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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Tools of the trade

I collected all the tools I have been using so far for the build and set them out to photograph them.    Anyone who will be interested in building a similar boat from full sized mylar plans will find this of some usefulness.   Missing from the photo would be my large metric ruler (2 meter stick), and my ships curve.

Tools used so far in the build

Tools used so far in the build

I have organized the local area of the garage so that each of these items are within easy reach.

Tool List:

1. Festool Jigsaw
2. 3/8 Drill for jigsaw pilot holes
3. Dremel Router
4. Heavy gloves for lifting full plywood sheets and not getting splinters.
5. Assorted clamps
6. Various weights, 6lb, 8lb, and 25lb   (All have been useful)
7.  Marking wheel for transferring lines from mylar plans to plywood (missing from photo is a small ice pick)
8.  Measuring tapes,  meter sticks,  15 cm 1/2mm scale ruler, 2 meter stick, french curves, boat curve (not in photo)
9.   Plyers (I am using to remove splinter guards from Jigsaw when replacing blades)
10.  Angle square  (when I need to draw a 90 degree line from the plywood edge)  A large T square would be better.
11.  Pencils and Eraser  (keep them sharp)
12.  Files, rasp, and sanding block
13.  Brush to keep surfaces clean

I have been cutting each plywood sheet the morning after transferring the patterns to the sheet.   I have completed 8 of the 10 sheets so far and will soon be moving into a new phase of the build.    Each of the tools shown have been used at one time or another during the tracing or cutting process.  The most valuable of course has been the Festool Jigsaw.

I have used the french curves the least.  The tight curves have turned out to be to great for usage.   To correct this  I found an adjustable ships curve which I  now use to draw the larger curves after marking lines every 3 to 6 inches.

An adjustable Ships Curve

An adjustable Ships Curve

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2009 in Building Stage

 

A few more days of frame building

More work done on the frames.    Here is an updated photo of what has been cut so far.    Also if you haven’t noticed already, I have a link on the right to photographs of a finished Ebihen 15.    If you haven’t looked yet, check the photo’s out to get an idea how the boat will look once finished.   The weights you see in the photograph are used to hold the mylar plans in place while I use the tracing tool to transfer the lines.    I have found the weights to be helpful.    I have two 25lb weights left over from my medical equipment repair business.  These originally were used as calibration weights for patient scales.

Two sheets of 18mm ply has been cut to make these frames

Two sheets of 18mm ply has been cut to make these frames

A few days off this week to do a commercial photo shoot for an insurance company and now I am back to work on the boat.    Also said good-bye to my Harley this week.    Sold to a very nice guy from Huntington Beach.   I have owned a motorcycle almost continuously since high school and this was my second Harley.   I don’t think I will every be buying another, but never again is a long time  :<)

Sold this week on craig's list.

Sold this week on craig's list.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2009 in Building Stage

 

First frames cut

My new Festool Jigsaw is great.   I have completed my first sheet of plywood frames.    Any mistakes I made was of my own doing, the jigsaw works as advertised.   Following the set up procedures provided  I was able to make finished cuts right on the lines.

Off to the left are my first frame members for the boat
Off to the left are my first frame members for the boat
 
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Posted by on September 15, 2009 in Building Stage

 

Layout of full sized Plans

I layed out my first full sized sheet of plywood.   Got off to a bad start after transferring a pattern onto the wrong sized plywood.    A good lesson to start with.   Measure twice, check twice, verify twice, cut once if possible.

First Sheet of 15mm ply

First Sheet of 15mm ply

The transfer process is very easy.  Using a pointed roller, (provided with the full sized mylar plans);

Use this tool to transfer lines from plan to plywood

Use this tool to transfer lines from plan to plywood

You simply roll over the plan lines and the points of the roller stick through the mylar and leave a line mark on the wood.   After marking the wood through the mylar plans with the roller I would then trace over the line with a carpenters pencil.   I thought about using a sharpie pen but if I did this on my first trace I would have messed up a good sheet of plywood.  Pencil markings erase.

After transferring my first sheet of plywood patterns I wanted to try various methods of cutting the plywood.   After reading how to cut plywood on the “Wooden Boat Forum” I went to Home Depot and purchased a standard hand saw, a light duty pull saw,  a new Plywood saw blade for my Skil Saw,  and a few battens.  I already had some good reverse pull blades for my Jig Saw.  Using a scrape section of the sheet I tried cutting with the standard hand saw,  the pull saw, and my Skil Jig Saw.    I had reasonable luck with both the hand saws.

With a heavy full sheet of plywood (18mm) and integrate design patterns layed out,  I don’t see any way to safely cut the patterns out except for a jig saw.   The Skil Saw will not cut my pattern curves, and I have very few entry points on the wood for the straight cuts needed. A band saw will work but  I don’t have one, or the space to keep it when not needed.    With my limited ability at this point I also don’t see how  I would control a tight cut from several feet away on my longer pieces.

Tight fit on plywood sheet

Tight fit on plywood sheet

The hand saws do work, and I would have pretty good control of the pace of the cuts.   But,  I have a lot of wood to cut and a little mechanical help is needed.  I decided a jigsaw was the only tool I could use efficiently to cut my patterns.

My good Skil Jigsaw is a piece of crap and it is now in the trash.   It looks brand new, but I wouldn’t give it away on Craig’s List.  My test cuts could not have been less straight.   I had zero control of the blade.  It wandered and caused bowed cuts.

A real piece of crap

A real piece of crap

The problem with this Jig Saw, (at least my model) is a cheap platen that is poorly aligned and no roller bearing to help keep the blade from wandering.   You don’t do yourself any favors with poorly designed cheap tools,  something for me to remember when I need a future tool.

I researched a new Jig Saw and bought the top of the line from Festool, a model PS 300 EQ. I paid 1/3 more than the next better brand, but after owning two worthless jigsaw I wanted no excuse for poor cuts but my own inability.  The Festool comes in two models.   I picked the lower profile PS 300 EQ over the PSB 300 EQ for it’s lower profile and ability to get closer to the work surface with my hands.

Best on the market

Best on the market

Yehaa,  I made some great cuts with the new Festool and now I am rolling through my first sheet.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Building Stage

 

Plywood purchase

I purchased my first series of plywood for the construction of the bulkheads, frames, keel and stem.     Finding the marine grade wood I wanted required a number of hours of research.     There are a number of fine sources for plywood but I had a time of it figuring out the plywood I needed.  My French building plans call for plywood in mm sizes and specified the number of ply’s with several options as to actual wood material.    The Ebihen 15 calls for marine grade moabi, sapelli, sipo or equal.    I did find Sapelli (sapele) wood which is very expensive in comparison to other US sourced marine plywoods.   I could not source sipo or moabi plywoods.   The majority of boat building plywood available from local sources are Douglas Fir, Okoume, Meranti, and Sapele.    Douglas Fir was ruled out based on the large number of comments concerning the quality of this plywood and the problems douglas fir has with checking.   Checking occurs when the underlying grain of the wood shows through the finished paint.

I limited my choices to either Okoume or Meranti.   Okoume is the better choice if light weight is paramount in the construction.   Meranti has better structual strength but is also 20% heavier.  My intent with this boat is to have a stable cruiser and not a racer so more weight in the structure for me is not a liability.   I ended up picking the Meranti.   I figure my boat will be about 80 lbs heavier with this wood.     I probably will purchase Okoume for the hull planking for both it’s lighter weight and easier bending ability.   I am happy with my choice of Meranti for the structual components.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2009 in Building Stage

 

Receipt of complete Plans for Ebihen 15

I recieved the balance of my Ebihen 15 plans.    Earlier in the week I received the full size patterns, and a few days later the detailed written build manual, timber list, fitting list, A3 sized booklet with dozens of detailed construction drawings.    I started the garage clean out to make room for the construction.    First I emptied out the left side of the garage and demolished the cabinets to make more physical room.   I build a temporary  storage rack to hold my wood purchased during the project in this new space.   I also put my motorcycle up for sale to make more floor space.  The motorcycle sale will also fund my boat building project.

I also went on a Craig’s List  shopping spree this week and  picked up a large Wet/Dry Vac and an electric hand planer.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2009 in Building Stage