Sunday, October 9, 2016

More sanding, screwing, and a new hatch

Blood, sweat and tears. Stainless steel is sharp. 
Setting up a slide milling machine
Slides are stuck in with Sika
Some welcome assistance from Shakil, from Mauritius, made the work proceed a lot faster. He brought some engineering precision to my usual hit-and-miss approach, and we set the small circular saw to cut accurate slots in the plastic slides for the new hatch. Yes, the sun was beginning to eat the old wooden hatch despite the best varnish I could throw on it. And a steel boat must have a steel hatch, I think. So stainless steel was bought, bent and shaped, slides made and assembled. But they stuck despite our accurate measurements and cuts. So, since Shakil had left, I got the angle grinder out and widened the slots. Sorry, Shakil, sometimes the hit-and-miss process hits the spot! Now a nice wooden edging must be cut to avoid getting scalped on the sharp edge. How does one cut curves accurately?

And the hatch is in. Almost...
Inside work proceeded apace. Fore-under ceilings and insulation is in, again largely due to Shakil's help, and I changed the system for holding the floors, they now have countersunk stainless steel bolts holding in stainless steel RivNuts in the angle iron floors, and blocks on the sides of the angle floors keep the planks aligned. One still needs to be trimmed, and the forward cabin needs more floor planks.

Shakil helped with the ceilings under the foredeck. 
The side cladding in the saloon has begun, but the problem now surfaces: My screwing blocks are 32mm brandering, the frames are 40mm steel. The result is that either the plywood cladding planks want to fit between the frames, leaving steel exposed, or the blocks need padding up. I am going to try the latter. Before sandblasting and painting we put steel strips under the cockpit and where the pilot berth should go for panels to lie on, but because I was worried about rust under the strips I did not weld those on right through the hull. I should have, that would have made cladding a walk in the park. To weld now would be a major exercise, but maybe I should bite the bullet. In the meantime I am going to put plywood strips on the blocks to hold the cladding, with bolts through the strips into the blocks, and inserts in there. Comments are welcome. 
She has to have eyes. 

I am also looking at bow art. Dreamtime has to have eyes, to see rocks and things, but I also fancy the idea of a dolphin, having been told that a buxom mermaid would land me in hot water. Sharon has begin to draw a combined dragon and dolphin, and other design ideas would be most welcome.

Or would a dolphin do?
I also finished the re-do  of the bulkhead panels. They were in 9mm ply, but could not conform to the curvature of the steel. I literally broke them out, replaced them with 6mm ply, and used the old holes for the opening ports to make frames. Looks reasonable, I think. I also made a number of wedges, again from the lovely birch ply, well sealed, to fit in where the hull and the bulkheads or floor planking do not quite match up.

Making plywood wedges is easy. 

Panelling in the forward cabin is getting there.