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Project Log:  Saturday, September 3, 2011

After a couple weeks away from the project, my first task, using a chisel and sandpaper, was to pare away the bungs I'd set in the dinette cabinets last time.

Next, I determined, rather arbitrarily, the location for the short vertical cabinet face that would extend between the backrest and the underside of the sidedeck above.  Planning for roughly a 6" wide shelf when all was said and done, and allowing for the thickness of the cabinet face and the eventual fiddle on the outside edge of the shelf, I made some reference marks 7" in from the edge:  vertical lines on the forward and aft bulkheads, and several check marks on the shelf itself.  Then, I milled and installed hardwood cleats against these lines.

I cut a piece of cardboard to roughly the size of the opening and used it as a raw template for the locker face to come.  With the cardboard in place against the cleats, I scribed as necessary along the top edge to match the shape of the deck, then modified as necessary so that the cardboard was as accurate a template as possible.  The holes seen in the templates serve only to provide a finger hold and way to pull the template in and out of the confined space.

I transferred the cardboard template to a piece of 1/4" pattern plywood and cut it out, then tested the fit.  While I could bang the wooden template into position, clearly there were some high spots, so I rescribed the top edge and made an additional cut.

I also used the template to estimate the position of the locker door openings in the new panel.  Using the lower cabinet as a guide, I transferred the positions of the three openings to the top panel so that the locker doors would align, then experimented with overall height and position of the proposed openings.  Because the deck above formed a fairly severe angle as the sheerline rose forward, the forward end of the new panel was substantially taller than the aft end. 

I briefly toyed with the idea of making each successive locker opening 1" taller as the deck rose, but decided this looked odd, so I stuck with a 4" tall opening, which was the maximum height I could achieve at the aft end of the aftermost opening.  As it was, I thought that the aftermost door would require its top corner to be chopped off once trim and all final details were in place, but I didn't want the openings to be any shorter than this.



Happy with the template, I used it to mark out the shape on a section of 1/2" cherry plywood, which I'd saved from the same sheet I used to build the lower section of the dinette so the grain patterns would match as much as possible.  After cutting out the basic shape, I marked and cut the locker door openings and test fit the panel in the boat.


I needed to divide the top locker into sections, much like those beneath, so next I templated and built two basic dividers to section off the locker.  These dividers provided no structure, and I made them fairly tight so they were mostly a friction fit, but for final installation I applied epoxy adhesive to the three bonding edges to hold them in place.  I held the dividers just inside of the locker front's support cleat, as there was no need for the dividers to extend the extra 3/4" to the locker face.


I cut sections of 1/2" rigid foam insulation to cover the exposed hull in each of the three lockers, then built 1/4" cherry panels to cover the insulation;  I secured these panels (and also the foam behind) in place with simple cherry moldings that I attached with stainless steel brads. I wanted to keep these sections as easy to remove (in theory) as possible, as they covered the nuts securing the teak rubrail outside. In the event I ever had to replace a damaged section in this area, I could still access the nuts without too much dismantling effort.


With the construction finally complete, I painted the exposed section of the underside of the deck inside the locker, then cleaned up and varnished the exposed cherry cabinet interior.  I also varnished both sides of the new locker front, leaving final installation till the varnish cured.


Total Time Today:  6 hours

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