A Modest Proposal – Parts 2.5 and 2.6

by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA

Dan’s plan

A Modest Proposal – Part 2.5

“I think my almost-new heavy-duty sander has “issues” like the rest of us. After devouring a couple brand new 30-grit belts, he threw a drive wheel and sat there spinning a disconnected motor.”

The nice man at the transfer station said I left 680 pounds of boatstuff in his dumpster.

The Boss said, “don’t forget those damn outboard motors we’ve been tripping over the past half-dozen years!”

So, I gave ’em to a guy who has more junk than I do. And, I came home with enough material, from the lumber yard, to build the 6′ x 10′ cambered roof this gal is gonna’ sport. Maybe this week.

Heck, maybe tomorrow.


Guess what? Guess what you do, when everything above and below the knee hurts; and you get a wild hair? Well? Do ya’ give up?

Take shortcuts!

I cut this centipede out of ¾” mdo. The cambered deck beams are set like a house: sixteen-on-center. It seemed like an easy number to remember. Every 16 inches on my tape is marked in red. Harder to mess up. Mostly, I had to figure out how to lift those really-heavy sheets up onto my table saw and cut the blanks. Well, the idea of running a six foot long chunk of that stuff accurately through the band saw was not a little daunting, as well. “That’s OK.” I kept telling myself every time the blade would wander away from the line. “I’ll just true up the stack with my trusty belt sander.


I think my almost-new heavy-duty sander has “issues” like the rest of us. After devouring a couple brand new 30-grit belts, he threw a drive wheel and sat there spinning a disconnected motor. We all got our troubles, I guess. So, I decided that the stack of NINE deck beams would simply have to be good enough. And, they are probably gonna’ do just fine. Nothing like a liberal application of PL to fill those pesky gaps, eh?

Of course I know what the Real Boatbuilder Guys would do. Of course. They’d WAIT until they had the right tools, and enough energy-or even help. Of course. But, maybe they don’t have my political pressures to deal with.

I may have mentioned that Kate considered my last frankenbuild to be my LAST. And, even when I offer my detailed, well-reasoned, explanation(s); I get that vibe that says, “Yeah, but what about all the other stuff you’re supposed to be doing before your surgery in a couple weeks? What about that, there smartguy?” Soooooooo, I’m sort of trying to hurry this along-at least the initial phase, so I can close up the shop for the cold weather soon to come.

Somehow, the centipede in the foreground will need to figure out a way to take flight and get up onto the hull in the background. I suppose it’ll weigh a hundred-pounds, erso. And, the cotton pickin’ thing is ten feet long by six feet wide.

Those guys in the Engineering Department have had the whole summer off. I figure it’s way overtime for that crowd to get up a plan. I’ll ask ’em at the morning staff meeting.


A modest proposal – Part 2.6

Like Buck Owens so famously warbled, “.I’ve… got.. uhhh… tiger by the tail, it’s plain to seeeeeeeeeee.”

Seems, those Engineering Department boys and girls didn’t have much of a handle on how I was supposed to get that giant plywood centipede from the floor up and looking like the roof if really should be some day. The basic notion ran kinda’ like this: “Hey, no big deal. Just hoist that bad boy up in the air, then roll the boat out on those furniture dollies, put some legs under it. Piece a’ cake!”

Yeah, right.

A whole day shift and a night shift later. I came in and told Kate, that another half-day and I should be able to leave it alone for a while. She was very quick to remind me that was the anthem I’ve been singing for at least a week now. Dontacha’ just hate it when they’re right?

Maybe if I had taken that metaphorical piece of cake and smeared it on the floor, things might have gone better. But, no. A few days ago, I found myself sling-shotting that boat a half-inch at a time with a pull from an overhead chain fall. But, that was before the engine and 500 pounds of wet and rotted innards were lifted out and hauled away. So, let’s just say that I had reason to believe that breezy forecast of success at the morning meeting. Part of the problem stems from not having the proper crane in the shop any more. The Real Big Crane is mounted in the floor out in the woods under Miss Kathleen’s storage shed. Positioned for lifting motors in and out, lifting that boat off her trailer, stuff like that.

So, anyway, I don’t want to make you get the idea that I’m not having much fun lately. I’m not. But, you shouldn’t be concerned with my level of entertainment. Anyhow. For some inexplicable reason, known only to the Engineering Department nerds, it was just about as hard moving that hull around today as it was when fully loaded and really, really, HEAVY. Dunno. So, after a while I managed to get it back inside the shop and then tried to go on to Step Two. I think this is where the disclaimer on the furniture box, “Some Assembly Required,” must have gotten its inception. Basically, not much worked not much of the time.

We went from this.

Back to this:

And, then after hours of huffing and puffing.


I had a modest Ah-ha moment. Then, it tried to land with a sickening thud. Back to square one.

Then, the guy from the Bright Idea Department, showed up and started in on me. Every sentence starts with “all ya’ gotta’ do.” I’ll bet you’ve got those guys hanging around your shop too. Finally, he convinced me to push from below, instead pulling from above. Since I could only do this one end at time, things got a might squirrelly, to say the least.

Besides, it was getting real hard to find volunteers to go under that huge mouse trap to reposition the sort-of-just-stuck-there posts from time to time. About then, I decided that leaving the boat balanced on centerline on a couple moving dollies was a bad plan, what with all that climbing around in there, and all. But, somehow, both ends got pulled and pushed and yelled up into about the right spot in space. Remarkable, really.

Circles being what they are, as the crane reaches about the right altitude, his crane-thingie starts getting progressively shorter. But, that’s just geometry. Geometry don’t take sides-even in an emergency. So, it waggled on for a whole day.

After that camber was drawn on the pattern piece with a pencil, run along a bent piece of tigerwood spline, there’s been precious little emanating from that palatial office my Design team occupies. I suppose they think I’m just gonna’ wing it, er something.

And I suppose I will, now that I think about it. Meanwhile, that tiger and I have declared an early knock off. Maybe I’ll let go, if he will. Maybe.

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