Writing is hard!
I have not been as vigilant with this site as I have been in the past. I have definitely been giving more of my best efforts to producing content for our YouTube channel. There is certainly better income opportunities when producing content for YouTube then writing a blog. However, the purpose of this site was to document the build so others engaging in something similar could learn what to and what not to do. I still believe in that mission and I need to make writing a priority to that end.
Sooooo.......work continues as best as time allows. We've been able to work through some jobs, if I'm honest with myself, that I have been putting off because I feared I would be unsuccessful. However like most things in life, worrying solves nothing. When it comes down to it, being afraid was far worse than the actual job.
One of the things I struggled with was the rabbet. I went back and forth on how to cut this thing. Router, chisel, circular saw, on and on I went considering what would be the most effective. While the router would have given the cleanest cut, I just could not get my mind around how best to build a jig to make it work. Therefore, I opted for a combination of the circular saw, multi-tool and chisel.
First, I set my circular saw to the flattest angle at which the frames hit the bearding line. Then I set the depth of cut to the depth indicated in the plans. Having the CAD version of the plans made this very easy. I then ran the cut down the bearding line on both sides of the keel. I then reset the saw to 90 degrees, and decreased the depth of cut. I then made another cut parallel to the bearding line approximately a 1/4" down from it. I then used my multi-tool to make relief cuts perpendicular to the rabbet and to the slight angle the rabbet takes to the bearding line. I was able to do this free hand and I was careful not to plunge to deeply. Once complete, I followed that up by using an offset chisel to knock out the little triangles all those cuts had made. I then roughly cleaned up the groove created with the chisel for a smoother finish. I only worked up to station 30 on both sides of the keel so I could get started building floors and setting frames.
Our floor timbers are 3" thick and 7" tall (at the tallest point). Each station is at one angle or another and none are perfectly flat. Each floor timber will have to be ripped to the proper angle so the top of the floor sits plumb and level.
The floors in this area of the keel need to be fastened around the shaft alley. Therefore, very careful holes need to be drilled with only around 2.5" of stock on either side of the alley to work with. Stations 38 and 36 are far enough from the alley that they will only need to be secured with drift bolts. Stations 34, 32, and 30 will need through holes drilled that will need to span nearly 40". If we wander to far one way we blow out the side, wander to far the other way and we blow out the shaft alley.
I used several scrap pieces to dial in the exact angle the floors needed to be ripped to in order to remain plumb. I then machined up some rough stock and cut them to the proper dimensions and angles. I carefully positioned them and took very accurate measurements to determine the location of each bolt hole. I drilled holes in each floor from the underside to ensure they would hit the keel in the exact correct spot. I then placed the floors on the keel and used them as a guide to mark the location of where the bolt holes would need to be drilled through the keel.
I went through several iterations of drill guides trying to find what would work best. It needed to be strong and accurate. The design that worked best for me was a combination of plywood, 4x4's and high molecular weight plastic (HMWP). Once assembled the HMWP was drilled out to the exact dimensions of the bolts and kept the bit from wandering while not constricting the rotation. It was secured in postion with a couple of screws.
I used a corded, high torque drill paired with an extremely long, but otherwise normal fluted bit 1/2" in diameter. A combination of patience and regular bit extraction to eliminate chips resulted in success with no blow outs.
With the holes drilled we needed a countersink on the underside of the keel for the nut. We used a forstner bit along with a right angle attachment on our drill to make quick work of that. Once complete, we drilled out a small portion of the hole to a 1/32 oversize to allow the bolt to be pounded in. Then it was just a matter of pounding the bolt it. Once in place we attached the nut and called it a day.
We then moved on to dry fitting the floor and frame at station 38. We needed this dry fit so we could scribe the angle of the frame to floor. Once marked, the shape was cut on the bandsaw.
We then positioned the floor timber to check our fit and things came out really well. Eventually we'll attach the frames to the floors with 3/8" bolts after we apply a nice thick coat of bedding compound to the wood between the floor and the keel.
If you would like to see how things are shaping up in real time check out our Facebook and Instagram pages. Of course our video series on YouTube offers a more complete picture of how we take on these various challenges of building a 41' boat.
We are very grateful you have chosen to check out project and we hope that our efforts will inspire others to take on their dream projects.
You can do it!