August 16, 2004

update after hiatus

hello all you blog readers, thanks very much for your fun comments! keep it up and I will try to keep mine up.

I haven't worked on the kayak since 4 August, which was the big party we had at the house for Adam's birthday / Andy's defense / the new house. Lots of people came through and saw the kayak-skeleton-in-progress. John commented, "Look at those sawhorses! Aren't those great sawhorses." After the party there was cleaning up to do, then that Friday I left for some beach camping at Shi Shi, got back Sunday night. Then the next week Neal arrived in town, and there were several little things going on to celebrate Andrew's birthday. This past weekend I went backpacking with Andrew and Neal (Noble Knob, awesome views of Rainier!). And lately I have been in more of a mood to read and play around with Japanese characters (attempting to name my boat, perhaps prematurely!) than hammer & saw. So, there's been a break in working on the boat, but hey, it's summer, and it'd be a shame to waste the nice weather working on something that I won't get done till probably *next* summer. Better to *go* kayaking now, and *build* kayak in the winter, when I have much less desire to go get grubby outside.

But thanks again for reading!

Posted by mel at 11:01 AM | Comments (5)

August 04, 2004

"skeleton" almost finished

The blocks and risers are screwed to the strongback (picture), and now I've clamped the stations in place (picture).

Again, great pains for perfect alignment-- but, no such luck. No matter how careful I am about placing these wood pieces, something always ends up not quite right -- like (for instance) the screw "walks" itself into a new position when I try to drill a piece down, and then the part-hole that was made is now the only place that screw will go, never mind how hard I try to hold or clamp the wood in place. Or, somehow the pre-drilled hole I made in one piece ends up misaligned with the space in another, so the pieces won't go together unless they're shifted off of where I wanted them. Trying to drill a new hole too close is always a bad idea, but I tried it anyway a couple times, and made a big mess of the bow-end riser (that poor, abused piece of wood is the same one I tried with the saw earlier).

After clamping all the stations in place, I ran a bow-stern line across the keel and the right sheer lines. First glance shows some millimeter-scale mis-matches from station to station, and I do not know enough to judge whether this is not such a big deal or a potential show-stopping problem.

I hope that the inevitable imperfection of the kayak skeleton doesn't cause major problems later.But I am trying to learn to relax and not expect myself to be perfect on this. I think the kayak will still turn out sea-worthy. :-)

The finished product for tonight: it's starting to actually look like a boat, even if the first piece of the boat hasn't even been laid yet. :-)

Posted by mel at 01:39 AM | Comments (4)

August 03, 2004

slow progress

Tonight I did a lot of aligning and securing of pieces to build the infrastructure upon which the kayak will be built. Screwed blocks to the strongback, as anchors for the risers, which lift the stations up off the strongback. The stations are the forms of the boat, the skeleton along which the strips will be laid. I'll try to get a picture up soon. They're oriented keel up so that the hull is the first part of the boat to be stripped. Everything needs to be aligned very carefully during this part, so it took me a long time. A bow-stern line clamped at each end works well for this; you mark the centerline down each piece of wood and make sure the shadow of the line falls across the center before you screw the piece of wood down. It's still not completely done.

As someone said to me, 'it's not a real project until you have mashed fingers.' Well then, barring a few splinters I got earlier, the project has finally officially begun. I "injured" myself a couple times tonight - worst was when a clamp I was using to secure a piece while working on it snapped off violently and sent one of the screws flying at high velocity towards me, careening off my fingernail. It's starting to turn blue, ouch! Battle wounds. :-)

Posted by mel at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)