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Project Log:  Thursday, March 13, 2014

With the freshness of a new day, cutting the sheet goods for the forward head bulkhead went smoothly and quickly, and I managed to cut to all the correct lines this time.



Next, I applied contact cement to the two large bulkheads, and the corresponding Formica sections, using a vent fan to remove the strong fumes.  Once the adhesive had tacked up, I installed the two panels without incident.  Then, to hide my earlier mistake with the after piece of Formica, which I'd cut too short in one area, I installed two pieces of plastic trim along the outboard bulkhead.  Suddenly this dark and depressing space was bright--blindingly bright--and cheery, other than the still-unfinished overhead.




Continuing with the indestructible trim, I cut another piece of plastic trim to cover the edge of the plywood head platform, dry-fitting it for now.  Later, I'd install some caulk behind it.


The inboard bulkhead, on either side of the door opening, was the last section for which Formica was required, so I patterned these two tall, narrow surfaces, and the narrow strip above the door.

These little pieces were disproportionately difficult to make, taking all afternoon to cut and fit.  I ended up making each of the long, narrow pieces twice--not by choice, mind you, but because in both cases either my template was off or, more likely, the flimsy, narrow templates had shifted while I was tracing them out onto the sheets of Formica.  It didn't help that the edges where these pieces butted into the corners were far from straight, but somehow had a sort of curve to them, which made cutting out the Formica a constant process of remarking and realigning the straightedge to approximate the curve.

For both pieces, my first attempts were way off on this curved side--the exact mechanics of the mistake weren't clear, though the smaller pieces tended to slide about even when clamped, thanks to the rotation of the router bit, so even though I tried to pay attention to this, perhaps that was the culprit--but in each case I used the bad piece as a new template, with an accurate shape scribed on the offending side, and cut new pieces from my dwindling supply of Formica scraps.

I was really sick of the process by the end, but finally I was ready to install these final pieces with contact cement, completing the bulk of the work in the tiny head compartment.  I still had to seal all the seams, build a door and frame, and finish the overhead before I could  think about installing the final lighting and plumbing here.


Total Time Today:  6.75 hours

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