Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Shop And Bulkhead Door Work

The last month has had me occupied with working on my home as I try to get it ready to sell. The ultimate goal is to move to the country and acquire property with a proper boat building and shop.

However, I have to live with the garage shop that I currently have. Fighting my way around the lack of space, and tripping over things while I try to squeeze around something that gets in the way, was getting to be too much for me. I was finding myself getting angry in the garage when I should have been enjoying myself.

Since I needed to get a storage unit as part of the moving process, this seemed like an ideal time to re-arrange the garage and get some things out of the way. One of the biggest culprits was a shelf I had in the corner. It took up a lot of valuable floor space, forcing me to put tool boxes in other areas, thus leaving less space. The shelf did hold some things, but overall, it's usefulness was overshadowed by the drawbacks of having it there.

Of the many different tasks I have performed, mixing epoxy has been up there near the top of things I do often. This required epoxy, mixing supplies, and a scale to be readily available. The epoxy was stored on the shelf. The supplies took up a valuable deep drawer in one of my roll away tool boxes. And the scale sat on my workbench, always in the way. To get around this, I decided to make a mixing cart to eliminate the need for the shelf in the corner and to free up the tool box drawer.

The cart was made from leftover lumber and plywood from the boat flipping structure and building form. It took me approximately 10 days working about 30 to 45 minutes a night to complete it (lots of other things to do after work unfortunately).

It contains a drawer for holding the supplies and storing the scale. There are two shelves, behind doors, for the epoxy and paint. I placed the cart on casters so I could move it around. Putting all of the epoxy stuff in this cart eliminated about 70% of what the old corner shelf was being used for. The remaining items went into storage or were moved to overhead bins which were freed up when other items were moved to storage.


Once the shelf was gone, I was able to re-arrange the toolboxes and get all of them on the same end of the shop. This is handy because I was getting very tired of having to walk back and forth across the garage just to get tools or put them away. With a little creative re-organizing, I manage to free up some floor space. An added benefit was getting the table saw close to the garage door again so that it's easy to move outside when I need to use it.


Another issue I was having was with the accuracy of my table saw when making 90 degree cross cuts. I have been watching YouTube videos about shop organizing and something that most woodworkers do is create a cross cut sled for their table saw.

Taking some more of my left over lumber and a few extra evenings, I put together a workable sled. 




Unfortunately, my table saw leaves quite a bit to be desired and the sled was less than perfect, making it still somewhat difficult to slide in the tracks and use. However, I can now get accurate 90 degree cuts which was great when I started back on the internal joinery of the boat.

The first use of the sled was in making accurate frames for the bulkhead door which will eventually allow access to the forward bow storage. This door will be ventilated by using a slat type design, similar to window louvers. 

In order to create those louvers, I had to figure out a method of creating the angled slots on the sides of the door frame. There are any number of expensive jigs out there for doing this, one in particular which I would love to own, but I really need to keep expenses down on the boat construction, so an alternative approach was warranted.

What I decided to do was to cut slots at 30 degrees  every 3/4" using the original cross cut slider from the table saw and rigging up a stop block that allowed me to get accurate placement of the slots. Then,  using shallow cuts of the table saw, I cut the slots. 


The plan is to cover the open ends of the slots with a cover board on the front and back of the door.

Cutting the actual slats was relatively easy using the cross cut sled and stop blocks. I cut 12 of these from 1/4" thick material and temporarily placed them in the door for a photo shoot.


These slats will be sanded to more pleasing profile and the cover plate over the door will probably have some decorative milling. We'll see on that. I am still in process trying to figure out how I am going to dress up the forward bulkhead using the mock ups I created earlier this year and still allow maintenance down the road.

So that's it for now. Not a terrible amount of work, but at least I can move around in my garage again, and starting work on the door has re-started my creative urges. Until next time, take care.