Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Utility: No sudden moves

Yes, progress is slow on the Utility. I like to think I’m being cautious and methodical.

Beginning to fasten the bottom planking panel (fwd, starboard) to the keel.
With the panels for the bottom planking cut, the next step of course was to fit one into position and begin fastening it into place. The 8-foot panel is long enough that I decided to position it 4 inches aft of frame #1. That’s just far back enough to fit a butt block to join this panel with a much shorter aft panel later on. (Just how much the butt block in the floor will interfere with water movement through the limbers, time will tell.)

First, I marked the centerline down the full length of the keel. Then, I measured and marked a perpendicular line across the keel, 4” aft of frame #1. That gave me a clearly marked “corner” in which to fit the panel.

I clamped the panel into position & adjusted it until I was satisfied that it was accurately fit into position. The next step was to begin fastening the panel to the keel.

I wasn’t real keen on drilling holes into the keel, but it had to be done. I carefully marked positions for the holes... 5/8” starboard of the keel’s centerline, and spaced 6” apart. (When the panel is fastened down permanently, the screws will be spaced 3” apart. For now, I’m just roughly fitting the panel into position so that I can trim it and twist it into position.)

Next, I began drilling the holes and driving the screws — cautiously and methodically. I used plywood washers over the planking panel. The washers are to help hold the planking down, and prevent any screw heads from pulling through when tension is put on the plywood to bend and twist it into place.

So far, I’ve only gotten about two feet done along the keel. Like I said, though... “cautious and methodical.”

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