Sunday, 25 August 2013

Deck Beams & Stringers

A few months break from building came to an abrupt end when last week, I spent some quality time on fitting out the deck beams and stringers.  This was challenging for me but ultimately quite satisfying as there were three joints for each beam to align.  The centre stringer is reproduced from the full sized plan, so not much to go wrong is curious to see that the stringer actually dips from the bow stem to the mast bulkhead, even though it rises higher than the sheer.

No doubt the expert builders can measure and cut each beam first time, but I found I had to nudge into each joint little by little.  I toyed with the idea of purchasing a bench combination disc / belt sander, but my wife reminded me that this was just a hobby and so I took the advice of an earlier commentator on this blog to buy a farriers file, which I put to good use along with may smaller Japanese file, shown here refining the sloped mortice for the deck beam.

Fitting the breasthook was deemed to be a simple affair as per JB's instructions, however, while I managed a reasonable first pass, I resorted to chalking the sheer clamps to guide me where to remove material.  Eventually, I succeeded in producing a passable example although, arguably no one will ever get to inspect it, as it will be covered by the decking....

The deck beams were cut out on the bandsaw following the camber template which I made - rising 2" over 6'.  This worked well for the mast bulkhead and beam.  However as I approached the bow the deck beams needed to have a higher camber to fit in with the profile of the stringer, which I copied faithfully from the FSP.  Also I fitted the breasthook proud of the sheerclamp to allow me profile it to the higher camber.  It will be interesting to see how the ply deck sits on tops of these.

Earlier during the summer, I fabricated the centreboard.  However it is still in its beta stage as I understand that attention to the profile dimensions will pay dividends in the boats pointing ability.  I'm unsure if the specified dimensions include the fibreglass sheething.   I have yet to glass the board - it's been many years since I used fiberglass cloth, so I'm not familiar with the current thinking on which material to use...any ideas?

I have yet to pour lead ballast into the board which should be fun!

Before glueing up the deck beams and stringer, I had to cut out the hole of the bulkhead hatch.  As JB points out this is better done at the bench before the bulkhead is fitted, alas, I omitted this step and so had the challenge of cutting out the hatch in situ.  Once again my Bosch multi-tool came to the rescue which allow me cut a fine line to start the jigsaw, as I wanted to retain the cutout to be re-purposed as the hatch door.  I decided not to use plastic hatches so I am optimistic that this plywood version will fit the bill.

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