Installing the Galley and Nav Station
Installing the Galley
So, I decided on the Force 10 Model 15331, fixed mount propane stove. This particular stove is only being made for a few more months. Soon, Force 10 will only make a gimbaled stove. If you want to fix mount it you'll have to buy an optional fixed mount accessory kit. But the oven and burner top will be about an inch narrower for the same box sized space. Last year they changed the design of the stove to put the big single burner up front and the two smaller burners to the rear. This makes a lot of sense. It looked odd to me when I first saw it. The main course meal is often in a single large pot and it is easier to tend up front. Also, it's easier, and safer, to lift one big pot to the front burner vice to the back of the stove. This is also a pretty good looking stove. In the picture below it is still protected by the plastic sheeting but it's all SS--no black face plate under the knobs or wooden handle. The fit and finish are very good. The nicest part was the cost. I don't normally buy from West Marine, but I was able to get this stove for about 40 percent off. It was too good a deal to pass up.
With the stove measurements on hand, I was able to determine where things needed to go. I built the template and installed the cabinet face panel for the base of the main galley cabinet. Because we wanted as much of the stove as possible over the flat cabin sole we cut back the landing under the companionway ladder to move the stove inboard another inch. This also allows us to create a one inch gap between the stove and the main galley cabinet base to incorporate a sliding door to access the under counter storage areas. I think it will be much easier to use a sliding door in the U shaped galley than to fight with swinging cabinet doors while underway. Most of the sink is over flat cabin sole and with a toe kick it should be much more comfortable to use than the original Cape Dory set up.
Next, I built a mock up of the stove and sink basin to check the ergonomics. Gayle spent some time there going through the motions of being in the galley to see if it would work to her liking. She gave it a thumbs up with some minor adjustments. We picked out a sink so we know how big the cabinet base for the sink needs to be. Then, today I cut the plywood panel for the starboard (inboard) side of the stove but did not install it. I decided that I need to complete the bracing for the galley cabinet face panel before I install the stove panel to make sure the measurements are consistent. So I finished off the day by building templates for the bracing system.
Next, I marked the outline of the portion to be cut out from the center of the divider. Normally I would not do this but I need to be able to access into those compartment from the center sliding door. It's a little awkward but it would be even more difficult to only be able to access into the bottom for these lockers from a small "hatch" in the counter top. After cutting out the center section I routered the inside edge with a 1/8" round-over bit to give them a more finished appearance. To compensate for any loss of strength of the divider I will bolt on a 1 1/4" X 2" beam along the top edge of the divider which will have a half lap joint tied into the vertical cleat already glued and screwed to the cabinet face panel. You can see the vertical cleat in the photos to the right. The curved part of the plywood is 4" wide and will be epoxy taped with 1708 biaxial on each side of the divider. Later, I will epoxy tape in a narrow 3/4" okume horizontal shelf to the hull laying across these supports where they are epoxied to the hull. The ply will essentially act as reinforcing stringer. The 3/4" ash counters will butt up to the plywood shelf. Cabinets built over the counters will conceal the plywood "shelf."
Tomorrow I will tape in the "dividers," cut and fit the horizontal beams (cleats) that will be screwed and glued to the top edge of the dividers, and make final preparations for installing the fore and aft panel that will support the port side of the stove. Once that is complete I will turn my attention to installing a small amount of black walnut to the hull in the galley and across the floor beams over which the sink-cabinet will be built.
Today I tabbed in the plywood vertical panel that will support the starboard side of the stove/oven. I cut the support from a 1/2" sheet of Okume ply several days ago but decided to install the dividers for the vertical galley cabinet panel before I installed the support for the stove. I planed a rabbet on both sides of the top edge that fit under the bridge deck so the biaxial would lay flush. I tabbed the bottom edges with two layers of biaxial--6" wide and 4" wide--because I wanted it to be extra strong given that it supports an 80 lb stove. The aft edge has a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" cleat glued and screwed to the ply to help stiffen the panel. I will epoxy in a piece of ply to fill the open slot that you can see at the back of the compartment later.
The stove compartment has been difficult to install due to our desire to incorporate a sliding door on the vertical galley cabinet base between the sink and the stove. The door will slide back between the stove and the galley cabinet base. The measurements are critical and having never built one I have had to spend a lot of extra time diagramming out how I plan to construct it.
Today, I focused on the galley sink cabinet. It took a ridiculously long time to come up with the right plan. After sorting out exactly where the plywood will be positioned (I will epoxy mahogany staving to the plywood) I cut the panels from some left over 1/2" okume 1088 ply. I clamped them in place and made up some simple cardboard templates for possible cabinet doors. The larger of the two doors is intended to slide back between the stove and the counter cabinet. The cabinet door on the sink cabinet will be hinged. Once the galley is sorted out, the panels are cut, and the cleats and panels are installed, I'll be ready to install the last of the staving. I thought I would be able to use my old "Gusher" foot pump for fresh water but I don't think is enough room. I'd like the toe kick to be at least three inches deep. Cape Dory 36, rebuilding a sailboat, installing cabinets.I clamped the parts together to see how they fit. The toe kick will extend through the fore and aft vertical panel.31 Dec 11I spent most of day on the road so I did not get to the boat till late in the afternoon. With the little time I had I marked and cut the toe kick under the galley sink cabinet. The original cabinet base did not have a toe-kick. I think a toe-kick under any cabinet, boat or home, is essential. It allows you to get your body close to the counter top and keep your center of balance without having to strain your back. It's not hard to make so I don't know why they are not standard on every boat. I also lowered the top edge of the right vertical panel of the sink cabinet. Lowering it makes it look a little less boxy. It also makes a "revel" with the back top edge. By that I mean that you intentionally off set the edge height since it can be very difficult making the corner trims match exactly. It is visually better to have them obviously off-set then very close but not perfect. I made a template and cut a piece of 1/4" ply for a template for the counter top for the sink cabinet to see how everything lined up. We discussed the location of the galley sink--centered in the cabinet or off set to the right so it is centered where you stand just to the right of the sloping hull. I think off-set may be best. I'll decide tomorrow or Monday. No boat work tomorrow . . . or at least very little.
Test fitting the plywood frame.
Biscuit joining complete.My plan is to build the plywood backing (or frame) to which the mahogany staving is epoxied--just like the bulkheads. With the staving epoxied over/around a square opening I will be able to use a straight cut router bit with a guide bearing to trim the staving to a perfect match (I use the word "perfect" with fear") to the square opening in the plywood frame. If all goes well, I should be able to make a square raised panel door (with proper rails and stiles) which will then fit exactly. Of course all the parts are varnished otherwise the swelling of the wood would jam the doors in the frame. I have made a number of inset doors over the years and they have not been difficult . . . you just have to be more precise. Of course all this takes more time and any errors are plainly visible and more difficult to address. After cutting the plywood "rails and stiles" I cut slot for biscuits. After test fitting, I epoxied them together with slightly thickened West Systems epoxy. I double checked to make sure they were square before I let them cure overnight.
2 Jan 11Today I cut the hole for the opening to the portside galley cabinet base. Access will be gained via a sliding door that will slide aft between the cabinet and the stove/oven. I cut the hole by tracing around a template I made from 3/16" scrap plywood. Then I cut the ply about 1/8" inside the line with a jig saw. Next I clamped a guide bar I made from scrap 1/2" ply and used a router with a guide bearing between the blade and the jig saw to trim it flush to the line all around. I then temporarily clamped in place the frame I made last night for the galley sink cabinet base. The sink base will have a hinged door. Since I had a mess going I went ahead and trimmed the top of the partial bulkhead that frames the aft side of the chart-table/icebox and cut back the longitudinal bulkhead that separates the Q-berth from the old engine compartment. I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the boat and the shop in preparation for the big freeze coming our way. Temps are supposed to hit 16 degrees here in the next two days which is very cold for coastal NC.
10 Jan 12I cleaned up the staving for the galley panels--routered the edges and clamped the panels in place to check for fit. I also routered the staving edges for the aft side of the nav station/ice box. I cut the staving to fit the plywood face panel for the nav station/ice box and sorted some staving for the next installation. Then, the plug gave out on the shop vac I use in the Far Reach. There was an electric arc in the plug when I unplugged the vacuum. This is the second time . . . it might have bee lose prong but I was not sure. The last thing I need is for the shop vac to catch fire. So, I cut the plug off and went to Lowe's to buy a new plug for the 15 year old Sears shop vac. Three hardware stores later, I finally found a two pronged, polarized, plug. I took it home and wired it in to the vacuum cord. It seems to be running fine.
No boat work tomorrow.
Gluing up the ash countertop for the galley.The plan is to leave them bare and just scrub them with bleach water and a scrubby pad as required which sounds a little unusual at first blush. However, if they are varnished you are stuck with keeping them varnished and varnish is not very durable when it comes to the abuse counter tops endure. I have mixed feelings about bare ash counter tops. There are other options but Lin Pardey swears by bare ash and I have discussed it with her on several occasions. The countertops on Taleisin have lasted a long time. Left bare, they should remain light colored which is a nice contrast in an all varnished wood interior (the chart table is varnished however). We have a maple top work table I built in 2004 in the center of out kitchen. I have oiled the top once. It gets used many times every day. It has held up beautifully. So, I have high hopes for the ash counter tops. Oh, one more thing. This is a very inexpensive solution. I will have about $50.00 in the counter top. No other solution even close to that.
I have spend the last few days building the counter top for the galley. I am moving forward cautiously as I try to understand how the wood will move and how best to mitigate it. The gist of the issues are how to make a solid ash top with two panels to be joined perpendicularly to one another. That is one issue. Another is how to incorporate a raised "frame" to cover the end grain and capture spilled liquids, crumbs, or whatever. Overlaying these issues is how to accommodate the movement of the wood as it expands and contracts. Wood expands little to none lengthwise as the majority of movement is across it's width. The long panel top will expand and contract 'twartship. The short panel, under the sink, will expand and contract fore and aft. If I glue the frame to the panels and there is significant movement then something will have to give . . . most likely the panels will crack along the grain and the joints in the frame will open up. So, I have been thinking that I could make 1/2" deep dados in the frame and install the panels like a panel door. That way, the panels can expand and contract to their heart's content. Of course, if I do that, I can't use bedding compound or glue between the frame and the panels to keep liquids from seeping under the edge of the frame. I am not going to rush this project. Until I have a feel for the best way to achieve what I want I'll work around this project and move on to some others. I may even look into a stainless top for the small section under the sink or perhaps even some corian. The small section is 16"x23" so this should not be a big expense. But, there is no running down those options till after the New Year as all the shops around here are closed. Contrary to what some people think, varnish will not keep the wood from moving, only slow down the time it takes to move.
The flange. That darn flange was going to be a problem. This particular sink was designed to be either a drop in or under-mount. But, the flange lip was in the way of the different clamps ideas I was working with. What to do? I turned the sink upside down, clamped it in place and took my 4 ½” Makita high speed grinder with a heavy grinding wheel in it and just ground the downward turning lip off. It took about 30 minutes and made a hell of a racket. But, it came out looking fine. Tim Lackey gave me some tips on a bracket. I used some scrap teak and cut them to length. I drilled a ¼” hole in each end. With the sink clamped in place I flipped it upside down and made marks on the bottom. I used a 13/64” bit with a stop collar and drilled down through the teak cleat into the underside of the countertop. Then, I tapped the holes for ¼” bolts. I test fit the set up. I taped off the edge of the sink cut out and the sink as well with 3M 233 tape. I wiped the sink flange down with some acetone as well as the area on the counter top that would get bedded. I had a half tube of Boat Life white polysulfide on hand so I used it. I wanted to avoid silicone if possible plus the polysulfide would also provide some adhesive properties as well. I applied a thick bead and using the black sharpie marker outline of the sink flange on the under side of the counter I lowered the sink into position. I attached the cleats and snugged down the fasteners getting squeeze out all the way around. I scraped up the excess caulk then pulled the tape. There was no mess and a very clean line. In fact, with the counter an off white the caulk is barely visible. I left it to cure.