Sunday sanding

Another day of sanding, trimming and wood putty!

Posted in Road Trip to Florida

Boxtop update

All bulkheads but one have been cut and glued together. I’ve started the process of cutting the side and bottom bevels on the bulkheads. Once I cut bevels, I’m doing a rough sand with a 35 grit belt and going over any pits or holes with wood putty or bondo.

The likely next steps will be to paint with sanding sealer, and more sanding. I’m not going for fancy in any way. I’m going for smooth enough to be easy to clean and no better. At some point I’ll calk inside corners and paint with a sealer/topcoat of white. If the part will be exposed, I’ll be giving multiple coats of epoxy, glass, coats of epoxy to fill and then paint.

The goal will be to have the bulkhead more or less completed before the sides get built and she goes 3D. I’ll be sealing the interior sides of the hull, and glassing the exterior too. This operation will add weight to the sides during assembly. The benefit will be the many hours saved not having to hassle with finishing wood at strange angles and in difficult spaces.

Here’s a picture of the aft inner transom that sits behind the actual transom and provides a large wet well. The inside is shown, and will get painted. The other side will be glassed before painting due to being exposed. All corners will be left bare for gluing a filleting.

Posted in Road Trip to Florida

More glue today

Continuing to glue up the large center bulkheads. These 4 bulkheads are all pretty close in size but have slightly different functions. From the aft #19, this bulkhead includes the dropboard hatch and aft bedroom frame. #15 separates the bunk area from the galley. On my boat # 12 separates the galley and head, plus the port side reinforces the mast tabernacle. Lastly, #9.5 separates the head from the forward bedroom. All the minor bulkheads are done. #15 is done. #12 is cut and in the glue processing area. 9.5 is half cut. #19 has not been started. Below are some pictures of the stacks. Behind the forward bedroom bulkhead is a stack of 8 sheets of marine ply. Looks like I’m committed.

Posted in Road Trip to Florida

What is Boxtop

Boxtop is a sailboat, specifically a scow designed by Jim Michalak.  Jim is well known for designing very utilitarian boats.  Jim was a friend and a supporter/follower of the late Phil Bolger, a well known naval designer of vessels of all sizes.

A sailing scow is like most sailboats, but it has a squared off bow, and a forefoot that lifts up out of the water.  A sailboat with a pointed bow (the norm) will tend to cleave, a scow will tend to lift and ride up over a wavefront.  Scows are fairly popular in small boats and dinghy’s.  Many years ago large scows were ubiquitous for coastal hauling work before the advent of engines.   You don’t see many large scows anymore.  If you look at things honestly, you’ll find that 95 percent of the leisure sailing market is sloops that are extremely similar in function and appearance.

More on scows later but for now, here is a link to Jim’s fancy “flyer” for the plans!


Posted in Road Trip to Florida

Bulkhead 22 and 26

Glued and screwed. 22 needs to dry, then get trimmed to correct edge bevels. Then I’ll do an overall sanding, round the joins with latex caulk, and then top with two coats of primer. I’ll leave 1/2 taped off at the edges and ends unpainted. I’ll screw the bulkheads in place, but they will get a heavy layer of thickened epoxy too. Once all that’s done, #22 will sit quietly until Boxtop goes 3D.

Bulkhead 26 below is screwed, glued and waiting to dry. Once cured, 26 will get the same treatment as 22. Ultimately, all the bulkheads will be completely prepped for installation. By the way, the bulkhead numbers represent the number of feet from the bottom of the stem. So bulkhead is 26 is 26 feet aft of the stem, and about 2 feet from the transom.

Using the nailer boosted my productivity massively. I was basically able to completely finish off two bulkheads in about 4 hours.

Tomorrow I’ll pull 26 off the building table and do the aft transom. What, all transoms are aft. Not in Boxtop!

Posted in Road Trip to Florida

Bulkhead 22

All lumber drying but two. Once dry, the two remaining 2bys will be used to assist in gluing the center ply in place.

#22 will be a watertight bulkhead that separates the aft sleeping cabin from the aft deep storage compartment. Here are the relevant bits on the plan.

Now to see if I can continue to glue. My building board will be tied up until tomorrow with #22. Let’s see how far I get.

Posted in Road Trip to Florida

Today, what is the process?

I started cleaning up a bit in the shop. Mainly to gather my thoughts on what I should glue today. The lack of clamps is holding me back a bit but I do have a lot of clamps already. I’m struggling with the idea of blowing a wad of money to add to the 20 plus clamps I already own.

Then “DING”! I’m clearly a bit slow.

My clamp issue is likely a false one. I had completely forgotten about my air compressor and air nailers. So today, I’ll start my gluing process and use my clamps to get going. Once were all glued up, I’ll flip my assemblies over and nail the ply on. Once nailed, the clamps will be free to be used somewhere else. So today, I should be able to keep gluing until I’m exhausted, as opposed to glue until I run out of clamps.

On a side note, I could use a faster glue than the Titebond 3 I use. Gorilla glue comes to mind but I’ve seen it fail way to easily. I could use a fast cure epoxy, and I have it in the cupboard. Every application of epoxy creates the following: one or two gloves, at least one mixing cup, a few mixing sticks, and a chance of human toxin contact. I’ll gladly reach for epoxy when it’s warranted, but gluing bulkheads is not one of those times.

So, I like Titebond 3 because:

It’s cheap @ 15 a quart, or 25 a gallon.

It’s more or less waterproof

It’s non toxic. I get it on my skin all the time, just let it dry and roll it off.

It’s very strong. Stronger than the wood you are gluing.

It’s really easy to apply, just goop it on, spread with finger, join and smile!

Enough of this. I’m not spreading glue if I’m posting this stuff using my phone on WordPress.

Good day!

Posted in Road Trip to Florida