Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Digital Drawing - Part 2

I changed my mind regarding the rear deck. I think that structurally the design is better, and practically the tiller will sweep through that area anyway. I also recover a little more storage space.
The seats in this drawing more-accurately reflect my current thinking as well.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So it is not "simple hand tools"

One of the things that attracted me to the Stevenson designs is their philosophy of building—even building entirely with what you could buy at your local blue or orange hardware store. That makes owning a sailboat a realizable possibility for people who aren't "rich."

I am blessed with access to a couple of individuals and a couple of wood shops—resources that make it possible for me to do a much better job than I could on my own with just the plans, DVDs and tools I own. My grab rails illustrate this. But my beefy hand rail design and construction shouldn't prevent someone else from following the plans to the letter. Besides that process can be completed more quickly and easily than mine.

Kingsfold is my Weekender sailboat. I am building it the way I want to. You build yours to suit you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Building around the Edges - Part 3

I have a friend who teaches at a private high school of my acquaintance. I took the grab rails I made into the wood shop at the school to start rounding the edges, sanding, etc. He looked rather askance at my choice of wood—for very good reason—and took me into the stock room. He handed me a large piece of African mahogany that had been donated some years before, and strongly suggested I use that instead.

So now, thanks to his assistance and encouragement and reminding, I am raising the bar on my work and consciously pursuing excellence. Oh, my original plan was to paint everything. This wood is too beautiful to hide, so everything I build with it will have a clear finish.
Notice how much sturdier this design is? And I plan to use 1/4 inch bolts rather than the smaller ones called for in the drawings.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Building around the Edges - Part 2

To my eye, the grab rails as built from the plans appear at risk of damage should a stronger or heavier crew member forcefully jerk on them. I think the photo shows what I mean. I have not researched any actual instances of this occurring, but since I am building my boat... I hasten to add that I very much like the work—especially how the lines were run—that this builder did. I have no reason to fault any builder for following the plans.
Below is a shot of the rough-cut stage I made yesterday. The bases are doubled in width; the tops are 25 percent thicker. And I made them half an inch taller to accomodate a modification to my hatch.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Digital Drawing

I have filled 28 9x12 inch pages with pencil drawings using my own attached digits—fingers. Today I dusted off my copy of Illustrator CS3 to see what I could do. Here is the result, a top view of my cockpit modification ideas.
The gray boxes on the left are what remains of the original plan's bench seats. The orange area on the right is the lazarette with a hatch at the height of the yellow park bench style slats in the middle. These colors are NOT what I will be using. They were chosen quickly from the palette in Illustrator to distinguish the different parts.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Building around the Edges - Part 1

A subtitle for this blog entry could easily be, "It's not what you know, but who."

"Building around the edges" refers to what I can construct with very little money while I work to change my available resources that will enable me to lay the keel, buy epoxy and marine plywood and so forth. My tiller purchase is an example of this approach. But now I have a completed clubfoot boom waiting for finishing.
The boom sits on a table saw in the wood shop where my son attended high school. The large sailboat model in the background also has a clubfoot boom. The shop has a drill press which I knew I needed to make the holes for the eyebolts at the aft end that you see here. I also knew I needed the expertise of the instructor (who built the model)! Turns out, I had no idea how much Tom's knowledge would help me.
Notice how nicely centered the screweye is in the end of my (former) broom handle. Tom had his very capable student worker, Michael, place the business end of my boom in a metal lathe configured with a fixed drill bit of the right size for the hole—Michael carefully measured the bolt's diameter inside the threads, even. A few minutes later I installed the screweye. Then I went and drilled the holes and installed the eyebolts at the other end.

Now that I think about it, a metal lathe is quite a bit beyond the "simple hand tools" that one needs to build one of these boats. And with care, and probably some frustration, I could have managed it on my own. But I am very grateful I know the people I know, and am more grateful for the assistance they provided me today.

Monday, February 20, 2012

More sleeping room

In good weather, or hanging a tent from the boom, one could sleep in the cockpit with a panel or panels bridging the seats. Remember the android lying here is 6' 6" and would be used to his feet hanging over the end of the bed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Using the model again

This time from the model, I figured out that I will need seven foot long oars, and I'll put the oarlocks about 18 inches aft of the rear edge of the cabin roof.
My intended location for the stern light is also obvious.

Tiller options

West Marine has a lovely 36½ inch laminated replacement tiller for $148—in stock. I suppose I could spend the time to build something similar, or at my local hardware store I could buy a nice 36 inch hickory axe handle for $16 instead. Even if I never end up building my boat, I can replace the handle on my old axe with this one. Good deal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A boy and his dog go sailing...

Proportionally, this boy would be five–foot–five at this scale, but his knees bend much better than my androids', and he has a face, even a nice face... The dog on the other hand is nearly a perfect match scale–wise to our dog, Sheena, who also has a very nice face.

Useful details in this shot include the companionway boards and the rudder.

Here she is. Maybe I'll include some sailing video in my next post.

Some construction detail photos

There is a little bit of a contrast in quality between these photos made with my Nikon D300 on a tripod and others in this blog made with my cell phone. Imagine that.

The base of the mast shows my use of screw eyes to take the place of blocks. Notice this mast is hinged! The red halyard cleated off is a spare one I plan to include on my full scale boat.

Here is how I represented cam cleats. The green line is the peak halyard; the cyan line is the jib sheet. Now that I look at this configuration, I may put both cleats on the cabin roof—one less trip hazard. Also, you can see I tried out my paint scheme on only the port side of the model. I still have some notes written on the starboard side that I want to keep track of.

The gaff jaws at work. Yes, the peak halyard got caught where it doesn't belong.

My electronics cabinet. Behind the grab rail is where I cleated off the green throat halyard and blue jib halyard, tucking the ends in the small cubby.

Here is my cabin corner shelf. Compare this and my electronics cabinet photos to the drawing I posted earlier on this blog.

The android sailors show off my tiller ⁄ rudder design. (The rudder box goes up too high. I want the tiller to be pretty much horizontal—hinged, maybe—and to clear the taff rail by an inch or so.) The seat hatch is in place on the lazarette. And on the near cabin roof the halyard cleats and fairleads are more visible.

I like the progress I am making

I am almost ready to attach the cabin roof. My android sailor is finding the shelf to be crowding his space some. Note the added cabinet above his knees. This is where I plan for my electronics to live. The yellow wires extending through the cabin wall and upwards would go to a masthead light and a VHF antenna—if I go with a built–in radio. Notice how the wall paper inside the cabin matches my external color scheme...

Lots of details to notice, starting in the upper left hand portion of the frame: An additional shelf in the aft (rear) starboard corner of the cabin; then to the right on the other side of the main bulkhead you see a cute little cubby for storing lines out of the way; my cockpit seat configuration; the lazarette sans hatch seat cover; and back to the lower left hand part, a top view of the electronics cabinet.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An example of how I am using this model-building process

This photo proves it! Two six-foot-six guys can lay down in the cabin of this boat. I'm not so sure about actually sleeping, however...

I already decided to leave the space under the cockpit seats open to accomodate long-legged people. I still had to figure out how far to extend the seat box from the cabin. So I wedged my sailors into place and made some marks on the floor of the cockpit. The rear end of the box will extend approximately eight inches back from the bottom edge of the cabin bulkhead. Voila'
Here is how they fit next to the transom (at the back) and in the companionway hatch.

Getting more serious

A couple of birthday gifts made it possible for me to order a set of plans with DVDs. The set arrived December 27, 2011. My current circumstances are such that I dare not start purchasing lumber, but I have begun building a sailboat anyway—a working model scaled 3/4ths of an inch to 1 foot. I bought some poster board that was close to the right thickness. (It would be about 5/8ths ply. I am not matching the three thicknesses called for in the plans.)

I also am NOT making a scale replica model of a Weekender sailboat to place on the mantle and collect dust. This model gives me experience following the plans, and lets me work out practicality and dimensions for my modifications. In addition I bought two artist manikins which are a scale size of six foot six and 250 pounds—about my son's size. So if they fit, he and I will, too.
Here is a stack of 4x8 sheets, dimensional lumber strips, and the finished keel. The smallest size I'm cutting is "1x2" or inch-and-a-half-wide strips at this scale (for the rub rails specifically). The plans call for stringers that are smaller, but I think hot glue spreading out from the joints will do nicely!
The bottom is now attached to the keel. Too bad the full size job doesn't come together this quickly...
It is looking like a sailboat! This is a very useful stage in the build process. I've worked out a number of specifics by placing my sailors in various positions and noting what I see. I have then modified my copy of the plans accordingly.

I have not been idle...

I decided to build Kingsfold, but had not purchased plans yet. I began researching in earnest—builder forums, photos, videos, etc. I put my Art Minor to use as well. As I got ideas I wrote them down and sketched them; I tried them out on paper—23 pages of 12x9 inch heavyweight sketch paper so far.
I discovered a couple of things quickly. One is that I had several priorities: plenty of leg room in the cockpit, at least one tall person being able to lay down in the cabin, and several others which have been dropped from my list with time and research. (More about my research later)
I want room for three adult bodies to be aboard in comfort for long sails. This priority revealed the second thing I discovered. I am good at coming up with designs for things, but they involve a lot more work than I want to spend in building (I want to be sailing, rather.). So time after time I have had to go back to sticking with the original plans—except where certain priorities of mine outweigh the original design. But even then I have still gone back to find ways to simplify the execution of my ideas.
This is pretty much my favorite drawing so far. It shows some cabin modifications to make cruising more enjoyable for me. The detail photos of the model later on show how the idea built out.