Sunday, 15 January 2012

And then there were doors

A day of striving with my assortment of power tools has produced some not half bad cupboard doors if I say so myself. They're panelled using frames of 6mm ply glued to a backboard of 12mm ply and then finished with a mitred moulding inside. The only problem was that I needed more clamps than a clamp factory to hold each door together while the glue set.
The result looks classy - or will when paint has covered the occasional minor mishap. Maybe I'll build my galley after all...

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Organised chaos

Currently the floor of Harry looks like a sawdust factory. And it's also a health and safety officer's worst nightmare - trailing wires lying everywhere like a nest of vipers. Circular saw, jigsaw, router, chop saw, table saw. Let alone lights and vacuum cleaner making a feeble effort at dust extraction.
It's all in aid of the building of an under deck cupboard which will lie between the water tank and the head of the bed. In theory the cupboard ought not to be a tricky build. In practice of course it is. The sides curve both in and forwards, following the lines of the bow sides, the top slopes down either side and the floor slopes up. In other words, there's not a straight line or right angle anywhere. A typical bit of boat joinery in fact.
As a result I've had to build the front in five pieces - sides, base, top and centre panel. Miraculously it all fits in the space pretty well. There's an inner base floor above the water pipes and a centre divider to help hang the shelves.
So far it's taken about four days and generated around a ton of sawdust but tomorrow the doors will be finished and the job finished. Bar the painting - but's that something for the Painting Department to look forward to.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

An up and down sort of week

Strange business, this boat fitting. Sometimes things race along and the project seems to charge towards completion. The next week everything somehow grinds to a halt and despite your best efforts nothing really seems to happen. Or, worse, things go backwards.
This has been one of those weeks. Final ballasting of Harry is something I guess I should have tackled sooner but the first step was filling the 150 gallon water tank to see how much that made the bows came down, and for some reason I was nervous about this.
I don't know why; it all seemed to go well. The tank filled and the bows dropped about four inches. I went home happy for my tea. But the next morning I saw faint traces of water on the floor - yes the first union out of the tank was leaking. Just a drip a minute but a leak's a leak.
And it took a day - yes a day - for the water to slowly drain out of the tank via a hose, a bucket with an auto bilge pump and into the cut. Repairing the leak took ten minutes!
But at least I know that I need about half a ton of ballast - and it'll have to be iron or steel as I'm running short of space and these are the heaviest (short of church roof lead). I've got a source for railway fish plates I hope but he's a busy man and so I'm waiting until he has time to sort some out. Or knowing the way things are at the moment, to discover he hasn't got any after all.
I'm also waiting for some planed solid oak - ordered before Christmas but still not delivered. Are they waiting for the trees to grow?
The final hold-up is the galley (or the kitchen to landlubbers). That delay is down to me deciding whether I'm up to building my own or whether we should opt for trimming B&Q style units to fit and tarting the result up with a nice chunky wood worktop. My heart says DIY but my head says I could be letting myself in for some serious headaches.
Maybe when I finally get the oak and can build a second door for the bathroom cupboard I will get a clearer idea of my abilities - or limitations.