Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back From Florida

I'm finally home and ready to begin work on the boat again after seven weeks of working in Florida, as I mentioned on my previous two posts. The job was interesting and certainly contributed much to the funding of my Element II project, but it's nice to be back on my own time and I'm looking forward to boatbuilding now that fall is almost around the corner and the best weather of the year will soon be here.

I've spent the last couple of days since I returned catching up on neglected business and making lists of materials, parts and equipment I will need to finish Element II. I plan to order much of this stuff this week so that everything will be on hand, and hope to have no further long interuptions of my work on the boat at least for the remainder of the year.

For those who are interested in the extravagent waste of fine teak lumber this project in Florida consumed, I've posted a couple of photos below. These were taken in the shop as the first half of the massive pergola was preassembled. After this preassembly, it was taken apart in seven large pie-shaped sections, moved to the house site, and lifted with a crane to the top of the 10-foot stainless steel posts to which the woodsections are bolted. Brickwork around the posts will follow, and then all this fine wood will be covered in flowering vines or some such vegetation.

This photo shows only part of the first half of the pergola with top purlins installed. The curved beams are 5"x8" laminated teak. Purlins are 3"x6". Outside diameter is 56'. Inside diameter is 38'. The other beams on the table in the middle of the assembly are for the second half. The reason that this job took so long is that it is not built to ordinary outdoor carpentry standards. All joinery is to fine furniture grade, with every cut made oversize and hand sanded to a perfect fit. Every surface of every piece of wood in the project was sanded to 80, 120, and then 150 grit, and after final installation on site will be taken to 180 grit.

This photo shows a small section of the outside radius, so that you can see the shape of each purlin. These ends were cut on a special jig we built for the bandsaw, and dadoes were cut to fit over the beams. All hardware is countersunk stainless steel bolts and lag screws, sealed with custom-fitted teak plugs.
We had the first half installed and the second half mostly fitted when I left this past weekend. I regret that I didn't get to see the entire project to completion but had already stayed a week longer than I planned. I should get some photos from David (owner of Boatsmith, Inc.) in a couple of weeks or so of the final installation. David, by the way, is a bit of a Wharram enthusiast as well, and I think the fact that I had built a Hitia 17 many years ago impressed him enough to hire me when I first met him back in 2001 while living in Florida. He's been talking for years of building a Wharram, probably a really big one. He likes the Tehini a lot. If this happens I may be back in Florida from time to time helping him out.

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