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Project Log:  Sunday, August 7, 2011

With the basic support cleats for the dinette backrest now in place, my next step was to cut the panels for the backrest and the shelf above. I began with the backrest, a relatively simple almost-rectangular piece (neither existing transverse bulkhead was quite plumb).

I'd put a new (well, newly-sharpened) blade in my table saw, as the one I'd been using had dulled badly from overuse.  However, I found that the blade I chose to install did a poor job cutting the veneer plywood.  Because of the 10° angle cuts required on the top and bottom edges of the panel, I had to cut with the veneer side down for one cut, and this caused some veneer tearout along what turned out to be the top edge of the new panel.  Fortunately, this area would be covered by trim later, so I didn't have to recut the panel, but I promptly changed the blade for one I hoped would be more appropriate.


I repeated the process to cut the shelf for the top, beginning with a piece of plywood cut to the proper length, but several inches too wide.  After a test-fit and scribing the shape of the hull onto the panel, I cut the curved outboard edge and refit the panel.  With adequate fit at the outboard edge, I used a scrap of 1/2" cherry plywood to mark where I needed to cut the overhanging portion of the panel, so that it would end up flush with the backrest beneath.


Now I made a reference mark on the hull at the top edge of the shelf panel, after ensuring it wasn't sagging in its unsupported center (the backrest beneath held it straight).  Removing the panels, I could now transfer the top mark 1/2" down to indicate the lower edge of the panel, which was necessary so I could determine the appropriate height for transverse dividers within the locker that would cut it into several smaller storage spaces, as well as support the backrest and shelf.

After considering the size of the overall space for a time, I elected to divide it roughly into thirds, with equal-sized lockers fore and aft, and a slightly larger one in the center.  I made some measurements and marked layout lines on the dinette platform and up the side of the hull to indicate where these small bulkheads would be, then cut and installed hardwood cleats to support the lower edges of the panels.


I used cardboard to make templates of the two dividers needed:  first the after one, which was larger, and then, using the same template, the forward divider.  I cut the outboard side of these bulkheads to match the shape of the hull, and incorporated a 10° angle on the inboard side to match the backrest, which would lie directly against the dividers. I chose cherry plywood for these dividers since I decided it would be nice if the insides of these cabinets were attractive wood instead of paint, though I'd paint the portion of the platform that served as the bottom of these lockers.


I'd left the bulkhead blanks slightly taller than they needed to be so I could mark their heights accurately in place.  By temporarily installing the backrest panel, I could use a level to mark the cutline on each divider exactly at the correct height.

To round out the day's work, I Installed the dividers permanently, after first coating the edge grain of the plywood with epoxy resin.  At the lower edge, I secured the panels with glue and screws to the hardwood cleats; at the hull side, I applied thickened epoxy adhesive to the hull and pressed the panels into the bead, using the excess to fillet the seam as needed, then installed a single layer of 4" biaxial tabbing on each side of the dividers to hold them in place.  I left small open areas at the lower corners of each divider where it met the junction of hull and platform, to act as limbers if needed (though I didn't expect any moisture in these lockers)>


Next on the dinette agenda would be insulation and covering panels, intermediate shelving, and then final installation of the backrest and shelf. 

Total Time Today:  5.25 hours

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