Diesel Duck 382

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

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.

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