'm glad I bought a four foot board.  Just an hour or two set back but tomorrow is going to be very nice out and I can get this part done, again, before I start figuring out to steam it to get it where I want.

More To Come.

April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!  Today I was hell bent on getting the deck on after yesterday's fiasco.  I finished cutting the broken deck out and then taped it together to use as a template, worked well.  I decided to cut out the new deck without running it through the planer.  Well, it came out pretty good, a little wavy here and there but nothing some sanding couldn't fix.

Just under and inch

I started running it through the planer and when I got about halfway to where I wanted it I put it in a vice and ran the OR sander to get the waves out.  That kind of worked so I switched to the belt sander and got the waves and the burns around the tip off but I kept a bit off my pencil marks as I want to be over rather then the other way.

I did take it closer to the line then in this picture.
With that done I took it back to the planer and took it down to about one quarter inch thickness.  Again, this is not a structural piece like on a canoe so I could afford the thin nature of this deck. 

I didn't like the dinky little deck this boat came with, preferring a bigger deck as that just seems to please my eyes.  I decided originally to make it fourteen inches long but due to the width of the board I ended up with twelve.  I also had thought long and hard about make some funky design but ended up with the traditional shape.  From the above pictures you can see that there is going to be a gap so I decided I was going to steam the deck so it would bend nicely into place.  That damned up sweep creates some interesting twists and turns.  It is one of those things that you really need to see as a picture doesn't seem to capture it.

Time to set up the steamer.  Crude but it works.  For this session I opted to use a fairly heavy duty shipping bag that I got from work.  Large enough to hold the deck and thick enough to deal with the steam.  I ran the hose into the edge of the opening of the bag, snapped it shut and the used small clamps to hold that in place.  I cut off one corner of the bottom for a drain and steam release.  I was pretty confident after my last few steaming sessions and was not disappointed at all.

The gas can water heater

Heavy duty bag and hose

Deck in and all clamped off

Waiting for steam
 Once the steam started I waited for about forty minutes which in the end was probably not necessary.  The deck bent like a piece of hot butter.  It came out of the bag with an arch to it.  I'm adding video I took of several steps.

Hopefully I set the videos up in the right order, wish I knew how to edit them into one. In a nutshell I have some weight on the deck and like the gunwales after steaming them will let it sit for a while and then go from there.  This Satan Boat has sure thrown me a few curve balls but in the end the learning curve has been really beneficial as a boat tinkerer.  The folks who make boats from scratch amaze me, so out of my league.  I think my brain would implode if I had to do that kind of figuring.

Thinking it over I think if I had done the same thing I did with the gunwales, meaning steaming on the hull the results would have been different.  The short transfer time between steam bag and placement on the gunwales made a huge difference in the wood.  If I have to do it over again I'll do it on the boat.  

More To Come.

April 18, 2017

Well I took the tape holding the deck in place off and got my first good look at it.  It had a warble in it which I know will bug the hell out of me to the point where I'll run my boat into shore while focusing on eyeballing that.  BUT, I have a new plan.  Yeah, a plan!   Using the poplar board I traced and cut out a curved piece and then cut it down to the width of the inwales where the end of the deck ends.  I found by pushing in on the ends the warble disappeared.  The plan has been all along was to add an extra piece in that place on the deck as a carry grip.

I put some clamps on the deck and curved piece and low and behold the warble was gone.  So, I'm going to soak the end of the deck, clamp the curved piece in and let it dry.  Once that is dry I'm going to coat the deck with resin vs oil with a piece of Dynel cloth resined to the underside of the deck.

Yet another step in this long process but it's this vs building and steaming another deck.  A few pics.

I ain't looking at that while paddling

The fix, hopefully

Two more clamps will be added to the inside
OK, there's more to this fiasco.  Where I stupidly drilled through and tried to mount screws while the deck was still dripping from steaming and split decided to finally split all the way and fall off.  Oh gee, how convenient!  I was pretty good about it, no swearing, no throwing anything but I think my blood pressure was a bit high!

I thought I could use G-5 to glue it back together and took to the task right away.  For those unfamiliar with G-5 it's a West System five minute glue and let me tell you when they say five minutes they aren't screwing around.  It is strong and quick.

Anyway, a few pictures of the last kick in the ass although I will admit this time is was operator error.

The Fangs broken off

Great Stuff for the right application
 I'll wait until tomorrow to see how it does.

More To Come.

April 19, 2017

After work I took the deck down and started sanding it down with fine steel wool.  Damn, one of the glued on pieces started falling off.  I had to sit down for a few minutes and console myself with a can of liquid courage.  I knew where this was going and I was dreading it.  Like I said I am not going to start over so I decided to cut the deck back.  In the end I cut it back from twelve inches to ten which is still acceptable to my eye.  I still have the arched piece of wood which I'll have to cut to size now but that will still give me the little arc I want for the deck.

With that hunk of extra wood I won't have to soak the wood and can go ahead with smearing the whole thing with resin and then a coat of spar varnish before installing.  I swear this project makes me want to just buy pristine boats from here on out!

More To Come.

April 21-22, 2017

Yesterday I used a mixed of G-Flex and resin to attach the arched piece to the deck and as this deck is pretty thin I added a piece of Dynel cloth to the underside of it for some added strength.  I have done this on another deck and it has held up well so what the hell, it's not going to hurt anything.

Dry Fit

Dynel resined in place
 I let this sit over night to cure.

Today, the twenty-second, I started making a piece that would go below the gunwales for attachment as a carry handle which would meet up with the arched piece of wood on the deck.  Since I was working with one inch thick wood it soon presented a challenge as I had to leave a notch in the wood from the arch leading out to the edge of the cowling but also meet up with the piece of wood that was on the deck.

A lot of sanding went on and after two attempts with the "flange" pieces breaking off due to lack of material I gave up on that idea.  Believe it or not I didn't even flinch!  Just reached for a can of liquid courage and sat for a bit to see what else I could come up with.  Looking at the piles of scraps I saw what was left over from the deck when I cut it back to ten inches from twelve.  Well, damnation, it's about two and a quarter inches wide and cut to almost the dimensions I needed.  Trimming a little off each side it fit perfectly under the gunwales but still need a spacer to meet up with the arched piece on the lip of the deck. The pieces I cut off from the leftover deck fit almost perfectly, a hair of a gap, but should do the job.  What I liked is the width of the carry handle for attaching it to the gunwales underside.  I should be able to drill in two screws per side vs one on the first set I tried to make. 

Hard to take pics one handed but gives an idea of what I'm doing
 I brought everything up to the house and pieced everything together in a dry fit and then using the same resin mix put it together.  Since I am using a full pump of resin I added some more to the underside of the deck first, then the carry handle but before I added the filler/spacer piece I thickened the resin with Collidial Silicon and smeared that on the carry handle where the spacer was going and then the spacer to fill any gaps then clamped it into place.

The leftover thickened resin I smeared all around the arched piece of the deck for added strength waiting a bit for it to set up so it was really thick.  Tomorrow I'm hoping it will be cured enough to flip it and then resin the top sides of both pieces, let that cure and then add a coat of Spar Varnish.  When that is dry I should be able to finally mount the deck.

Pretty simple set up that should work

An added coat on the deck bottom and the spacer clamped down

More To Come.

April 28, 2017

Today I finally got the deck on with the makeshift carry handle.  Due to using spar varnish on the deck it came out darker then the gunwales so decided to used brass screws as they won't stand out so much.

I put the deck on the rails for a dry fit and marked with tape where I thought the screws should go.  I decided to used three per side.  I drilled the first hole and put the screw in and tightened it but it wouldn't come flush.  I took it out and then got out a tool to recess the hole enough to allow the head of the screw to fit in.  Worked perfect.  I did have to clamp the nose down as the deck wanted to move around some while tightening the screws.

It took about an hour including mounting the carry handle but it came out pretty good.  Is it perfect?  Hell no, this is cob artistry at it's best...err...mediocre.  All in all I'm OK with it and like how it looks.

A few pictures.

Tip clamped down to stop it wandering

Rails marked for where the screws go

Deck and carry handle in place.

Little bit of an arch in the deck

Another view
A side note on the carry handle.  I'm not real keen on the apperance of it and being screwed in the next time I do some steam bending I will probably come up with something different that will meet the piece of arced wood I glued to the deck. 

Next is adding skid plates but that is going to wait for a while.

More To Come.

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