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Project Log:  Friday, August 19, 2011

Next on the dinette project agenda was to insulate and close off the backs of the new locker spaces.  This was a cheerless task made endurable only with the knowledge that the sooner I got it done, the sooner it'd be done.  I couldn't proceed with the actual backrest/shelf installation till several additional installations were completed within the lockers themselves, starting with the insulation and back panels.

To begin, I laid out and measured for a series of hardwood cleats at the back sides of the three lockers.  The back panels of the lockers, which I'd build from 1/4" cherry plywood, would rest against these cleats, and the space within would contain rigid foam insulation and an air space against the hull.

The hull was relatively flat and vertical in these areas--except for the forwardmost of the three lockers--so I decided to keep the installation as simple as possible by using straight cleats equally spaced from the inboard (backrest) side of the lockers, at least for the aft and middle lockers.  Doing this would make the installation easier, as the panels would be planar and rectangular and parallel to the backrest, but at the (in this case minimal) expense of a few cubic inches of locker space.  However, this would also ensure a natural air space between the foam insulation and the hull, adding to its effectiveness.

The hull shape in the forward locker was less than straight, and to maintain the parallel cleat design would have wasted far too much space and been foolish, so in this locker I allowed the cleats to more closely mirror the shape of the hull.  This would slightly complicate the design of the back panel, as the angle involved meant that the panel would have to be a parallelogram/trapezoid rather than a rectangle.

In each locker, I drew layout lines, measured for the cleats, cut the cleats (following the same 10° angle as the backrest), and installed the cleats with glue and bronze screws.


Next, I took measurements and cut 1/4" cherry panels to fit each of the spaces.  The panel for the forward locker, with its misaligned cleats, required a few additional layout marks, scribes, and cuts to fit properly, reinforcing my decision to keep the other two panels simple rectangles.


With the panels and support cleats complete, I painted the area behind the panels, plus the unfinished plywood bottoms of the lockers and the back sides of the new panels.  Later, I'd varnish the panels and other areas of the lockers for protection and general appearance.

Even though these areas would be hidden from view, and would contain insulation, I chose to paint because I felt that painted interior surfaces stayed naturally cleaner and free of the contaminants that cause moisture retention, with all its negative effects.


Next:  insulation, panel installation, and some shelves...then finally the backrest installation.

Total Time Today:  3.25 hours

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