Saturday, January 30, 2016

Release the Kraken

There has been continued, lively discussion amongst the inner circle on naming the boat.  Many excellent suggestions have been made.  Then there was at least one submission which I won't dignify by mentioning here.  But those involved are at serious risk of banishment from the naming committee.

 Echo Park - Beautiful place.  Junction of two of my favorite rivers. Love Steamboat Rock.  We've been through there at least 5 times and it would be great to honor M. Litton who helped prevent the dam which would have buried it, not unlike Glen Canyon, under several hundred feet of water.

Huerfano - this is an inside family joke arising from our passing by the "Little Orphan" on several family trips back home to visit the folks.  Surprisingly, this is moving to the top of several lists.  I'm still not sure if it works.  Especially since it has nothing to do with a river or a desecrated place. But it does perversely make some sense, since I'm building this boat all on it's own, without any real ancestry.  Without parents, if you will.

Dark Canyon - partially under water by Lake Foul when it's up.  Right now it's a nasty, muddy campsite although that seems to change with each trip down Cataract. But you'd be an idiot to camp at the bottom of this huge watershed, at least on the downstream side. Farther up canyon, way up, are a bunch of cool Anasazi ruins and pictographs.

Bright Angel - Cheryl likes this one.  I do too, but it seems there are a few other ones out there.  I'm trying to be original but that may be impossible.

Dirty Devil - part of the reason Powell later came up with the "make up" name Bright Angel downstream.  Don't think this one will make the cut.

Arkansas - my home state, plus if you've ever been down Browns Canyon on a summer weekend with the endless line up of commercial rafts, that qualifies as "desecration" by any version of the definition. Especially if you're in a kayak and getting run over every time you eddy out.

Then there are the early favorites, some still in the running.  Pemigewasset, Mascoma, Ledyard.

Proposals which were instantly banished to the penalty box - Proud Mary, The Kraken.

More Gunwales & Broncos

Well, I'm back and happy to report some more gunwale progress and a win by the Broncos!

 Prob gonna get smoked in the Super Bowl (again) by the Panthers and Dabbin' Cam. Don't really much like his celebrations, they seem to be all about him and not spontaneous expressions of joy.

Not a race issue either Cam, I loved the Icky shuffle, the touchdown dance by Refrigerator Perry, and of course Terrell Davis' Mile High salute. Just saying.

 But I digress. Let's see..... Gunwales.

 After marking and trimming the angled bevel cut on the bow end of the gunwale with my chop saw (not sure how you can build a boat without one - and haven't even gotten to the double-mitered cuts for the hatch frames), I glued and clamped the starboard gunwale on the boat. I left the side panel edge, recently finished with a Cabosil filler, a small bit proud which will be trimmed soon with a router.

The initial plan was to take the morning and do both gunwales at the same time. But it turned out I needed every clamp I owned in the shop to pull the small gaps together. Cheryl says it looks like a Viking ship will lots of oars sticking out.

I'm gonna let this set and cure for a couple of days before removing the clamps so I moved on to the gunwale spacers. Picked a niece piece of walnut, my favorite wood, which I thought would contrast nicely with the lighter ash color and ripped the board to the proper width to match the gunwales.

Really liking my new table saw kickback wheels.

The blocks were cut to length on my chop saw and then I made two transom spacer blocks which tie in the transom angle. Compound miter cuts there too. This required a couple of basement trips to shape the inside to fit the transom fillet. Still haven't heard anything about item number 1 on my Christmas and birthday list, a new shop near the garage. Maybe my wife thinks I need the exercise going up and down the stairs all day?

Last task for the day, cutting the tapered spacers that go in the bow. Eventually, near the bow post they taper down to nothing. The band saw  and belt sander worked great for these.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gunwales - part 1

My highly valued asst Kevin and I pre-fitted the ash gunwales to see how they would dry bend before I scarfed them.

Things went well and they really make the dory start to look like a finished boat.

Lots of tension on the clamps near the bow and stern bends. Highland clamps (thanks for the idea Brad) are much better than the cheap Irwin ones at the big box stores. And about the same price in bulk.

Some calculations for 8:1 cuts for the scarf joints:

And came up with a jig for my chop saw and cut the gunwale scarfs.

Worked pretty well, just a little tear out at the ends. Next time (insert another laugh) I'll try to come up with a different way that can add a sacrificial piece at the end of the cut, but I couldn't come up with a safe, easily clampable way with the way my Makita fence moves for the angle.

I would have preferred to use the band saw but it would be pretty hard to control 12' sticking out the other end. Plus more importantly I had space issues again in my shop with that long of a board.

After a little clean up with the hand plane, I glued them up, taking up pretty much all of the garage with the 22' boards.

Final project for the day was to mark the inside edge of the sheer line for the long oarblock and each of the spacer blocks, plus the longer spacer pieces at the transom and bow. The one at the bow will be a long taper, which I'll probably cut on my band saw with a jig.

Now it's off to watch the Broncos hopefully beat the Patriots. Gonna be a tall order.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sheer Bliss - Fairing & Sanding

The Core Cell foam b/w the glass layers was routed out along the sheer line. I removed about 3/4" with a Bosch trimmer and spiral up cut bit.

Then replaced it with epoxy and Cabosil. This was an interesting exercise as gravity once again reared its ugly head. There's about a 2 foot drop from the bow post to the lowest point of the mid sheer line. So, of course, despite adding a lot of Cabosil, eventually the mixture slowly ran down and out along the side panels. Took a lot of shop rags to clean that one up. You'd think a guy with 10 years of post-graduate education could have figured that out in advance.

Afterwards I did it in three steps, working toward the high point on each end, and everything filled up and set just fine.

I'll rout the final finished edge with a pattern bit after I add the outer gunwale, using it as a template.

Later, I faired every seam edge and most of the other interior rough spots.  Wanted to get this done before the gunwales went on, plus it was going to get up to over 60 in the afternoon. She sure does look pretty outside getting her second suntan session.

Sure enough. Beautiful day.  Nothing like spending 2.5 hours sanding when I could be out on a nice bicycle ride.  But it gets done and feels pretty smooth for the eventual final flow coat.

Boat Color program

My color consultants (Cheryl & Kevin) scheduled a meeting to finalize the boat colors.

Actually, we all went to Chipotle and looked at some options on my iPad.

After several frustrating attempts, where they were clearly on the same page discussing the various color options, and I was out to lunch, figuratively and literally, Kevin came up with an idea to draw up some ltd images with a paint program.

I wanted to try to stay true to the original Grand Canyon Dories colors, Willys Beryl green, Cadillac Aztec red, and refrigerator white, (due to my earlier mentioned connection with Martin Litton and dories) but somehow not reproduce another boat that's already out there. Prob not possible since there are only so many options with two colors plus white. I wanted the dominate color to be green, and preferred the main stripe to be white which would look best with my color choice for the boat name letters. I like the gold ones with a thin black outline best over other options such as white or black.

This view is a three quarter one from the rear showing the transom as well. We've added a second red pinstripe, which I like as it seems to frame the white stripe and the boat name decal, once added. How we'll do the trim painting on the transom is still in discussion. Not too crazy about the first draft there. The tan color along the sheer edge is the gunwale which I'll keep the natural ash color with an oil/varnish finish.

Cheryl prefers a boat with more green on the sides, but a bold red stripe containing the name. Something like this one with ML at the helm:

Perhaps a little too colorful for me, but we'll see.  I would still prefer the gold letters over the white ones.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Money Cuts

Not my line. I got the expression from Andy but am all in on the concept.

Last night, after looking at the upright boat each evening after I got home late from work I finally decided it was time to step up and cut the transom and do the final trim on the bow post.

Bow post first.

Halfway into the cut on the port side my old Porter Cable jig saw, with very poor timing, decided to give up the final ghost. The old style blade collet broke and it seems there are no replacement ones avail any more. Unless maybe I take a trip to Liberty Tools again in Maine to dig through their antique tool collection (see "Tools of the Trade"). 

So it was off to Home Cheapo for a new jig saw. Another Makita, of course. I did look at the DeWalt but didn't like the way it felt in my hand.  Same price and same features.

I briefly considered the cordless version, but recalled I have a bad habit of not recharging at the end of a job and didn't want to consider the other alternative which works for my cordless screwdriver collection - owning several of them. 

The bow post shaping went fine. I followed the jig saw cuts with my (Makita) multi tool. (Maybe I should be looking for some sponsorship here on the blog at the MBS???)

Love that tool but really pay attention to the blade. It's out there with no protection. While I keep thinking it reminds me of the oscillating cast saws (you know the ones you can put against your skin with no cuts) I'm thinking any contact will come out differently.  

Then a little finish work with the RO sander. For now I've left it with a shallow arch shape to match the transom, but have not made a final decision. May make it flat.  All that's left up front is to fill in the Core Cell foam I cut out b/w the glass layers with some resin/Cabosil and then some final trim work and flow coat.

On to the transom. You may recall from earlier posts, this has been an ongoing concern. 

And of course it turned out to be no big deal. Asst boatman, Kevin, scribed the line while I held the batten in what looked to be a pleasing shallow arc. And then I cut just outside it with the new jig saw. To match the angles where it meets the side panels, the cut also has an approx 30 degree bevel. Also no issue with the new jig saw. Love that tool too.

Then I smoothed the final shape with my sander. I haven't decided if I'm going with this arch or make it a little shallower. Doing some online research and just looking at it for a few days.

I still have some more transom work cutting out the removable piece for a motor mount and adding some 1/4" plywood lams on each side to hold it in place. 

But, big relief. My wife said I was acting "jolly" when she got home. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Boat Flipping

Time to turn the dory back over.

Unlike other blogs I've followed, I don't have a lift, or crane. The only way to get it back upright is to group text all of my strong friends. Funny, some of them didn't respond. And a couple had other lame excuses like attending the Broncos playoff game in Denver. Certainly understandable, but they missed a good time.

Beer, wine, snacks, live music, great camaraderie, professional photographer recording the entire event (Cheryl).

... alright, great camaraderie.

 The lighting wasn't the greatest since we did wait until after the game was over. We haven't misplaced all of our priorities.

 Mattresses from the basement provided a nice landing pad as we tilted the boat off onto her side. The same mattresses I've been trying to get my wife to throw out for years. Good call Cheryl.

Mostly the same crew and it went much quicker this time. A lot less head scratching and discussion. We just picked it up and rolled it over.  A little heavier than the last go round. Maybe it went faster because it was cold outside and dinner was waiting. 

Anyway, Thanks much to the dory rolling crew! Will save some spots for you on upcoming river trips.

 A few things were happening down in the woodshop too. I installed a band saw fence I got for Christmas and some anti-kickback wheels on my table saw for my birthday.