Diesel Duck 382

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rocket Science

If you are a woodworker....check that, if you've ever assembled a piece of knock down furniture from a big box store you are familiar with assembly instructions.  Step 1: locate included hardware, Step 2: snap part QQ into ZZ and on and on.  While this, no doubt, can sometimes be confusing at the very least you know there is an orderly process to the assembly of whatever you are building.  It's the same for woodworking when you buy a set of plans or read them from a magazine.  The only difference being that you have to make part QQ and ZZ first.

Boat building is so much different.  When you buy a set of boat plans you get several plan sheets with various descriptions and measurements.  No step 1, no start here, you are on your own, so to speak, to figure it out.  I'm not complaining, I'm typing with a smile because that is the beauty of boat building. I'm proud of the things I've built in wood.  Let's be honest though, anyone with the $10,000 worth of tools should be able to build a damn nice end table.  The skill, if any, is the fact that most of the things I've built were my own design inspired by another piece.

I have new found respect and admiration for amateur and professional boat builders alike.  It's an impressive skill to be able to just build a boat, let alone design one.  As a first timer it is both disconcerting and exciting to attempt such a project knowing what I now know.  I've been reviewing my plan sheet in CAD form for quite some time but the scope of this project really hit home when Mr. Buehler sent some of the final plan sheets in paper.

I used some Larch off-cuts that were not good enough to use for the boat and made them into 2-by stock.  Using those along with some scrap T-111 that use to be my fantasy draft board, I made up a platform for a bulletin board.  I bought some 12" x 12" cork tile squares off of Amazon ($5 for four of them) and attached them to the T-111 with double sided tape and construction staples. I then put up the first four plan sheets.  It is definitely easier to review them in this format versus the Ipad.

With my paper plans hung prominently in the boat shed I got to work lofting the transom and bow.  I began by disassembling the long narrow loft floor that I used for the keel.  I spun 3 of the sheets of OSB 90 degrees and secured them to the cradle.  This gave me a lofting platform that was 12' wide by 8' tall.  Using the same process I used for the keel, the work went quickly.  The only difference this time was that I had enough room to use a real baseline so I didn't have to do any additional math.

The dark spots are drops of water from the condensation dripping from the inside of the roof.

I snapped chalk lines at each station

Once I had the lofting, I went ahead and made my patterns for the transom being sure to note the rabbet on each station.  Another tip if you are attempting something similar; make your marks in pencil first before committing to ink!

I am still without a loft floor big enough to do the entire transom.  You can see in the picture above the transom is cut off where the OSB ends at around 8 feet.  The patterns were secured with glue and construction staples.

Next up was the bow.  I didn't make any patterns for this lofting as I don't see a need.  Of course that may change in the future when I get to assembly.  If needed, I will unroll the lofting and make any required patterns.  I really only did the bow lofting to see what it looks like full scale.  I can say without reservation that this boat is huge.  You can read all you want, but until you see things full scale it's difficult to comprehend. It was awesome to stand up the transom pattern when it was done to see just how big it was.  The bow was drawn on the same paper and you can see from the pictures where the two loftings overlap.

Before I got started in the boat shed, I started a fire in the fireplace in the shop.  I wanted to work on the shaft log and do a glue up with the resorcinol. This adhesive requires a  minimum air and material temperature of 55 degrees.  By the time I got done lofting the shop was at a very comfortable 74 degrees.

If you read about resorcinol glue you start to get the impression that it takes a rocket scientist to work with the stuff.  However after one successful glue up I can report that it is not that difficult.  It surely requires careful measurement and I used a postal scale to ensure accuracy.  I used Aerodux 185 resorcinol that I purchased from Amazon for $120 dollars a gallon.  Quite expensive, but since the shaft log will live it's entire life submerged, I believe it is the only adhesive up to the job.  Resorcinol is still the only adhesive rated completely water proof and the only structural adhesive recognized by Lloyd's of London.  Boat builders have been using resorcinol for more than 70 years to ensure a permanent bond.  Epoxy, for all it's positives, cannot boast that kind of performance. Epoxy will definitely have a place in the keel and the rest of the boat, but this job called for the best.  For more information I recommend reading Larry Pardey's book, "classic boat construction" for all the details on epoxy and resorcinol in boat construction.

After carefully measuring the resin and hardener by weight I mixed them thoroughly.  Once mixed the glue had the consistency of cake batter.  I spread a relatively thick layer on the face of the prepared stock that was clean and free of dust and contaminants. I then laid the mating piece on top and clamped them together with several clamps.  Resorcinol requires high clamping pressure and the directions give measurements in newtons of force required.  I have no idea how many newtons I was exerting but I made the clamps extremely tight.  I had even glue squeeze out around the entire piece so I believe the joint is well filled.  Resorcinol and epoxy differ in this respect where epoxy only requires moderate clamping pressure.

In the temperature I was working in, I had plenty of open time to get the glue up done.  If I was working in the middle of summer I would need to move faster.  The beauty of Aerodux 185 versus traditional resorcinol is the fact that you can work with it in temperatures down to 55 degrees and it has modest gap filling abilities.  Resorcinol is hard to find and I was only able to locate a couple different brands on 3 websites.  Amazon was the cheapest with the best shipping costs.

I checked on the glue up the next day and it appeared to have set up solidly.  I broke off a piece of the squeeze out and submerged it in a glass of water for 24 hours.  When I checked on it the next day it was just as solid as when it went in so I believe I mixed it correctly.

Next weekend I plan to glue up the other half of the shaft log and get to work on assembling some of the other keel components.

I started a Facebook page for the Sea Dreamer Project in order to get pictures and progress reports up in real time.  Please check it out here: Sea Dreamer on Facebook

As always, thanks for reading and if you have questions or comments please don't hesitate to contact us.  We very much appreciate all the advice, ideas and encouragement.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Reality Check

It's been a busy couple of weeks that have kept me from updating the site.  We had a death in the family which required us to attend a funeral in Boca Raton  Florida.  My Aunt passed away after a long, ugly battle with Parkinson disease.  It's an insidious disease and a good reminder that we don't know what the future holds for any of us.  We need to make the most of our days by loving generously, forgiving easily and pursuing our dreams.  I try to find the good in these kinds of things and this time was no different.  Despite the sadness it was nice to share a walk on the beach with my mother, step-father and sister.  Just as we were finishing our stroll a little shower rolled through and I snapped a few photos of a beautiful rainbow.  It certainly seems my aunt was walking with us and helped nature put on a beautiful display.

I have failed on the boat shed roof design again.  Just prior to leaving for the funeral a severe windstorm rolled through my neighborhood with winds gusting in excess of 50 mph.  This resulted in the previous roof repair being torn off, ripping the battens and their screws right out of the roof trusses.  The repairs have been made, this time the right way for a little over $200.  So now in order to save $100 when I originally put the roof on, I have spent $200 more to do it right.  A hard lesson to learn and a reminder to just do it right the first time!

I knew I needed a piece of roof material 40' wide by 50' long when I built the boat shed originally. However, a 40' by 100' roll of 6 mil visqueen was around $200.  So I bought a 20' by 100' for less than $100 and cut it in half and seamed it together.  The seam tape failed under the wind loads back in December so in order to repair that I bought another roll of 20' by 100' visqueen and essentially covered the failed seem with a wide ridge cap of 20' wide  visqueen.  I had some seam tape left over and I knew that wind could easily get between the first roof and the new ridge cap so I began to tape up that seam.  Well I didn't have enough tape, got lazy and never finished it.

Well that was a costly mistake. That's exactly where the failure happened, right were the seam ended and the wind got underneath and ripped the ridge cap off.  Surprisingly it was not the plastic that ripped, but the wind load that tore the screws right out of the roof joists.  With the battens swinging around with exposed screws tearing into the original roof and the ridge cap.  It was a mess and I am getting embarrassed.  I recognized the weakness and knew what I could do to prevent it but I didn't. I was kicking myself mentally for quite a few hours.  However that was serving no purpose so I needed a new plan.

The new plan was simple enough, do it right!  I purchased the 40' x 100' visqueen and installed it with the help of my father.  This time I used 2" x 1" oak battens instead 1" x 3/4" pine and bolted them to the knee wall instead of using screws.  The bolts were reinforced with 4" x 4" 3/8" plywood "washers".  I'll have more details on those on my YouTube channel for Episode 3.  Everything seems secure and based on what I've learned I believe it will hold.  A fresh winter storm is headed here this afternoon so I may get it tested out sooner rather than later.

When the roof was ripped off it allowed the blowing rain to get inside the boat shed where my keel lofting was still laid out.  It got a little wet and had a few tears and wrinkles but it was basically still in good shape.  After letting it dry out for a few days I was able to use it to build my patterns.

The patterns were fairly easy and straight forward to do.  I used 1/8" plywood, what I believe Mr. Buehler calls "door skin" cut into 2" wide strips for the patterns.  I cut them to size and secured them with construction staples and hot glue.  I laid them at each station and marked the rabbet. Once again my grandfathers tools got dusted off when I used an at least 40 year old hot glue gun.  It still had the glue sticks in the case and it seemed to work well.

Once I have the keel all laminated up i'll be able to lay the pattern on it and mark each station location and it's rabbet.

I also made a trip to Jasper, NY to purchase my wood for the keel, floor timbers and frames.  I made the purchase from an ad I found on Craigslist.  A young Amish man is relatively new in the sawmill business (Rocky Run Woodworks) and had one of his friends outside the community put the ad up for him.  The wood is green but at .60 cents a board foot I can afford to let it dry a little before working with it.  He cut it to my exact specifications without any additional costs which is unusual.  I ordered boards in the following dimensions:  1.5" by 7" for the keel, 3 1/2" by 9" for the floor timbers and 2" by 5" for the frames.  

This guy had a beard that the hipsters would die for!

He threw in some shorties and outside cuts with sap wood for free so I should be in pretty good shape wood wise for quite a while.  I got it home, stacked and stickered with the help of one of my oldest friends.  I was grateful for the help as the 3 1/2" by 9" by 10' were exceptionally heavy!  I ended up purchasing about 1100 board feet.

I have been working on creating patterns for some of the keel segments and reviewing the paper plans that Mr. Buehler just delivered.  More on those next time.  

Thanks for stopping in and be sure to become a follower and check out our video series on YouTube. You can navigate to our YouTube channel by clicking on this link:  Sea Dreamer Project YouTube channel  

If you have any tips, questions or comments please feel free to post them here, at the message link to the right or email at: contact@seadreamerproject.com  

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Loft without a loft

I want to preface this whole thing with the fact that this is what is required for THIS design and may be different on another design.  The reason being is that I already have CAD (computer aided design) renderings of my design and lofting is not really necessary.  CAD verifies all the dimensions to within a 1/32" and provides frame bevels, dimensions and angles.

However with that said, partially lofting the boat is still recommended by Mr. Buehler as the lofting will provide an easier way to lay out your rabbet line and patterns.  Additionally, I have found it has given me a some scale to the project to understand how I'm actually going to build this thing.  The loft gave me a full size pattern of the keel which allows me to understand how it will fit in my boat shed and an understanding of the necessary placement of tools and equipment.

My biggest problem to start was the fact that I could not find a large room with a wooden floor that I could drive nails into.  In George's book he recommends a school gymnasium, but I think my local school may have an issue with me driving nails into their floor regardless of how high my taxes are. Equally intolerant would be my lovely bride if I started banging nails into our hard wood floors.

So the only thing I could think of was to create a temporary loft floor in the boat shed.  I added additional 6x6's to my building cradle every four feet.  I then laid down the OSB I purchased for my framing table lengthwise and screwed it down.  I rolled out my red rosin paper (bought a 100' by 36" roll at home depot for $13) and used masking tape to hold it in place.

Obviously this platform is much to small to loft the whole boat, and even the entire keel would not fit.  However I was able to put all the stations on and was able to mark the rabbet at every station except the first and last one.  The other trick was the fact that I did not have a baseline to work off of. I moved my baseline up to the bottom of the OSB and made my measurements from that point.  This required a little math but I kept it simple and used 12" as the number to subtract from the stated measurements.  The only downside to this is that the very aft end of the keel was less than 12" so it could not be drawn in its entirety.  I chose 12 inches based on the dimensions stated in the design and I go into more depth on that subject on the building video on my YouTube channel .

I then used my 300' surveyor's tape measure, 25' tape measure, 48" drywall T-square, chalk line and various colored markers to lay down the points indicated in the plan.  It was not difficult provided you are careful with your measurements.  Having the CAD file allowed me to take my own measurements in the program for dimensions that were not specifically indicated which made the process much easier.  CAD also allows you to take exact measurements of the angles of intersecting parts of the design, very helpful.

My first step was to use my chalk line to snap a line for the bottom of the keel.  I then drove some 8 penny finish nails at each station on the rabbet measurement.  I later learned that you should actually drive those nails the thickness of your batten material above the rabbet measurement. I then used some 1/8" plywood as a batten to draw in the rabbet line.  On some stations I had to secure the batten in between 2 nails in order to get it to remain firmly against the designated point and maintain the fair curve.  The batten was 8' long so I would draw in about 6' worth of the rabbet line at a time and then slide the batten down another 8 feet to the next station nail and repeat the process.   

It's difficult to see the rabbet line in the pictures but if you click on them you get a large view which makes the lines visible.

I then plotted the points for the top of the keel at each station.  Once again the availability of the CAD format made it much easier to accurately draw in a true representation of the top of the keel.  The top of this keel was not a smooth fair curve as there were a few ups and downs for the various keel lamination's and the shaft log.

My overall impressions of the process for the beginner was very good.  It's  much more difficult to read about it then to actually do it.  At least for me anyway.  Additionally, since this was just a partial loft I was not drawing in diagonals or buttocks or anything that difficult.  I had no need for a traditional loft as well as the fact I will essentially be lofting each frame at the framing table when I get to the frame construction.  So while it seems lofting can be intimidating, George's design's at least, are relatively easy to do.

My goal for the loft of the keel was to have something to make full size patterns from for the keel.  I will use some more of the 1/8" plywood as pattern material to mark each station and it's rabbet.  Once I get my keel lamination built up it will be easy to lay the pattern on it to mark the various transitions and rabbet points for the entire keel.  More on the pattern process next time.

I was able to get all the lofting done in about 6 hours and I found it to be quite enjoyable.  Once I'm done with this loft, i plan to modify by loft floor so I can loft the transom and bow.  Those sections require the OSB to be turned 90 degrees so I can get an 8' long by 12' high loft floor.  I think it'll be more clear when I have some pictures.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.  Please become a follower on this blog and be sure to check out our YouTube channel where we are documenting the build with a video series.  You can click on the link below to check it out.  Please subscribe to our channel as well.

Happy new Year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

From there to here

I had hoped to get more done this weekend but work took precedence.  Reinforcing how uncool I have become, I completely forgot it was a holiday weekend.  When I was offered two shifts of overtime I jumped on it.  A few hours later I realized why no one else wanted the shifts, It was New Years Eve!  Oh well, I'm glad I have a job where there are opportunities for extra income.  With so many out of work, I am blessed with stable employment and a secure future.

I have had a few emails and comments asking about my experience in wood.  I hope I've made it abundantly clear that I am a boat building rookie and honestly I don't know what I don't know. However I am willing to try and I believe nearly anything is achievable with enough effort.  Being an amateur woodworker for the past 17 years or so has been a wonderful part of my life.  

I started after I bought my first house and finally had a place to set up a shop.  I always liked building projects whether it was scale models or model rockets, just creating something was fun.  I always enjoyed wood shop in school and I had a lot of fun doing small remodeling work with my father. When I reached a point in my life where I had the space and a little money I started building my workshop.  

This really is the golden age of DIY.  Anything someone could be interested in is available for discovery on the internet.  If you like it, then you'll surely find hundreds of others who like it too.  So I took my meager construction skills and began searching the web and reading books.  You eventually have to start creating saw dust and I started off small with cutting boards and small shelves.  I learn by doing and through doing I learned how to make "stuff"

I have made most of the furniture in my house.  I'm proud of these things but I know all of their flaws and that is why I am reluctant to sell things I make or take on commissions for friends or family. Everyone always says they don't care about minor mistakes, or that they don't even notice, but I do.  I would feel weird selling something to someone if it was not perfect.  So here are a bunch of the things I have made over the years.  It's not everything but a good sample of what can be done with some initiative, tools and wood.

Boat Stuff -  Lofting:

I did find a little time to actually make some boat progress.  Santa was generous this year with 4 gift cards to the happiest place on earth, Home Depot.  I was able to buy some Douglas fir 2x8's, red rosin paper, screws and a few other items.

I just could not find a large wooden floored room that I could hammer nails into.  I did the best I could and created a partial lofting floor in the boat shed.  Before I built my framing table I used the five sheets of OSB to give me a 4' by 40' lofting platform.  I cut up some of my yellow pine 6x6's and placed them four feet on center on the building cradle.  I then laid the OSB and screwed them into place.

I unrolled the red rosin paper and used masking tape to hold it in place.  Everything is flat, level and properly aligned to give me an accurate base line to loft from.

I hope to begin the actual lofting process this weekend and I'll have more details next week.  I've never done this before so hopefully I'll have some good examples of what and what not to do for those getting ready for your own project.  I'll also go into a little depth of my impressions of the process and how hard it is.  As I have read, Generally, lofting is thought to be a bit intimidating for the amateur boat builder.  We shall see!