Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cabinet Work Continued

I was hoping to have more done on this by now, but I've decided to get a post out since it my be several weeks before I complete the preliminary work on this project.

Here's a brief recap of the plans for the cabinet. It will contain a small sink and fresh water spigot, mostly for washing hands. The cabinet will have a small drawer and two cabinet doors, all of which will be above the water tank level. The lower section of the cabinet will contain a fresh and gray water tank as well as the pump for the spigot. This lower section will have it's own floor hinged panel to provide access to the tanks and pump.

The cabinet is a combination of African Mahogany framing, plywood sheet, Cherry veneers, and Cherry hardwood edges. The top will be curved down on the sides (for appearance purposes) with the top shelf sandwiched between the curved sides.

Because the cabinet extends high enough to cover a portion of the cabin sides, it has to be made in such a way that it can be installed in pieces during final assembly.

So I started by making the basic side panels and lower shelf.

Next a middle shelf was made and supports added for this.

The middle shelf had to be high enough to give room for the water tanks.

Next I had to figure out how these side panels would be mounted to the boat and how they would support the drawer assembly. The previous photo shows two vertical boards simulating a center support structure. On the sides, I added a wide structure which will support the drawer slides and mount the side panels to the boat frames.

One of the features of the cabinet is a piece of wood across the face of the top shelf to keep items from sliding off. In boat terms, this is called a fiddle. I wanted my fiddle to be a bit more decorative than a simple vertical edge. It is going to be shaped like the curved top.

In order to accomplish this, I needed to see how it would set in relation to the front cover boards and the side panels. There is also a hardwood edge planned for the curved edge of the side panels and the fiddle would have to fit into that as well.

So I experimented with ideas until I came up with something I liked. 

The fiddle was made from a piece of Cherry, planed by hand to the shape of the curve.

Then it was back to completing the side framing.

The veneers for the side panels came next. These are 1/8" Cherry boards on the exterior and paper backed Cherry veneer on the interior in the curved areas.

 And finally (for the moment), I've started working on the design for the front cover plates. These will have some decorative grooves cut into them and will blend into the curve of the fiddle along the top edge. The photos show the cover boards before adding the decorative grooves. The last photo shows the fiddle in relation to the cover boards. Try to imagine the curve being extended down into the top edge of these cover boards to give a rounded edge appearance to the cabinet.

You can also see a simulation of how the lower floor hinged door will appear. Of course, it will extend across the entire width of the cabinet.

The heat here has been very high for several months and my productivity is suffering because it. Therefore, the cabinet construction is going slower than I would like. Having to custom design everything also slows down the pace.

I have a bit more work to do on the cabinet; cut the decorative grooves in the cover boards, make the drawer support structure and drawers and the cabinet doors. I am not sure how much of this will be done now, and how much will wait for later. This is because before I can install this cabinet (or any of the other interior pieces) I need to complete fairing the top of the boat structure for the top deck. Then the cabinet sides need to be made and fitted. 

For those reasons, I will probably only do part of the remaining cabinet work and then stop to move on to the fairing. I realize this can be somewhat frustrating if someone is waiting to see the finished product, but I try to balance work with the need to do things in a certain order (in order to avoid difficult rework), my stamina in the heat, my free time, and the necessity of having to deal with other non boat related things. It's frustrating to me as well since I would very much like to be using the boat. But this is the way it has to be.

So until next time, take care.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

More Cabin Interior Work

I've continued working on the interior although I didn't make as much progress as hoped due to medical issues which kept me away from the boat for 10 days. I'm doing better now and was able to get some work done yesterday and today before being called away to help my son with moving furniture.

There were a few semi interesting developments that occurred this time around. The seat box flip up extensions that I have been working on got to a point where I could see what they would look like in action. The extensions first had to be encapsulated with epoxy.

Then the overhang piece (second previous photo) and the extensions were connected together using stainless steel 6 inch piano hinges that took me forever to acquire after ordering online. Once connected, I clamped them into position on the seat boxes to get an idea how they will work. As you can see in the next two photos, the will be hinged down under normal circumstances and then hinged up when the seat box will be used as a berth. Eventually there will be folding legs mounted to the underside which will support the extensions when they are folded up.

One of the first things I did was temporarily reinstall the cabin side wedges and make a second cabin side template. The wedges, as the reader may remember were to cant the cabin sides in 5 degrees. The second template was made and both were placed in the boat. I'm pleased to say I like the appearance of the cabin. And to make things even better, when both templates were in place, all the points on both pieces were level with one another.

Another interesting item that I got to work on was my first attempt at striking a large arc. The purpose of this was to create a roof beam template for the cabin ceiling. The cabin will have a slightly rounded top and I wanted to get some idea how that was going to look. It also gave me a chance to understand and practice a technique for striking a large arc to a particular size. 

It basically involves a bit of geometry and measuring points on the curve. Then using a flexible wooden batten across the points, I traced the curves. The template was made from plywood since it will only serve as a model for the real thing. 

The final product will be made from laminated mahogany and I'll cover that when I get to that point in the build. The next two photos show the layout of the arc on the plywood.

The the part was cutout and placed into position on the boat. As you can see, the curve is not much, only 2 inches higher at the center of the arc. The ceiling will be low on this boat to enhance the appearance of the profile. The top of the arc comes to my chest when standing on the floor of the cabin.

As it will take me a couple of months to save up enough for the next batch of plywood (for the real cabin sides and the decks), I elected to return to the interior and start work on the cabinet. 

I've shown previous mock ups of this part but wanted to get it made up. It was during this time that I started having medical problems and work slowed down. But I got the main cabinet pieces made and placed temporarily into position.

This cabinet will have a small sink on the top and tentatively a drawer and a couple of doors (although I am still considering the features of the cabinet).

When I returned to work yesterday, I had since received some plumbing parts for the water system. The plan is to have a 5 gallon fresh water tank, a 5 gallon gray water tank and the two connected to the sink and faucet via an electric pump and plumbing lines.

I've acquired the tanks and pump. The rest will be purchased later. I needed the tanks because I wanted to determine how best to mount them in the cabinet. With limited space in the interior of the cabinet body, I had to make sure that both tanks would fit.

It is also necessary to account for room for plumbing and the pump. The tanks will need to be occasionally removable and both will need a means of being drained ( as well as filling for the freshwater tank).

I decided to make a slightly raised platform on the bottom of the cabinet. This was because the very bottom was restricted in depth somewhat by the curvature of the hull. By raising the platform approximately 3 inches, I gained an extra bit of depth , giving me the room I needed for both tanks.

I played around with positioning the tanks to determine the best position and location of the plumbing hardware.

After considering everything, I decided that mounting the pumps forward of the tanks was best.  This leaves room for the plumbing fittings on the tanks, access to the pumps, and room to install drain lines for both tanks. There will be an access door on the inboard wall of the cabinet, tall enough and wide enough to allow removing the tanks when necessary and getting to the equipment.

Above these tanks there will be another shelf. From there I an still considering what will be next. I am pretty sure that there will be a drawer as I would like a place to put things. 

I will be working on this area of the cabin for a while longer until I get the deck plywood. I'll cover more next time. Now that I am feeling better, I should be able to get back to regularly working on the boat. So until next time, take care.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Seat Box Extensions And Starting On The Cabin Sides

This weekend was another of those milestones that I have been looking forward to for sometime. I will get into it in a moment, but first I am going to cover the continuing work on the seat box extensions.

The extensions are designed to flip up when the seats are used as part of the sleeping berth. This allows for extra width for additional support. Don't have to worry about rolling off the bunk!!

They are relatively simple parts consisting of a frame covered with plywood and then veneered with Cherry. All of that was accomplished in the last couple of weeks.

Before veneering however, I wanted to add hardwood edges to the plywood face. Instead of doing this with the plywood still unattached, I elected to do it afterwards. Using my table saw set to the correct depth and with the table saw fence placed correctly, I ran the extensions of the saw and cut rabbets on each edge.

Then using more of the 1/8" Cherry veneer wood, I covered the tops. I also added a veneer on the aft end as this would be visible.

Once the veneers were cleaned up, I added the hardwood edges, cleaned them up and rounded over the edges.

Then the parts were stained and will wait until next week when I will begin the encapsulation process on them.

Unfortunately, I had difficulties with an order for the stainless steel hinges I had planned to use so they have been delayed and I will have to wait until I can continue on the extension pieces.

However, another exciting development has been taking place. I had decided earlier this year to move to the cabin sides after getting most of the cabin lower parts made. The reason for this was a change of pace and to see how this would affect the upper cabin components that still need to be made.

One of the first things I wanted to do was experiment and see if the cabin sides could be inclined inward a little bit. The plans call for them to be vertical, but I feel they would look better canted in a small amount.

The cabin sides are mounted to the carlings, which are vertical. They was designed this way for ease of construction of the cabin, but I am going to get around this by installing 5 degree wedges.

Making these wedges was fairly easy after a bit of experimentation. Using my band saw, I modified the fence to be taller and attached a small piece of wood down on the table to force the material being cut away from the fence.

Using 1/2 inch plywood, I cut a few sample pieces to try it out.

This made me realize that they pieces had to be the same height as the carlings in order to get the angles correct. Marine grade plywood pieces were cut out and then run through the cutting jig.

The next step was experimenting with scrap plywood to see how the angle looked on the boat.

I was satisfied that this approach will work so I proceeded to the next phase which is making a plywood template for the cabin sides. There is a good reason for this, several actually. But mainly I wanted to make any mistakes in the template so that the final parts will be as error free as possible. The templates also simplified the fitting of the parts and helped me understand how I am going to cut out the real parts.

Then these parts were fitted to the boat. This took a while as they needed to be trimmed for height, and length. Also, the aft end has an angled design element that needed to match up to the transom.

Next, the windows were marked on the plywood, cut out and sanded to final shape. 

There's still more work to do on the template. The front window is currently not level with the deck and this will need to be corrected. I also want to smooth out some of the curves. I'll be spending considerable time thinking through the various parts of the cabin installation and see how that will be accomplished. I want to be totally comfortable with this before committing to the real thing.

So that's it for now. It's pretty cool having this done as I can really begin to tell what the boat is going to look like. After nearly 6 years, the images in my mind are coming into being. Until next time, take care.