December 16th, 2014
The scraping continues with the pram turned over. The bottom has been scraped, sanded and sealed with TotalBoat Penetrating Epoxy from Jamestown Distributors. TotalBoat was easy to work with and when thinned with denatured alcohol turns almost to water. I used a ratio of 1:2:1; 1 part hardener, 2 parts resin, 1 part denatured alcohol. I heated the boat with a space heater prior to the application of the the first coat and gave the pram a total of two coats. Once the epoxy started to gel, I scrapped off the excess on the transoms and the sides.
With the pram turned over I have removed the deck to give me access to all of the hull. It was quite interesting to see all the different paint colors. I am using Citristrip and I have used up the third half gallon. I think that I will need one more half gallon to finish. I have completed the first strip on the entire boat and the second strip on the forward half. The forward half looks very good but there are a few minor spots that I would like to clean up before I start sanding and sealing. I hope to finish the second strip next weekend.
November 20th, 2014
Stripping 60 Years of Paint
I have started the restoration of my Chris-Craft 10-foot Utility Racing Pram Kit Boat. The pram was built by a Boeing engineer and my dad bought it in the early 60’s. We called it the lake boat because we took it fishing at Sun Lake Park Resort in Eastern Washington. The first step was to take it out of storage and get it to the RiversWest Boat Shop. Most of the paint has been removed and the pram has been bright red, blue, white, yellow and ivory in its lifetime. The last color scheme was ivory with brown trim. I am thinking the paint scheme will be white or ivory with brown trim to bring it back to what it was just before the restoration.
I plan to power it with my 1967 Johnson 6hp and later try to find a Johnson or Evinrude 1950’s 5.5hp. I plan to use it on the Willamette and Columbia rivers and the local lakes. I think that it will be a blast.
August 21st, 2014
Summer is almost over but I was finally able to pull two of my outboards out of storage. In the foreground is a ’67 6hp Johnson 2 stroke that has not run for years. I pulled the lower unit to replace the impeller; the old impeller was toast. I pulled the flywheel to check the coils and points; both looked good so they won’t be replaced but I will reset the points. With new oil in the lower unit I am almost ready to fire it up. I need to change the connector on my 6 gallon tank from a hose bard to Johnson/Evinrude style and mix up some fresh gas 50:1. Maybe it will be running this weekend. There are many little things that I need to do to this motor like filing off some rough spots on the propeller, change the oil seal in the lower unit, new spark plugs and paint touch up.
The second outboard in the background is a ’07 9.9hp Mercury 4 stroke that I picked up used. I will run it to warm it up and then I will change the lower unit oil and the engine oil. As long as I set it up correctly it starts on the first pull. I have a new 4 blade propeller that I am going to put on it and use it as a kicker on my 602.
I built the outboard motor stand last spring. Having the motor stand makes it a lot easier to work the outboards.
December 5th, 2013
The holidays are a time when I bake bread, pies and rolls to share with my family. To aid in preparing the dough a breadboard is needed and breadboards have gone the way of the buggy whip. I was on my way to buy some hard Maple for a bread board when I stopped at the local Ikea for some Pastej Lax or as we call it, fish paste; when I stumbled upon the Lamplig Chopping Board. For $10 this cutting board was turned over to make a nearly perfect breadboard. The lip catches the edge of the counter and does not slip around when I am kneading the dough. The backside is a little rough so you might have to clean it up with sandpaper. For a real breadboard I would like it a little wider than the 18 inches and a little longer that the 20 3/4. For only $10 I can live with it being a little on the small side.
March 27th, 2012
The inside of the canoe was glassed last week. There are a few ragged strands of glass at the stems but I will sand most of those out. I was pleasantly please with how stiff the canoe was when the epoxy curried. Only two coat of epoxy were used on the inside so there is texture to the glass that will make a non-skid surface. I am going to do scuppered gunwales as described at http://www.michneboat.com/Gunwales.htm. I cut 6 pieces of 3/8 x 3/4 out of a 2×2 by 16 foot Alaskan Yellow Cedar. My gunwales will be a little smaller than I wanted but they will still look great on the canoe. Most books recommend hardwood for the gunwales but I like the look of AYC and it will complement the Western Red Cedar well. There were some knots in the AYC that I will have to splice out. Since the strips are 16 feet long and the canoe is only 13 feet long, there will be at least 2 feet left over from each strip. I might have enough strips to double up on the outer gunwale. I estimate that I will need 10 feet of the 12 that will be cut off of the strips to make the blocks that are part of the inner gunwale. I think that I will have a 12 inch block where the center thwart will go and use 3 1/2 blocks with 3 1/2 spaces elsewhere.
For the thwart, deck and bulkhead I will be using Port Orford Cedar. I have 2×12 board that I have been saving for the canoe. I am in a quandary on the shape of the thwart. I could do a simple thwart or I could do a carved thwart that would be more practical for carrying. I will have to decide in a few weeks. Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Port Orford Cedar both have a strong smell when they are cut. The Port Orford Cedar is more spicy and the Alaskan Yellow Cedar is more musky smell. The boat shop was quite aromatic.
For the seats, I have a second 2×2 by 16 piece of AYC that I have cut into two 3/4×1 1/2 strips. I think that I will start with a woven cane seat using plastic cane. I talked to someone who cane’s at last year’s San Diego County Fair and he said that it was hard to get good quality cane anymore and he uses plastic cane for anything that will be outside.
January 21st, 2012
After two moves last year, the canoe in storage for 4 months and sitting 5 months in my living room; I have started working on the canoe again. I finished sanding the inside just after Christmas and finally was able to make time to seal the canoe. The idea of sealing the cedar strips is so that you have a uniform color when apply the fiber glass cloth. The process is simple and was recommend by a fellow canoe builder. Put a thin coat of epoxy on the hull and let it soak in, once is starts to set, scrap off all the excess. I then filled all the cracks and crevices with epoxy thickened with cedar wood flour. Once the filler has set, scrap off any excess and wait a week for it to cure before a light sanding with 120 grit. The next step it to cut the fiber glass cloth to size.
January 15th, 2011
The Portland Boat Show is going on right now and I made an Oar Rack to show off the oars that were made in the Oar Class that I taught last spring. The pair of oars on the very right are the ones that I made during the class, the next pair were made my Russel Smith, the second from the left were made by Michael Simmons and the oars on the very left were some that were in the shop that I used to demonstrate how to leather an oar.
We used Alaskan Yellow Cedar to make the oars and used Daly’s Seafin Aqua Spar Clear Polyurethane Varnish for the finish. Russel put on more coat to give the oars a nice warm yellow color to the oars.
The oar rack is made out of kiln dried Douglas Fir that I picked up at Building Material Recycling and was build in an afternoon.
January 2nd, 2011
I have started the scraping and sanding of the epoxy on the canoe. I used a cabinet scraper to get the most of the lumps off and then went over the area with a random orbital sander. I still have to make one more pass and then I will put another coat of epoxy on to fill the low spots. I will try using the cabinet scraper when the epoxy is green to see if I can reduce the sanding later.
December 26th, 2010
I picked up a Stanley Baily #3 hand plane at the local building supply junk store while I was getting some lumber for an oar rack that I will be building. This sorry plane had been drowned and has a serious case of rust but is not terminal. The rust looks fresh and the screws and the adjustment knob turns so it is not rusted solid. The front knob is cracked and will be repaired or replaced. The rear tote is in good shape except for a bad paint job. The first task is to disassemble the plane and clean up the parts.
I use electrolysis to remove the rust on the steel parts. Electrolysis is a method of using a direct current to drive the iron oxides (rust) back to iron and oxygen. The iron becomes a black slug on the steel that is easily washed off. Many proponents of electrolysis cleaning use a automotive battery charger to send between 4 and 10 amps through the part. I built a constant current source that drives 100 milliamperes through my parts. Although slower, I am more comfortable with the lower current and some suggest that it does a better job. The part in the tank is the plane iron (blade) and will be left there for about 24 hours. The electrolysis works in line of sight, so to ensure even cleaning, I have four pieces of steel re-bar as my electrodes.
When all clean and tuned up, this little #3 hand plane will be put to good use. It will join ranks with other Stanley planes that I have and the wooden planes that I have built.
December 18th, 2010
I built a Philly Style Chamfering Plane to cut 45 degree chamfers and to 8 side spars, oars and paddles. The plane is based on a 10 inch wooden block plane and has a fixed guide and an adjustable guide. The adjustable guide is not shown because I did not like the first two that I made. I have designed a new jig to cut the slots in the adjustable guide and will make it soon.
For this design I used a lever cap with a brass threaded insert and a brass knurled thumb screw. The lever cap makes it easier to adjust the plane iron than with a wedge. To adjust the iron, the thumb screw is loosened so the plane iron is held in place but can move when hit with an adjusting mallet. Once the blade is set the thumb screw is tightened until snug. The cross pin is 3/8 brass rod that is cut slightly longer than needed and then sanded to be flush. I still have to heat threat the iron and then sharpen it.