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Project Log:  Saturday, January 17, 2015

Over the past few days, I'd worked to apply a coat of varnish each day to the new chainlocker door frame, eventually reaching the base buildup I wanted (4 coats of gloss varnish) and shifting to rubbed-effect varnish for the final coat.

I clamped the frame in place in the opening so I could work out its final attachment and support system.  I planned two inverted L-shaped wooden cleats at the bottom edge, to wrap over and secure against the inside of the opening itself, plus a pair of catches at the top edge.  Doing this now, while the center of the frame was still open, made the job easier.  After mocking up the lower cleats, and making markings as needed, I glued up the L-shaped pieces and left them to cure.  (Oops, no pictures of all this.)

Meanwhile, I secured two hardwood blocks inside the opening, flush with the top, to eventually accept the roller catches at the top edge.


I soaked a piece of pre-woven cane material in a sinkfull of warm water till it was supple, then installed it in the frame, as I'd done with all the other cabinet doors on board.  Because the opening was almost as tall as the caning itself, it made the chore a little more challenging, as I'd not a lot of extra material to work with.  My slot for the reed spline was a little wide, so at one edge--where I had the most trouble with the barely wide-enough caning--I used several clamps to help hold things till the glue securing the spline and caning cured.  Once the material had dried and tightened, I'd trim the excess and move on with the final tasks to hang the door.

To build my new lazarette hatch for the cockpit, I first needed a flat panel for the top.  I eventually chose to make this in the shop.  My first choice would have been a piece of prefab 1/4" laminate, for the efficiencies and ease thereof, but the shipping costs for the size blank I'd need  would have been foolish:  the hatch was an odd shape, but over 40" wide in one dimension, requiring a 48" piece of stock were I to purchase it, and the dimensions available in this length (48" square) would have produced too much waste, and too steep a shipping cost.  I did purchase 1/8" thick strips that I'd use later to form the sides of my hatch.

For the flat panel, I prepared a work station with a piece of scrap, smooth plywood (leftover from my kitchen) covered in plastic, producing a smooth, flat, non-stick surface on which to laminate the basic panel.  I cut four pieces of 1708 fiberglass for the job, each a little longer and wider than the final dimensions required, and which together would give me a panel thickness of about 1/4".  Then, I laminated them in epoxy resin, leaving the assembly to cure overnight.


Total Time Today:  2.25 Hours

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