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Project Log:  Wednesday, March 12, 2014

With at least eight coats on everything, I deemed the varnishwork on the bulwarks and rubrail good enough for now:  enough to get through the upcoming season, and then the boat would be back for upkeep and loose ends anyway.  I removed the masking tape.



Continuing in the head, I created paper patterns of the forward and after bulkheads, cutting the paper a bit shy of the edges of the spaces and transferring the actual shape onto the paper with a 2" offset.  I'd use these patterns to cut pieces of Formica to fit these surfaces.


Starting with the aft bulkhead, I laid out the pattern on a fresh sheet of Formica, maintaining one factory edge to minimize cutting, which was possible since the inboard edge of the bulkhead was a straight line.  I traced out the pattern on the new material.

To cut to the shape of the pattern, I clamped the sheet as needed to a straightedge of plywood beneath, and made the cuts with a laminate trimmer to the lines.

In laying out the outboard edge of the sheet, which featured a jog around the cabin trunk and to the outboard bulkhead in the head, I made a mistake.   To allow me to align the sheet with my straightedge, I'd extended the upper part of the layout line to the bottom of the sheet, intending to cut the upper part of the jog, starting where the pencil is pointing on the piece.  I'd already cut to my lower layout line. 

But a broken bearing on my laminate bit (which happened right after completing the lower part of the cut) distracted me for several minutes while I changed the bit, and when I came back to make the cut, I stupidly started at the bottom of the sheet, paring away material that was supposed to remain.  I was supposed to start the cut up by the pencil point.


This was essentially an unrecoverable error from a practical standpoint.  I checked the pattern for the forward bulkhead to see if it would fit here, but it was too big.  I only had one more sheet of Formica on hand, and did not want to get more, and the waste from this sheet was not large enough for a do-over.

In the end, I decided to continue the erroneous cut, the net result of which was that the outboard side of the panel now followed the line of the cabin trunk all the way down, which meant that the top part of the lower panel section was just over an inch shy of where it should have been. 

Instead of redoing the whole sheet for such an ultimately minor error, I decided to use what I had and install some trim to hide the problem.  And so it goes. I finished up the top cuts on the panel, completing its patterening.


Keeping with my water-resistant, utilitarian theme for the space, I found some white plastic on hand that I thought might do the trim job nicely; if I didn't like that, I'd use wood, but didn't really want to introduce wood trim into the space.

I decided to leave cutting the forward section of Formica till another day, as it was getting late and I didn't want the frustration to affect the next piece, so I test-fit the after piece in place and made minor adjustments as needed, mainly rounding the two top corners to fit a little better.  I'd do the final installation later.


Total Time Today:  3.5 hours

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