The job today was to perform some tests to see how to mill and work the v-groove African Mahogany panels and too see if my idea for milling to 3/8" thick is practicable. I have never done this before so I got a lot of advice from Kaj Jakobsen who, like Tim Lackey, has been a great mentor.
Here is how it worked. I had a 28" long X 1" thick X 8" wide sample of finished Mahogany I got from my neighbor that owns World Timber. I ripped two 3" wide pieces off, then stood them on edge and resawed them to 3/8" thick. Now, I had four boards, 28" long, 3" wide, and 3/8" thick. I'd wanted to get two boards from each unmilled plank. (If 3/8" proves to be two thin to work with then I'll go thicker but it will double the cost of the wood since I won't be able to resaw the 5/4 planks to get two boards. I might, with careful milling, get 7/16" thick planks, which would be nice.) You can see in the photo below the original 1" thick piece next to the 3/8" thick piece. You can see the half laps I cut in the 3/8" thick plank. I did that by running the opposite edges over a 1/4" dado set for 3/16" depth of cut.
Next, I used a bearingless V-groove router bit, my bench top router, and the fence with a feather board to cut a very slight v-groove on each side of the board. This is a fairly delicate operation and in fact I mangled two pieces of mahogany trying to get the bit set just right. I should have milled some poplar at the same time and used it to test cut each step. When It comes time to do this with full length boards I will set the router table up with an in-feed and out-feed table and a couple more feather boards, which I will have to makes since I don't have enough. This will keep the boards flat and produce a more consistent cut. It is also much safer to use feather boards which I always try to use.
After cutting the V-groove I test fit the panels. After test fitting them I cut each one in half, doubling the number of panels I could fit side-by-side. You can see from the edge view photo how they all fit together. You can also see the panels are not all the same width. I had to trim down and recut the two planks I mangled. So, I just fit them in and kept going. Random widths can sometimes look nice though that was not the intention for this project. Then in a effort to duplicate how this will work on the boat, I glued the panels to a piece of scrap 1/2" plywood. I lightly sanded the boards with 220 grit and applied the first coat of varnish cut 50 percent with mineral spirits. I think the color looks great. Not too dark and not to light. "Just right" as Goldilocks said. I'll add some more varnish over the next couple of days.
Plain sawn Honduran Mahogany runs about $15 BF. Quartersawn costs more. Quarter sawn African Mahogany can be got for about a third of that. Satisfied that I had what I was looking for, I took the trailer over to World Timber and bought 124 board feet of 5/4 African Mahogany. It's great looking wood. Matt went through the stack with me helping me pick a consistent color and the straightest of the vertical grain. This should be enough to do the staving. I'll need to buy some more later for the overhead beams and the cockpit coamings.
All in all, a very good day.
Today I planed both sides down to just under 1" thick . . . maybe 15/16. I did not joint the wide side first because it's too big for my jointer, it was pretty flat to start with, and because it will end up resawn to about 3/8" thick x 3" wide and I'll be able to glue it flat. Wednesday, I'll joint one edge then rip to 3" wide, resaw it to get the two 3/8" thick planks, then cut half-laps, slots, and a "V" groove in the same manner as the test panel I put together in early Sept. Once the milling is complete I'll start installing it on the bulkheads.
Below are a few pictures from today's work that includes the small Oneida mini cyclone I use to capture wood chips and dust before they get to the shop vac. In this picture I am using the shop vac/cyclone system to collect the wood from my portable Delta 22-580 two speed planer. The advantage of the mini-cyclone is that it vastly reduces the amount of wood chips/dust that make it to the actual shop vac. Though I would sure love to have a big permanently mounted 1200CFM system it's just not happening. So, I bought the cyclone to make use of the shop vac that I already had. It's limited in what it can do by the power of the shopvac that can only move about 300 CFM. But I am satisfied with it. It's a pretty good system for what it is designed to do. The cyclone is a lot faster and easier to empty into a garbage bag than the shop vac, which is heavy and awkward to flip over into the bag, and I seldom have to clean out the filter so the suction on the shop vac stays strong. If you rely on a shop vac the cyclone is a very useful accessory.
Next, I resawed the A. Mahogany that I cut more or less to length yesterday. Resawing 15/16" thick planks yielded two boards 3/8" thick. By using plenty of featherboards I got nice even cuts. I did not have much trouble with burning which is a common problem with mahogany, especially when you are cutting it on end and running the blade through 2 3/4" of wood--I have the saw set up properly, I kept the wood moving over the blade, and I am using a new 24 tooth thin kerf Freud Diablo blade. This is the second Diablo thin kerf blade I have owned. I am pleased with how well they cut.
After the resawing I switched to a stack 1/4" dado blade to cut the half laps. I set the height for a hair over 3/16". Next I clamped on the auxiliary dado fence that I used to keep the blade from chewing up my good fence. With feather boards to keep the wood firmly pressed against the fence and down on the table I got nice cuts. I eased my way into the first few cuts checking the fit of two board to make very minor adjustments in depth.
After completing the half-laps I set up my bench top router with a V-groove bit (no bearing) and set the fence to give me the cut I needed. I examined each piece of wood carefully so that I could choose the side I wanted to have facing out when they are installed. I took my time running the boards over the bit. Earlier in the summer I practiced this to learn how to make this kind of staving and to make sure I would be happy with the mahogany. During that practice session I boogered up a couple of boards when I was cutting the V-groove. But, this time, with lots of featherboards and working carefully I had no problem. I am pleased with the way the staving looks. Yes, this stuff is a little wavy for narrow staving but that's OK. I am saving the straight grained for the more visible areas of the boat.
After milling the staving I was curious how much it weighed . . . 14lbs. That's not very much. I'll be adding a little more on the starboard side of the fwd cabin but not enough to even mention. I am not covering the entire bulkhead either--from the overhead to just below the bottom of the berth. I figure the head will require about 40 lbs of staving total (two sides) and the two main bulkheads a total of about 35 lbs. For all of the boat I am estimating about 115-130 lbs of staving. Not much weight at all.
Tomorrow I will install the staving I cut today. It should be an interesting day.
Next, I laid the staving over some saw-horses. Then, I sorted them by color and grain to get a reasonably consistent pattern. Because I did not plane down the bulkhead to get a flush fit before I added epoxy tape along the top (over a year ago) I had to run the tips of all the staving over the jointer and remove a little wood. Otherwise the staving would bulge at the top of the bulkhead. When that was completed, I moved all the supplies up to the boat.
Next, I drew lines on the bulkhead where the screw-clamps would go . . . about four inches from the top under the overhead and under the side deck. I carried that down 14 inches for two rows to where the cleat will be located to support the top of the berth (for the long staving I carried the hole pattern down to the floor beam). The row above the cleat will not be visible due to the thickness of the mattress so the spacing will looking even. When I was ready, I began by test fitting the two long pieces of staving closest to the centerline. They need to be full length because the double berth will butt up to the staving and there needs to be a good surface for the backing cleat to be attached to. I also need some staving on the front side of the berth for the trim to fit over. I elected not to run staving across the whole bulkhead. The double berth will cover much of the space and it will save some wood, of which I have a limited supply. The bulkheads in the head and main cabin will get full coverage because the area covered with the settees is pretty small and I won't save that much wood. I will limit coverage in a similar manner in the galley and nav station area since most of that area will be covered with cabinetry.
Once I stated it went pretty smooth. Measure and cut to fit 4 pieces at a time. Apply glue, lay staving against bulkhead, drill hole, fasten screw block, drill the rest of the holes and then secure the remaining blocks . . . so on and so forth. The last two pieces that cross over the vertical part of the tabbing next to the cabin top side I applied with thickend epoxy since wood glue will not stick to the epoxy tape. I wanted to make a neat job of it so I scribed the top of the staving so it would follow the overhead along the top edge of the bulkhead. It required a few trips up and down the ladder and back and forth to the shop. It wasn't too bad though as I would mark and cut several pieces at a time. Since I only had enough staving milled to do this one bulkhead it was not worth the effort to set up a work table in the cockpit and relocate the chopsaw and jig saw there. I will probably do that for the rest of the bulkheads. I ran out of time to finish it off today. Everything is ready to go tomorrow so I should have the rest of the bulkhead finished before noon then afterwards I will go back to milling more mahogany .
After much thought I decided to go with Titebond III glue. This is not the best glue but I think it is the right glue for the conditions I am working under. I would prefer resorcinol, then Weldwood, and then Titebond III in that order. The first two glues require 70 degrees for 24 hours. I can't get there from here--we are headed into a week or more of lows around 30 degrees F. That meant I needed a cool weather glue. Titebond III can be applied down to 45 degrees F. There should not be any stress on the staving so it should be fine. Thirty minutes of clamp time is all that is required. But, I'll leave them on till I am ready to plug or until I need the backing blocks to apply more staving. When I am ready I'll countersink the holes, install #8 flathead screws, then plug the holes with matching bungs. I think it looks good now but it will look even better with multiple coats of varnish. As much as I wanted to get the staving up on the main bulkhead where I could see it I think installing it in the fwd cabin first was the right call. Tomorrow I will pick up where I left off and finish off the bulkhead. Then, I will start milling more staving.
I also continue to have reservations about the Tightbond III as an adhesive between the teak bulkhead and the mahogany staving. It might be fine, but based on a suggestion from someone I trust, I ordered some System Three T88 epoxy adhesive. This epoxy is formulated for gluing wood together. It's thicker than their general purpose epoxy which is similar to West System. It is supposed to bond down to 35 Deg F while West Epoxy is good only to about 50 Deg F. It mixes 1:1 and does not require any pumps. You don't mix in fillers. I talked to the tech department today and they said just make two puddles about the same size and mix them together or use little cups. Sounds simple. It is also structural and formulated for oily wood. I ordered a gallon from Jamestown Distributors. By the time I finishing milling more wood, which I never got to today, it will arrive and I'll be ready to go.
Though I am moving like pond water when it comes to the amount of progress I would like to be making vice what progress I am making, I feel pretty good about the milling and installing of the mahogany. I went through the whole process without any problems. I took the wonkiest of the wood and had no trouble milling it to a standard I was happy with. I got a very good fit with the staving. The screw clamps seem to work fine. I experienced no issues other than it takes time. For the next two weeks or so I should be working on nothing but staving. Once it is applied to the bulkheads I can add some key cleats and then get a couple of coats of varnish down on the staving and the cabin sides. That will be nice.
The next task is to resaw each piece on the table saw--to make two planks from one-- and then to cut all the half-laps and the V-grooves. Once that is complete it will be more or less ready to install.
We are forecasted for temps in the high teens in the next couple of days. I need about 40 degrees in the boat to epoxy the staving in place and the temps needs to stay above 35 degrees in the boat for a week. I can heat the inside of the boat but I am not sure I can keep it warm enough for that long. So, I may let this very cold (for here) weather pass and then begin installing the staving. I have some other projects I can work on in the shop if necessary. Nonetheless, it is good to be getting close to the final phase of milling the staving.
Tomorrow I'd like to get started on cutting the half laps and maybe even the V grooves. It would be great to get it all taken care of, though I may be a little short of the entire amount of staving I will need. If I run short I can always get some more mahogany from my supplier though since he has another 500 BF of QS A Mahogany arriving next week.
I have been thinking about how I can keep the boat warm enough to do some epoxy work inside with the lower winter temperatures coming on fast. I bought one of those oil filled electric radiators from Lowe's today. They are pretty inexpensive and I think more economical to run than an electric ceramic heater with a fan. It's also a lot safer. Anyway, I placed it in the boat and turned it on this afternoon. I went back about two hours later. The temperature in the SRF was about 40 deg F but the temp in the boat was a balmy 62 degrees. The outside temps are dropping to the mid twenties tonight so it will be interesting to see what the new heater can do.
Today, I took more measurements in the boat. I have to cut down one of the partial bulkheads to widen up the passage between the galley and nav station and into the main saloon. Not a big deal, but I want to get it right. I'll probably make the cuts tomorrow. After measuring, I started work on making up the mahogany plugs I'll need to plug the holes I drilled, and will continue to drill, to install the temporary screw clamps in the staving. This was a pretty simple undertaking. I set up my drill press with a tapered plug cutter. I used some scrap mahogany off-cutts from the staving as the source. I cut a double row of plugs on one side, then ran the wood through the table saw. The plugs just fell out on the tablesaw. Then I took the half that was left and cut more plugs. Then, I ran it through the table saw "releasing" those plugs and so on and so forth. I filled up a quart jar pretty quick.
This may be a pretty good time to start work on the pattern I'll need to make to have the gammon iron cast in bronze.
Once the air was clear I marked horizontal lines on the bulkhead where the screws will go. Then, I took all four pieces of staving up to the boat at the same time. I measured for length and used the jig saw to cut them to the proper length with a slight angle cut on top end to match the slope of the cabin overhead. Then I tested for fit. I did all four and positioned them on the bulkhead. They looked good. Next, I took them to the wood shop. I planed 2 1/4" back from the top end to a depth of about 3/16". This allows the top of the staving to lie flush over the slightly proud tabbing at the top of the bulkhead. Next, I flipped the staving over and sanded the back with 60 grit on a finish sander with the vacuum hooked up. Then I vacuumed any wood dust off and wiped the backs with acetone.
Getting the system down for this first batch of staving with the new epoxy was time consuming. I had just the right amount of epoxy squeeze-out. I did have a very small amount of squeeze-out up through the V-groove in a couple of places but I was able to clean it up with acetone and a rag. It will take a little more time to figure out exactly how much epoxy to apply to the staving but I am pretty close now. When I finished installing the first four pieces I went ahead and trimmed, planed, and sanded the next four pieces but I ran out of time to install them, so they will have to wait till the morning. I'll get a lot more done each day now that I have the stations set up and I have a feel for what needs to be done. I am not sure how long it will take to install the staving in the saloon and the head. Maybe a week or 10 days if I don't get distracted and if I put in an honest days work every day. Then, I should be able to get a couple of coats of varnish on and start installing the furniture.
The sun was out today so the SRF warmed up quite a bit. It was pleasant enjoyable work. I'll take the next two days off to spend with the family. They are calling for snow in the next few days. Merry Christmas.
This afternoon I got back to working on the boat. It was good to get back in there. Since I got a late start I decided to begin work by removing the screw block clamps from the staving in the forward cabin, countersinking the holes, and installing wood-plugs. I installed the staving around the first of December. It is a good thing I did not wait any longer. You can see in the photo a little discoloration where the block clamps were. I have to wonder if it isn't from UV light darkening the mahogany. If so, it would be a very small amount of UV light since the boat was mostly closed up. I think it will sort it self out over time. I will lightly sand anyway before I apply the first coats of thinned varnish. I will not let the clamps remain on any more staving longer than is necessary.
After removing the clamps I countersunk wood-plug holes in the staving and then screwed in SS flat head #6X3/4" screws. Then, I dipped the wood-plugs that I made two weeks ago in some Tightbond III--I could just as easily use TB II--and tapped them in with a plastic mallet. Tomorrow, I will trim them with a chisel. I may go ahead and start varnishing while I simultaneously install staving in the main cabin.
The temp in the boat today was 59 degrees so the heater is doing the job. The temp drops at night in the boat but has not gotten much colder than about 41 degrees on the very cold nights. Good enough for what I am doing.
We are forecast for high 50 degree temperatures later in the week. That would be nice.
After trimming the wood plugs I removed the screw bock clamps from the staving on the port side bulkhead in the saloon. I laid out 11 pieces of staving, planned the ends and cut them to length. I dry fit five of the eleven before I ran out of time. Tomorrow I should finish up the staving on the port side bulkhead. Then I'll start working my way around the saloon. Soon I'll get a couple coats of varnish on the staving and the cabin sides. At that point, I should be able to start installing the berths in the forward cabin and the berths, settees and sideboard in the saloon.
The rows of screws are actually much more level than the photo indicates . . . I worked hard to get these as level as I could. There is a little play in the washers and the bocks are not perfectly square. There is only one screw hole that is off significantly (about 3/8") and that in the top of the first row I installed today--the first piece under the cabin side. Somehow the staving slipped down and I did not notice it till I was installing the next one. It will be behind the book case so no need to get excited about it.
You can also see how the new staving is a little lighter color than the previous staving. It's all from the same tree and the colors were much closer before installation began. Yesterday I thought maybe it was the UV light darkening the wood but I am not so sure. It may be just the air getting to the wood now that it's not stacked. I am willing to bet the wood I installed today will be darker in a few days. I have also read that besides mahogany getting a little darker over time, the color differences in the banding will also even out as well.
This was a pleasant day of work. I am getting a little faster and smoother at cutting, trimming, and installing the staving. I have a good system for mixing the T-88 now and it moves along quickly. The pot-life is excellent. I mix up enough to do 6-8 pieces of staving at a time. I have much less squeeze-out as well which makes the whole thing a lot less messy. Installing the wood plugs is time consuming but not difficult.
Today was pretty simple. Select the stavings ( I usual do about 8-10 at a time). Test fit. Cut to length. Fit again. Wipe the bulkhead thoroughly with acetone. While the air is clearing in the boat, sand the back of the stavings with 60 grit. Vacuum and wipe with acetone. Mix the epoxy. Apply the epoxy to the staving and bulkhead and spread with glue spreader. Fit saving. Mark for screw block clamps, drill, and install screw block clamp. Then, do it over again for the next piece.
Though I sometimes fell like I am moving like pond water, it is definitely getting easier and it's kind of fun doing some work without a lot of stress and drama or sweating three gallons of water in a paper suit while wearing a respirator and wielding a high-speed grinder. I am very happy to have that behind me.
I will go to work on the starboard bulkhead next and when that is finished I'll probably install staving in the head. Once that is complete I'll apply the first three coats of thinned varnish. Then, I should be able to start installing furniture in the saloon, fwd cabin, and head.
Tomorrow I'll only be able to get a few hours in on the boat. I'd like to go through the remaining staving to see how much more I need. If the weather holds, I'll go to World Timber Friday and pick up some more mahogany. I'd like to get enough set aside to finish up. Then I'll tackle the head and forward bulkhead so I can start on the furniture.
The saloon staving is now installed, minus the trim. I have some personal business to attend to tomorrow but I hope to get started on sanding. I'll sand the forward cabin staving, the staving in the saloon, and the cabin sides. Then, I'll apply three coats of thinned varnish. In between the work on the varnish I'll start milling more mahogany for additional staving. I'll also start work on building the pattern for casting the gammon iron for the bowsprit.
This past Monday, the day after I returned, I just relaxed and recuperated. On Tuesday, 25 Jan it rained all day. I spent the day sanding the first coat of varnish I previously applied. I sanded the mahogany surfaces with a rubber sanding block and 220 grit paper. I was careful to sand with the grain. For the bevels, I used a six inch long 1"x1" rectangular wooden block cut with 90 degree sq corners. I wrapped the sanding paper around it and ran it up and down the bevels gently. It took about three hours of light sanding to properly sand the staving and plywood cabin top sides. I vacuumed and then did a through wipe-down with denatured alcohol and lent free rags.
On Wednesday, 26 Jan it rained again but it did not matter since we took the day off for some family time.
Today, the sun was out and the SRF warmed up. I removed the covers from the port holes to improve ventilation. I was able to work in a T-shirt. I started off by doing another wipe down with denatured alcohol and then applied the second coat of varnish. This time, I cut the varnish 25 percent with mineral spirits. It went on easily. No need to be fussy since there are many more coats to go before the final coat is applied. It looks very nice though the third coat will make it start to look much more glossy. It was great to get the second coat of varnish applied. The wood grain really pops. I went back up into the boat tonight and was very please with the colors of the wood and the warm glow of the work light reflecting off the varnish. If the varnish is dry enough I will sand it tomorrow in preparation for the third coat. My plan is to get three good coats on now to protect the wood then go back to work installing the interior. The final additional 3-4 coats (6-7 total) will be applied later. I also applied the first coat of varnish to the laminated oak tiller today.
Today, I sanded the staving and the cabin sides in preparation for the third coat of varnish. I started off with a rubber sanding block, same as I used last time, on the cabin sides. But, when I started sanding the staving I decided to switch to a narrower wood block that seemed to do a better job as the rubber block is wider than any single piece of staving and I seem to get more even coverage with the narrower block. I used 220 grit abrasive as before. It took nearly four hours to sand, vacuum, and do a thorough wipe down with denatured alcohol. If the weather is good tomorrow, I'll apply the third coat of varnish.
Below are a few more pictures after the second coat of varnish was applied. I think it looks great. As I mentioned before, the wavier grained staving, installed on the outboard side of the bulkheads, will mostly be concealed behind book shelves and other furniture. All the rest of the mahogany set aside for the remaining staving is straight quarter sawn A. Mahogany, the same as I installed on the inboard edges of the bulkheads. I am pleased with the color and finish. I have enjoyed this phase of the rebuild and I continue to learn a lot. My next boat will be much easier . . . ha! Not. I'll be too busy sailing!!
I would like to try some of the Jenn-Mar foam brushes just to gain some experience so I can decide for myself which works best for me, though it occurred to be while I was brushing on the varnish today that I will likely require a bristle brush to apply varnish to the "V" groove.
I am pleased with how it looks as of this evening. I did not see any obvious sags or holidays. It is much more glossy looking than after the second coat. Tomorrow I will sort out whether I will apply a fourth coat now or start working on the interior and apply the rest of the coats later on.
After all the pieces have been half-lapped then I run them across the router with a standard V-groove bit (no bearing). I use the fence to set the offset and feather board to hold the staving piece down flat. I don't use a feather board to push the staving against the fence because it gets in the way of controlling the wood moving across the bit. This is one step that requires patience--feed the wood too fast and it will cause tear out.
I am very pleased with how straight these staving pieces turned out. Every piece has vertical grain and all the wood is straight and without bows or hooks. After finishing up I staked all the pieces on a rack in the wood shop.
I only had time to install five pieces of staving due to the late start, but also takes a little extra time to get back into the swing of things. I have a good system in place and I hope to compete the installation of the staving on the this particular bulkhead by tomorrow afternoon. The one thing that really complicates it are the angles that have to be cut on the staving as well as some rabbet cuts on the top edge, near the overhead, to accommodate the biaxial tape that stands proud of the surface of the bulkhead. If you have been following along as I have worked on the Far Reach you know that I normally make a rabbet cut on the plywood where the tape will lay to keep it flush with the surface of the plywood. That makes it much easier and faster to install staving over the wood. I believe the work in the saloon will go quickly because there are few odd angles. I usually find its best to do the hardest part first and then you don't have to struggle towards the end of the project when you want to finish it up.
I normally use West System Epoxy but the System Three T88 is thicker and works great for this kind of project. It does not need to have any thickeners mixed in so it save some time and is a little less messy. I originally bought it last winter when I first started installing the staving. The T88 can be installed in temps down to 40 degrees and even in high temps like I am experiencing now the pot life is about 45 minutes. You can buy it in pre loaded cartridges that load into a caulking gun. It would certainly make the process easier but it cost about twice as much. I may try a few cartridges and see if it is worth it.
There will need to be some staving here and there and around the galley and nav staving but I will work on that later after the forward cabin staving is complete.
This latest batch of staving installed pretty smoothly. My technique is smoother and more refined. I decided not to install staving in areas that I not only know will be covered with cabinetry but that I know how will be covered with cabinetry . . . areas that are completely hidden and for which I have already made a good design. This will staving some expense, some weight, and a lot of time. For example, under the head sink basin area and behind the upper cabinet over the head sink, behind the forward face and under the top lid of the icebox/chart table, behind the galley sink, etc. I also can't install the lower settee panel until I varnish the staving that is already in place. I will glue the cleats on the back side (inside) of the ply panel (the staving will go on the outside face). But, I will not glue the cleats to the bulkheads that support the panel. I want to be able to remove the settee if needed without destroying the furniture. I have tried to do this wherever possible. So, once I get a couple of coats of varnish on the settees backs and sides, I'll install the front parts.
The current plan is to trim all the edges of the staving that I let run wild, countersink the holes, install wood plugs, sand, and get a couple of coats of varnish on to protect the wood. I also need to think about cutting some mahogany to cover some of the exposed hull near the cabin sole that won't be covered by cabinetry or other furniture. I have the mahogany on hand for that so it should not be too difficult.
I need to order a little more System Three T-88 epoxy for the remaining staving.
Anyway, I ordered it last week and it arrived today. So, I put it straight into use this afternoon while cleaning up some of staving that the router could not reach. Though it will work better when I tune it up on my water stones -- lapping the iron and putting a micro bevel on the blade -- it was pretty nice right out of the box. The nice thing is the nose can be removed and it works like a chisel plane. Very useful. I am no professional but I was pleased with my efforts to clean up the edges. There are some pictures below.
I'll add some photos tomorrow of the trimmed plugs and sanded staving. I'll add them to the below photo album.
Regarding thinning--I had an interesting conversation with Epifanes today. I had poured 8oz of varnish into a cup . . . and thinned it with mineral spirits 50 percent. To me, that means add 4oz of mineral spirits. But, it did not seem as thin as I recalled from previous first coats I have applied. I shrugged it off and happily applied it to the staving over the nav station. But, it was definitely thicker than I thought it should be. So, I called the Epifanes tech line. Sure enough, they said 50 percent means 1:1. Call me silly but in my world that would seem to be 100 percent . . . but no matter. They told me no harm. So, I thinned the remainder down and finished up the first coat. I doubt I will get to the second coat for a few days due to some personal business I have to take care of. Nonetheless, it is nice to see it applied and some visible progress.
I pre cut the staving pieces and test fit them to the panels. The staving will extend below the cabin sole (the picture below show them sitting on the cabin sole). Once installed, the sole will butt up to the staving. This is necessary so the entire sole can quickly and easily be removed. Also, any water that drips on the sole and runs to the edges of the settee will drain into the bilge through the V-grooves. By keeping the V-grooves open air flow is also promoted.
The next task was to epoxy the staving in place. As has become my SOP, I used System Three T88 epoxy as the adhesive for the staving. I used the same screw blocks to clamp them in place as I have for all the rest of the staving.
The next day, removed the screw clamps, counter sink the holes, and installed wood plugs.
Installing Walut Trim
At some point, I will wipe down the walnut with some tung oil which will give it a rich, smooth, dark chocolate color. I am pleased with the walnut trim. I think it will prove to be very durable and easy to maintain. Next job is to add the cleats to the inside of the settees to support the seats. I also need to install the dinghy chalks so I can begin trimming in the overhead panels.