Friday, May 31, 2013

Salon passage door completion

I'm calling the salon passage door a wrap and the little work that needs to be done to it will be finished once it's hung for good in it's opening. I did hang it to work out some of the details and to make sure the lock set had no issues. The door is temporarily hung, and will be removed for the trip to the launch site just like all the other case work I've done in the super structure.

Once the stainless hinges were in the shop I built a jig to route the mortise's . The jig assures perfect alignment between of the  hinges between the door and the door jamb. The jig is just 1/2 plywood with the hinge layout cut in the jig a  1/6" of an inch larger the the hinge itself. The router is fitted with a guide bushing and a 1/2" mortising bit.

The door jambs were cut 1/8" wider than the opening. Experience has taught me the having the door jambs a bit proud of the finished wall surfaces make casing the door much more trouble free. Because the aft wall is only two inches thick, I decided to make the stop the door closes against the full width of the jamb. I also made the stop a full 3/4" thick vs the 5/8 one would normally see on a door  in a house. The door stop now is the full width of the jamb so the casing will cover the joint  between the  jamb and the stop. I might regret this one day, but I glued and nailed the stop to the jamb, and once it's permanently hung in the opening I"ll add screws to the stop. A few of the screws will be thru bolted to the metal frames as will some of the hinge screws and the stainless keeper that the lock set lands in to.

One of the reasons I hung the door was to see how the door  seal gasket was going to work out. I purchased a 3/8 round hollow rubber gasket with a 3/4" spline on it. My intent was to  cut a rabbet in the stop for the spline to lay in, and have the 3/8" round hollow  bulb act as the seal getting compressed when the door closed against the stop. Fitting this idea up proved to be a problem, and after a day of tinkering with it, I decided to used a closed cell gasket. I had some 1/8 and 1/4 x 3/4 closed cell foam in the shop and was able to position the stop so that the 1/8 material would work and create a nice seal. Watching the door close on my mocked  up pieces had all looking good and I'm happy it looks like that idea will work out OK.

Before I was able to call the door a finished  job, I wanted to make sure the Trioving lock set was going to work given the thicker stops I installed. I've seen situations before where full mortised lock sets have the  handles hitting the stop as the door opens. Trioving uses a very deep mortise for the lock set @ 4 1/4" so this scenario really wasn't a problem. Trioving has some pretty nice user friendly design in their gear. The screws they use to hold the sets together are machined to adjust. Once you have the lock set in place, you cut the screws in a machined groove they  have to get the proper length. This way one does not have to use a die to repair the cut end. Another nice detail Trioving uses is how they hold he handles on to the square stock that passes through the lock set. The square stock is split in half for a certain distance where the handle lands, and the set screw that holds the handle in place is extra  long. The  extra long set screw has a long nipple machined on the end of it and as you tighten the set screw in place,  it engages the slot in the square stock and spreads it out creating an interference fit between the square stock and the handle. This is a much nicer way in my opinion to retain the  handle vs a set screw that just engages the stock.

I purchased the Trioving lock sets off of Ebay used, and the keepers that mortise in to the door jamb did not come with the lock sets. I used some scrap 3/16  316 stainless I have in the barn to fabricate the keeper. I used the  mill to  machine the slots that the two lock set bolts will engage. The bolts are 1/2" wide, so I machined the slots to 9/16". Once the door is hung for good at the launch site, and after the seal is in place, I'll adjust the keeper in the jamb and final grind the slots depending on how tight I want the door to  close.  I might have to TIG weld a small return piece of stock on the slot that engages the handle bolt, but I'll figure that out once the door is permanently hung. I I also might try to broach square corners in the keeper, but once again, well see how it fits.

Now that the salon passage door is complete, I'm thinking of turning my attentions to the wheel house aluminum door. I was thinking of making it a dutch style, but given how tall my bulwark is, I"m not so sure I n need to do that. I have pretty good ventilation in the wheelhouse, and if I'm in a situation where I need to have the door closed, 100% closed vs 50% closed with a dutch door is not going to make any difference regarding ventilation. The dutch door seems to be  more appropriate for boats without the bulwark, and also adds some complexity to the fabricating. I'm still up in the air on that decision so we'll see.



Monday, May 20, 2013

Salon passage door

There are two passage door on board, one in the salon and another in the wheel house. The salon door I decided to build out of wood, and the wheel house door will be aluminum. The salon passage door is on the aft deck, under the aft  deck roof and protected by the 36" solid steel bulwark that surrounds the aft deck. The wheel house door is a little more exposed given that it's on the front of the boat. The free board on the at the wheel house door part of the boat is almost 8', and the wheel house is protected by a 46" tall steel Portuguese Bridge. The fore deck is also protected by a 36" tall solid steel bulwark.

The wooden salon passage door is what I would describe as robust. Because I am using Trioving mortised lock sets, and because I wanted a stout door I decided to  build the door 2" thick. The panel for the door is 3/4" plywood. The door is built out of Cherry.

I did not have any 2" thick cherry stock so I had to laminate three pieces together to get my 2" thickness. I like to laminate material using a form, and welding a couple of 4" H beams together made for a nice straight form that was easy to clamp to. By using a "straight as string" form, my lamination's came off of the form perfectly straight.

In my opinion, mortise and tenon joinery is best for a door such as this. The first step in joining the door together after I had all the stock prepped was to plow the groove for the panel. I used a stacked dado cutter in the table say to plow a 3/4" x 3/4" groove stopping short of style ends by 1". I finished the panel dado with a cutter set up in my mill. I then used the same cutter in the mill to cut the mortises to their 2 1/4" depth. The mill is really a nice way to cut these deep mortises.

The tenons were cut using the same stack dado cutter in the table saw. Because of the amount of time to laminate the stock I was very cautious cutting the tenons and left them about .030 over sized, and  then used a chisel and sand paper to bring them to the final thickness. The fit I was looking for was for hand pressure only to drive the parts together. A slight interference fit with  not mallet needed. There is such a thing as too tight. Dry fitting the parts together found no problems. Once the door was glued, clamped and squared, I through pinned the mortises using 3/8" walnut dowels. The Cherry has plenty of character and is for sure nice to look at, but the walnut pegs add a wee bit more interest to the door.

The mortise for the Trioving lock set was cut on the mill using a 1 3/8 forstener bit.  I'll go in to the lock sets a little more in the next post, but I will say that I found the lock sets used on Ebay two years ago. If any one knows anything about Trioving, you probably know it's high priced stuff. I had to take one lock set apart to test fit it in the door, and I was impressed by the high quality of the parts, and the fact that it's all easy to service and re build-able.  Nice equipment.

I sanded the door to 220 grit and coated with three coats of urethane. The next step will be to mortise the stainless steel  hinges, build the jambs, and devise the gasket. I feel pretty confident I can make the door weather tight and able to handle some water getting on to the aft deck. I think I'm going to fabricate two dogs for it similar to how I dealt with the bulwark doors.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Porch ceiling, soffit, and some wiring

Historically speaking, this is always a bad time of year for me. Work is back with a vengeance, but funds have yet to start flowing back my way. I'm almost booked up for the rest of the year, and everyone I know that does my type of work is for sure not complaining about the amount of work out there. Because cash flow is not working so well right now, I've had to start using material I've purchased last summer to keep things moving forward.

My latest project has been getting the aft deck ceiling installed, installing the salon soffit, the port, starboard, and aft steaming navigation lights, the aft deck ceiling lights, along with the salon soffit lights. I also wired the salon ceiling for lights as I intend to install the ceiling in the salon before we head to the launch site.

The aft deck ceiling was built using BC plywood which I painted. Because I wanted to be able to remove the ceiling with not to much trouble, I used stainless screws with finish washers to fasten the ceiling. Instead of hiding the joints in the ceiling, I covered them with battens pinned in place with some stainless brads. Because I have so much Cherry lumber in the barn, I made the battens out of Cherry and left the bright with a few coats of urethane. We'll see how the bright battens suit us against the painted ceiling. 

Every light on the boat is LED. Last summer I purchased 40, seven watt 12 volt can lights. I purchased direct from factory in China, and have to say I'm pleased with the quality of the light. The lights are aluminum with an aluminum heat sink. All the machining is top notch, and the penetrations from the wiring are epoxy sealed along with having the wiring tinned. I purchased 40 lights so I could get to a certain discount level, but I also wanted to have spares on board for replacements. I checked every light when they showed up and every light did what it was supposed to do. To date, I have about seven lights working on board now, and I'm totally impressed with how bright they are, how cool they stay, and how much electricity they don't use.

For lighting the aft deck ceiling, I installed two of the seven watt can lights. Because of how the ceiling is framed, I can easily add another light using a fish tape in the future, but I doubt I'll need it as the two lights I have installed give plenty of light.

I installed a LED work light on the aft deck to illuminate the swim platform. I will also have two work lights in the mast along with one more work light on the bill of the wheel house. The work light for the swim platform is switched from inside the salon door.

The salon soffit overhangs the salon walls about six inches. I decided to install a one watt LED light over each of the three windows. These lights are blue, and my intent was for accent. I think the lights will look pretty sharp while we're at anchor or at a harbor.

I do  have a design complaint regarding the aft deck ceiling. The trim piece of metal that makes up the salon soffit is about 4" tall. As the trim turns to wrap around the aft deck ceiling, it gets reduced in height to about 3". I don't know why this happens and it could be a flaw in the cut file. I saw this and knew it was going to be an issue when I was framing the super structure but I chose to do nothing about it. What this caused me to do was force the plywood ceiling up at the rear of the aft deck so that the plywood still remained above the drip edge of the trim  piece. The plywood ceiling has a  subtle curve upwards over it's last 18" aft.  Not only does the plywood need to be above the drip edge, it needs to be above it about 3/8" in order to keep the reveal constant around the aft deck ceiling. The other big issue of having the plywood protected by the trim piece is to keep roof water from rolling around and getting to the edge of the plywood. It really did not look that  noticeable until I installed the cherry battens. I can tell you it's a big job to fix and I doubt I"m going to fix it. It really doesn't bother me that much.  

There is really no reason why I can't install ( other than lack of funds) the ceiling in the salon now. Because it's going to go much faster while in the shop, I went ahead and made all the preparations to install the ceiling. The first thing I did regarding this was to make sure all the timber frames were installed to catch the bead boards that will make the ceiling. Once the framing was complete, I located all the lights and light switch locations. The basic layout is that as one enters the salon door, you'll turn on six can lights from a switch by the door. Another switch in the galley will turn on three lights; one above the sink, one above the range, and another above the fridge. There will be another light in the half  bath.

Since I was wiring the ceilings, I decided to go ahead and run the wiring  feeding the switches, and also installed a switch for the aft deck work light, the aft deck ceiling light, and the salon ceiling lights. The soffit lights will be switched from the wheel house and the feed has not been established.

The wheel house will also be switched from a wall, but I want to have some red lights in there along with a few of my already purchased can lights. So given that, I'll probably have two switches for the wheel house ceiling lights. 

All my wiring connections were made using heat shrink crimp type connectors. For larger connections where more than two wires joined, I used potted wire nuts. Some purists might frown on a potted wire nut in a marine environment, but I have 100% confidence in them. I've been using potted wire nuts for assembling splice boxes in septic tanks and sewage lift stations for 25 years. I have yet to see corrosion in those wire nuts be and issue and I can assure you that ocean air is no where near as corrosive as the inside of a septic tank. Potted wire  nuts are pricey, but you get what you pay for and they're worth the money.

My immediate goal is to complete the salon ceiling, and build the salon door. I  have to be able to lock the boat up once at the launch site, so a proper salon door is a must. The salon door is going to be wood, and the wheel house door is going to be aluminum.

A large piece of wiring and carpentry has now been checked off of my list. Having good reliable lighting is a must and it feels good to have this part of the project working and off the list. Once the boat is at the launch site, the soffit I just finished will be about 16' in the air, and since I have  no side decks I would have had to use scaffold  to do this work. It was a good thing to be able to quickly do it in the shop while it was only 7' off the ground.