Sunday, August 05, 2007

Still Working in Florida

I hope those of you who are regular readers of my Tiki 26 blog will not lose patience. I will be back at work on the boat, but for now I am still working on a special project in south Florida. I often travel to work on projects, but not usually for this length of time. I don't like having to put my boatbuilding on hold, but everything is a trade-off and what I will get out of this will really help me buy time and materials to complete the boat when I return. Being here in a condo within a short walk of the Atlantic Ocean makes me want the boat more than ever. The coconut palms that are everywhere around here remind me of my good times in the past spent in the tropics, both sailing and sea kayaking. But for now I have to hang in here most likely for the entire month of August until this project is finished.

The project is quite a departure from my usual carpentry work on boats and houses. It is a massive teak pergola that we are building as part of a remodel at a Palm Beach mansion. This is quite possibly the "mother of all pergolas" as the project manager put it, and such a project would only be possible in area with wealth the likes of what is found around the Palm Beach area. This pergola consists of two half circles at each end of a new swimming pool, each half circle made up of an inner and outer series of curving 5" by 8" laminated teak beams. The outer circle has a diameter of 59 feet and the inner circle 38 feet. These two separate runs will be connected by 3" by 6" purlins across the top. For the past three weeks a team of 10 of us have been laminating and fabricating the beams and purlins, starting with the massive piles of teak shown below. We are now in the process of cutting dadoes, drilling holes, slots, etc. for the assembly process, which I will describe in greater detail with more photos in my next post.

Below is the teak stock as it arrived at the shop for processing. This is approximately $150,000 worth of teak, 3"x 6" purlin stock 14' long, and 1" x 8" beam stock for the laminations, also 14' long.