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Project Log:  Saturday, December 10, 2011

In the main cabin, there was still work to be done.  On either side, above the dinette and galley respectively, the overhanging sidedecks needed to be covered to hide the raw fiberglass.  For these areas, I planned to use cherry plywood, which I'd finish in accordance with the surrounding cabinetry.

To begin, I made basic paper patterns in my habitual way, cutting the patterns slightly undersized and taping then in place on each side.  Then, with steel rule and a compass as needed, I traced the necessary shapes on the patterns.


The section above the galley comprised several different areas and shapes, so to be sure the pattern was accurate I decided to first cut a plywood template from leftover templating plywood I had on hand, using the Kraft paper pattern to lay out the appropriate shape.  The dinette section was more straightforward, but I also cut a plywood template for this section.

With the templates cut according to the paper templates, I test-fit them in place on each side, propping them tightly against the overhead.  I had to make a minor modification or two to the galley panel, but otherwise the templates fit well. 

On the dinette side, I let the panel extend past the edge a bit past the inboard cut needed to be (where the cabin trunk extended upwards), as this edge would best be marked in place.  I thought I had left a similar overage on the galley panel, but for some reason this panel ended up a couple inches short on the inboard (cabin trunk) side.  This was of no particular issue now; I simply noted that I needed to add several inches when I cut the actual cherry panel.



Satisfied with the templates, my next step would be to transfer their shapes to 1/4" cherry veneer plywood.  I had several sheets on hand, but I'd actually purchased these sheets to cover the interior of the pilothouse, so with that in mind I thought I'd better pattern the pilothouse sections first to ensure that I had enough plywood for everything.  In the grand scheme, the pilothouse paneling was more important, and I wanted to choose the best pieces for this and use the offcuts for the not-highly-visible sidedeck coverings.

To this end, I created paper patterns of the forward end and two sides of the pilothouse (I'd do the aft bulkhead later, once the remainder of the main cabinetry was in place).  There were three small sections required for the forward bulkhead, and larger pieces for each side panel.  For the sides, I made only a single paper template, since I could reverse it and use it for each side.


With the patterns made, I transferred the shapes to the cherry plywood; I saw no need for cheap plywood templates here as the shapes were uncomplicated and I trusted the patterns.  Beginning with the three windshield sections, cut out the shapes, but when I test-fit these three pieces they were all significantly oversized.  It took me a few minutes to realize the error:  I'd used the wrong ruler to transfer the lines from the patterns to the plywood.  Normally I used a 2" wide steel rule--the standard width of the long leg of a framing square or drywall T-square--but in this case, with limited room in the pilothouse I used a narrower (1-1/2") and highly flexible steel rule to make the patterns, but had forgotten this when I transferred the lines, so each piece was an inch too large on both axes.

This was an easy fix, since the panels needed to be smaller than they were, so I remarked them using the proper rule and made the additional cuts.  This time, the panels fit nicely.  (The panels are only loosely propped in place in the photos below.)  Holding the panels in place from inside, I traced the outline of the windows from the outside so I could make the cutouts.

I continued the process with the two larger side panels, bringing the bottom edge down as far as the molded step in the side of the pilothouse, at least for now; later steps might dictate shortening this somewhat.  The space below the new cherry panel would eventually be hidden behind the pilothouse cabinetry.


With the larger pilothouse panels now cut, I had plenty of offcut plywood to lay out and cut the final pieces for the underside of the sidedecks in the main cabin.  As with the templates, I left the inboard edges overlong and marked the exact location of the necessary cuts once I had the panels wedged in place. Then, back on the bench, I made the final cuts.


I wasn't quite ready to install the pilothouse panels, so I left them be for the moment, but I was ready to install the dinette and galley panels, so I lightly sanded the pieces and applied a coat of epoxy to the side that would face the underside of the deck.  Then, later, I flipped them over and applied a sealer coat of varnish to the exposed surface.

Total Time Today:  6.25 hours

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