Sunday, 5 May 2019

The skylight was set in position and one opening light clamped shut. This allowed the remainder to be lifted up and a layer of  sikoflex spread under the centre piece. This was then lowered into position and screwed down. 

Wooden plugs were then made to cover the screw heads and having been coated with epoxy glue, were tapped into place

Wednesday Phil then prepared the front hatch opening by adding corner angles where the frame left a gap and having sikoflexed the surface of the frame, set and secured the opening light with the hinges facing forward
Thus if  a wave should wash over the bow (front) of the boat when the hatch is open it will not be ripped off by the force of water.

To meet safe practice ,the boat will need a safety rail around the deck  to stop crew being washed overboard.
The rail needs to be  at least two feet high with safety wires threaded through.
Last week Wednesday Phil visited a steel yard and purchased  three lengths of galvanised  ,one inch thick gas pipe.
Unfortunately the lengths would not fit in his car so a blunt hack saw was employed with vigour  to remedy the situation.

Back at the yard, wisdom took over and a grinder  was used to chop desired lengths.

 These were then drilled on a pillar drill to take the wire safety lines.

For homework, Phil decided to try to bend the capping planks which will fit around the cock pit sides.
These are impossible to bend to the correct angle with brute force and threaten to snap when forced so steaming the planks is the best option.
Phil hasn't done this before so creative thinking was employed.

 A steaming box was made from a plastic down spout and a wallpaper steamer used to create the steam. The rails were pushed into the tube and steamed for a good hour.

A copy was made of the bends on the cock pit sides in one inch thick ply wood.

The two steamed rails were then placed against the pattern and bent to the correct shape using long clamps.
Once this was achieved ,they were left to dry out for a day. 

To be honest' the results showed the system worked but the curve sprung back quite a bit so Phil redid the process having added a one inch block  at both ends of the ply wood .This increased the angle of the bend so that when the planks are released the desired bend will have been achieved.( here's hoping ).

Thursday, 11 April 2019

One of the lights in the hut fell down on a Monday.On Thursday trustee Dave came and  we attempted to fix it up again BUT there was a big bang and all went dark. The whole electric supply went down and it took two weeks to power up again.
So it was homework time again.
The next task on Wednesday Phil's list was to make the skylight opening windows .

One opening light had been partially made by apprentice Dave some time ago so Phil used this as a rough guide for the other one.
The original one had no beading on it to hold in the glass,so the first job was to create this. Beading was glued in with epoxy resin

The second was made using pegs and epoxy once Phil had looked up the method on you tube and reclaimed the wood required from old benching.
 Having bought his own pillar drill,Phil found the task easier.
 The rebate to slot the glass into was cut on the bench saw in the compound prior to the "big bang" .
Phil is now waiting for stainless steel piano hinge ordered on line as no local firm stocks it ! 

Today, the power was restored  and so reclaiming timber was the order of the day, in preparation for making the steps from the saloon to the main deck.
 As it was" dog walkies" time .Wednesday Phil packed his homework bag and finished for the day

Just as Phil was leaving Tony Banks, a local boat owner , came in and generously donated two brass port holes to the project.The trustees will be elated as we had not been able to afford any to date.
Many thanks on behalf of all the trustees TONY !!!! 

After walkies, Phil assembled the steps at home,  from a design drawn up in the yard.
 Having first fitted them and tried them out, the step up seem to be a bit
 tall and instead of three steps, may be four  would be easier so Phil may need to review the design after advice from others.


Thursday, 21 March 2019

Once Teg the saw doctor came and fixed the planer by sharpening and resetting the blades ,further slats could be planed and sawed into centimeter thick planks.
The cockpit decking could be completed. 
 UNFORTUNATELY no one told Wednesday Phil to leave a 4mm gap at the top and bottom of each plank for sikoflex filling .
After advice from "those in the know " and a great deal of naughty words, Phil began to saw the required space.
 It proved almost impossible until a good friend lent an electric cutting tool.
I don't know its name but it turned the job into a pleasurable experience !

As Phil is now working 3 to 4 mornings a week to keep things moving AND keep his dog happy, he now also  cuts wood in the compound and takes it home for homework.
This is worked on in the evenings when there is nothing of interest on the T.V. (most nights) and after dog walkies.
These stop water getting into the cabin from the cockpit.
Pre-cut planks were glued onto marine ply sheets with CASCOMITE wood glue ,to create 2 "artistic " washboards.
The gaps between were filled with sikoflex sealant . 

 Once hardened the excess sealant was trimmed off to leave a smooth seal .

The washboards were sanded smooth and epoxy resin rollered over the surface to create a good finish. 
Wednesday Phil was" rite chuffed " with the result !

Before Guru Ron( one of the trustees  ) left to run sailing courses in Portugal, he left a list of jobs for Wednesday Phil to do before his return
 when he would then create a longer jobs list..( Hope I am gaining your sympathy)
The directive was make a chart table with a drawer beneath it 5 inches deep .If you can, put a nice piece of wood behind it !!!
We are running out of large nice pieces of wood so Phil got creative 
During a boring week of telly, the table was prefabbed at home and  is now in situ .
The front cannot as yet be fitted as a large oak beam holding up the engine lies in its path.
(click on the picture to enlarge )
Wednesday Phil is now getting the hang of this woodwork !!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

In order to plank the inside seating area of Helen II,  Wednesday Phil has had to find new sources of hard wood  as we do not have money for any new stock.
So, after a donation of old benching , Phil spent six mornings separating the slats and preparing them for planing.

Many sections refused to budge and the screws were unmovable.These will be cut in short sections and used as needed.

Once planed off the wood is reusable and still of good quality.

Unfortunately the planer has seen better times and finally proved so difficult to push the wood through that Wednesday Phil gave up until extra help is available or the machine is given a makeover !

Thankfully Peter  volunteered to give the planer an M.O.T.
He spent a full morning servicing the workings but alas the beast refused to improve !

Wednesday Phil therefore began the planking of the seated area using the recycled slats created  previously.
This was an enjoyable task  but frustratingly stopped 'till the planer is fixed .

Looking forward to continuing this task !

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Just two trustees have been beavering away over the festive month to continue progress.
Work day was moved to Thursdays, but as Phil and Ron  prefer Wednesdays this is now the case.

 Wednesday Phil began constructing the cockpit (can't remember the correct term ) that the crew will sit in while on deck.
This is made from 3/4 inch marine ply.
The sections will be prefabricated and painted, to  fit permanently after the engine fixing is completed.(keeps him busy! ).

Vertical supports were added to the ship's frames to further strengthen the cockpit.

 Once supposedly complete, the sections were temporarily fitted ( first fitted) to check all were correct .
To Phil's  amazement  the box fitted like a glove and thus the floor was added.

 As with all good designs ,amendments were introduced....( by Ron, who knows a thing or two !)  to provide a water tight  inspection hatch to the rear of the engine.

 This will not be opened on a regular basis so it will be sealed shut with mastic and screws.(well that's what he told me !)

  After the successful  fitting of this hatch,the cockpit was completely  removed to finish being painted and await full fitting once the engine is in place,

To see this section in place gave a feeling that the boat is really nearing completion ! 

MEANWHILE trustee Ron has spent over a dozen hours hand boring  ,drilling and swearing at......, the tube  that will  eventually take the propeller shaft.
Today he finally succeeded in  creating a wide enough bore hole to now take  a proper boring bar to finish this arduous task..

I swear Ron danced his way out of the compound with a very broad smile !


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Over the past 5 weeks volunteer trustees have met on Thursdays to tackle the shaping of the 46 foot mast.
 It must be planed down from a one foot thick trunk to an eight inch round work of art.
 Ron (our work of art ) assesses the task.
He began by running a length of string down the mast .When pulled tightly , this shows the high spots or lumps to get a straight flat along one side of the mast.

 Alan and Jane prep for the first planed surface to be made.
Unfortunately the heavy duty plane was broken so D.I.Y. ones had to be used.
 Alan used a lot of  unusual words whilst trying to get the plane to work as you may notice the others have got out of earshot !

 With the aid of the string, the high spots were leveled on the first run
and a board also highlighted smaller errors on small sections.

Alan does a Darth Vader impression.
 before a high spot check with the board.


 Once a flat surface has been created , the mast needs turning over to repeat the process on the bottom side. As the mast cannot be lifted by four trustees , a windlass bar was created to give the necessary leverage to roll it.

 The mast first had to be secured so that it could not roll to the left as its weight would dislodge the props and thus the boat fall over.

This will continue  as a work in progress for some time to come.

The rudder is now fitted between the metal U shaped "tangs".
and these are slid into the correct positions.
Trustees Ron and Alan came today as it was a two handed job.

The holes for the bolts to fit through the tangs
need to be carefully drilled and for this a set square is used to make sure the drill is upright.
Half a hole was drilled from one side then the other half drilled from the reverse side to create a clean straight  channel.

 The bolts are then temporarily secured .
The tangs can now be spot welded to hold their correct position prior to full welding later.

We all felt another important milestone had been achieved on the coldest day of the year so far !