Monday, January 28, 2013

I started the galley cabinets

Now that the window frames are ready for windows, the next big wood working project is the galley cabinets. I have quite a few more cabinets to build on board, but the galley is the heart of the salon and a good place to start.




The galley layout is basically a "U" shape. On the bulkhead wall that separates the raised pilot house from the salon is where the refrigerator will reside next to the engine room exhaust/intake chimney. Above the refrigerator is a 30" wall cabinet that will house a microwave oven. Next to the microwave oven will be a 36" double door wall cabinet with shelves. Below the 36" wall cabinet is a 15" base cabinet with a drawer and door. On the port wall of the layout is where the LP range will reside. I built a cabinet for the range to sit upon, and also notched out the back of the cabinet so my 6" air conditioning duct for the wheel house can sneak past. I was also able to get two small shelves in the range cabinet that will have a  single door front over. Because of needing space to get the fridge in and out of the galley, I  had to build two 7" fillers along each side of the range. Along with the range and the two 7" filler pieces, the width of the galley from the fridge to the other cabinets is 32".  I'm going to build two drawers on their side in those fillers ( 4" drawers) for a spice rack on one side and hanging utensils on the other. I'll get in to more detail once I start finishing the cabinets. Continuing around the "U", is where the sink base will reside. I built a 36" sink base to accommodate a home size double bowl sink. It was important to us to have a large sink and it's a detail all will appreciate. Next to the sink base is an 18" base cabinet with three large drawers.



All the cabinets and wood work on board the boat is American Black Cherry. Trees for the lumber were cut off of my property, and milled by neighbor Carl Claypool and his dog peckerwood.

My method of building the galley cabinets are to build a box, attach a face frame, then build style and rail raised panel doors. On other parts of the boat, I saved time,  money, and space by making some of the cabinets "built in" which  utilizes part of the hull as the cabinet "box". Because the wheel house and salon are still sitting in my barn, building cabinets as boxes is the only practical method.

Each box is built from 3/4" birch plywood. There is only one place where the side of any cabinet will be visible, and that side was made with 3/4" cherry plywood. The backs of the all the cabinets are 1/4' plywood, and I added a 3/4" rail to the top of the base units back, and to the top and bottom of the wall units back. The extra rail is to give me something more substantial than 1/4" material for mounting the units. The tops and bottoms of any cabinet is also 3/4" plywood let into a dado in the sides. The wall units have a top and a bottom, the base units only have a bottom as the counter will make the top.  I rabbeted the sides to accept the 1/4" back.

The face frames are solid cherry and have a width of 2". All the face frames were built using the Kreg pocket screw gizmo. I can't say enough good things about this method of building face frames, and it's become my number one choice when applicable.

The doors are the style and rail method and because I want a nice looking job, I decided to use a raised panel. I went with a traditional raised panel which is a 15 degree angle. I have an ogee cutter for my shaper, but I wanted something more in tune with what one would find on an older boat, and the 15 degree raised panel suited my thought. I cut the style, rails, and raised panels on my old Delta shaper.  I've posted about the shaper before, and I'll again say that caution is for sure the preferred attitude to have when using this tool. When the panel raising bit that weighs about a pound  is spinning at 10,000 rpm, and you need  hearing protection from the noise it make, a serious amount of respect quickly builds. When raising the panels, I use the table saw and remove a lot of the waste before starting with the shaper. I take light cuts, and always do the end grain first. The end grain is the hardest material to cut, and in case I have some chipping or a minor blow out, the next cut going with the grain will usually fix any end grain issues. The cutter is carbide, and sharpened to 600 grit so it's nice and sharp. The shaper has a great device to raise and lower the bit, and along with the micro adjustments on the fence, the level of precision is fantastic. When finished with shaping the panel, I sand it to 220, and give it a light coat of Cherry stain. Having some color on the panel before assembly will help prevent seeing a line at the style and rail joint once the panel starts moving with seasonal humidity and the wood naturally darkens.  I expect the Cherry wood to darken five or ten shades once it starts seeing some sun. The natural darkening is one reason I like Cherry.

I've been mocking up some of the structure in the salon. For the galley, I mocked up the bulkhead wall, and the engine room chimney. I also mocked up the ceiling above the fridge. The finished ceiling is going to be a bead board which is 5/8" thick. Using 1/4" plywood for the ceiling is not ideal and makes it hard to get a good scribe joint against the face frame. I left an inch of material to scribe for final fit against the real ceiling.  I'm being pretty accurate, but I'm also giving myself lots of wiggle room in regard to extending face frames past the cabinet boxes in critical areas for plenty of room to scribe and fit to the finished wall and ceiling material once those are installed.  Mocking up is not something I've done in the past, but It's the only way I can do this job. I've found a few issues during the mock up and was able to easily change some things that would have been a pain to do later down the road.

I could have purchased a set of rub collars for the shaper and made the raised panels fit the curve of the ceiling. I'm going to deal with the curved ceiling regarding the door fit by making the top rail of the doors fit the ceiling curve. I'll make the upper rail four inches vs my standard two inches and scribe it to fit the ceiling. The other option is to leave the door square and live with the stepped look of the square door against the camber of the ceiling. The different thickness of the curved top rail vs the square lower rail might make it look odd, but I think the overall look will be ok. We'll see how it looks in about a week.  The three doors you see in the picture above are two for the sink base, and one for the 15" base cabinet next to the fridge.

There is much more to post about the cabinet build, and as I get further along I'll add more detail.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Window frames are ready for windows

The window frames are finished and another job has  made it off of  my list.

Once I had all the Cherry window frames installed, I wanted to make sure all the window trim rings fit as they should. I'm glad I did this, because I had to trim some of the frames to allow the trim ring to fit with the 1/8" clearance the manufacturer recommends. The window frames, like most other things, took up a lot more time than I would have estimated. I was also surprised that building the frames consumed a sheet and a half of Cherry veneer plywood. Only one frame made it in to the wood stove, so there was really no waste. The last time I bought Cherry veneer plywood was when I was building the cabins below decks two winters ago. I guess technology has allowed the plywood manufacturers to alter the veneer as this veneer is extremely thin. I don't even want to guess what fraction of an inch is, but one has to be very careful as sanding through it is not to hard to do. Because I was joining frames together using biscuits, it was critical that the frame faces were perfectly flush so that a light sanding with 220 grit would bring the two surfaces perfectly fair.

My system of using blocks, while a pain to install, looks like it's going to work out good. If I were to do it over again, I would probably glue the blocks to the hull sheathing vs bolting them in place as I did. I had the chance to glue some blocks in place, and also the chance to remove some glued in place blocks. The glued in place blocks I did remove, split away in the wood instead of the glue failing at the hull sheathing. I'd have no problem in the future of relying on a glue to metal joint in this application. Before gluing a block to the hull sheathing, I would recommend one scuffs the primer to give the glue something to grab. The biggest reason I wanted to use blocking was have a situation where I have no metal at all not covered with foam insulation. I have two small areas inside the super structure where the foam broke away from the flange due to my aggressive foam trimming, but that will easily be repaired when I foam the hull to super structure joint this spring. The only other place I have bare metal not foamed is the thickness of the hull skin at the window and door rough opening. Once the window is installed, it will be no bid deal at all to go back with a can of foam and seal this joint.

 The foam guy did a pretty good job overall, but the thickness of the foam was inconsistent at the window opening. While installing the windows, I'll have a roll of fiberglass insulation on hand so we can fill this gap. The metal is not exposed, but as you can see from the picture, the thickness varies. I want the maximum amount of insulation for a comfortable boat as much as I want to eliminate any chance of condensation.

I was going to temporally install the windows to see how they looked, but I soon realized that the more I handled them and had them out of the crate, the more they could get damaged. I had toyed with the idea of permanently installing the windows while the super structure is in the barn, but my gut tells me the move to the launch site and the work to land the super structure could jeopardize the windows.

The next project is building the cabinets for the galley. I'm well into the cabinet job and am happy with the size and layout of the galley.