Diesel Duck 382

Diesel Duck 382
Diesel Duck 382 with the "get home" steadying sails up.

Monday, April 24, 2017

That's forever! Wooden boat frame construction.

Spring has sprung and with the warmer temperatures it's perfect weather for glue!  The first five stations we lofted out are now complete.  Chines cut, glued, bolted and done, they are now permanent.

I stressed for weeks over whether to cut the chine notch on the table or after the frames were installed on the keel.  George Buehler recommends doing it on the table but other Duck blogs I have read have recommended doing it once they are installed.  One builder said after he cut them on the table the chine notches did not line up once installed on the keel.

It's easy to understand why the notch may not line up when you think about it.  The plans indicate that the chine notch is 2 1/4" deep (3 layers of 3/4" material laminated together) 2" on the outside of the notch and 3 1/4" on the inside.  However, it is impossible to have these 3 dimensions exactly at each station.  The angle between the sides and bottom is constantly changing from station to station and no two frames are the same.  The only measurement that is constant for each station is the thickness of the chine log.  In my mind you have to be flexible with the other two measurements to ensure they line up.

With that in mind I created a simple plywood jig taking into account the two dimension I knew the notch could not exceed.  The inside 3 1/4" dimension and the 2 1/4" depth are the important ones.  The 2" outside dimension is going to be different for each station.  The jig is simply to small pieces glued together 2 1/4" deep by 3 1/4" long in the shape of an "L".  When placed on the station you simply line up the depth side flush with the outside of the frame while simultaneously aligning the 3 1/4" height side of the jig flush with the bottom frame. This ensures that the notch will not exceed the maximum dimensions of the laminated chine log stock.  The outside of the lamination will be proud of the bottom frame but that's a good thing.  This will allow extra material to be faired off later to align perfectly with the bottom.
The jig is the L shaped pieces of plywood in the center of this picture.
With the jig in position it's a simple matter of tracing the shape out on to the frame.  Once marked I used the jig saw with a long blade to cut it out.  I cut out each notch at the same angle of the corresponding frame bevel.  These will need to be fine tuned at each station upon installation but my goal is to take as much "meat" out of the notch as I can when it's easiest to work on the frames.

To match the angle of the bevel I simply laid my jigsaw base on the side of the corresponding piece I was cutting being careful to establish the angle with the saw in the same direction the cut will be made.  I then adjusted the angle of the blade until it matched bevel of the frame piece.

I made the cuts a few different ways before I found what worked best.  Being mindful that the angle of the saw blade would change the dimensions of the notch, you need to be careful to cut on the correct side of the line. You don't want to make the cut larger than the jig layout.

What I found to work best was cutting with both gussets in place and the wide side of the frame face down on the table.  When you lay your jig on the narrow side and adjust the saw blade angle it ensures that the cut never exceeds the dimensions of the jig.  Once I had my head straight understanding all these angles the cutting of the notches went quickly.  I struggle with the mathematics of woodworking, in particular geometry.  It takes me a little longer than the average person to have a good understanding of what is happening.

Next up was drilling the bolt holes, gluing the gussets and installing the bolts.  Nothing complicated here besides being careful of where the bolts go.  Each frame receives 20 bolts, 10 on each side, 5 per piece.  The hardest part was deciding which glue to use.  Once again I stressed over this detail. Epoxy, Rescirnol, Plastic resin or Titebond III were all options.  After reading extensively I was leaning toward TBIII.  Then the builder of the Diesel Duck, Pelagic, commented on one of my posts of how he used gallons of TBIII in his build.  If you've ever seen how beautiful his boat came out (pictures HERE) I was sold on TBIII.

Ultimately my choices came down to plastic resin and TBIII.  I know that TBIII is not a structural adhesive and that plastic resin is.  However I am not relying on the glue to hold the joint together, that's what the bolts are for.  The glue is the suspenders in the belt and suspenders approach I am taking with this build.  Additionally plastic resin glue requires very specific conditions and temperatures in order to cure properly.  If not cured properly the glue fails terribly.  I read many stories of things going bad with this adhesive.  Since I could not guarantee the protracted time periods to meet the conditions that plastic resin requires I went with TBIII.

While more expensive than plastic resin, TBIII is premixed and easier and quicker to apply.  It's rated as waterproof, just as plastic resin, yet it will cure down to around 45 degrees.  It's the glue I used on the boat shed I'm building in and that structure survived 81 MPH winds with no damage.

I marked my holes with a marker then drilled them out.  I then removed the screws from the gusset and applied the glue.  I reinstalled the gussets and screws and then flipped the frame over and did the same thing on the other side.   I then hammered through all the 5/16" bolts and applied washers and nuts.  I tightened them down to the point that the wood fibers began to compress.  You don't want to crush the wood and cause it to split.

That process was repeated for all the frames and once completed they were stacked along the side of the boat shed.

I then put a fresh coat of paint on the framing table in preparation of the next round of frame lofting.

Finally, we purchased the remainder of the lumber required for the keel.  I ended up cashing in my credit card points that I didn't even know I had from 10 years of using the same card.  This resulted in over $400 in home depot gift cards that we used to buy Douglas Fir 2x8's in various lengths.

It was quite a sight to see those sixteen footers hanging out the back of the truck be we got them home safe and sound.

Then just because I wanted to see what it looked like I stacked them up in the boat shed in the form of the lower portion of the keel.

It's massive and this is just the first part too! There is still another 9 inches to go that will be comprised of the larch we bought a few months ago.  I wanted to use the rot resistant larch as we got into the inside of the boat where the wood will be going through regular wet/dry cycles.  I'm not worried about the submerged part of the keel rotting as it will not be exposed to the air and will be encapsulated in epoxy and fiberglass cloth.

Now it's on to lofting out the next batch of frames and repeating the process.  The only difference is that we can apply the glue and bolts as we go.  That is going to be nice because the less you have to move these frames back and forth from the table, the better.  They are fairly heavy but it's their size that makes them difficult to move around.

Check out our Facebook page if you want to follow along in real time on our work days.  You can follow the link at the top or click HERE.  If you want to watch us in action check out our YouTube CHANNEL.  Thanks for following along and good luck on your project, go create something!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Looks like a boat

Frames for stations 2, 10 and 18 are complete.  Station 26's frame is machined, cut to size and beveled but since that frame will have a complete plywood bulkhead I did not fully assemble it. That's going to be a heavy one and I'll need the keel ready and more manpower before I complete it. Station 34 is laying on the table still and is just waiting on the bracing before I can call it complete. Actually none are really complete because they still need glue and bolts.  This weekend is looking promising to apply the glue as warmer temperatures are expected.  I also need to make a decision on whether to cut the chine now or after they are installed, decisions, decisions!

station 10 and 18 standing up, station 2 laying on the plywood below them.

Stations 26 and 34 presented a new challenge.  As with all the frames in the aft end of the boat after station 24, a raised sheer is incorporated into the frame.  This requires the side piece to be cut at an angle at the top in order to "square up" the profile of the boat above the sheer.  This provides additional headroom in the stateroom.  Once the angle is cut and fitted another piece will be added to the inside of the frame on the raised sheer to "square up" the inside of the boat as well as provide additional material thickness for strength.  This piece will be glued and bolted to the frame.

Building the raised sheer is not all that difficult but it does require some careful layout and cutting.  I learned that the raised sheer piece needs to be fitted perfectly before any other layout for the rest of the side piece or the bottom piece can be made.  As with all of boat building any changes in width or angle effect all the other pieces, so if you are working on something similar proceed accordingly.

The other issue I encountered, which was expected but still not overcome, was the confusing nature of all lines that are drawn on the layout table.  After feeling pretty proud of myself for fitting the raised sheer nearly perfectly, I screwed up the bottom piece.  When I laid out my bottom piece to mark the angle where it meets the side piece, I inadvertently used the pencil line from station 18 and not station 26!  Needless to say this caused the board to be to short.  For a more thorough description check out episode 11 on our YouTube channel by clicking HERE.  A replacement was made up and we'll save this mistake for later, as i'm sure i'll be able to use it somewhere else.

Work continued on station 34.  Once again, my lack of attention to detail led to a series of cascading and minor errors.  While laying out the port side piece I made a marking error.  I didn't want to confuse myself so I flipped the board over to make new markings.  I completely forgot about the frame bevel that was already cut for that piece.  This resulted in me cutting the raised sheer angle on the wrong side which put the frame bevel on the inside of the boat.  With the now flat outside portion of the frame tight against the blocking, the entire piece was approximately 1/8" short of the original layout lines on the framing table.  Since I had already cut the bottom piece to that mark, that meant the bottom piece was now to short!

I rationalized and bargained with myself that these were no big deal.  After all, the frame bevel at this station was only 2 degrees, easily planed off once the frame was installed.  The layout of the keel on my framing table is actually about 1/8' narrower than it will be in real life.  I did this so I could trim each frame when installing for a perfect fit.  The bottom piece being to short probably would have been fine.

After calling it a day and reflecting on my mistakes specifically and this project in general,  I knew I had to do better.  I've said "close enough" and "good enough" on many of my woodworking projects. However, my life or even more importantly my wife's life,  will never depend on my dining room table or my headboard, it will on this boat.  I'm just not willing to accept anything less than my best on this project.  If it takes more time, money or material then that's what it takes.  This boat will be built right!

So I started the following day by machining, beveling, marking and cutting three new pieces.  It was time well spent to make things right.  I finished up the day completing the gussets and preparing the bracing for station 34.

My apprentice (father) is back from snowbirding in Florida, so it will be nice to have some extra help for the glue and bolts on the frames.  After that is complete, I'll paint the table white and lay out more stations and the process will begin again.

Please check out the Sea Dreamer Project on YouTube.  If you like what you see please subscribe and share.  If you have things you would like to see in the building process or other things you would like more details on  please let me know and we'll try to work them into the videos.

Thanks for for checking out our project!  If you want to follow along closer to real time, check out our Facebook page. I post pictures and commentary throughout our work days along with other cool woodworking and wooden boat stuff.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Keep on keeping on

We keep moving forward.  I heard saying somewhere about boat building and it went something like: Building a boat is not a hard job, it's the fact that there are a million different jobs to do that make it difficult.  I'm beginning to see how true that is.  I have not encountered anything that is particularly difficult to do but my mind is always filled with the thought of all the jobs that need to be done.  The only way to overcome this is to keep working on something, anything, just keep checking boxes off the list.

We took the transom knee out of the clamps and laid our patterns for both knees out on them.  I used a wide tipped marker to trace the patterns on to the blank knee lamination's for the stem and transom. Using the thick marker created a thick line to cut out.  I cut out the outside of the line leaving the inner edge of the line for final fitting once the keel is ready to receive them.

I was lucky to have a 10 1/4" timber saw to cut them out with.  A standard 7 1/4" circular saw would not have enough depth to make the cut.  As it was I had to mark the pattern on each side of the blanks and cut both sides in order to get through these 7" thick pieces.  I thought about cutting them on my bandsaw but that proved to difficult.  Not only are these knees quite large and heavy and difficult to manipulate on the bandsaw but the cutting would need to proceed very slowly.

Now I hate when I watch a home show or a building show and the builder pulls out some obscure tool that no average woodworker or DIY enthusiast would own and uses it to make a job look easy.  I was fortunate to have been given this timber saw by a retired construction worker friend of my fathers.  If you are attempting something similar you could use a chainsaw or rent a timber saw from a tool rental place.  These saws are big, powerful and have a ton of torque so they take some getting use to.  I've only used this saw a couple of times but I was basically familiar with how it feels when cutting.  If you end up using one I would recommend a few practice cuts before getting started.

Once that job was completed we moved out to the boat shed to build another frame.  This time it was for station 10.  We installed our spacer blocks on the lines we lofted out on our framing table to account for the thickness of the hull planking.  Just like station 2, we laid out our timbers, marked our lines and cut out the angles.

 I again used cardboard to create a pattern for the gussets and cut them from 3/4" ACX plywood.  I cut my patterns exactly in the shape of the joint and add the shoulder of the gusset once I lay out the pattern on the plywood.  I just use a straight edge to connect the inside corners of the pattern.  You can check out our building videos on YouTube to see a better illustration of the process.

Station 10 still has a relatively steep bevel angle but I was able to use the same pattern for both sides of the frame.  Just like station 2, we screwed the gussets to the timbers to temporarily hold them together until we are ready for glue and bolts.

It takes about an hour to machine up and cut all the bevels on the timbers and then it takes about an hour to complete the assembly process.  The work went pretty smoothly this time and as other readers and viewers have said, the process is speeding up as I become more familiar with what is required.

I was grateful to pick up an overtime shift this weekend so I only had one weekend day to work but I think I made the most of it.  As more and more friends and family find out about the project I'm getting use to the strange looks and offers for psychological help.  Every once and a while I do have moments of panic thinking about what I have gotten myself into, but It really has been an enjoyable process so far.  I look forward to my time in the shop all week long and so far I have no regrets.

Thanks for following along and we love to hear from our readers and viewers so don't hesitate to send us a message using the link above.  If you prefer you can email us at contact@seadreamerproject.com or leave a comment here or on YouTube.  Hopefully we can bang out a couple more stations this weekend and get ready to loft out more stations.

Monday, March 20, 2017

If you build it.

I brought my A-game (I think) and successfully laid out five frames at stations 2, 10, 18, 26 and 34.  I did another time lapse of my work day if you would like to see a quick review.


Everything went really well and it was actually kind of enjoyable.  I can't stress enough that this requires patience and attention to detail.  I literally double checked every measurement before getting the markers out.  I also learned that there really is no way around the lines being close together, particularly on the bottom portion.  If it becomes a concern going forward, the only solution would be to lay out fewer frames and paint over more frequently.  We will see and I'll keep you advised.

With the frames laid out it was time to make some saw dust.  Before I powered up the machines I took some measurements from the framing table to determine how long to rough cut the pieces to. Since I purchased my lumber in the rough it had to be surfaced prior to use.  I feel very comfortable with this portion of the job as I have been surfacing and squaring up stock for many years.  I gave my jointer and planer a good work out and prepared my stock quickly.

I located the frame bevels from the plans provided by Mr. Buehler and used my table saw to make those cuts.  I also cut some 3/4" plywood blocks the width of the finished boat planking.  These blocks are used to set the timbers back from the lines on the lofting equal to the thickness of the planking so the finished boat comes out the same size as the designer intended.

I screwed the blocking to the framing table, two for the side and two for the bottom, right on the lofting lines and laid out my machined timbers.  Station 2 has particularly steep angle that the side piece meets the bottom.  the side piece is beveled to the angle of the slope of the bottom of the boat and the bottom timber butt's up to the side piece.  Unfortunately I did not take into account how steep that angle was and I ended up cutting my side pieces to short.  So I gathered up two more rough boards the correct length, machined them up, cut the bevels and tried again.

Lofting for five stations with blocking in place for station 2.

I then laid out my timbers against the blocking so I could transfer the angles I would need to make the cuts on in order to get the pieces to meet correctly.

Nothing complicated here, just making sure everything was on their lines and transferring the angles to the lumber.  Once I had my marks I cut the timbers out with my circular saw.  I then put my cut timbers back on the table and used cardboard to create templates for the gussets. Because the angle is so steep for the bevels at station 2 I needed to make templates for both the front and back of the frames.  I then took the cardboard templates and traced them out on to some 3/4" ACX plywood and cut them with my circular saw.

I drove a 3" wood screw through the edge of the bottom piece and into the side piece from the inside of the frame near the chine.  This pulled the joint together nicely for the application of the gusset. The gussets were then just laid on and screwed temporarily into place.  two screws on the side member and 2 on the bottom member.  I then flipped the assembly over and put gussets on the other side. When we get some warmer temperatures I will take this apart and apply some Weldwood plastic resin glue to the joint and reattach the gussets.  Howeve,r once glued, I will bolt the gusset to the frames instead of using screws.

The final step was to attach some temporary bracing to the assembly to hold it in place until it is attached to the keel.  One down, 18 to go!

It was a busy weekend of boat building and although I only got one frame done I was happy with the progress.  I also got my work shop up to temperature and epoxied the stem knee together.  Once that fully cures we'll put our thinking caps on and try to figure out the best way to cut both the stem and transom knees to shape.

If you want to keep up with the daily happenings of the Sea Dreamer Project please be sure to check out our Facebook page and click on the "like" button to get regular updates.  Thanks for following along and fingers crossed for some warmer weather.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lofting frames: Connect the dots carefully

To spin this past weekend in a positive light, I'll say that it was a great practice run.  I got started lofting the frames on our framing table.  Essentially you use the measurements from table of off-sets to plot out the various points for the chine, sheer and raised sheer (aft end) and then connect the dots. If you think of your framing table as a sheet of graph paper with an X and Y axis it's a little easier to understand.

The table of off-sets has the heights above the base line and the half widths.  You simply take the measurements for the designated part of the boat, at a specific station, from each part of the table of off-sets and plot them out on the framing table.  After you connect all the dots you'll have a representation of the boat frame for which the measurements came from.

It's important to note that these lines represent the outside of the hull.  When actually building the frames you need to set the timbers for the frame back from this line the distance that equals the thickness of your hull.

Station 26

I started with station 26.  I chose 26 because it was the largest frame and the first frame with the raised sheer.  Doing this one first would ensure that my lofting table was big enough.  Things went really well and this frame came out perfect.

The only challenging aspect of the process is doing mathematics in this peculiar boat building measurement format of Feet, Inches and 8th's of inches.  The math comes in to play when you subtract the height of the rabbet from all the other measurements.

Subtracting the rabbet is required because you don't want to have to draw out the size of the entire keel on your framing table.  This allows you to keep the size of your framing table manageable.  The process begins by laying out the thickness of your keel in the center of the framing table along your base line. You need to be precise.  If your keel is seven inches wide then you need to measure out 3 1/2 inches from the center line.   The bottom of these marks will act as the new baseline without having to draw out the entire keel.  In order to remove the keel you must subtract the height of the rabbet from the other measurements.  This allows you to use the bottom of your framing table as the base line instead of the arbitrary base line provided in the profile view.

I'm not going to get into it to much here, you can read Georges book for a much better explanation than I could ever give or you can check out Episode 7 of the Sea Dreamer Project on YouTube for a video tutorial.  In sum and substance you must subtract 12 inches from the feet measurement and added it back in to the other measurements in inches and 8th's of inches before you do the math.  However this is only required when necessary to do the mathematics and avoid negative integers.  In some cases you'll be able to just line up the 3 measurements for each point and do the simple math that will give you your final measurement.

The simple way will be obvious when you see it, for example;  lets say you want to subtract 3-3-4 from 5-5-4. Well if you try to convert 5-5-4 as described in Georges book you get 4-16-12.  When you attempt to subtract 3-3-4 from 4-16-12 you get 1-13-8.  Remember the 8 represents 8th's of inches, so if you have 8 8's that equals 1 inch so you would add that into the inch column and your 8th's column becomes zero.  The inch column then becomes 14, which is over a foot.  By subtracting 12 inches and adding that back into the foot column you get 2 feet 2 inches and 0 8th's or 2-2-0.  If you were to have just lined up the 2 original measurements, like in the good old fashion math way, you could just have subtracted each column and gotten the same answer.  You'll only need to convert the measurements as described in the book when you have a situation like trying to subtract 2-11-5 from 5-2-4.  You quickly see that your going to need to borrow from another column to avoid negative integers and that indicates you must convert the measurement by subtracting a foot from the foot column and add those 12 inches back into the inches and 8th's of inches column.

It sounds way worse than it is, and if you read Georges book and practice a few times it quickly becomes very clear.

My problems occurred when I accidentally used measurements from two different stations.  I was using a piece of paper to cover the columns I was not using for the express purpose of avoiding confusion.  However I was just not being careful enough and accidentally moved the papers to the wrong station and that sent everything to hell.  I quickly noticed my error when the station I was working on was not a mirror image of itself.  Unfortunately I had already drawn in the lines in marker.  I felt that I could not make the changes and draw in new lines and still have each station be clearly observable.  So I painted over it all and will try again.

The pictures below are where I stopped before painting over.  You can see the size and scale of this boat very clearly.  You can also get an understanding of the process of connecting the dots.

My 6' tall son giving scale to the picture.
My overall impressions are that this is a time consuming process, but not difficult.  You need to have rigid attention to detail and double check each measurement before drawing the lines in.

Additionally, when I start over, I am going to spread out the stations out more.  I started doing stations 26, 28, 30 and 32.  However, as a I drew them in, the bottom planking lines overlapped each other very closely.  Not really a big problem but I don't want to give myself an opportunity to make a mistake by being confused by lines that are so close together. I was using different colored markers for each station but still, the possibility for error is to great, at least for me.

So next time I'm going to start with stations 2, 8, 16, 24 and 38.  Each station is very different in size so I think they will be more clear to the eye.  Once each frame is assembled I'll paint over the table in white paint and lay out stations 4, 10, 18, 26...etc. repeating the process until all the frames are built.

I set up my Ipad to do a time lapse of my work day and have posted it here.


Thanks for checking out our project, hopefully next time I'll be able to report some success lofting the frames.

Be sure to check out our Sea Dreamer Project YouTube channel,  as we'll be having a little give away contest posted soon to thank everyone for putting us over 200 subscribers.  I know it's not much in the grand scheme of YouTube, but hey, it's a start!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A prop shaft runs through it

We had a very nice vacation but I was eager to get back to the shop.  Our flight home was very early so after arriving, making a quick trip to the grocery store and grabbing lunch, I was back working on our project by noon.  It's been an unusually warm winter here in upstate NY and on the day we arrived home it was close to 60 degrees.  I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and try to address the condensation issue in the boat shed.  I added gable vents to the East and West sides of the shed.  Install was simple with a circular saw and a multi-tool.  I secured it with a few screws.  So far, so good but I'll need to check on a really cold day to see if its actually making a difference.

I then got started on dadoing out the grooves in each half of the chine log.  Each half required a 1 3/8" deep by 2 3/4" wide groove cut from the very center of each.  I did this on my table saw with a stacked dado head cutter.  I set up a  5/8" stack and cut the full depth of 1 3/8" in a single pass.  This is a lot to ask of your table saw, so if you have anything other than a 3hp saw you'll need to make multiple passes working up to the final depth.  Once the dado's were cut, I cleaned up each groove with a hand plane and then applied two coats of epoxy to waterproof the wood.

The next step was to glue up the chine log to its final dimension.  I chose to use resorcinol glue again as this piece will live the majority of its life underwater and I wanted to use a completely waterproof adhesive.  The most forward section of the chine log will be through bolted to the keel so that will add some additional holding power to assure it never comes apart.  It's the belt and suspenders approach to building that I am a big fan of.

The glue up went smoothly, and like the previous glue up, I used several clamps at very high pressure.  Once it was set in clamps, I ran a long batten down the inside of the newly formed chine log and scraped the glue squeeze out from each side, just to clean it up a bit.  The finished dimension of the shaft log is 2 3/4" by 2 3/4".

I tried to be a little more judicious in my use of adhesive in order to minimize the amount of squeeze out and it worked out well.

A few days later I un-clamped the assembly and brought it out to the boat shed to make room for the next glue up.  The stem and transom knees were next and were quite simple.  I simply laid out my patterns that I made on the red rosin paper and began cutting 2x8's and stacking them, cut to the length that covered the pattern.

I marked each with a reference line so I could ensure repeatability when I did the glue up.  For many of the keel components I am choosing to use epoxy.  There is no perfect adhesive but epoxy comes darn close.  It's strong, easy to work with, sets up in a wide variety of temperatures and is nearly water proof.  However it does have its weaknesses.  It starts to loose strength at temperatures over 120 degrees (depending on manufacture) and it is not rated to be completely waterproof.  

In this application where these keel components should never be submerged (I hope) and should not be subjected to high temperatures, like pieces on deck in direct sunlight, epoxy will be an excellent adhesive.  Additionally, these knees will be bolted to the various keel components they are designed to support.  Belt and suspenders again.

I mixed up batches of epoxy as I went and applied the adhesive to each face of the pieces to be joined.  Epoxy only requires moderate clamping pressure, so I only applied pressure up to the point where squeeze out began to appear and the joint appeared closed around the entire piece.

I had to clamp up in sub-assemblies in order to keep them within the limits of my table saw to be cut to their final width.  I ran out of epoxy and clamps to do the second knee so that will have to wait.

Next up was preparing the framing table for lofting our frames.  I set up a straight edge along the base of the table with some scrap plywood in order to have a clean edge to catch my tape measures.  I joined each edge of the plywood so it was perfectly straight and then cut a parallel edge on the table saw.  I also used more scrap plywood on each side of the table, perpendicular to the base line.  These will act as clean, straight edges to hook my chalk line to.  Again, I joined one side and cut a parallel edge on the table saw.  I was careful to ensure the side pieces were exactly 90 degrees to the base line.

I then went ahead and laid out half of station 26 using the table of off-sets. If you click on the picture above you can see the lines that I laid out.  I'll get into the specifics of laying out the frames next time.  If you want a sneak peek of that process you can check out season 1, episode 7 on our YouTube channel that will be online Saturday March 4, 2017.

We've had over 15,000 views to the site since October and we are grateful for all the support.  Please check out our YouTube series by following the link at the top of the page or by clicking HERE.  If you have questions or comments don't hesitate to let us know.  You can send us a message on the link at the top of this page or email us at contact@seadreamerproject.com

Thanks again and we'll see you next time.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rose smelling and marketing

  Ahhhhh.  Vacation.  The family has made a trip to sunny New Smyrna Beach, Florida to escape the harsh upstate NY winter.  My father rents a place in the area for a couple a months each year and this is our third year in a row of coming down for a visit.  I'm not particularly fond of "vacationing" but having a place to stay that isn't a hotel and having a car to drive makes for an affordable get away that feels "homey".  In reality, my ideal "vacation" is a week at home or at our family cottage working on projects.  I enjoy puttering around, fixing things, building things and working with my hands at my leisure.  

However as time goes by I realize that vacation needs to mean more than just working.  Spending time with my wife and children truly is a blessing and brings me great joy.  Most importantly, my wife has earned the right to get away.  I believe my wife and I respect each other a great deal and there has never been a time where I said, "you can't do this or go there" and she has reciprocated with the same thing.  She doesn't nag me to do this or that and she never complains about the amount of time I spend working on my hobbies.  She bears the additional burden of being married to a cop and the stress and worry that can sometimes entail.  She has grown accustomed to attending family events alone or having me called away due to my job.  With all that, it's important to make time for a true vacation away from call-in's, tools and even boat building.  She deserves it, it's good for our family and it's good for me to take some time to smell the roses so to speak.

However, while she is taking a walk with my daughter, I have some time to update the progress we have made on our Diesel Duck.  I glued up the second half of the shaft log, clamped both sides together and did some layout for the dado that needs to be cut into each half.

The final dado with be a rectangle but I laid it out in a circle.

In George's book he doesn't worry to much about a perfect circle for the propeller shaft.  In fact, this may be the simplest part of the build.  Each half of the shaft log is made up of two 2x8's face glued together.  Then each half has a channel cut out down the center called a dado.  Then the two halves are face glued together with the dado's meeting in the middle.  This is a very simple way to insure a long, straight, enclosed channel for the propeller shaft to pass through.  Obviously it would be very difficult to drill a 2" hole in a straight line through nearly 9 feet of wood.  

You'll recall from my last post that we are using rescorinol glue for this part of the build.  Having done two glue ups with this adhesive now, I can assure you that it is not as difficult to work with as some may lead you to believe.  Provided you measure carefully and have and maintain the appropriate temperature, everything will work out fine.  

Before I cut out the dado, I just need to verify the appropriate dimensions, as I am using a larger propeller shaft than the plans call for.  I don't think it really matters so long as there is a reasonable amount of space around the shaft when it is finally assembled. 

I also spent a few hours building an assembly table for the boat frames.  This is the process of essentially lofting each frame for the boat, full size.  The lofting is then used to lay out the pieces of lumber that will make up the frames.  The framing table must be large enough to accommodate the largest frame in the boat.  In the case of our 41' Diesel Duck that means at least 12' 9" wide by 9' 3 tall.

This is a very rudimentary table that is designed to be temporary.  I wanted to make that clear because this thing is cobbled together with mostly scraps of dimensional lumber.  It is sheathed with the OSB that we used for the keel lofting and most of the dimensional lumber came from the scraps after building the boat shed.  I did have to buy a few 2x4's and my total cost was around $25.

I put the framing table in the back corner of the boat shed.  Just to keep things simple and maintain some structural integrity the final size of the table was 14 feet by 10 feet.  Part of the table does overlap the boat cradle, but there is still plenty of room to work on the keel as well.  When the frames are complete, I'll disassemble the table and any parts of the keel that have been assembled can be slid back to the center of the cradle.

I attached a couple of 2x4's to the boat shed's knee wall to act as a ledger board.  I then ran a 2x4 perpendicular to the ledger board along the end wall of the boat shed to act as the rim joist.  I then used whatever 2x4's I had to lay out the joists for the table deck.  The joists were laid on top of the ledger board and toe screwed in.  I then attached short legs, again using scraps, to the ends and dry fit them into the stone base of the boat shed floor.  I moved the stones around to level each one and to maintain all of them in the same plain.

I then added on various lengths to each joist, screwing them to the end legs to achieve the final table dimension of 10 feet.  For the end rim joist, I attached a joist hanger to the end wall rim joist and ran a 14' 2x4 perpendicular to the end wall and attached a leg at the opposite end.  I then added a few more leg sections to the 14 footer to stiffen things up.

I was careful to keep the joists on 16" centers which made sheathing with the OSB a breeze.  I had to rip 2 sheets in half, lengthwise to achieve our final size.  Quick and dirty, but pretty effective,  It's certainly to much span for a 2x4 to remain rigid, but at 16 inch centers the finished product was relatively firm with minimal bounce.  

The final step will be to add a coat of white paint to allow the frames layout lines show up clearly. Just before we left for vacation we had a nice sunny day.  While it was around 30 degrees outside, our visqueen roof allows the boat shed to warm up nicely and it was around 57 degrees inside.  Perfect for painting, so I got a quick first coat of the cheapest white paint I could find.

When we get back I hope to be able find some money in the budget to buy a new video camera for our YouTube series.  I'm currently using my wife's DSLR camera which has it's limitations.  The biggest issue being that you can't make a video longer than 29 minutes.  I have found that for a 15 minute video I am shooting at least a couple hours of footage.  It gets annoying to be constantly worrying about running past the time limit that the camera is limited to.  Another major issue is the inability to use auto-focus.  When set to auto-focus the camera makes so much noise in the video's audio track that it's distracting.  We've done 6 video's so far and have gotten some really nice feedback.  To be perfectly honest, I enjoy creating and editing each episode so I think a new camera is a worthy investment.

Speaking of worthy investments, You'll notice that some small ad's are now appearing on our site here.  I hope they are not to distracting, and as I learn how to use the feature I will try my best to provide ads that readers here may find legitimately useful.  If you've read the entire series so far you may remember when I added the sponsorship button along the right hand side.  You may also remember that I hoped to get to a point where we could begin to run ads in order to generate some income to help fund the build instead of having to ask people to be a sponsor.  Well that time has finally arrived and I hope in the future that this ad campaign may become a legitimate tool to help fund our boat build.  

With all that said, we would greatly appreciate if you would click on the various ads that appear on our site and check them out.  The only way to generate income from the ads is to have our readers click on them.  

If you would still like to be a sponsor by clicking on the PayPal link we would be extremely grateful for your support.  However, and I completely understand, if you prefer not to sponsor us now, please click on the various ads that appear on our page and check them out.  That small gesture would be truly helpful to us and we humbly request your support.

I hope to do the same thing with our YouTube channel in the future but I'm still working out the details.  If you haven't checked out our videos yet, please do and let us know what you think.

Next time I hope to get into some keel component assembly.  I would like to finish the shaft log and then start work on the bow and transom knees.  

As always, thanks for checking out our site and we are grateful for the encouragement and all of the kind words that we have heard from many of you.  It truly is motivating and inspiring to hear from people from all over the world.  We are humbled that you have taken the time to check out our project.