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Project Log:  Saturday, August 17, 2013

My little collection of varnished door frames had sat in a dusty pile in the shop for too long, victim of other priorities and a lack of available time.  But these doorframes offered me a way to ease back into the project after an unwanted but necessary hiatus.

As I was wont to do, I planned to use prewoven caning to fill the fields of these door frames.  I'd found caning to be a relatively simple and effective way of building doors, and liked how the caning lightened up what could otherwise be heavy wooden interiors.  Plus, the caning provided excellent ventilation to the lockers.

To begin, I laid out the various door frames on a roll of caning material and cut pieces to fit, leaving them well oversized.  There were 15 door frames--six larger ones, and nine small-to-medium ones (plus the as-yet built door for the chainlocker).



Beginning with the nine smaller doors, I placed the caning pieces and several segments of reed spline in a sink full of warm water and allowed the material to soak for a time before beginning the installation process.  To hold the material below the surface, I used a bucket full of water on top.  Soaking made the material pliable, and also expanded it slightly so that once installed, it would shrink tightly into place.

The installation process was this:  with the soaked cane in place above the door frame (grooves in which I'd previously milled to accept the caning and splines), I used a wooden wedge to ease the caning down into the grooves along all four sides, working it in stages to avoid breaking the caning.  This could be tedious at times.

Next, I cut sections of the spline to the appropriate length and, after installing a bead of glue in the grooves, installed the spline with a mallet.


In this way, I continued through the first set of doors, setting them aside for the caning to dry and shrink.

Then I soaked the larger pieces for the next set of doors, and, after a time, completed the additional six doors.

This was a good check mark on my list, as the unfinished pile of door frames had been irritating me with their un-doneness.  And the doors would start to make the interior seem really finished, despite whatever else remained to be done (overhead trim, cabin sole, and the entire head, for starters).

That said, the Big Thing on the list, and what I really needed to get to work on, remained the exterior painting.  I'd had lots of--too much--time to think this over, and as you gentle readers may recall, I'd been fretting about and postponing this task indefinitely.  With fall rapidly approaching--and with it the inevitability of spring all too closely--I felt I needed to get this done essentially now--or as now-like as scheduling over the next few months would allow, anyway.

I didn't want to have the boat in bay 1 any longer than necessary; by moving her over earlier in the summer I'd hoped to have time and motivation to get started sooner, but it hadn't been possible.  But I wanted that bay back for work sooner than later, so to knuckle down on the job, I came up with a compromise plan that would get as much done as quickly as possible.

At issue was the challenge in painting the decks, which would require multiple stages of work given the impossibility of reaching all areas in one fell swoop.  Given this requirement, and the need for parting lines between sections of the paint, my plan was to avoid the cockpit area completely for now.  The cockpit posed an issue because I needed--or at least wanted--to redo the propane locker, the current version of which failed even the most jaded test of realistic suitability.


Throwing a wrench into these works was the recent recall of composite propane tanks made by the Lite Cylinder Company, a couple versions of which (including rebranded tanks made by the same company and sold under another name) had been under consideration for use here.  And this work would take me a while to complete.

Therefore, I decided to ignore the cockpit and paint the rest of the decks (and the hull) in as expeditious a manner as possible, then move the boat back over to the other bay for the rest of the winter.  Getting the other painting done sooner would be a boon to overall productivity (not to mention morale), and I could then work on the cockpit area separately while still moving other parts of the job forward (such as reinstalling ports and deck hardware, rather critical items before launching).  Painting the other deck areas and the bulwarks would be challenging enough and take plenty of elapsed time, so I thought I'd better get started.


The major prep work of these areas had been long completed, so my next tasks looked to be cleanup, minor detailing, and then masking and other prep.

Total Time Today:  4 hours

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