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by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA


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OK.  “Miss Kathleen” is officially a Ninety-Day-Wonder.  Perhaps, more like the Phoenix, rising from the ashes.  In the course of just 3 months, our crew here at Frankenwerke has turned a broken and long-ignored hulk into something I think we can all be proud of.  Other than interruptions to go sailing and motoring on a number of out of area cruises, to attend organized events, and miscellaneous day hops; we’ve been involved with being care givers during two post-op periods of recovery that the boat’s namesake - my wife, Kate - has had to endure.  But, with those notable exceptions, work has progressed on nearly a daily basis.

Today has been marked on my Coots Calendar from the getgo.

The initial building schedule has been allowed pretty much free rein on the shop, until today.  Tomorrow is December.  Tomorrow, the shop will be turned over to the Elves.  Tomorrow, I’ll begin to find Holiday projects in various stages of creation lying about on the benches and sawhorses and even the floor surrounding “Miss Kathleen.”  That’s pretty much our industry standard with the Frankenbot crowd.  We have to shut down - officially - for most of the month of December.  With a couple small “however’s.”  Sometimes, on past projects, one of the guys will sneak out there on his own time.  After the Elves have packed it in for the night, and quietly get some more boatparts made up or stuck on or varnished.  I expect that sort of volunteer activity to continue.  But, otherwise, today is the day to get things caught up.

0500.  Time to get to work!  Today, to mark the end of the Fall Building Season, we will put the bulk of the gingerbread on the cabin sides.  Other than not really knowing how much, how far, or how many; the process should be sort of straightforward.  The cabin has, heretofore, suffered through several mockups and such.

When I realized that what was supposed to be a diamond shape really looked more like the background for Super Man’s “S”, I scrapped that idea.  There was the notion of an oval port.  Not a bad notion.

But, it probably looked more like a football.  I tried arrow patterns in wood applique.  Solid panels of various species.  Even just paint - an instant non-starter.  But, then I hit upon the herringbone idea.  My buddy Dennis said it looked like an oriental straw mat.  And, he’s probably right.

Anyhow, once finished off with the “instant antique” goop the nice lady at the feed store mixes up for me and a conventional UV-inhibited urethane (satin), I decided to go ahead and mate those side-badges with laboriously hewn tigerwood staves. 

1800:  Well, both sides are pretty much stuck on.  There’s edge trim to figure out.  And, an endless list of things like sanding and varnishing to do.  But, this is the general idea that I’ve been striving for.

Two months ago, I was just sort of visualizing these curves and slopes.  The rounding of this cabin is rather pronounced.

And, I did manage to get a couple counter tops laminated up and finished off during the lunch break.

This sort of work is not only slow, but sort of frustrating.  Knowing that the Real Guys will have better joints and closer cuts and stuff like that is sort of daunting.  But also, the joy comes in equal parts.

Just knowing that you can figure it out as it goes is a pretty big rush.  And, even bigger than that is the knowledge that most folks won’t even for a moment bother themselves with studying the sander swirls or all the other little misses and oops’. 

Anyhow, this puts paid to the first major phase of the Miss Kathleen project.  Much, much to go, yet.  But, God, Motrin, and Ace willing; we’ll make our first cruise scheduled for March.  I’d cross my fingers; but they are just too stiff.

And, since those Elves report directly to me (after they get their orders directly from Kate, that is) I’ve a hunch there will more progress to report in the jolly old month of December.  Standby… 

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