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by Dan Rogers - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA


1- 2 - 3

Those Elves must have some kinda’ strong union.  Just about as soon as they came to work, they sort of made a mess and then decided to take the rest of the weekend off.  And, I shut the Frankenwerke down for those guys.  Sometimes you just never know.

So, I got the crew back from vacation, and put on a few back-to-back shifts.  We cut pine boards up into slats.  We turned the rest of the stock of mdo plywood into a couple un-planned structures.  Miss Kathleen now sports a hanging locker that will double as a chart table/nav instrument area.  But the real big deal was to get all that pine reduced to short pieces and glued onto just about every interior surface.  In fact, unless you stand on your head and peak up under the foredeck, there ain’t a single patch of fiberglass boat showing.  Noplace.

We ran out of cedar lumber to make a couple accent strips that will drop in pretty easy.  But this is pretty much what we look like after a scratch coat of finish - painted on with a 1” chip brush, after sanding the whole shebang after dinner tonight.  The ol’ Motrin jar just might be doing a land office business later on.

I’ll be afraid to set anything on the long counter top for a while.  Then, I’ll probably drop a wrench, or something heavy and slippery, on it, and make OK to use, after that.

So far, other than the tigerwood on the outside (tropical hardwood) everything on the boat is a local species.  I’ve been storing quite a bit of it for “something.”  I guess this was that something.

While my QA guys are normally all over me for what they call substandard workmanship.  I think everybody is pleased with how the different woods seem to belong together.

Well, I think that’s what we think, anyway.  I think I’ll let the crew shove off early - right after they come around and tell me how good Miss Kathleen is looking these days.  Who knows, maybe those lazy layabout elves will show up soon…


This Frankenbuild has reached a critical point, where I need to decide how to bring it to an end.  There’s a lot of covering-of-tracks going on right now.  Less than perfect, less than well-thought out, and less than skillful work already in place is beginning to need to be covered up.  And, I sincerely doubt that I’m any different than Real Boatbuilders in this regard.  In fact, I neither invented nor use a great deal of 2-inch putty.  Not very much putty, in the narrower standard widths, either.  But, beaucoup trim strips.

OK, I admit to really having an affinity for wood grain.  It’s way less easy to work with in most applications, but I also prefer to use solid wood pieces instead of veneer or “appearance” plywood sheet stock.  In fact, this entire boat is literally covered with 1-1/2 and 1-3/4 inch wide strips.  In a world of low and no-maintenance things; “Miss Kathleen” will be a high maintenance girl.

Today’s focus has been on the aft cabin bulkhead and soon-to-be door frame.  This is where problems a couple months ago with getting the top symmetrical and level to the hull have come home to roost.

After a great deal of head scratching, I concluded that audacious would best conceal a three quarter inch disparity from one side to the other.

And, exceedingly labor intensive.  Much like Johnny Cash’s famous home built car, “…one piece at time…”

I can hardly wait to see what will crop up tomorrow.


What a difference (part of) a day makes.

Yesterday, things were sort of more or less kinda’ to a possible stopping point.  Probably.  It was time to devote some attention to the antics of the Christmas Elves that have sort of taken up residence in the shop - while waiting for me to put the boat project to bed for a while, and properly supervise ‘em.  But.

But, I was sort of unsupervised, myself.

First, “one more itty bitty little piece…” morphed into a full-blown screeching and roaring from a collection of edge tools.  Then, it was time to spread varnish among the new stuff.  And, before you can say “AlmostChristmasseve,” I was hanging cabinet doors and putting tools away.

I’ve already been offered suggestions to apply “Lucas varnish” (white latex house paint) to the jumble of natural-finished wood grain.  And, while my choice of color and shade and such won’t have a totally universal appeal; I’d like to think it’ll work out OK.

All things considered - or at least a few of the more important ones - I’d say we’re looking pretty good.  For a 90-day wonder Frankenbot, anyway. 

The birch doors, hung up above, cover shallow small-stuff pukas, and once ogee’d to match the darker ones below, they will serve as some sort of photo or painting frame.

So, now if those elves will just show up for work in the morning; we’ll be doing “other things” for a while… probably…

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