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by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA


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Miss Kathleen 4.6

OK. Things are coming together, pretty quickly, now.

And, a few things are immediately apparent.  This project isn’t going to turn out as good as I pictured it.  This project IS going to turn out way better than the last one did.  This project has reminded me about humility.  Reminded, hell.  It’s been shouting in my ear from the get-go.  I couldn’t get a whole lot more humble.

I took a splash of ‘pox in the eye yesterday.  My fault, my screw up. 

There is a list I made up years ago, of what I’ll call “grandmotherisms.”  At the top of that list is something we tell each other, all the time.  Be careful.  There are a few more that I’ll offer up right now.  Don’t stand too close to the edge.  Don’t get too tired.  Don’t stay out too late.  And, so forth.  Like the researchers stipulate, there are qualitative measures, and there are quantitative measures.  If you can’t measure it, and repeat it; you can’t predict it.  But, back to the story.

We really only know when we’ve not been careful, when it’s too late to avoid the results.  Not a very helpful binary solution to a real problem.  So, here I sit.  Humbled, and slowed up a bit.  But, still in the game.

I think I’m almost ready to go on to the next phase.  The fixtures, furniture, and foo-foo phases, are all on the list;  now that I pretty much can see what the basic structure will look like.  We discovery learners do require a lot of infrastructure to “get it” don’t we?  The Real Guys just get out the next drawing, and toss it on the kitchen table along with their made-to-recipe oatmeal, I suppose.  Anyhow.

I had to see how big the top was gonna’ be, to decide how big to make the cabin.  Sort of like calling out  a bunch of chickens and eggs, and asking them to line up—alphabetically by height.

Not so logical, but, just to keep myself thinking that I’m really making progress; I think I’ll dabble in the foo-foo phase for a while before getting back to the structural stuff.  Amid a welter of humility, there is always a need for a bit of gee-whiz.   Just as soon as the aft bulkhead and door frame gets figured out, and framed in, that is.  The bottoms are tacked into place, and will get glassed first thing in the morning.

Then on to foo-foo stuff, for a while.

That poor hull has already been painted three different shades of green, and even indulged me in a modelling session with Antique White.  With all the underlying hues, it will certainly take a couple more coats to get this one uniform.  Not too bad from about 30 yards, in low light, though.

If I can get those lazy layabouts on the night shift to get back to work, I think they can get the decks smoothed from all the drips and glass work that’s been piling up around the base of the wheel house.  A couple hours’ worth of fairing and maybe a coat of paint will make ME feel a lot better about progress.

Because, right now, it looks pretty yucky.  And, yucky ain’t pretty.

There’s a stack of tigerwood, on the lumber shelves, that is just itching to become exterior trim.  That’ll make it foo-foo with a capital FOO.  Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll at least start on that phase.   Time to give it up for a few hours, now…


I got a note the other day from a fellow we all know and love:  Our Father Who Art in Harper, of course.  When I admitted that I had hit myself with some of his new Super Duck ‘Pox instead of the proper target, he asked the real question, “Yeah, but did it stick like it was supposed to?”  And I totally get it.  My answer is, “sooner or later.” 

For reasons that are now kinda’ vague to my non-chemistry-oriented persona, he told us that his Really Brilliant Discovery wasn’t going to actually work out and give us an immediately variable cure rate epoxy.  But, since I had the stuff here, I could just go on ahead and use it.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  Un-goosed, this stuff actually takes about a day to cure.  And, for a Super-type A feller like myself, a whole day can be a maternity, to wait for stuff to cure.  But, there’s a bright side too.

We Frankenbuilders don’t always know what we are going to do next, what something will look like, or have an earthly clue whether something will even stay together.  Enter Chuck the Duck’s Really Brilliant Discovery.  Slather this goo onto a clutch of fiberglass cloth.  Put it where you want it to stay—probably.  Come back in an hour and notice that it isn’t really where you want it.  No problemo, senor!  Just move it.

And, another thing.  All the cognoscenti will tell you in a heartbeat that glass doesn’t like to make tight bends.  And, they’d be right.  Except for Chuck’s new goo.  It takes so long to harden, that I can come back hours later and crease the glass and squish it into place.  Inside corners, outside corners.  No sweat.  So, tonight, we’re experimenting. 

What if you wanted to wrap glass around the edge of a sheet of 1/8” aluminum?  Of course, you might say, “Why would anybody want to do such a thing!?!”  And, you’d be in pretty good company.  But, I dreamed this scheme up while driving to The Big City and back today.  And, part of it required fiberglassing over foam and, that, is  glued and glassed over a sheet of thin aluminum.  Turns out, this humongous lid that I made and hoisted up over much of “Miss Kathleen’s” hull is about half a foot too short.  And, there was exactly zero circumstances where I was willing to take the damn thing down and start over.  So, I had to think up a way to make it longer—in place.

My hard fought camber needed to be matched.  And, one of the virtues of this piece of the pie is that it’s pretty light weight.  So, to keep the camber; I inserted a sheet of thin metal across the span and secured it from beneath.  Then, to build up the requisite thickness; I bent a couple slabs of foam over that.  But, I’ve already discovered that foam doesn’t glue worth a gnat’s hind quarters.  So, I needed some sort of rigid skin to glue the next couple components to.  And, that will all be reported in due course.  

For the moment, this is what the someday-back porch is shaping up to look like.

The door opening is just under two feet wide—rough opening.  The type of door, type of windows, hand grabs and all that are still up for grabs.

But, this extension piece, will have to wait, probably well into the morning.  All those adorable little sub-microscopic poxpeople I brushed on earlier will need to start choosing partners and dancing a whole lot closer, first.  I think of it as a mini-vacation.  Enforced vacation, that is.

All part of the experiment.  And, certainly part of the adventure.

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