Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Back To Work

It's been nearly two months since the last post and since I did anything meaningful on the boat. I just ran into a brick wall as far as motivation was concerned and needed to step away for awhile. Then the cold weather hit and it delayed things further.

During this last cold spell, I was getting antsy to get back on the boat and resolved to pick things up again. This weekend's weather was sufficiently warm enough (although damp and humid) to provide me with the excuse to start again.

However, before getting into that, let me catch up on what was accomplished before. The partition between the seat box and head box on the starboard side of the boat was being made. I had completed the clipper ship artwork and started the process of bonding it and the surrounding Cherry veneer to the plywood structure of the partition.

The veneer only covers the upper half, as the lower half is inside the head box and will be painted to match the inside of that box. The same is true for the side of the partition that faces the seat box. It doesn't extend all the way across either because the veneer was only 24 inches wide, however the area that is not veneered is also behind other structure so no problems there.

Veneering was accomplished using the garage floor with plastic barrier cloth. The partition was attached to the veneer with epoxy resin and then laid on the floor. More plastic barrier was laid over the partition and then a sheet of plywood sufficiently large enough to cover the entire partition. On top of this plywood I placed cinder blocks, tool boxes, an anvil, a dead horse, and anything else heavy I could find. The plywood spread the pressure over the veneer surface.

Afterwards it was all cleaned up and the process repeated on the other side. Then I wanted to bond an end cap on the display edge of the partition. This was cut from Cherry to the appropriate width and approximately 1/4" thick.

In order to insure that it bonded properly, I streamed the end cap and then clamped it into place on the partition until it was dry.

Next epoxy was applied to the end cap and it was bonded permanently in place. Then the end cap edges were rounded over using a 1/4" round over bit.

So far so good. A bit of epoxy clean up and it looked good setting in the boat even though not stained yet.

At this point I started running into trouble. Without getting into all the details, I went through several iterations of staining with water based dyes, gel based stains, and various colors. In between was sanding to remove the colors that were either too dark, blotchy, or too red. I was afraid I would sand through the veneer while doing this, but that ended up not being a problem.

After I got an acceptable stain, I started to encapsulate and ran into compatibility issues. The epoxy would fish eye in spots. When I tried to sand these smooth, it removed stain from the finish. Needless to say I was getting frustrated and discouraged and this episode in large part is why I took the time off from the boat.

Three weeks ago, on a rare warm day, I managed to get the stain once again to an acceptable point. Resolving to give the stain a week to fully cure, I brought the partition into the house to keep it warm. A week later I got a successful non-fish eyed epoxy finish on it. After the cold receded again (another week), I epoxy coated the other side. These coats are a bit pebbly (not too much) but they completely cover (and more importantly, protect) the stain and I will be able to lightly sand them to do the final epoxy coats.

Here is the partition setting in position. It still needs the aforementioned work, but is mostly as it will eventually be.

One of the organizational tasks I accomplished last year, creating a punch list of tasks to accomplish to complete the interior, was instrumental in getting me going again. Not having to think about what I should do next, but rather just going out and doing it, helped me get over my procrastination.

What I have started doing is figuring out the hinging arrangements for the various hinged members of the head box. I wanted the cover to have hidden hinges and was unsure what I would do for the inner seat level hinged cover( this cover gives access to the compost bucket underneath).

First up, I determined I could attach the lid of the cover to it's framework and better visualize the hinging arrangements. This was accomplished yesterday.

You'll notice that one side of the framework is open. This piece will be hinged to the lid and attached to the head box top allowing the top cover to hinge open. More on that in a moment.

Having no experience with hidden style hinges, I started doing some research and was quickly overwhelmed by the myriad choices available. However, I eventually gained enough understanding to start experimenting. One of the main challenges I had was that these hinges are normally mounted with the long hinge arm on the box and the short hinge arm on the lid (or door).

My mounting point on the head box was going to be the inner frame work and was considerable shorter than the length needed for the long hinge arm to clear. It seemed to me that the hinge should still work correctly if rotated 180 degrees but these hinges operate with rather complex motion, so I was unsure if this would work.

It took some head scratching and experimentation, but eventually I determined that I could indeed rotate the hinges and have them still work.

The following pictures show how the hinges will be used on the head box top cover. They will be mounted to the cover and the back frame piece which in turn will be mounted to the top of the head box. The second picture shows just the frame piece  on top of the head box in the approximate position it will be mounted.

So that's it for now. It's very humid and damp today, but I am glad that I was able to get started again on building.  Until next time, take care.

Click Here To Comment:

  1. Nice to see that you're getting back to work after a winter hiatus! I've been in the same "boat" on my project as well. The partition artwork looks great! Once again, your diligence, persistence and attention to detail have paid off.

    — Michael

    1. Thanks Michael, It has been somewhat of a slow winter. We seemed to have had more cold days this year. This phase of the build is also somewhat slow in that there are many pieces that need multiple layers of epoxy with the subsequent curing times lengthened because of that same colder weather.


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