Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go.... --- 146 hrs

…..well that’s said with a little grin. After all who can call building a terrific Tiki catamaran work? Actually we cleaned up the shop area a few days ago and got in about 3 hrs of work on the Tiki. Some of that time was just figuring out were we left off 7 months ago.
Bulkheads 1,2, and 3 with final epoxy coat. 

Our current push is to get the bulkheads for the port hull completed. The plans say to get these complete as possible since they are much easier to work on while laying on a bench then when they are in the hull. So step one the other day was surveying each bulkhead and listing what remaining work is needed. The list has items like, “bunk bearer aft side(BH3)”, “fillet under floor bearer(BH3)”, “finish cutting out (BH7)”. 

Today the last couple 20x32 mm douglas fir floor/bunk bearer  and larger curved deck bearers were installed.  In order of bearer build difficulty its floor easiest then bunk and finally the deck bearers require most work. The floors are just straight pieces with ends angled to the bulkhead. The bunk bearers at same as floor plus notches for stringers. Then the deck adds to bunk by making the top curved. This is so ultimately the deck will have a curve, making it stronger and shed water more easily. 

Building the bulkheads also brings up other issues, such as, access to buoyancy compartments. Plans call for a 6inch access plate in BH1,BH6, and BH7. I had thought of building wood access plates but when I asked on the Wharram Builders forum about this , Scott Williams said he used Beckson and that there will be plenty of wood building. After looking things over I decided to go with the 8inch ID access plates. This will give more reach in room without weakening the bulkheads. But the $24/each price tag was a little hard to swallow. Even the 6inch were $16/each. The forward buoyancy compartment is about 70inchs BH to Stem so even with an 8inch access plate not the entire volume can be reach by hand.

Time for a favorite tool, the table saw! My old Sears POS has been dragged from one house to the next for probably 25 years. It’s deadly, zero safety equipment. I always wear a face shield and watch that blade like a hawk. On the positive side it rips the douglas fir 2x4s pretty nice with a new blade. And it knocks out these recesses in the deck and bunk bearers. The build directions show using a hand held back saw to cut each side then using a chisel to take the meat out. I did a few this way, but I can do 12 on the table saw in the same time as one by hand. Also the 1” belt sander gets a fair workout. It’s great for final shaping but it’s powerful and a light touch is needed.
First set the blade height.

Make repeated careful passes. 

Deck bearer is ready.

Sometimes a touch of the belt sander cleans up the notches then a chisel to clean the corners to finish the job.

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