Sunday, 18 February 2007

Batten and balls up

This is the scarf joint seen from the side. You can make out the wodge of epoxy in there. It's a bit messy and not 100% true, but it's strong and will suffice. With the ply sheets joined I marked up the side panels then lay a batten across the marks to determine the lines of the chine. I drew in the long sweeping curves and then, after some routine dithering, I cut out the panels.

The batten in the picture is not my original batten so kindly donated by Mr Mushroom, which I mentioned in an earlier post. That batten, I’m afraid, was victim to a curious habit of mine—that of discovering a mistake then rushing willy-nilly to rectify the error in the wildly mistaken hope that if I do it quickly enough neither I nor anyone else will notice.

In this case I’d made the centreboard 1cm shorter than drawn by reading 47.6 as 46.7(it’s sad I know) and, desperate to cover up my blunder, I rifled the pile of scrap wood for something suitable to make a 1cm laminate on the leading edge of the centreboard. When nothing came to hand I turned my possessed gaze towards the batten, my clean, even grained 5 metre batten and before you could say “Why not go inside and check the measurements on the computer?” I’d sliced off 110 cm and was busy trying to glue it on to the centreboard taking furtive glances over my shoulder to check that no one was witnessing my spontaneous impersonation of a headless chicken. When I finally relaxed and went inside for a cuppa, feeling quite pleased with myself I checked the measurements on the computer. The lines came up on the screen and then, like the man who, even as he executes a perfect dive, realizes that he’s also losing his shorts I spluttered tea all over the floor and dashed outside to prise off the laminate before the epoxy set. The correct measurement was 46.7. I’d made an error and written down 47.6 when I transferred the measurements from the screen to my notebook in the first place. Then I’d read the number incorrectly and so undone the original mistake.

With the sticky remains of the batten in my hands I shuddered at the thought of other errors that my curious double dyslexia/dementia might be working into the boat. Maybe it’s time for the plums and cheese.

The cut panels received a coat of epoxy. And the curing coat of epoxy received several litres of water in the form of a Mediterranean downpour during the night. The Heath-Robinson oxygen tent that I’d hurriedly constructed in the dark kept the worst off but the panels will have to be sanded back and recoated.

I cleaned up the centreboard case. This photo is before sanding.

And this one 5 minutes later.

Unhygenix came by just as I was tiding up and did his usual thing of picking through my tools as if he was at a flea market, I was just about to warn him to be careful with the belt-sander (really I was) when he switched it on. I couldn’t restrain a smile as Bertie bolted across the workbench like a racehorse with mustard on his tucus.


Gaff Horse said...

I would love to have seen his face when the sander started whirring. Could fetch you a nasty injury, a sander... :)
My experience of construction (much more limited than this ambitious project of yours) I have always been advised to refer to measurements using the 00 for millimetres. Therefore, 5 metres is written 5000 and 50 centimetres is written 500. Apparently, this is supposed to stop any confusion - although it always confuses me even more. Your centreboard casing measurement would be written 467, not 476 but this could still be jotted down mistakenly from the plan.
Dates for my trip to Catalunya still undecided - although the engine is in the taller, awaiting arrival of the camper - the transport company still haven't phoned me back. He told me he would pick it up on Friday "If not, then definitely Mondy" eg tomorrow.
But then, he would, wouldn't he...

Ben Crawshaw said...

I just find some numbers trip off my tongue better if I change their order. My brain will always try and put them in acending order (I think) unless I'm really concentrating--which is rare. Hope to see you soon.