Friday, 11 October 2013

There's something bothering me.......

Its not the fact that this project has taken too long, or the out-of-control costs or what the end result will be - no its the uncomfortable feeling when things just aren't a hundred percent, its been a problem the last couple of years and it just won't go away - i just can't get it into gear.

Once again i'm deep in conversation with myself where i dig up whats really bothering me to not make progress forward and the one thing that keeps cropping up is the lack of workspace.

The constant ball ache of dragging tools and materials out from every corner of the garage workshop, the van, from under the boat or bench and generally digging around collating things into some form then balancing things on my knee, end of the small bench in the corner, or the table saw or the rather dusty floor.

So i have decided to build a modest shop next door to the shed, it'll be the same lightweight construction as the main shed (2"x2" and tarp wrapped). The hope is by 'knocking through' one major benefit will be a dedicated workspace separating dust from the main shed whilst having everything to hand and better ordered too, you can't believe how much time i lose at present looking for tools and drawings not to mention the bloody hoovering of everything daily.

When i came back from the IOW last year i meant to do it but convinced myself it unnecessary but seeing how long its taken to make some really basic joinery pieces and i haven't even got started yet i feel the only way to up the pace is to take the project more seriously in terms of my work environment so when time and indeed weather permits i'll start work on its construction.

This week saw the main bulkhead cut and machined, its not fitted as having a midweek tantrum due to being waist deep in tools and crap i stopped everything and spent yesterday loading the van for a run to the tip. I think that put me in an odd frame of mind cutting up and disposing of jigs and patterns that i spent an age designing and making now surplus to requirement - totally irrational i know but still troubling to me.

Troubling as the ends don't seem to justify the means, well they do of course - thats erroneous - but to spend days making a jig or pattern to then use it the once exascerbates my feelings of apathy.

Still tomorrows another day.....................................................

Monday, 7 October 2013

"Step away from the air saw"

When I started this project back in 1861 I completely underestimated the need for many and various power tools, being a jobbing chippy i thought i had more than enough to tackle a build such as this but in the last few years i must of  bought every air tool plus a compressor as well as a plethora of sanders and grinders.

But my favourite tool and one that always comes out of the toolbox first is one i have on long term loan from a mate and thats the air hacksaw, its addictive too largely due to its versitility and lack of dust it creates. For the past two weeks its all i've used  - well that and grinders of varying sizes, but its made removing the interior a breeze.

Today started out with the usual amount of staring at the task in hand for a good 30 minutes then slurp coffee then rub chin - then more coffee then suit up, gimp mask on, cans on and off we go. Todays brief was remove half the main bulkhead whilst carefully unpicking it from the internal moulding that is the heads, this duely done i caught the reflection of the heads moulding in the bright light of my worklight to see nothing but bubbles in the gel no doubt years of piss splashes and water from the basin as well as the heads when heeled.

Thinking this wont do i made the heads history literally in minutes then got thinking i've taken everything out from the transom to the forepeak why not take the forepeak out? For a good half hour i weighed it up but realising there was little to be gained put the saw down and started hoovering.......for a change.

Since the design brief is so fluid i have to reign myself in and not get carried away although i can't / won't compromise on the vision i have in my head there is still a bit of me that has at least a couple of toes touching the ground to make sure the project remains on a path of sorts..................................

Tomorrow i'll glass in the bearers then the bulkheads and start putting the centre of the boat back together.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Anyone for Laserquest?

Its one of those ideas i've harboured from the start, to make the boats cabin a better place to be and seeing the wasted space as i removed the moulding - no doubt one of the many sacrifices to mass production - made me think i really need to plan this before fitting anything back in. Its safe to say not much got done this last week other than borrowing a mate's laser level and putting the floor bearers down seeing as regardless of what i do above, the boat will need a floor.

I was amazed that after sweeping the laser around the bilge i could drop the floor some 50mm and still have a similar shaped floor to what went before. 

Having got everything bedded on sikaflex and levelled to the laser i'm now to remove the port side of the main bulkhead. Waving a laser as well as a conventional bubble about the place i'm more than a little sure that nothing is on the money, this is a little concerning as i levelled the boat after the keels were fitted to both the main bulkhead and three datum points externally. My thoughts now are that all the bits i've fitted to the bubble may sit at an odd angle once on the water - how do i know this?

Well after surveying the main bulkhead it leans out at the top on the port side towards the sidedecks some 10mm over 2ft so that translates to 30mm from bilge to mast step whilst vertically level on both sides of the door opening at either ends by respective side decks its a total car crash.

I think this has contributed to a recent dip in motivation as trying to put right other peoples work and then execute mine precisely has always irked me - why can't people do the job right the first time? - i know i'm committing something approaching heresy when i say this but my Westerly wasn't very well built at all.

Seeing as the press refer to them as the byword for quality; of late i've referred to them as something altogether different and not entirely broadcastable, still in their defence the numbers they were producing them in, the standards were going to slip - Lloyds cert or not. Which reminds me, i've never ground so many air bubbles out of a bilge than on mine, more so than the outside after it was stripped so how the hell my boat passed muster is anyones guess?

Still this coming week i'll don the red tunic and brown trousers one more time and remove most of the main bulkhead with one a little more straighter and also to provide a little more leg room in the heads at the same time. I should say at this point that the plywood is now coming from Bamptons in Southampton, these guys (Bamptons) are top notch with decent grade Far Eastern as well as Gaboon based ply and at prices that don't make your arse droop either. 

I've also sorted out the mess i made earlier in the year trying to make structural panels out of bi-ax cloth and epoxy, instead of trying to do it in one go i decided to laminate a panel a day and its been a total success and will have enough left over to make the backing plates for the chainplates and a few other things besides.

Only problem is i'll need another 'c' pack of Wests, number 6 if my mind serves me correctly what with the two 'b' packs i bought at the start of this project and the half a 'c' pack i bought off a forumite thats getting on for nearly £3000  in resin alone...................................