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Project Log:  Saturday, April 14, 2012

The two small hatch openings required an additional round of filler to complete the fillet around the edges, so I washed and lightly sanded the first application as needed, then applied a second coat to fine-tune the contours.



Pleased with the small Vetus hatches, I went ahead and ordered a larger one for the forward cabin.  While the overall size was about the same as the original hatch I removed, the opening was a slightly different shape, mainly in the corner radii.  So I traced the opening and enlarged the cutout as needed for the hatch to fit properly.  Since there was a nice molded flat area designed for this hatch, there was no need for any further pre-installation work.


I lightly sanded the aft bulkhead, dash, and console in the pilothouse to prepare these surfaces for their second coat of satin varnish, but left application of the finish for another time so it wouldn't prohibit other work on board in the meantime.

Down in the main cabin, I started work on installing the trim I'd prepared earlier.  To begin, I cut hardwood cleats and glued and screwed them to the underside of the dinette seat overhang, in the footwell.  Because the fiddle trim hung down below the top surface, I needed the additional support for the overhanging section, and also more room for glue and screws.    These cleats would never be seen, and I didn't fuss over their installation much.


Next, I cut and fit the long length of fiddle trim at the edge of the shelf on the dinette backrest.  The angled rabbet I'd prepared during the original milling didn't work out as well in practice, and I ended up recutting the rabbet straight, which allowed the trim to sit properly over the edge of the shelf.  I glued and screwed the trim in place, and bunged the screw holes immediately.


I planned hidden indirect lighting along the undersides of the sidedeck on both sides of the cabin, and the section of trim I'd milled was designed to hang down by about an inch and provide the needed visual barrier, as well as cover the edge of the cabin trunk. 

Because of the shape of the deck, which followed the jaunty sheerline, the cabin trunk--and therefore my trim--featured a noticeable upwards angle along its length.  This required angle cuts on each end of the trim, so I used a short 2" wide bank (same as the actual trim) to determine and test-cut the angles needed, and also to make measuring the overall length of the trim easier.   I successfully transferred the angles and measurements to the actual trim and friction-fit it in place.

Frankly, this steep angle looked sort of awkward, and had never been my favorite feature of the interior, but it was part of the boat and there was no way to eliminate or reduce it.

I also used the test blank to make some reference marks with tape so I could get the height right.  In addition to the steep fore-and-aft angle, there was also some curvature to the cabin trunk in both directions:  the lower edge wasn't planar, but featured a curve; and the cabin trunk itself was slightly curved and not straight.  This required me to bend the trim downwards in its center (from a straight reference line), as well as to push it in to the slightly concave shape of the cabin trunk.  

Eventually, using a 1" guide block to ensure the trim hung below the cabin trunk enough in all areas, I demarked  the top edge of the trim with a length of masking tape, both for visual reference as well as to protect the wood, as I needed to use epoxy to secure this trim since there wasn't much material into which to screw (1/4" plywood and about another 1/4" of laminate maximum).  I planned to use short screws carefully sized to ensure they didn't penetrate too far, but these would just act as clamps while the adhesive cured.


After scuffing up the one coat of varnish on the cherry panel and trim, and marking and milling screw holes and countersinks, I installed the trim with the aforementioned screws and epoxy adhesive, bunging the screw holes afterwards.


The joints between various plywood panels making up the dinette (and other areas of the interior) generally required small trim to cover the seams.  For these areas, I'd previously milled several sections of 1/4" quarter round, just enough to cover the corners without making much of a statement.   Beginning with the vertical seams between the angled dinette backrest and the vertical bulkheads on each end, I installed some of the trim with glue and stainless steel brads.  To avoid fasteners, I first tried using a couple dabs of hot glue to hold the trim instead of the brads, but it wasn't working, and ultimately I decided the brads, shot from an air gun, were just too easy and too innocuous to worry about.   I had some cherry wood filler I might try, but generally I thought that these fillers looked worse than the tiny holes they were designed to "hide".  But it'd be worth trying a dab in a hidden area, perhaps.

The corner trim was, so far, unfinished, making it stand out more now than it would later.  The goal, of course, was to install all the trim so I could varnish and complete the entire area.


In the shelf area of the dinette, the back corners would require three pieces of this trim to meet--two sections on the shelf itself, meeting at 90°, and a third, vertical section above, perpendicular to the other two.  I suppose there were any number of ways these pieces could be conjoined, but I hate working with tiny trim and didn't want the corners to be any more difficult than necessary.  So I made some simple corner blocks that allowed the quarter round to butt into flats on each side as needed.  From 3/4" square cherry stock, I milled a 45° angle on one side, leaving flats of about 5/16" on the two sides for the shelf trim; the vertical trim could run right into the top of the block.  I glued one of these into each back corner.

At the top corners, on the underside of the sidedeck, I had a similar situation, but with one difference:  I needed only one leg of horizontal trim.  So I used the same basic blank, but cut one side shorter so the angled cut essentially died off on the side where I'd not be installing quarter round.  I glued these into the top corners, holding them with tape.

Corners complete, it was simple to cut pieces of the quarter round to fit.  No fussy angles were required thanks to the convenient corner blocks--just square cuts, glue, and brads.  I left the upper trim, beneath the sidedeck, for next time, once the glue on the upper corner blocks had dried.



Total Time Today:  7.25 hours

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