Saturday, June 30, 2012

First SCAMP Sighting!

Fantastic day so far!  The Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival was really a blast- plus, I had a chance to meet quite a few wonderful people (Joel, I'm looking at you!).

There was one lovely lady in particular that caught my eye.  She was hanging out by the beer garden. 

I can't get over the fact that she's less than 12' long.  It's insane how much room that little boat has. 

She's beautiful.  Not in the sexy, lithe, life-threatening, adrenaline-producing sort of way.  But she looks trustworthy and strong and capable.  She's jaunty. Everything I'd want in a life partner boat.

Arthur left a comment on my last post, saying that he just purchased the plans for SCAMP.  Arthur, my friend,  you've made a fantastic decision.

I can't wait until I'm standing next to a SCAMP of my own. 

To those of you I met today, please, please, please leave a comment with your blog/build thread/whatever so I can stalk your boat building adventures.   Happy building!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Soggy Weekend, Potentially Awesome.

It's a common held belief in this part of the world that summer doesn't officially begin until July 5th, the day after Independence Day. So, check out this forecast:

This year keeps up with the tradition. Despite the rainy weather, this weekend looks promising. Hopefully I'll be able to get a glimpse of this lovely little boat:

That little boat, my friends, is SCAMP #1.  (Photo stolen from here).  Rumor has it that she'll be at the 36th Annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival.  

So excited! 

I'm also looking forward to the soggy weather. It'll give me a chance to brew a new batch of beer without any guilt.  I'm very much looking forward to having 3 gallons of heather ale (fraoch) to myself.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sunny day = Boat building time!
Celebratory whiskey in honor of a milestone..... drum roll please.

 All of the pattern pieces have been cut out! :D :D :D :D

From the deck pieces to the planks.

To the cockpit coaming to the cockpit sole.

They're. All. Cut. Out.   And I've gained mad jigsaw skills in the meantime.  Just look at that sweet curve. 
Next, I will have to actually cut out the REAL pieces.  But for now, I'm reveling in this small victory.

Rio, you shall be mine, you saucy little SCAMP.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Feeling Blue.

Today was perfectly not rainy, and I only got half a plank cut out.

I'm sick,  you see.  And while I was bravely cutting out my pieces I realized that I was having a hard time maintaining my balance.  Power tools + feeling wobbly = bad idea. So I packed up and called it a day.

Afterwards I looked up boat christening traditions and started wondering if my Rio will ever have a christening ceremony.  Then I cried.

I'm my hardest critic, and while I'm making good progress there's a part of my brain that's furious that I'm not farther along.  It's almost July, and it seems like we've have three sunny days (Oh hey, a news article saying we've had one sunny day) out of this entire month.

The centerboard still needs to be cut foiled and glassed.
I have about 4 more plywood sheets worth of patterns to cut out.
I have to figure out a way to teleport inexpensive OSB to my house, as I have no vehicle large enough to haul it for the building jig.
I need to order some 6mm Okoume.

Such a trivial list of things to fret about, isn't it? Perhaps I just needed to vent after all. 

Bright side of the day,when I was outside I was visited by a neat looking moth. 

I'm not sure what it is- perhaps a blinded sphinx moth

I love moths!  And I had pho for dinner.  The day wasn't a complete wash. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Boat Patterns and Bearded Chickens.

More pattern pieces for my boat have been cut out.  As much as I reeeeeally want to just cut out bulkheads and move forward, I know that I should really focus on one stage at a time.  So I've decided to put the bulkheads on hold and finish cutting up all the pieces that have been lofted.

One of the best thing about cutting out patterns is the opportunity to practice (and practice, AND practice) using the jigsaw before touching the actual Okoume pieces.  The cuts are getting easier and easier. 

Behold, my boat building blister badge of honor:

And supervisory bearded chickens, always making sure I stay on task.

Sunday is supposed to be sunny, so let's hope that I can finally put all these pattern pieces behind me!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

"A man builds the best of himself into a boat- builds many of the memories of his ancestors." Steinbeck
I'm celebrating my father on Father's Day by doing something he always wanted to do- build a boat! The very first bulkhead has been cut out today- this means I've transitioned from the theoretical phase to the actual start of building.  It's an exciting day, I only wish he could have been here to see it.

As soon as I finished cutting the bulkhead out, it took all of 10 seconds for this to happen:

Bulkhead or shield?  Dual purpose boat building!

In other boat related news, all of the pieces have been lofted, with the exception of the skeg and the shoe- so I'm barreling ahead on getting bulkheads cut out.

And I've decided on a color scheme- some sort of turquoise and red combo.   
She'll be jaunty, that's for sure! The bottom of the hull will be painted red, perhaps for the sole purpose of instructing my friends to watch for it when I capsize.  "If you see red, I may be dead!" 

This little boat has been such a beacon for me.  It's been a rough day, but having her to fixate on has been the best sort of therapy one could ask for.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Things I Want to Build (Casa Crustante Needs Love, Too)

Two things I really want to build for Casa Crustante (and I'm pretty sure they'll only take a weekend- not including paint)

1.  A storage bench w/ coat rack:

Plans to build this pretty little piece here (photo and design by Blue Roof Cabin).  I'd modify this a bit by widening the seat to allow for a super secret cat litter box. 

2.  A bench (again, with storage) to replace the settee in our dining area.  I found this inspiration shot also from Blue Roof Cabin.

Right now our emergency kit and earthquake supplies are stuffed under the settee.  It looks cluttered, so having a clean space to stash it would be amazing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lofty Ideas

I love having a little house.  But there are some downsides.  Like not having a formal dining area.  And not having enough room to loft pieces greater than 10'.

This whole time I've been lofting I've been fretting about the larger pieces.  It occurred to me the other night, while I was lying in bed wide awake, that I have the perfect surface in which to loft.  And it has been sitting under my nose this whole time.

The shed.

Of course, the shed!  I can't believe I haven't thought about this sooner.   The shed is 10'x20'- there's plenty of room for those troublesome larger pieces on the outside wall.  All I'd have to do is tack up two sheets of my 1/4" meranti to smooth out the T1-11 surface.  So that's exactly what I did.

Great idea + fantastic weather = all three planks, done.  

For what it's worth, Val makes a fantastic assistant.  His crazy long arms are perfect for holding up battens.  Speaking of battens, the plywood I'm using for the patterns (the 1/4" meranti) makes a great batten- I just cut out a 3" strip of it, and it worked quite well. 

In other boat related news, all the bulkhead patterns have been cut out.


Things are going faster and slower than I anticipated.  On one hand I'm surprised that we're nearing mid-June, and I have yet to play with the 1.5 gallons of epoxy I've purchased.  On the other, I'm proud of the progress I've made.   I feel like I'm moving steadily forward each day, and that's a wonderful feeling.

Friday, June 8, 2012

La Valse de Julie

What's green and gold and something you can use to drive your neighbors crazy?

A little Hohner Marchesa accordion, all of my own.   Now I just need to learn how to play it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Birthday and a Name.

Today marks my 31 years on this lovely planet.   (And perhaps the ugliest birthday cake ever purchased.  I bought it because I was certain the other cakes were teasing it.) 

 ..It also marks the beginning of a two year subscription to the WoodenBoat magazine!

Probably the sweetest thing my husband has ever said to me-  "I got you a two year subscription.  One year for the SCAMP, and another year for the next boat." Romance, indeed!

Today also marks my official Year of the SCAMP.  My goal is to get my boat in the water by my next birthday.  Hull #131, worked on in my 31st year.  But if I'm going to do this, I need to call her something.

And thus, I reveal the name of my boat:


"You're a bird of paradise."
"You know you're something special and you look like you're the best."
"You make me feel alive, alive, alive"
"I'll take my chance cause luck is on my side or something"

Oh, Rio, Rio, dance across the Rio Grande!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Router: 1, Julie: 0. The Battle Continues.

The Good-  The router jig worked beautifully.

The Bad-  The vibration of the router caused the router base to creep significantly, and thus the cuts toward the end of the process were much, much deeper than they were supposed to be.

The Ugly- I feel a bit embarrassed that I never considered that the base of the router would slip- I made the wrong assumption that once the bit was secured and stable, all the mechanical parts would stay put. 

Moral of the story- check your router base and collet (and the bit) for the right depth early and often!

As disappointing as this setback is, I really loved seeing the shape of the layers coming through after routing.   I can't wait to get back out there and give it another shot.  Disappointing, yes. Discouraging, no.

I've decided to give one of the half chewed blanks an afterlife as one of these:

Goals for this week: 

Cut out next centerboard.
Reread the router manual.
Loft three more pieces. 
Cut out the patterns for the pieces that I've already lofted.