Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Progress Continues

I know it's been way too long since I've posted an update here, but I've been back from my most recent job in Florida since the week of Thanksgiving, and I have made some progress on the boat. Weather is starting to be a factor, however, since I'm building in an open shed with no heat. There have been several days of cold rain, as well as some days with temperatures too low to efficiently work with epoxy, but the rest of this week looks promising.

Projects that are a priority now are finishing the sink, shelves, and other interior fittings in the port hull as described in my last post, and glassing the keel fillets in the starboard hull so I can begin installing the floors and bunks. I'm expecting parts I ordered to arrive today, including the drain fitting for the sink so I can make the necessary recess in the bottom to receive it before installing the sink in the boat. Another item in the package is the portable toilet that will be fitted in the starboard hull. Before installing the floor and bunks just inside the companionway area in this hull I want to make sure I have room for the head in this area, which will also be the navigation station with a movable chart table.

In my garage shop in Jackson, I've completed lamination of all the major components of the crossbeams, and now I will begin fitting the triangular support webs that go inside, making the necessary fillets, and then making and fitting the front fairings. The other project that I have going on there is a commission to build a small boat for a paying customer - one of my Mississippi Backwoods Drifter designs. This boat is a flat-bottomed, double-ended John boat type, that was specifically designed for quick maneuverability and stability on the small, twisting creeks that are so abundant here. The boat is built in the same manner as the Tiki 26, with 6mm Okoume sheathed on the outside with fiberglass. There's more about the design on this page of my main website: http://www.scottbwilliams.com/drifter.html

Working on the Drifter will at least keep me around the shop so I can be working on Tiki parts while I have epoxy drying time and such. The only real limitation is space, which you can never have enough of. I would like to go ahead and begin building the cockpit in the garage as well, but that will probably have to wait until this small boat is finished.

A cool new tool that I've recently added to my collection is the Fein Multimaster shown below. This kit was given to me as part of my bonus, along with some nice teak boards, by David when I completed this last Boatsmith job I helped him with. David has always been cool like that, willing to pay a fair price for skilled help and generous with the bonuses and gifts for a job well done. I've used the Multimasters for years when working with him, but somehow just never got around to buying myself one. It really is an incredible power tool. Although David mainly uses them for detail sanding in tight spaces, they are capable of much more with the wide assortment of cutting and scraping blades and other accessories that are available. Where this will really help out on the Tiki 26 build though is sanding all those hard to reach areas deep in the V-hulls and around fillets and other places hard to reach with other sanders. I just ordered several boxes of hook and loop sandpaper custom cut for the triangular pad, in 40, 60, 80 and 120 grit. This is available from Klingspor. I highly recommend this tool to anyone building a boat. How did I do without it so long?

Variable-speed Fein Multimaster shown with some of the specialized saw blades available, as well as the the standard triangular sanding pads.

The crossbeams are essentially built, with the main components laminated together. Finishing will include installing the webs and support struts, making interior fillets, fitting the fairings, then shaping and glassing the exteriors.

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