Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Preparing to Build the Connecting Beams

After the trip to New Orleans on Monday to pick up more Joubert plywood, I reorganized my garage shop at my girlfriend's house so that I can begin building the three main connecting beams that hold the hulls together. These beams are a fairly big project with all the parts and details involved, so I didn't want to have them taking up space in the shed where I'm building the hulls and I needed projects to work on in both places since I divide my time about equally between them. The plan at this point is to build the beams here, all the way through the priming stage, then move them down to where the hulls are. After they are out of the way in the garage, I'll build the cockpit here as well.

I've got enough plywood now to complete the project, except for the cabin tops and the cockpit and seat boxes. It was pouring down rain most of the day Monday while we were in New Orleans, and though I had the wood tarped, I decided not to risk it all getting wet, and needing a bit more will be another excuse to go to New Orleans for a day sometime in the coming weeks.

Today I finished laying out and cutting all the beam webs and floor parts that are made of plywood, and went by my local lumber yard to pick up some clear grained Doug fir for the many stringers these beams require. I ripped all these to the proper dimension, and what you see on the ply table is the result. It looks like a lot of material for three beams, and it is. As I said, these beams contain a lot of parts and the construction of them is no small project. I'll begin by joining the halves of the web and floors together in my next work session in the garage. Tomorrow it's back to the shed where I hope to continue work on the fairing of the hull exterior and get some more glass on the keel, skeg, and stem post as I work toward sheathing the entire hull.


tsunamichaser said...

Do you plan on cutting all the holes Wharram's plans show in the bottoms of the beams. Seems like a good way to introduce gunk etc into the beams. I didn't though I may cut a couple of plugs for expansion type transom plugs used in run abouts.

Scott B. Williams said...


I'm not cutting all of them as shown on the plans, only one pair per beam, all the same as the two elongated ones the dolphin striker wire has to pass through. I think some ventalation in the beams is necessary, but two holes should be enough. I plan to cover them on the inside before assembly with a wire mesh hardware cloth to keep everything but water out. Dirt dauber wasps are especially a problem around marinas here on the Gulf and they would go in there and build nests if the holes were left wide open.

captkirk said...

i beams are a bit complicated, why not simply make box sections?