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Project Log:  Saturday, January 3, 2015

To wrap up the work on the new aft pilothouse trim, I milled rounded edges as I saw fit and sanded the two pieces smooth to prepare for varnish work.  I set them back in place one final time, though I'd need the corner piece on hand so I could properly fit the doorway trim next.


Before continuing, I lightly sanded and repainted the forward hatch coaming.

One can get far too wrapped up in trim details, so I always strove to keep them as simple as possible. For the pilothouse door, the basic needs were to hide the raw and asymmetrical edges of the rough opening in the bulkhead, and any exposed edges of the aluminum door itself. 

To this end, I prepared L-shaped trim that I could wrap over the opening and accomplish the core requirements.  From 1" thick stock, which I'd planed smooth from a rough 1-1/8" board earlier, I prepared two blanks that would provide enough material for the four pieces needed.  One leg, which would wrap inwards towards the door and cover the edges of the cutout, was 3/4" wide (inside dimension); the visible flange that would rest against the bulkhead paneling was 1-1/2" in width.  Once I'd milled the basic shapes, I rounded the edges and sanded the blanks smooth.


I planned a simple approach to installation.  Rather than fight with mitered corners, which always presented a challenge with wrap-around trim, I installed the trim pieces so they butted in the inside corners of the opening, leaving open areas at the three exposed corners (the fourth died out into the boxed corner trim on the starboard side) where I'd install oversized square blocks to finish off the look.

I started with the shorter top and bottom sections, gluing them in place as needed.  To help hold the pieces while the glue cured, I used a few dabs of hot-melt glue, which worked well on the shorter pieces.  I used the lower corner box to mark the bottom trim where it needed to be cut, allowing room for the box to slip past.  I didn't take photos of these intermediate steps because I expected to be able to take photos of the entire door trim completed later, but subsequent events got in the way of that.  Read on.

With the top and bottom trim pieces in place and installed level, I prepared the two longer side pieces, cutting the bottoms to fit around the shape of the aluminum door as needed, and again cutting away a portion on the starboard lower section so the boxed corner could fit past.  But when I tried to secure these trims in place with just the hot glue as clamps, the process failed, and I had to scramble to find a way to clamp the first piece (which happened to be the port side) in place, scampering up and down the ladder to finally procure several bulky wooden clamps with a jaw long enough to work in the situation.

These clamps were so bulky that I could barely squeeze back out of the boat, but I was able to work from the cockpit to glue in the starboard side trim, which was easier to clamp with normal bar clamps since the sliding door wasn't in the way there.  But there was no way to get back into the cabin with all these clamps in place, so that effectively ended my work on the trim (I'd planned to install the square corners in the same operation), and I had to resort to taking photos and inspecting the trim from the forward pilothouse windows.  I left the trim and glue to cure overnight in the clamps.


To round out the day, I applied a sealer coat of varnish to the corner box and baseboard trim.


Total Time Today:  4.75 Hours

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