Sunday, 13 April 2014

Smoke and smiles, planks very much...

Another great week of projects pushing along to major milestones..

The 16' Shepherd team has completed the creation of the inner bottom panel using more or less the Dwight method. Funny but once you get going with this fiddly job it really does fly along. We added little "joint leveller" scraps screwed through from the front to improve the match of most of the plank edges to each other. Next step is the remove the panels, improve the epoxy planks joints, fair things out a bit with thickened epoxy, three coats of epoxy to the inside surfaces in one day then final installation on the hull with SikaFlex and bronze boatnails.

tracing curve of stem.

first side all fitted ready for epoxy

fitting second side planks

first side panel done.

George shapes the planks
all done!

In the engine shop, Joseph decided to see if the 15 horse early 50's Evinrude dropped off by the Carthews a couple of weeks ago is a runner...turns out it is but needs a water impeller and carburetor cleanout!

Joseph is happy!

On the Mini-Hopper front the amazing Bernie has closed the hull of Mini-Hopper #1! The inside surfaces of the flotation compartments have all been painted with epoxy to seal them and the inside of the bow curve has been filleted with epoxy on the inside. Now we just have to see if it all sticks together when the clamps come off!

checking the final dry fit of deck.

epoxyed and screwed down.

Troy looking for gaps from inside.

first completed hull!

And the TNT team fairs very well too...

The fussy business of filling dips and shaving off lumps
The skiff team of Wayne and Jim got the new keel ready to be fastened to the skiff.

Jim and Wayne debate details

So that's how it went this week! Great turnouts and lots of action.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A pox on boats! Wait I meant E poxy on boats..

That's how this week looked anyway - several corners have been turned on several projects! First:

The Lightning "Bolt" - the spars, rudder and parts have had their final varnish thanks to Chris, next comes installation of hardware on the spars once the varnish is good and hard.

Chris prepping for last coat
done and done! (actually and done)

On the TNT Project, The team (Steve and Jason) has filled all the screw holes and is into fairing the hull out preparatory to priming. When you have filled holes like this there are often knobs of epoxy sticking proud of the surface. The risk of trying to fair them off with sandpaper is that the epoxy is hard but the surrounding wood is soft - the wood goes first and waves and dips are introduced to the flat surface. In this case we used a body shop file and a Stanley SureForm to shave off the excess epoxy, neither of these tools will remove wood but they work by shaving off the high spots only - very slick!

and here it is gone and flat.
here you can see shiny knob of epoxy

Next the Mini-Hopper development project with Bernie and Troy plowing on. This week saw the transom final fitted and the hull epoxied together with 2 coats of epoxy to seal the flotation chambers so they won't rot if moisture gets in (it will). We discussed installing ventilation ports so these closed area can dry out when the boat is not in the water.

Bernie explains what's up to Glen
rolling epoxy on bottom of deck

a possible future detail.

all sealed up!

On to the 16' Shepherd where George is forging on with creating the inner bottom panels. We epoxied the 3" strips which are scarfed at one end and butt glued to each other onto the main bottom panel. Our concern was for movement as the strips are bent down into final position - finally we glued everything up with no bend figuring that if we bent them down after the epoxy set-up was partial, things would self align later...seems to have worked!

George cuts the ramps.

dry-fitting the strips..

next morning screwed down
all epoxied up - no bends

Next task is to add more strips heading forward, we are concerned about the amount of twist in some of these little strips of plank - however - one at a time seems to do it!

Now on the the engine shop where Peter, Joseph and many watchers are making and following the progress! We are at the point now where parts ordering is next so these motors can begin going back together. Impellers are flying around!

George gets his pristine 3 running.

So that's it for this week, drop in, become a Follower of the blog, buy a raffle ticket, become a Gatsby Member, boating season is coming up (slowly this year)!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

"The Unkindest Cut of All"

Well that's what Caesar might have said when he had to cut off the end of the bottom panel he had just perfectly fitted...however it turns out the "Dwight" was right after all. When we tried to shove the panel into place it just knuckled up into a hump behind the 2nd frame. Sooo we cut it off and scarphed (or possibly scarfed) the end over the third frame.

Chris makes the Unkindest Cut.
George bevels the cut-off panel for scarfing.

Earlier in the week (Thursday evening) was our monthly Shore Leave Night which was well attended - pizza & beer for $10 a head. The teams got to noodle their projects with others and the Youngest Member tried out for one of the upcoming Sea Flea driving openings....

"Boat Widow" catches up with Chris and George
Troy studies sea flea details

Troy begins training early..

comparing notes...

In the engine shop more motors arrived, more were fired up and repairs are moving along.

Joseph cleans out a tank...
for the Lockwood Ash outboard
Rob dropped these two off.

We were delighted to welcome ACBS members Charlie and Rob from Coldwater who dropped off a pair of OMC outboards for the programme. Rob was the 2nd prize winner in the TIBS raffle and went home with a lovely cased model Chris-Craft! Also in the motor shop the parts for the 1956 Johnson 5 1/2 came back from the donated stripping job at Techno Strip in Brampton - looking really great too.

On the Sea Flea front Bernie has moved along with the prototype assembly. Transom is now fitted and includes a little bit of deadrise not in the original plan. Interesting how everything is laying in on nice fair lines now - getting the bow seam to pull up so well just eliminated a lot of difficulties.

Anton, Bernie and Troy glass seam.
dry fitting the final transom

another look at Bernie's Magic Sea Flea Tool!

TNT Team has a blast - as usual. Actually this is a fairly tedious part of the restoration process - refastening and plugging the old screw holes. However it is great to have all those steel screws out of the hull and replace by bronze boat nails. Filling the old screw holes involves dipping mahogany plugs in epoxy and whacking them into the holes.

Jason and Steve plug away...actually they are setting the boat nails!

The raffle skiff is moving along as well under the detailed attention of Wayne and Jim. The inside of the boat has been sanded out with 80 grit paper and all sharp edges have been softened as varnish will not do well on sharp edges. The stem is nicely shaped and trimmed, we are almost ready for interior stain.

Wayne fairs the stem

and Jim trims to height.

And the shot of the week...Troy's little guy takes his first sea flea ride....

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The OOPs and downs of restoration

I might as well 'fess up to the OOPs part first. Hopefully you haven't been reading past posts where I described having the bottom panels for the 16' Shepherd Outboard ready to go with just one scarph? Whew, let's just pretend I didn't say that...NOW we understand what Dwight has been hinting at for a few weeks. When I told him we were going to put the bottom on like this he said something like "good luck", he has always had to cut and scarph 3" diagonal strips in order to make the compound curves in the bottom up at the bow.

When George and I tried to dry fit the bottom panels, they knuckle up just in front of the 2nd and 3rd frames. No way will they lie down and make a fair shape - damn it. So now we are going to do the the right way after all. George is making up a scarphing jig so we can make the scarph cuts on the table saw.

it almost works - a little more adjusting and we'll have it!

Meanwhile Bernie is back from the Keys having spent most of his time noodling how to redesign our sea flea! He showed up with a brilliant solution to closing the joint that makes the bottom shape at the bow. Using two ends of a large barrel clamp bolted to each side of the joint, he modified the tightening screw so he could run it up with an impact gun. This rig closed up that joint perfectly every time and made fine fitting the joint a piece of cake. really slick! We decided to G2 epoxy the joint and see if it will hold - before applying the fiberglas tape. Stay tuned.

barrel clamps bolted in place

Bernie bolted in place

epoxied and fileted!
clamps run up - perfect joint

Down in the engine shop Peter and Joseph get the Firestone outboard running and Jason brought in the family 15 HP Evinrude (about '62 vintage) which has shifting problems. Under Peter's guidance, he disassembled the lower unit, found the problem and once he has parts in hand - no problem! He and Steve are thinking it might go well on the TNT! Speaking of which...

Jason into Evinrude 15

while Steve does the real work...

Gas-Hopper is now fully stripped and ready for the next stage. Which is a close examination of fastenings to see what needs to come out and be refastened! Looks pretty good from a distance but!...

getting naked

done, revealing a nice solid oak transom

something used to come out that hole!

And finally the skiff! Jim plugged away at the finishing details in preparation for interior stain and varnish. Shaping the bowpost is part of that. Looking very good.

the great craftsman at work - tounge in teeth
And finally remember! Raffle tickets out - parts and materials in!

You can help by buying a raffle ticket for the last completed skiff in the shop (or a sea flea) just call 905 873-0141 or drop into the shop any Saturday morning or this coming Thursday evening 7 to 9 is March Shore Leave Night! Pizza and beer, $10 a head!