Thursday, February 23, 2012

One shiny red deck

After my struggles with the combing I sanded back the deck and used a reddish timber stain to reduce the contrast between the Gaboon ply and Hoop Pine gunnel.  As I had hoped it has also masked some of the imperfections in the deck around the combing and looks pretty good I think.  Might not win best in show but I'm hoping the canoe will get used and knocked about not put on display.

Now for the magic.  Poylurethane Aquacote.  This was left over from my boat build at a time when I thought varnish was an appropriate finish for a wooden boat.  After living with my varnished thwarts for 5 years now I think the varnish is a pain to maintain.  But, by special request, this canoe will have a varnished deck.  Aquacote requires approx 40 drops of additive per 100ml of paint before you roll it on.  I'm not sure what it does but any leftovers can be poured back into and therefore contaminating the paint without it spoiling or hardening.  I have no idea how it works but it amazes me every time I use it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's all about the epoxy

The canoe is at the stage were I am applying small batches of epoxy here and there and sanding it down trying to get a reasonable finish for painting and varnishing.  I have tried to queue up all the projects that require gluing to get the most out of my day in the workshop so I can report a small step forward for the following.

A pair of wooden jack planes.

A sailing model I started pre 2000

My recent failure trying to laminate the combing meant I have lots of thin cut scraps for two canoe rudder blades.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The cut of my jib

As my self imposed induction period slowly inches towards 150 hours at the helm,  I am starting to think about how the boat SHOULD be set up.  When I first started building I would spend hours wondering where I was going to position the cleats, run the lines, etc etc.  I realised I had no idea how the boat was going to work so I decided not to labour over design details and just finish it.  Five years after launch I have clocked up 123 hours at the helm which is not quite one month of full time work (4 x 5 x 7.5 = 150).

Yesterday's jib trials were interesting.  I was wondering if adding a jib was a worth while exercise so we hoisted a small jib up the mainsail, and together with the mizzen, made our way across the lake in blustery conditions.  It was slow going so if I were to change the rig I would need to increase the size of the jib and mizzen to be able to use them so I'm not sure it is worth the effort.

Three hours at the helm brings the total to 123 hours.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

All decked out

Well, it is starting to look like a usable canoe.  

After the first round wrestle with with the 3mm ply and the compound deck curve I decided to clamp the deck during glue up with ropes tensioned directly over the deck beams.  It was a bit of a struggle but seemed to work in the end.

The combing, on the other hand, proved a bit more difficult.  Initially I had intended to glue laminated strips to build up the combing but three failed attempts taught me that the the bend radius at the front of the cockpit was too tight.  Yes, I am a slow learner.  Plan B was to layer ply segments around the cockpit rim and and fillet with epoxy.  So far so good.  Two 6mm layers and a wider 4mm cap have built up the basic shape.  I now need to finesse the shape and apply a neat epoxy fillet.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Advances in boy scout technology

Maybe I'm getting old, but I'm over the excitement of preparing a hot meal in the open air with just a simple stove.  I can recall one memorable trip where we holed up in a foreshore picnic shelter one morning to make a hot cup of coffee in driving onshore rain.  Initially I thought I would make a fully optioned chuck box but in the end I decided to break it down to a couple of easily managed components.  A bench with removable legs and two storage boxes with double as stove wind shields.  

The new rig provided a level of camping sophistication never before seen.

This little black duck took an interest in the construction details.  Simple timber frames doubling as handles screwed on a marine ply base with stainless steel sheeting screwed to the frames.  Removable top and front sit on locating buttons so that the panels sit in place during transport.  

Happy camping!