Friday, March 30, 2007

Cove and bead finished!

Good Day,

Been busy on my board with being laid up with the ear infections and all. I managed to get 11 cove and bead strips on there and some initial planing, but as my glue hasn't arrived yet, it's time to go to the beach and hang out with some freinds. NO surfing because of the ear infections... LOL, good one, yah? Hey, I was always coming up with good excuses why to miss school, I'm good at it. Truth is, I'm scared of dying. LOL Some unfortuanate soul lost his life in 20 foot plus surf last weekend in Newport, OR. I guess common sense flies out the door when you got a point to prove. Me, I like 3 foot surf just fine.

Anyway, I got a few pics taken. Add another 40 bucks for a battery recharger for this project.

One pic is a close up of two cove an bead strips to give you an idea of how they fit together for a better joint.

The others are just shots of the board with this stage finished. In the middle one, you can see how those PVC clamps are stretched to the limit on 11 rails, 12 might be possible but no more! All in all, it only took about ten hours to do all of them but spread out over 3 to 4 days. The glue has to dry and with a temperature of 50 in my basement, it doesn't dry so I had to add heat. The fastest drying time that I got now was 3.5 hours. First timers add a few more hours on this as you will be on a journey of discovery! One that may sound like Chinese New Year!

Cove and bead hours = 12

Money Battery charger = $40.00

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Azithromycin and Benzocaine

Are my freinds! Dual ear infections mean pain, but all works out as I am not going to work this week! What's that mean? It means that I am up to cove and bead strip number 8 already and will go to ten or twelve before I go on to the next step.

3/25 to 3/27 I've been putting 2 to 3 c&b strips on a day. Wish I could go faster, but the shortest drying time for the Titebond I've gotten down to 4.5 hours with added heat because my basement is 50 degrees and humid (I love it!). I bought another 8 oz of titebond III and ordered another toob of fast cure 5200 since I used most of the other. That was 20 bucks and will take a few days to get here.

The c&b strips are averaging about an hour each layer.

On the two x-members that had 1/8 inch gaps due to the frame being off, I glued tiny little shims in so that the strips touched the frame. After the third or fourth strip, they weren't needed anymore.

OK OK those PVC rings suck totall ass!! I hate them. A freind (TO) here in Oregon told me that he drills lots of pilot holes in the PVC before cutting a line down the length and then slicing it because it holds better. Well after an unfortunate event on the third c&b strip where I was having lunch and wondering if all the PVC clamps were still in place and at that very moment I heard a hundred fire crackers going off in my basement where every single clamp popped off in a domino effect, I eventually (on the eighth strip, hey, I like the colourful explitives that I have been coming up with!) got out my Milwaukie drill with a 1/2 inch bit, clamped into a vise, and proceeded to clamp the clamps on to the bit making, in essence, a cove in the clamping facade.


I didn't take any pics yet as my batteried died again. Im adding that cost in. These steps are boring looking yet, but are really coming together and will soon be photo worthy.

Take care all, I'll be back in a day or two with an update.

8 cove strips = 8 hours
glues = $25.00
batteries = $10.00

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chine Strip and first Cove and Bead Strip

3/23 and 3/24/07

Chine Strip and first Cove and Bead Strip

Hey y’all internet freaks!

I started the beginning of building the rails this weekend and this is the first step for me that I really got the idea of the shape of the board because it really started taking on the look of a board with the chine strip as an outline.

All done to the sounds of UB 40's earliest music......nice!

I’m gonna make some recommendations before I talk about what I did. Firstly, it might be best to cut a rough outline of the board before or just after the chine strip stage. If you do, use a band saw if you can because the wood splits really easy with most handsaws that I have used. In doing this, I also recommend using good spring hand clamps. In fact, if you take on this project it would be best to have all the clamps necessary, it’s just easier and better. But the spring clamps wont reach in to clamp the first cove and bead strip to the bottom planks if you don’t cut some of the bottom planks off. I would leave an inch of bottom plank around the board’s outline (chine strip). You won’t need them for the chine strip as the cut out tabs in the cross members hold it down just fine.

Now, I left my whole gig on the rocker table with all the supports and shims still in place and haven’t taken it off of there as said to in my instruction sheet. I don’t know why you would, but it made sense to leave it on there to at least hold the form better. It’s not clamped to it and sprung up a bit from it, but if I laid it out on a flat surface I picture some spring loaded disaster with wood splinters flying like a nine pounder cannon shot fired from some frigate of old hitting a gunwale.

Also from the pics you’ll notice my wonderful glue job of the frame to the deck. It looks fucking ugly, but its as sound as a pound. You can tell that it started to dry before I got it all clamped and then got pressed out of its dried outer shell as it got squeezed, that’s why I slopped on the extra, which was difficult to do around all those strappings and clamps, hence the mess, but you are the only ones going to see it and the pictures will be the only evidence of the mess once the top planks go on. So, shhhhhhhhh! You can also get an idea of the kink in the chine and cove and bead at the first cross member. It’s not so bad and surely will sand off. Also, the joint at the tip of the nose is crap. It’s my first time and since I was working from the tail forward, the tip at the nose is the spot that had to be cut last done with a tiny little Japanese woodworking saw. No worries though, I might put a wood block on the nose anywhoo.

Steaming is difficult. What I did for the chine strips is stuck the front 3 feet in a plastic poster mailing tube with boiling water for about a ½ an hour and then steamed them after all but the front 8 inches had been clamped up. That might have made them too soft, hence the binding at the first cross member. But I still like the idea of soaking them in boiling water. It didn’t affect the glue at all. Just took longer to dry. I didn’t do it for the cove and bead strips, but might for the next set.

The Chine strip process took about 1.5 hours and aobut 8 to dry because of the wet strip. At a few cross members I had to “shoe horse” the strip under with a small chisel and had to chisel a tiny bit off of the strip at the second X member. This step also showed me how “off” a few of the X members were. But I don’t see that as a major impact on board shape at this point. As long as the chine strips look good a slight bend here and there can be sanded out a bit. I guess we’ll see with the finished product!

Cove and bead strip went well but needs to be clamped better to the bottom planks and that is why I was stressing the spring clamps as the PVC ones aren’t that strong to fully pull the strip against the planks.

Have a great weekend everyone, I’m off to yet another party. Unfortunately, I got green lung and don’t feel like partying, just feel like working on my board! So, I might not even go! Spanky will kill me though if I don’t show up!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Frame Glued!!!!!

Whew! Uhmmm yeah, Have some freinds around for this one. I got it wired on my own after a bit, but it was slow and tedious as well as messy. It took quite a bit of time and the glue (3M Marine Adhesive Sealant Fast Cure 5200) got a skin over it while gluing, but I'm sure it bonded well. A helper is needed seting the strappings and clamps on. One person on each side of the rocker table. It goes much easier. What I had to do is guestimate where I wanted the clamp to be on the one side while applying pressure to the strapping on the other side and running around the board while applying steady pressure and hoping I don't loose the hold.

I had to go out and buy 90 bucks more in clamps. I got new Jorgenson Clamps at a great store called Woodcrafters. The clamps are made in the USA and Thank goodness I got them. i wouldn't have been able to tape the strapping with Duct tape in its place because the stations are only 24 inches wide and I would reccomend for this board (9 foot Root) that the stations be 26 inches wide. Also, my chinese made clamps failed under stress, they just didn't work and slipped.

If you got knots in your strapping, Use them for spacers only because they will snap! Gunshots were going off!

I drew two lines down the sides of the centerline and it was a great idea because I was able to use that as a guide for the keel. So in essence, my centerline was 1/4" wide. It's a good move.

No matter what I did, my keel and cross members moved around. The keel is mostly straight, but from the middle to nose, it's slightly zig zagged on top, hopefully not on the bottom! It only strays and 1/8" tops, so I'm thinking no big whoop. Also the cross members in areas of high rocker (nose, tail) drift down towards the boards center. I had those suckers at 90 degrees with my square, but they moved eventually. Some a bit more than 1/8" but not much. I'm sure it will work out OK in the long run. I'm pretty happy with it.

I used about half the caulk on the bottom of the frame, then I put the other half along the base of the keel and cross members later to use it up and add extra strength because I have a feeling it might need it. I'm leaving it clamped up until I begin the next step, I don't want anything breaking loose.

On the clamps at the nose I made wedges because the angle of the rocker was too big for the clamps and they were sliding off the strapping. I took a pic of it. I actually over did the angle, but who cares. I got it done!
This bit took about 4 hours. I always overstate the time, but it's average.
Total hours up to now...19.5
money invested other than kit.........$250.00

Friday, March 16, 2007


"Hey Maw and Paw, what da hell is wrong wit y'all?"

Did some frame work tonight. First thing that I had noticed is that the center glued seam is starting to do the Moses and the Red Sea thing. Oh well, she'll hold up I'm sure. The split may not be that noticible when she's done. It might have been best to keep things all clamped up until I was ready to go on to the next step. The less time between steps the better.

Had to keep things quite because it was late, so what did I do? got out the jigsaw and cut out a very general outline of the board on the planks. Very noisy yes. And since the planks weren't secured anywhere, they were louder than John Bonham and moved like Charo! All this being said, I split one of the boards. You'll barely see the clamps in one of the pics from my having to glue it. Fortunately, the center glued seamgoes exactly down the center of the planks and I marked out how wide the keel is on there some. what I will do is trace two lines the width of the keel on there better tomorrow as a guide for when I am gluing it on.

I'm also going to plane down some of the high spots that the frame may come in contact with.

Prior to pressing the frame onto the planks and rockertable, I may steam the planks but am not sure if it would loosen the Titebond III. Anyone ever done that?

Putting the frame together the first time was easy. Gluing it was a mother. I don't know why but they wouldn't slide all the way in the slots or they would go too far. Plus some of the slots had to be widened or lengthened with a dremel bit. While gluing, I used a clamp to set them in their final resting place which was flush with both sides mostly. I describe it with two pics. The third pic you may be able to see that it is warped a bit. I'm confident that with my anal retentiveness that I can get it all straight in the next step of clamping to the rocker table. First, I'm going to cut out a bunch more strapping about 1/2 thick and decide what to do to put upon the strapping for the concave in the nose and dual concaves in the tail. Mike L. suggested taping some quarters together and setting/taping them atop the strapping.

Peace through Music y'all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Next step, frame gluing

I’m about to start with the fishbone frame thing. It’s late, cant remember the name, but anyway, I quickly assembled it and it is warped in all directions. Also, some of my planks need to be planed first. They started warping again, but I’m sure the warping wont affect it once I get it straight just as long as I get it close to flat with the plane.

I like the idea of tracking out where the frame should go. Maybe if I use a wide magic marker the lines will be wide enough that if I slop the glue around that I’ll still be able to see where they are supposed to go.

Does anyone have any tips on gluing the frame? I need to check the forums and such for helpful tidbits sometime before Thursday the 15th because I'm going to get down and dirty on this mutha this weekend!

Thanks for all your support everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Top Planks!

Doc had a great idea to use sand bags to weigh down those battens and high spots! Cheers Doc!

Had I waited, I might have done that, but, I couldn't wait! It was trivia night and I had a few nice frothy ones and got home and decided to fix a broken knob off of my truck, and that was sitting on top of last weeks bottom plank project and I started fiddling with that. Next thing you know, I was finding a place to stow that and placing the top planks on the rocker table!

I want to give a shout out to Mike L. at Grain Surfboards for the choice lumber. There is some nice "grain" in that wood (western red cedar and white cedar). I'm wondering how the pattern will look eventually.

Does anyone know how to bring out the grain better before fiberglassing and epoxy-ing? Stain maybe?

I want to say hello to my ma and pa, as they had never seen me looking like Frodo until they caught up with this blog.

Last week while the bottom was dry, I glued the two-piece keel together, going as best I could by eye to get the rocker correct and the cut in rabbets that were cut in on either side of the joint in line.

Tonight I taped and glued the top planks and took more pics as well. I'll just throw them up there, they seem to be in some order. I got a different masking tape. The tan stuff that is med to high stickness. Worked good, used less than the blue. Seemed to fill in the crevaces better and I didn't bother steaming or any of that hooey this time to cut down on time. The tape was flimsier than the blue.

I had the tunes down low. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and a mix made in 88 from a buddy in OC, MD of some really heady reggae. It's an awesome mix, thanks John Spence.

Everything went smooth, taping, gluing, battons, clamping, etc... two more bar clamps and battons would be perfect. Those pipe clamps are still the best! I would reccommend, however that if you take on this project, to have a minimum of one bar clamp per foot and as many battons (sp?). I had a few high spots, but not bad and I don't think they'll matter, i put some weight on them to press them down. And it looks like I might have a few gaps in the butted joints. Not sure, top corner of the planks could have been slightly rounder making it look like there was a gap. We'll see tomorrow. But all in all, the thing is going to be covered in fiberglass and epoxy, so as structural integrity (star trek-YO!) goes it should be fine. I put a pic in there of the planks hanging over the edge of the rocker table exposing the seam to be glued. Hope it helps.

My basement is cold, about 50 degrees F, so I put a space heater near the board this time, last time the drying took more than 12 hours with low temp and high humidity. I better check on it and make sure it's not too hot.

I want to say "Hi" to my vampire Mistress Mango in Philly! She's getting a kick out of my shop talk and would like to someday handle my tools. Or I'm just hoping!

Check back for more woodworking! :-)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Taping and Gluing planks phase two

Thanks for the comments. Especially the one I love to hate, whoever you are. As long as I don't get heckled I'll leave them on because it is good dialogue. I want this to be professional.

Doc, no worries, I got a 9'4'' down there and its fine. Now a canoe would be out of the question!

So like my planks were dry today from the steaming and I taped the heck out of them to make sure that they didn't move while taped and all went well! I had some old dryed out masking tape that I threw on there as well just to get rid of it because it keeps tearing. I took the runners that I put on last night back off again since I got the clamps today and then flipped that puppy over. To glue it, I pulled the planks to the middle seam over the edge of the rocker table and ran a thin line of Titebond 3 down the seam. I made sure that all the wood was getting covered to be anal about the damm thing and then did the other seams on that side, then went around and did the other side. It all went nice and the seams were still tight together and hadn't returned to the warped shape. So blowing a 20W fuse last night was worth it! NOTE TO SELF: turn off most of the lighting and don't have the washer and dryer running!

I lined my new hull up on the rocker table and placed 5 or 6 battens across it and lightly tightened the C-clamps at their ends. Under the battens went some crappy saran wrap that I wanted to get rid of. With those lightly in place, I started at one end with the bar clamps and worked my way down to get 6 of those on there. I'm fairly certain that I have enough of those as long as the crappy ones don't break (which I could have easily done). Can't have enough good battens though! After all the bar clamps were on, I snugged up the battens as well and all looked nice and flat, but after about 30 minutes one of the middle planks drifted up. Good thing I caught that, so I put another batten across and got a stick and wedged the stick between the batten and my ceiling joice. But the sucka was still uneven. I loosened the bar clamps and pressed on it with a hammer handle. It went into place, but I had to coax it along every 4 inches or so. Seems well now after I tightened it back up. It was probably OK as it was anyway, but I want it to be as easy to sand as possible. Which reminds me, I wiped up the excess glue as I went with a wet rag.

It's drying Now. More tomorrow as I start the top deck or the fish skeleton frame? hmmmm
ON another note, if you are going to attempt this, I found out the my stations were a little too thick to be able to use the spring hand clamps, if you are going to use them, Use something thinner, mine are actual thickness of 1 1/4".


I bought 80 bucks worth of used clamps. of the bar clamps, the heavy pole clamps are the best, the blue ones from Irwin the second best and the other four are crap. I really should have another two bar clamps. I now have 14 C-clamps and it really is the minimum as well.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Bottom Planking phase ONE

Today I bought a few 30 fender washers (big washers, small holes) at a whopping 0.07 dollars each. Because my stations were only 24.5 inches wide I couldn't put my 1/4 inch runners on top of the rocker table and decided to put them on the sides and figured the most secure would be with the fender washers.

NOTE: Always drill pilot holes for screws! I learned a long time ago that sheetrock screws will split your wood, take the extra time and save wood!

My goal today was to get the bottom planking taped up and flipped over ready for the gluing with Titebond III. But the planks were longitudinally warped so what I did was wedge them in with shims, which was difficult. I learned that I needed to clamp down strapping across the tops of the planks at the stations as the planks pop up. I only have 4 clamps so I could only use two strappings at the stations fore and aft. I thought to myself that the tape is just gonna come up as the planks pull away from each other because they are warped and that the most tape in the world will not keep those suckers butted up against each other. And that could be a bitch if I did get them taped up, flipped it over then butted them up again as the tape might bunch up in the butted ends and gluing would be complicated more so. (( the purpose of the tape is really to just keep the glue from dripping out of the butt joints))

So, my idea: Wet towel and Clothesiron the entire top surface of the planking hoping that I can eliminate some of the warping. I did it.....3o minutes fore, 30 minutes aft (four foot towel). It's still shimmed up. The planking bellied up as it was wet, but is subsiding as it dries. Tomorrow I will tape up the seams and take out the shims AFTER I GO CLAMP SHOPPING AT THE THRIFT TOOL SUPPLIES PLACES!!! I miss east coast flea markets!!!!

I'll let you know how the steaming worked

Wood Surfboard.

I'm edeavoring to work in wood because I want to build cedar strip canoes as well as other boats and methods.

Because a canoe would take much more time and money to get started in this, I opted for a surfboard kit from Grain Surfboards in Maine and had the kit shipped out here in November of 2006. Mike L. from there included some nice peices of lumber in there and I am hoping that she will turn out real nice.

2/23/07 I finally got rolling on the rocker table which is similar to the strongback used for canoe building so I'm liking the similarities here. The board is the 9 foot "root" and is exactly what I am looking for. In the future I may shape the big boy version of the fish styled "wherry" that they offer. But the niner will be good for now as I need to strengthen my paddling capabilities.

I got two ten foot 2x6's at a NON HOME DESPOT type lumber yard. Sure I paid another two bucks, but I didn't rape a third world country or put the local small business hardware store on the unemployment line either. (today's rant is now over)

For the slats, stations, or strapping that go across the 2x6's I am using dumpster discards from work (my bosses joke that the board is going to have return to XXX across it). They turned out to be 1 3/4 by 1 1/4 inches which is pretty OK in my book. I ripped a 1/4 inch off of the 2x6's to make a runner that goes along the outside of the rocker table a 1/4 inch high and is screwed down at each station for the first step in gluing and clamping the planking via the wedge method. I then carefully with the aid of a large square clamped and screwed in the stations to the 2x6's (after I had cut all the stations to 24.5 inches).
That day I also made about 100 of the PVC clamps with a ten foot 4" white PVC pipe. I ran the length of it over my table saw between two rigged guides (fences) and made a single cut the whole length. Then I carefully cut about 1 inch rings from it. It wasn't easy and found that it went better if I was able to prop the pipe up on teh rocker tabel between two stations to keep it from meandering about as I was cutting. Also the rings took off like rockets and would have shot 30 feet I'm sure, so I set up a box on a garden chair that the shot into. If you do this, wear your safety gear and be very careful of the saw blade!

Return of the Green Demon.

I had this blog title about a year ago and chose to delete it for a few different reasons and recently I endeavored to have another blog which I should pull the rant off of that one and place it here. I may do that in the future, but it's late and I just want to get this up and running.

So trim my shrubbery and call me Frodo! (thanks for the new nickname Spanky)