I’ll Get Started Anyway

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Tools, Woodworking

If you read my last post, you know that I have received my kit… sort of.  I am epoxy-less but having read the manual a few times I tought I can begin building.  If working chronologically, the bottom panel and 3 pairs of side panels are glued together first.  I skipped ahead to cutting the gains on the #1 panels.  I did this for a couple reasons. First, I just couldn’t wait to get started.  I have had the kit for about an hour but had been waiting for months to purchase it. And second, it’ll be easier to work with half length panels in my one car garage.

So I started with the gains… kind of “skerry!”  This is one of the things that most intimidated me in reading the manual.  A gain is essentially a slow taper on the upper edge of the panel that blends the beautiful lapstrake hull to a smooth finish at the bow and stern.  I used my rabbet plane to make a consistant decline to a depth of 1/8″ starting 20″ back from the bow and forward of the stern.  The rabbet width of 3/8″ was easily drawn with a carpenter’s square.

I began by sharpening the rabbet plane.  I had never used it, but wanted to make sure I got clean cuts as I shaved away at the beautiful okoume plywood.  Next, I clamped the stern and starboard panels together, interior faces together.  This helps me make sure the gains are even and provides for a little less flex in the wood when working on saw horses.  After that I was ready.  Sweat was pouring off my face and I hadn’t even started!  I was nervous, it was my first cut!

As I pulled the plane down the veneer and watched the excess peel away, I was relieved.  It wasn’t as intimidating as I had thought.  I worked meticulously, alternating between the plane, sandpaper, and a straight edge to ensure the “ramp” was smooth and true.  I worked slowly, but after about an hour I had finished the bow and stern of both #1 panels.  I was very concerned with the depth of the gains as both the manual and other build blogs commented about the problems with shallow gains.  A shallow gain can result in excessive sanding on the exterior of the bow or stern, leading to an unattractive removal of the exterior veneer.  This isn’t a big deal if you paint the exterior, but I am not entirely certain if I plan to paint the boat or finish it bright.

I learned a very important lesson in creating the gains.  Use a fence!  It can be a simple as a straightedge clamped on the wood.  I cut all my gains freehand, using only my pencil drawn line as a guide.  When I finished I saw my 24″ roofing square hanging on the wall.  That would have made an excellent fence to guide the plane!  The next panels will use it…

Time Spent: 1.0 Hour

Total Time In Build: 1.5 Hours

My Kit Arrives, But I Am Not Happy

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Mishaps

So today I was sitting at work, dreaming about building the boat, and thought I’d check the status on shipment.  I knew that the packages weren’t supposed to arrive for a couple more days, but I thought maybe I would get lucky.  So I logged on to AIT Worldwide Logistics (CLC’s kit shipper) and discovered that my kit was out for delivery!  It was only noon but I had an afternoon flight and I knew I wouldn’t be getting home until after 1730!  That wait was no fun, but when I did get home I instantly knew I would be waiting even longer to start building.  I found a trail of epoxy leading from the street, all the way up my driveway to a plastic wrapped box.  The box sat in a puddle of the stuff.  I immediately moved the larger of the two boxes (the one containing the wooden parts), slipped on some gloves, and grabbed handy my box cutter.  It was no easy task breaking into the partially hardened box, but when I did I saw a gallon of resin and a gallon of hardener had burst open.  It was obvious that the package had been dropped, landing on the throats of the containers and popping the caps and foil seal right off.

Now I can understand that accidents happen. But when this shipper realized that my package labeled “fragile” was leaking a sticky unknown substance, they decided to bag it and continue delivery.  I find that incredibly strange.  The epoxy must have wreaked havoc on the delivery truck and the driver’s hands because it wasn’t just dripping out of the package, it was running!  This is evident by the substantial trail on my driveway.

Knowing that both CLC and AIT were closed for the business day, I grabbed my iPhone and snapped pictures as I unpacked.  Once I was able to separate all of the epoxy items, I moved onto the wood and other assorted parts.  No damage or missing items there.  I went back to the epoxy and made an assessment of the total damage.  Although the Cab-o-Fill and Wood Flour containers were covered, no epoxy mixture had penetrated them.  I also had an in tack gallon of resin, but would need new pumps in addition to the damaged resin/hardener.  I put all this information together an emailed it to CLC.  I guess I’ll wait and see how this works out…

Time Spent: 0.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 0.5 Hours

My Garage Is Waiting For My Skerry Kit

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Preparation

Believe it or not, this is the workspace I intend to use to construct the Skerry.  It is a one car garage and should be just wide and long enough for construction… I hope! If you are wondering what that thing is at the bottom of the picture, it is a mosquito coil.  When I work in my garage at night this saves me from the bites.  Mosquitos in February?  Yes, this is South Florida and it is 80 degrees out!