Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Cat Crap Palace.

The puppy, though cute, is a bit of a handful.  He's nearly 6 months old now, full of vim and vigor, and he manages to get into all sorts of mischief.   He's into the usual doggy sports- i.e. digging through my vegetable garden and eating cat litter.

Yes.  He eats cat litter.  With a side of kitty roca.  With gusto.  Imagine my joy upon finding him zooming through the house with a fresh cat turd firmly held in his mouth.   Oh, there were words, all right.  And the requisite call to my husband "WHY DID YOU WANT A $#(@ing PUPPY!?"

Thankfully, I use a wheat cat litter, so at least I know that it's somewhat edible and it's (hopefully) not going to impact his intestines.  But there's something REALLY annoying about having to stash away the litter box every time I let the dog roam the house. 

Something had to be done.  And without further ado, I present to you the Cat Crap Palace in its currently unfinished glory.  Sturdy (extravagant 2x4 construction), an entrance only big enough for the cat, and complete with plenty of ventilation,  I'm really hoping this will work.

 And as it sits now, with a bit of primer. 

Guess how much I'd rather be working on my boat?!

He'd better grow up to be a water dog!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Scarffing Made Easy.

My West System Scarffer showed up on Wednesday, and wow.  To put it simply- it's amazing.

The hardest thing about this tool was mounting it onto the skil saw, and even that was pretty straight forward.  Once it was in place, serious scarffing started to happen.

My greatest respect goes to those of you who can scarf by hand.  But for me, this tool has been a time saver.   In less than two minutes I had a perfect 1:8 scarf across a 4' plywood panel. 

Worth every penny.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two Centerboard Halves, Both Alike in Dignity

I had two centerboard halves that were very close to being done.   They do need a bit more sanding, but I wanted them glued together for the final shaping. 

 Which meant one thing:  IT'S FINALLY TIME TO PLAY WITH EPOXY!!  

So I stacked my boards together as perfectly as I could, clamped them down, then drilled three holes through the top board, halfway into the bottom board.   I pulled the boards apart, then inserted three dowels into the board that was on the bottom.

At this point, I sanded the boards lightly to clean them up, then I mixed some epoxy, and applied two coats on both of the boards.   I sandwiched the halves together, aligned the dowels and the holes, tapped them in place, and clamped them together. 

It feels great to work with epoxy again. It's really fantastic stuff.   Speaking of which, I'm using AeroMarine Epoxy.  It's sold for an attractive price point, and those who have used it seem to like it.  I'm intrigued to know how it turns out!  And if it doesn't, well, I guess I'll have to switch brands when I build the next boat. 

In other boat related news: 

My hatches showed up yesterday. Do these look white to you?  Note the envelope used as a color reference.

Yeeeah.  They were returned.  The seller was very sympathetic, and next-day-aired the replacement hatches.  No complaints here!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Boat Update of No Update.

Minor victories:

70% of the 9mm pieces have been cut out.  There are a few giant ones remaining, notably, anything that requires a scarf (scarfing is the term used to describe joining two pieces of wood together).  On Rio, that involves the hull bottom and the cockpit sole, along with the planks and the deck. 

After practicing scarffing with my block plane, I've determined that there's NO way I'm going to be able to use just a block plane for the entirety of my scarfs. It would be feasible to do so on the planks, but on the larger pieces (the hull bottom and cockpit sole), it'd take a considerable amount of time.   So, I purchased the West System Scarffer.   It should arrive on Wednesday.

And all of the lightening holes have been cut out:

I've purchased the hatches for bulkhead #3.  I'll be using the 13x17 Tempress hatches

Slow and steady.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Discussing the Centerboard. Again.

I stumbled onto this webpage with a simple description of how to make a foil with a router- no jig required.  And it made a great deal of sense to me.

And then great things started to happen.

Brief summary-  After consulting the plans to figure out the shape of the foil, we made a list of offsets to mark on the blanks.  We basically broke down the centerboard cross section into measured increments, a bit like a topographic map.

After we had all the lines marked, we used the router to cut out each section.

Like this:

Then I used my block plane to smooth it all out.

I'm quite pleased with the cross section- it's starting to look like a foil!  I'm finally heading in the right direction.

I'm a long ways away from being finished with it, but I foresee great things in this centerboard's future.    Plus, it's the last of my 3/4" Okoume, so I had better get this one right.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


All 8 have been cut out.  Next up, cutting out some of the lightening circles and notches for the stringers, learning to scarf, and epoxy coating.

This boat stuff is fun!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 5th of July! Also, the Unofficial Start of Summer!

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Perfect for celebrating the Red, White, & Brew Blue.

Finally got around to my heather ale. I made my own recipe this time around.  My first time doing so, but I couldn't find any recipe that matched what I was looking for.  I should know by the 16th whether or not I've poisoned us. If it does turn out well, I'll be sure to share what I've learned in this process!

The boat thing is going well.  I've got 3 1/2 bulkheads cut out. 

We also built this great little work surface today- 3'x8'.  I've been working on an IKEA desk for the majority of this project, and I'm starting to really feel it in my lower back.

I now officially have all of the plywood needed to build Rio. I'm more than excited about that fact- knowing that someday a little ship will rise from those plywood sheets.

Monday, July 2, 2012

There's Still Time to Enroll!

Just wanted to share this comment from Pete Leenhouts, the director of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding
We are hosting the SCAMP-building class in partnership with the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) 6-17 Aug 2012, and are inviting everyone interested in SCAMPS to come up to Port Townsend to meet John Welsford (SCAMP's designer), Howard Rice and our SCAMP boatbuilding assistants Saturday, August 11th in the NWMC shop.
For those of you who are actually wanting to build a boat and not just gripe about it on a blog (looks in the mirror), this would be a fantastic opportunity to do it!  I'm already heartbreakingly jealous of those who will be attending- it looks to be quite an adventure.

More information here

May the SCAMP be with you!