July 24, 2004

documentation, documentation!

I spent a good amount of time today getting this blog set up (still not very classy, but oh well, I'd rather spend the time on the kayak!)

Plus now I have a conflict of interest - three people have given me books (fun books) to read in the past week or so. so many different things to do!

Posted by mel at 06:56 PM | Comments (3)

July 21, 2004

first real work

I suck! HOW long did it take me to saw off a measley piece of plywood from the bow-end riser? (and you should see the finished product.) Brings a new meaning to the phrase, "hack job." Or perhaps restores the originally intended meaning. Anyway, so maybe the tool (a big, large-toothed saw) isn't exactly optimal, but still... I can see that this boat building thing is going to be an uphill battle.

Need to go buy a few more tools (in particular, a "Japanese pull saw"). I assume I'll slowly get better at skills like this - hopefully soon enough that the finished kayak doesn't look awful. But, I'm having fun. The whole time I was cheerfully cursing my incompetence, and thinking what a grand adventure this was going to be.

Earlier tonight I went to Robert's, and he very graciously let me borrow a TON of spring clamps (60? 70? :-) as well as some other random useful stuff that he and Wendi used when they built their Kings.

Also, I measured out lengths along the strongback and screwed the blocks (which will hold the risers which will hold the stations...) down, after aligning them all carefully. My little battery-powered drill is proving to be quite close to useless (it had to be recharged three times during this endeavor).

The most important tool so far: my stereo, which I set up down in the basement (but sorely missing it in my bedroom in the mornings).!

Posted by mel at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2004

getting underway

Borrowed sawhorses and a level from John; laid black plastic underneath the work area (which is slippery! I'm not so sure if I like it or not, but it'll make mess-cleaning much easier), and collected together more stuff that I'll need. So far there have been two trips to Lowe's. ;-)

See the cedar that will become my boat, the strongback setup in my basement

Posted by mel at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

July 18, 2004

solution is good!

I got permission to take apart the fence! Our landlords are awesome. Already had to take out a couple slats today anyway for careful, complete measurements and to get the strongback down there. Adam and Lena helped; banging and hammering, grunting and cursing attracted the attention of our backyard (literally!) neighbor, who I had yet to meet until today.

Tonight I did a lot more reading on the building process (nice info on newfound woodworks site), looked over the plans, read all the instructions. There's a lot to learn.

Posted by mel at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

the kit arrives / disaster! / solution

Today the kit arrived - the whole glorious 19 feet of it! But that 19' wasn't sounding so glorious when, shortly before it was to be delivered, I discovered I had neglected to measure one of the dimensions involved in getting a stiff, 19-foot-long object out of the basement. My previous plan wasn't going to fly and now the kit was coming and I had no place to build it..... !

But i have options. 1, there's a window in the top of the basement that's large enough to "birth" a kayak. But the angles weren't quite right to slide it out (nineteen feet is REALLY long!). 2, we have a large, high-ceiling attic with a window. Rather not have to turn to this option... 3, friends who have garages???   ...and who are willing to have me coming and going at random, probably odd hours, making noise and spreading woodshavings and epoxy drool all over the place? hmm. 4. rent a storage unit and build it in there! Problem: most of these places don't like people doing *anything* but storing stuff in the storage units. Especially messy stuff which involves toxic, flammable materials (epoxy). Another problem (after I figured out not to immediately say I was planning to build a kayak in there): none of them tend to be long and skinny; to get 19' of length I was going to need one of the Huge units! Which tend to run, oh, about the same as I pay in rent every month! Scratch that idea. 5: build it outside -- an option that I'm not at all fond of, but it would be possible, with lots of tarps and plastic sheeting, etc. 6: that one dimension I failed to measure is largely restricted by a "guard rail" built in to the floor next to the hole which is the stairs leading down to the basement (see my virtual tour of our house). We could.... take out the guard rail! Um.... bad idea. Almost as bad an idea as taking apart the floor in that room (which is also the ceiling to the basement in this area).

New plan: I just have to find a place to get it built; abandon the idea of storing it at home (oh well). There are places I can store a kayak for $20-50/mo. I can deal with that. So, wherever it gets built, it only has to go in once, and come out once. Therefore, inconvenient, "one time only" measures may be taken into consideration! Such as..... (no, not taking out the floor) removing a section of the fence which separates our backyard from our neighbor's. Now the neighbor's house is right up against this fence; however, the extreme Seattle topology is such that their roof is ~4' above the ground level where the kayak will be coming out. We made preliminary measurements and think that this will be possible! Hooray! Relief. We got the long pieces of wood inside, off the wet ground at least - they are now halfway into the kitchen and wrapped in some bedsheets. Now, I need to ask the landlords if this fence thing is okay...

(by the way, credit for the winning fence idea goes to Michiko! Bob and Michiko were visiting Seattle this weekend, and they, with Andrew and Sarah, arrived for a visit to my house just as despair was setting in. Thanks to them, by the end of today I am feeling hopeful and excited about the kayak again.)

Posted by mel at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2004

It's coming!

Surprise! Joe calls and says he'll be coming through Seattle tomorrow and can drop off most of my kit (!). (the epoxy and glass haven't arrived yet, but I don't need those yet anyway.) This touches off a flurry of activity, mainly moving things around in the basement to make room for the project.

Posted by mel at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2004

I spend the money

I ordered my "Return" kayak kit from Redfish (Port Townsend, WA,
http://www.redfishkayak.com/kayaks.htm). Joe said that it would be about
two weeks.
Length: 18'2"
Beam: 22 3/8"
Approximate Finished Weight: 34#

There are three main goals of this project: (1) end up owning my own kayak! (2) become "more handy" with tools and wood and building things in general. (3) have fun!

Posted by mel at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)