Post XL - Fitting the Floorboards

 The boards will be grouped to either side of the centreline. Two boards to starboard, and two boards to port. Each group will be tied together to maintain a gap. Some kind of removable hold-down will have to go in place eventually since they do not sit flat, but

Floorboards are proving to be a bit of a pain. It all started out pretty good -- I made up a template for the bow out of bristol board and laid out the centre boards. I traced the narrowing of the bow on the boards and cut off the offending wood. A notch was cut for each seat support and to ensure that the floorboards sit in the proper position. This is when I realized my boards had a serious curve, despite having been clamped against a straightedge.

Figure 197: Bristol board template of the bow

Figure 198: Square peg in a *square* hole. No clich├ęs here!

I probably should have checked for straightness beforehand, but it's far too late now. No worries though - it's a chance to finally try out the hand ripsaw I bought last year. Ripsaws look a lot like crosscut saws except the cutting side of the teeth is about 90deg to the blade instead of 60deg. The teeth are also much deeper and not so close-set. I suspect this is because they are meant to act like a hundred little chisels, shaving wood out of the grainwise kerf rather than snipping across grains in a cross-cut situation. 

I snapped a chalkline and cut it straight. Used my No.5 stanley plane to clean up the tooth marks. Checked later with a straightedge and it came out pretty good. Fitting against the other floorboard, you can barely even see gaps. 

Figure 199: Hand Ripsaw...fun!

After getting the two centre floorboards figured out, I started on the outer ones. Again, I cut a straightedge for reference. For the other side, I just measured the floor pieces that were sticking out past the centre floorboards. These were marked on the outer floorboard and I splined them with a batten. On the upper side of the board I added 3/8" so that the board edge would have a slight bevel and hide the ugly fillets on the floors. 

Using the floors to estimate the spline might have been a mistake. It makes for a funny swoop in the board toward the stern; the board edge doesn't quite follow the curvature of the hull. At this point I don't really care and the floorboards are replaceable anyway. Maybe I'll figure something different out when I eventually replace them. 

Figure 200: Starboard side outer floorboard in place

Figure 201: Starboard side outer floorboard, looking aft from the bow.

I think it's looking pretty nice with those floor pieces covered up finally. Last thing will be to make the little cross members that tie the floorboards all together and then it's on to final finish work!


Post XXXIX - The BIG SAND, Floorboards & the Bow

Sanding turned out pretty good on the bottom -- this was the final pass before finish. I started sanding with 80 grit and finished it with 120 grit. It was kind of a dumb idea to have marked my waterline before sanding, but I was able to transfer the marks throughout the sanding process. All done using my 5" random orbit sander hooked to a vacuum. In this sanding pass I discovered a few lumps in the glass that when sanded opened up some holes in the fabric. I'm not massively concerned with this as they were only pea-sized and there is still a thick shell of epoxy protecting the wood. I patched over them using fairing filler just to be safe, and faired it in. Nothing much more to report here -- it took 2 afternoons and was a pain in the dick. Glad to have it done with. 

Figure 192: Nice smoooth sanded surface, ready for paint!

I've come up with a good treatment for my bow. It didn't come together neatly during the glue-up and it looks crappy. I'm going to make a little gunwale extension on each side to wrap all the way around the stem and have a cap plate (maybe 3/8" thick) that will cover the end-grain of the stem, along with my sloppy joinerwork. Should look much better and neater. 

Figure 193: Stem sawn flush with the breasthook.

I started work on the floorboards a few nights after completing the exterior sanding. These are simple cedar deck boards planed to 5/8" thickness. Plans called for 1/2" thickness but it seemed a bit flimsy to be honest. The longest two in the centre needed to be scarphed so I set them all up on the workbench. 

The usual techniques applied for cutting the scarphs, except I used an 8:1 slope instead of the usual 12:1. These are not structural and I was more concerned with getting out a usable length after gluing. Once cut, I slathered the scarphs in epoxy + adhesive filler and clamped it all against a straightedge to set. Next thing will be to shape the ends of the boards to fit the hull, and make up some shorter boards to fit outside the two main ones. 

Figure 194: Floorboards mocked up.

Figure 195: Cutting the scarphs all at once

Figure 196: Clamping against my 8' straightedge