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Progress. Finally.

November 19, 2013

Remember when I said my back should be ok in a couple of days? Yeah, Right. Turned out I wasn’t able to do anything for two weeks. Oh well, so it goes.

Been putting in time on the bearers, the huge hole and the rotting floors. The bearers are pretty much ready to weld, I didn’t like the plan C fix for the port rear mount, so I went back to plan B and recut that piece. It now fits beautifully and will do the job. I’ve got my Mig welder set up and running now and have used up all the scrap. Last Friday I went and picked up some more material to practice on as I haven’t welded in a long while. I need to get my skill back up to where it was. Most of the welding is vertical up or overhead, done in very tight non welder friendly spaces, so it helps to be good. If not, well, I have a club mate who is a crackerjack welder.

The huge hole is currently at a stand still, fell through the floor boards once too often so they are being rebuilt now. I am bolting in the angles to the front and back sides of the frames, and once all the frames are done I can put down the old boards and cut and fit the fore and aft stringers after the bearers are done, and the hole in the side is sealed. To that end I did spend 3 hours cutting and making up the endless number of dogs and wedges needed to force the sheet into position and hold it there while it gets tack welded. The process involves putting stubs on the inside of the skin for the sheet to rest on, dogs with slots welded on the outside skin and wedges to pin the sheet in place with the dogs.

Dogs n clips 2

The old floors are coming out one bay at a time, as the steel floors get fitted and bolted. One of the problems with this job is caused by the sloppy workmanship of the builders with their scabbed on bits of steel. Add in that the floors beams on the frames themselves are not straight and it makes for a lot of shims to be cut to space the new floors without bending them as the bolts come up snug. Next time I’ll snap a photo of one from above to illustrate.

Old floors

Above you have the old floors. 2x4s, these ones are pretty solid. Forward of the mast they were all rotten. You can see the holes for the sum log on the left and the depth sounder mount on the right, as well as a new floor just forward of the mast. The keel is filled with cement and boiler punchings,  and one of the jobs to be done when it gets warm again is to chip it down fresh cement and epoxy coat it several times. I also had a look at the mast compression post and it needs some work too. There is a spacer in front of it which is loose, so I’ll be making up a new one that will act as a clamp and secure the base of the post

Power tool shelf.

I finally got another shelf built, so the power tools now have a home and I can find things on the other shelves more easily. It’s getting pretty cold now, so the kero heater is in operation, and keeps things at a nice 65-70F. I put a fan up in the fore peak which blows the hot air around, so even sitting on the floor and working in the bilge is not bad. Every once in a while I put the kettle on and make a cup of tea, and there are some granola bars handy if hunger strikes. Keep the tunes playing and I’m doing just fine. Step by step she’ll get done.

From → Meat n Taters

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