Writing is hard!
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.
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!