Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fitting the last bulkhead, No. 1.  That's finish paint up in the fore peak.  Now the blog is almost up to date.

Fitting out the interior.  Here, the floors and engine bed supports are going in.

By Christmas Eve 2012, all of the floors were in.  The curved ones are to clear boiler jacketing.  The cross brace on No. 2 stays in to stabilize the topsides until the deck is on.

Fitting up pump crosshead links.

I have a deal with an excellent machinist:  I weld together his code boiler and he'll make me stuff.   Here's an engine-driven (low pressure crosshead) water and air (vacuum) pump he put together.

Oh, look at this - someone flipped the hull.

Erecting the engine ...

Where we want to go, the lakes have rocks.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

While the Paint is Drying ...

... I was blueprinting the engine to see what was there.

It's a fine compound.

British Engineering

My dream marine compound ...

I don't have this one, but I did obtain her little sister, Mills - Beaumaris No. 5

Topsides Paint

Interlux Black, six coats.

Bottom Paint

Winter 2011-12 - Bottom paint.

Sanding, Fairing, 'Glass and then, Paint!

A plywood hull offers vast smooth expanses, but where it is joined or scarfed requires much fairing, smoothing and disguising the "boxy" reputation.  The stem, ready for fiberglass cloth ...

I realized I didn't take any pictures of the 'glassing process.  I was way too busy building up consecutive "green" coats to fill the weave of the cloth.  Started at 0600 and finished by 2300.  But after fairing that, epoxy primer followed.

A view aft, between coats ...

The Stern Tube

A professional builder would have incorporated the stern tube in the keel structure.  However, I was in exploratory mode, not knowing what engine I would have or what size propeller shaft I would need.  So I bored it retro ...

There, the deed is done - a veritable owl's nest.

We check the fit and then fair in a surrogate of the stern tube without bonding it in yet.

Wax paper is our friend.  Even so, after fairing, I had to whack the surrogate out with a mallet.  Epoxy is a fearful thing.

Planking Complete

The box keel is planked and fairing begins in earnest.  The box keel is an old design, dating from the first half of the 19th Century, appearing on the Jersey Shore in Sea Isle skiffs and other craft.  It's advantage is greater space and buoyancy than deadwood, with the opportunity for a true bilge sump.

Midsummer's Progress

Here's a view of the bottom planking moving aft, how it is rounded at the chine and how it is scarfed in place.

Starting the stem laminations in this next shot and fairing the bottom planking.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stern Redux

The planking around the stern was laminated in four layers of 0.125":

And now finally, the lines of the classic Victorian launch, albeit in modern wood materials, begins to appear:

Compounding Plywood

Plywood, as it turns out, is not fond of being compounded - that is, being twisted in more than one plane.  But it is possible.  In this bow-on view, 0.250" marine ply is twisted through @ eighty degrees while at the same time conforming to the curve of the bottom:

After the 0.250" layer, a 0.375" layer will be laminated on, overlapping the seams.  Here's another view of the planking as of Spring 2011:

February 2011 - Planking Begins

The doors are open to admit natural light, but only after the epoxy is cured.  Brrr!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stern Structure

Winter of 2010 is setting in as a jig is set up to receive the aft keel timber.  One can see how I've been busy with the planer elsewhere as the sides and bottom are ready to receive planks.

And here's the stern knee and keel timber bonded to the bottom of the box keel.

Stern Curves Part II

The stern frames are fitted, expoxied to their station and fitted and epoxied to the chine logs and sheer clamps.  The frame member in the center is being laminated prior to planing.

That Elliptical Stern ...

Reuel specifies laminated stern frames to create the curvy elliptical stern that is the hallmark of a turn-of-the-last-century launch.  In a blur, somehow all of this will come together.

And it does ...

Fitting to the Stem

The chine logs are screwed in and bonded with thickened epoxy.  I'm fitting and springing in the sheer clamps with a ratchet strap.

Fitting the Chine Logs and Sheer Clamps

Reuel specifies chine logs and sheer clamps from decent bendy SPF from the local lumberyard. 

Erecting the Strongback

Here, Stations One through Four are in place.  I elected to use removable stations rather than bonded in bulkheads, thereby adding some steps.  I was in explorer mode rather than planning mode.  In the photo, I'm getting the stem out of a piece of old-growth douglas fir.

Lofting and the Strongback

Lofting with Reuel's simpler designs is quite easy compared to traditionally planked designs with compound curves.  The combined lines plan is behind me.  The stations are lifted right off the lines plan.

The Design

This blog details the construction of a commissioned design for an 1890's steam launch.  The design was created by Reuel B. Parker, whose construction methods are sturdy and proven.