Spring is here for sure and I do have a little progress to report. I've not made as much headway as I would have like to in the last few weeks, but like the song says, a little bit is better than nada.
I think I've taken the salon as far as I can in regards to building cabinets and furniture. The latest project completed was fabricating the end caps for the dinette benches, and a small table that will sit between the two comfy chairs we will have. I think the small table will house the am/fm stereo for the salon, and has a drawer for stashing the remote control for the TV. The end caps for the bench, while not a job, required a bit of time. Because of the 16" width, the end caps needed to be glued up. I had to decide how I wanted to have the bench seat riser connect to the end cap and chose a dado which had to be plowed in to the end cap. I did not want to see end grain wood on the end caps, so I fabricated a cap that had a dado plowed in to it so it could slip over the top of the end cap. While I was building the end caps for the salon dinette, I also did the same thing for the wheel house bench seating.
The wheel house floor has a decent camber to it, and also falls off grade forward to aft. I don't think the super structure is going to rack when we lift it, but I'm not 100% sure it won't, and there's no point fastening any finish ply to the front of the wheel house if there's a chance it could move. I did figure out the camber of the wheel house floor, and fabricated the face frame for the bench seat drawer unit. I gave myself plenty of room to scribe the face frame to the floor and still have an inch of face frame left on the bottom once it was fit. Because I not had the face frame built, I had the drawer size in front of me, so I decided to build the three drawers that will go in the assembly. The far port side opening in the face frame is for the air conditioner vent that supplies the wheel house.
Because I could possibly be drilling holes in the wheel house face frame and the four end caps for the bench seats, I did not put any finish on these parts. All these little odds and ends parts I"m making will make assembly at the launch site go much more quickly .
For the last four or five years, I've been threatening myself to go and buy a real planer to build this boat. The current planer I have is a 15 year old Delta 12" thickness planer that is really undersized for how much lumber I'm running through it. I really need a 15", 240 volt machine with a three knife cutter head. The Delta machine has seen better days, but seems to still get the job done. Having sharp knives in the machine is the only way the it has a fighting chance of keeping up with what I ask it to do. When I first bought the machine, I had a local sharpening guy do the knife sharpening work for me. The problem I had with the professional sharpening is that the blades seemed to dull quickly. The edge they produced, while sharp, did not have enough meat on the back side, so the cutting edge would fail, then dull, and begin to leave ridges on the work. As long as the knives do not have a severe nick in them, I prefer to sharpen them myself. To sharpen my jointer and planer knives, I use a jig cut in to a piece of hardwood to hold the knife at the correct angle. The sharpening media I use is 300 grit, 2" wide adhesive sand paper wrapped around a hard wood block. Before I put the knife in the holding jig, I flatten the back of he knife using the 300 grit block. With the blades held firmly at the correct angle and the jig clamped in the vise, not much time is needed to revive the edge. Once the edge looks good and all the shiny spots have been taken off of the edge, I'll hone it with the same block using 600 grit self adhesive paper. Sharp tools are one of my pet peeves, and having them makes the work much more enjoyable and consistent.
I still have a long list of things I want to get finished before I move her out of the barn namely: Aft deck ceiling including ceiling lights, rear steamer light, rear work lights. Paint aft deck ceiling. Pull ceiling light wiring in salon and wheel house and locate switch's. Water line from salon sink to salon 1/2 bath. Salon and wheel house doors. Hydraulic lines from engine room to anchor winch. Hydraulic lines from engine room to bow thruster. Hydraulic reservoir install. Weld vent in salon roof for gray water holding tank that I forgot. One more coat of urethane and caulk undersides of bulwark cap. Weld "D" rings to hull to chain hull down to dolly. This is pretty much my punch list, and I'm going to try to stick to it before she leaves the barn. Hopefully, the list won't grow to much larger and I'll have her ready to move by early Summer or late Spring. The boat yard I'm bringing her to is packed full right now but after the first of May, it will begin to clear out.