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Project Log:  Sunday, February 17, 2013

Now that the overhead panels were complete and all in place, I decided to start work on some of the overhead trim details, beginning with the large overhead hatch in the pilothouse.  Originally, there'd been some kind of molded trim unit that covered the rougher insides of the opening, but I didn't want to reuse that. 

Photo from 25 July 2010

The trim needed to cover the edge of the overhead panel, and close off the gap visible at the edge of the overhead, as well cover at least part of the overhead opening for best visual appearance.  Some time ago, I'd also made the decision to abandon the original sliding hatch design, which was rather bulky, unappealing, and, by most anecdotal accounts, prone to leakage, in favor of a fixed panel, since I saw little need for the opening hatch and fixing a panel in place would avoid many potential pitfalls.

Photos from 25 August 2010

I considered various approaches to the trim, including L-shaped pieces to do the job in one section, but settled on a two-section approach that would be easier to mill and install, particularly given the camber of the overhead.  First, I'd line the opening with wood, then, later, install slim trim pieces to span the seam between the new vertical trim and the overhead, in keeping with the other seam trim pieces needed for the overhead.

To begin, from a larger piece of cherry stock I milled thinner strips of wood, abut 3/8" thick and 3-1/2" wide, as I saw no need or desire for full-thickness stock for this trim.  At the same time, from the same board, I milled several 1-1/2" wide, 1/4" thick strips that I'd eventually use for the trim to cover overhead seams and screw lines.

After some basic measurements, I prepared two pieces of the new stock for the longitudinal sides of the opening, trimming them to fit the length as needed.  The sides of the molded opening were not straight, square, nor plumb.  My initial thought had been to let the trim follow the contours more tightly, but as I fitted the rough pieces I decided instead to let them run straight and plumb, as the sides were quite curvy.    To hold the pieces thusly, I used shim stock behind and clamped the side pieces temporarily in place while I scribed the lower edge to match the overhead.


Removing the sides, I cut the lower edge to the line, then reclamped and shimmed the pieces in place so I could cut, fit, and scribe the forward and after sections. 


At the forward end, with the overhead instrument panel to deal with, as well as a particularly ugly and uneven raw edge, I held the trim piece a set distance above and scribed the whole lower edge to the contours required to accommodate the shape of the overhead and clear the electronics as needed.

The aft section just needed scribing to match the deck camber.



Satisfied with the dry fit of all four pieces, I removed the trim and sanded the faces and lower edges smooth.  Then, I installed the trim, beginning by clamping all found pieces in place with the shims required to hold each piece in its proper orientation.  The way the overhead was built, it was possible that this trim might need removal in order to take down the forward sections of the overhead, so I installed the trim with screws from the inside, which I countertunk flush and left exposed.  I applied some glue between sections of shim stock, and between the shims and the wooden trim itself--but not between the shims and the hatch opening--to help hold the shims in their position during any future removal of the trim.  When the trim was removed, the stacked shims should come with it.



Once all the pieces were in place, and the glue had had a chance to set up, I trimmed off any excess shim length as needed.




Total Time Today:  4 hours

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