Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Transom And Other Miscellaneous Work

Most of these last couple of weeks has been devoted to working on the mahogany veneer for the transom although I did take several days off to have a mini vacation.

In addition to the transom, I have been gradually working on smoothing out the hull exterior. This involves laying down a thin layer of fairing compound, actually epoxy resin mixed with micros spheres. This is spread over the seams and the screw holes in order to remove any unevenness in the surface.

Then it's sanded with an orbital sander and final gone over with the long sanding board I recently made. It's dull, tedious work, but it will aid in getting a smooth surface when I lay the fiberglass on later.

 The transom veneer is a repetitive process of fitting a plank, gluing it into position, removing staples, sanding down excess epoxy, trimming it, and then fitting the next plank. There were eight planks in all that needed to be installed. Each one had to be trimmed slightly before gluing in order to get it to fit nicely against the previous one.

In the next two photos, you can see the initial gaps between the previous plank and the next one. To deal with this, I would sand a bit off the previous panel's edge, test fit the new panel and determine where additional material might need to be removed. It didn't take too much material to be removed, but it did take a bit of time to get it right.

When I got to the area where the carriage bolt heads were sticking up, I had to make a small recess in the backside of the plank to accommodate the bolt head.

I used the Harbor Freight Tools staple gun to staple the planks into position, stapling through plywood washers. I had actually run out of these and needed to make some more. However, my table saw was still broken from several months ago, so I had to take it apart and replace a bearing on the aft end of the motor. It was not too difficult of a task but I was fortunate that an alternator repair shop was able to remove the old bearing because that would have been very difficult to remove.

Once the saw was repaired I made new plywood washers and continued with the planking. Removing the staples was not too difficult once I started using a soldering iron to heat them up before removal.

By last Thursday, I had completed the planking and started on the trimming and edge clean up. I had already rough cut the excess wood off using the jig saw. On the last plank, the excess wood overhung the bottom edge but getting in there with the jig saw was tricky. I did not want to hit the bottom of the boat with the saw blade so I had to leave quite a bit of material still in place.

Using an electric disc sander and 60 grit sanding disc, I removed the excess material down to approximately 1/32 inch of flush. Then I used my belt sander to complete the task. There are some minor gaps where the epoxy didn't completely fill which have since been filled.

In the outboard cut out, there was also excess wood overhanging. This was a bit more difficult to remove. I started my marking the extent of the excess by drilling small holes from the inside of the transom.

Then using the jig saw, I removed some of the wood. The belt sander was used to remove the remainder. I had to go slowly here because I wanted to leave this nice and straight for when I add the end cap.

Here is the result.

I still have some work to do on the transom. Namely, add the end cap to the outboard cutout, steam the staple holes closed, sand the exterior surface to smooth it out, and stain the exterior to even out the colors of the wood.

The end cap is going to be a piece of wood steam bent to fit in the "U" of the cutout. My first experiment trying to bend some wood failed when the wood cracked rather than bending. I believe I didn't steam it enough. I'll cover more of this next time since it is still in progress.

The other tasks have not been accomplished yet so they will also be covered next time. Until then, take care.

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  1. Carl, your hard work is truly paying off. I can only imagine how the paint will look, after all the prep work you're putting into this. You should truly be proud!

    1. Thanks Mike,

      It's funny but I am just getting ready to post another blog entry (albeit a short one) about sanding.


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